Dorico 4 and fermata playback

Please explain - how do you find this awkward?


one way to get round this is to insert a very slow tempo immediately on or after the fermata which you then hide in the score. That’s what I usually do, anyway.

1 Like

How do you hide the tempo? Is there an option to actually hide it, or do you unselect “Text shown” and “Metronome mark shown”?

I think if you tried it you could answer your own question.

You really do not need permission to experiment, and by doing so on a copy of your file you would do no irreversible damage and would probably learn more about Dorico faster and more thoroughly.


I tried that second method and works, but as discussed in another topic, one of the weak points in Dorico is not being able to simply hide what you want, like hiding rests when using two voices in the same staff. So maybe for this question about the tempo changes there was a hiding button as there are for some things (for example, there is such a button for hiding time signatures).
Therefore, I think is understandable for a user to ask such a question instead of just experimenting. In my opinion that’s an inconsistency in Dorico that should be addressed in further updates.



“Remove rests” is very easy to do, especially if you assign an alias (such as ‘rr’) to the jump bar.

There’s a whole discussion at the end of the this topic:

The answer was Edit > Remove Rests after selecting the rest. But that’s not the same thing as hiding, because when hiding the rest is still there if ever you need to show it again.

Could you please explain here (or even better, on the other topic) what is this very easy way to do it?

So even though Dorico can do what you asked, you expect Dorico to do what you want and the way you want it to. I think that’s expecting too much.

Reactivating the voice preceding the rest in question by deselecting the “ends voice” property will make the rests repopulate.

1 Like

Just realized one thing. I am putting a slow tempo on the fermatas so they are performed by Dorco, then hiding this tempo mark. That works. However, after the fermata I write “a tempo”, but this a tempo is playing the slow tempo of the fermata, not the piece’s tempo. This might be expected as Dorico doesn’t know that my slow tempo is only for the fermata.
Therefore, I tried to insert the piece’s tempo again and hide it. However, when I do that, the “a tempo” mark disappears.
How do I keep the “a tempo” mark and ask it to play the tempo I want (the piece’s tempo, not the fermata’s one)?

“A tempo” is a relative tempo mark that can’t show an absolute tempo at the same position. Probably your best bet would be to insert a real absolute tempo change that restores the original tempo and hide it via the Properties panel, then create a system-attached text item (which will appear on the same staves on which the real tempo item would appear) for the “a tempo” marking.

1 Like

:joy: I can imagine it!

Well, for a fermata playback, I usually insert a hidden tempo mark where a quarter note may equal to 30bpm or 20bpm.

(Or just add the tempo text after adding just the metronome mark, using the Properties panel > Tempo group > Text field, and activating “Text shown”. As long as you add “a tempo” not via the popover, it won’t be interpreted as a relative tempo change.)


The feature is still not included in this 5th new version?



Workaround is to use a rit. that has a target tempo of 1% and a width of one beat, followed by a tempo. Then hide these marks by making them white. And put a fermata over the note.

Every time somebody says, “it shouldn’t be a hard bit of programming”, a software developer somewhere dies.

This is funny yet I’m skeptical. More likely the project manager is not thinking outside the box. Fermata playback could likely ‘easily’ be faked internally by applying a similarly hidden, “rit. to 0.01%; a tempo” on a very small division of the beat, until it is replaced in the future with a better, realistic ‘virtual conductor algorithm’.

My current composing solution is to never use fermatas anyway, for live performer scores. They have wasted time in all my performance rehearsals and are too inaccurate in performance. So, write without them: use metered time and metered rests. (Similarly, with “G.P.” markings.) Fermatas would be only mildly handy in virtual playback just as a score shorthand to avoid having to insert extra bars/beats.

1 Like

Or, rather than inputting items that you then have to force-hide using colors that require you to print/export in color in order to keep them hidden, draw in the change in tempo you want for the fermata in the Tempo editor. Anything you draw in the Tempo editor isn’t shown in the music by default; points appear as signposts only.

Didn’t that get fixed in 4.3 or something?


Sorry to have to say, but that’s just plain insulting.


Actually I’m increasingly inclined to agree with you on this one which is probably why the continuing absence of fermata is less of an annoyance than it used to be, And of course we all know what the workarounds are as they’ve been documented countless times.

1 Like