Dorico 2.0 Wish List: capo chords

While the Dorico team is in the planning stages of 2.0, I’d like to add my requests for the next update, and they’re big ones for my line of work. In the interest of being more digestible than, say, the 95 Theses on the door at Wittenburg, I’m doing this one post at a time.

Capo chords. I love D’s superpowers when it comes to chord symbols— by far the best thing going— and I need a way to add a capo layer just as easily. What I’d love to see is a per-instrument/player option in setup to add a capo layer, and then a text field in Properties to set the capo fret. This is a very important element of liturgical music, and adding them via text objects is really time-consuming and frustrating.

By the way: one major liturgical publisher had to create symbol libraries of every capo chord symbol in every key just to get it right in Finale. Oy vey. Add this feature and I bet these publishers will find themselves very, very interested in you.


Yes please!

Capo chords are definitely needed by me.

I also need to be able to enter Solfege chords as primary, with equivalent standard chords positioned above as secondary chords (with or without parentheses). Note that the idea here is not provide a capo alternative but provide both chord naming systems together on one sheet of music. Here is a sample of the Spanish Salmos Responsoriales arrangements I prepare every week:

We do certainly plan to add support for capo chords in future, but I’m afraid I can’t say when this will happen.

I’ll chime in and say how critical a capo chord feature is to me as well (I work primarily in music ministry and it’s extremely common for the local church volunteer guitarist to need capo chords on almost every song programmed for a weekly service). It’s a snap to get capo chords in a score using Sibelius–I really hope that feature is coming soon for Dorico.

Capo chords would be great, but I also go about things a bit of a different way and am wondering if I’m just missing something.

What I’d like to do is set up a new player in a score, and have that new player be the capo guitar. I’d like to keep the staff in the “concert” key and just have the chord symbols transposed for the capo. So, let’s say the player would have the staff appear in the key of F, but the chord symbols would be in E, with the part/player name indicating that it’s capo 1.

I can transpose the chord symbols easily enough, but it changes them for all players. Can I “attach” chord symbols to a player so that I can transpose them per player?

I could just use a different file like I did in Sibelius before I switched, but with the flows in D3 and the way it’s set up, I’d like to be able to keep all the “parts” (I put that in quotes because I’m treating them in a bit of a hybrid way - not quite like a composer in an orchestra, but not quote completely independently either) within one Dorico file.

I don’t care how you approach it, I know Dorico’s implementation will be the best in the world. But, I also work for a church and I create capo versions of lead-sheets and chord charts every single week of the year. Currently, if it’s a lead sheet created in Dorico, unfortunately, the quickest way is to open it in a pdf editor and add them manually.

The contemporary church music world is a substantial market - most of them don’t utilize scores per se, but they do utilize chord charts and lead sheets. I think many of these worship leaders would be interested in Dorico elements.

Michael, although the next update will not include proper support for capo chord symbols (though that remains in our plans), you will find it a little easier to produce the results you’re after because you will be able to create player-specific chord symbols, so you’ll be able to manually create the transposed chord symbols for your capo guitar.

+1 Daniel’s reply to Michael. Much better than what I’ve been doing.

The workaround I’ve been using is to create a “Capo Chord” paragraph style based off Default but 10 point and Italic. Then I go through the piece, click each normal chord symbol I put in normally, and then the Text button on the right toolbar. Select the Capo Chord style and put in the capoed chord. The Italics helps to set them apart from the regular chord symbol. A but of a pain, but it gives me workable sheets for now.

I do miss the button in Sibelius that did all of this for me, though. It’s the one knock I have against Dorico - now I’m past much of the learning/adjustment curve, I’m finding it superior in just about every way.