Dorico 5 Most Wanted

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Just for fun, I looked for an example. The first one I stumbled upon was from the Finale documentation on their mid-measure plug-in.

The example they cited looks like notational gibberish to me.
Mid-measure repeat
Presumably, the music is in 4/4. After inserting the repeats, how many measures are there? Is the repeated section 6 beats or 8?

It seems to me that at minimum, if a person is going to insert repeats mid-measure, then the system should require that the repeat marks balance each other such that the repeated section represents complete measures in the current meter.

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I agree, that’s nonsense.
If you look for occurrences in actual literature you’ll find more sensible ones.


Beethoven op. 27 no… 2


Undoubtedly. I have seen many examples over the years. And in most cases, it trips up at least a few of the players in the ensemble the first time. I have a very definite attitude about notation that probably is in the minority. My attitude is that I should do everything possible to help the musicians express the composer’s intent the first time they play the music.

If a person plays a steady diet of music from the period when that was considered normal, they may have no problems. But for modern music, I would no more do mid-measure repeats than I would do figured bass or Nashville chord notation (unless in Nashville, of course).


Which is why it is to @Lillie_Harris 's credit that she seeks out real-world examples to put into the documentation.



I think that is laudable. It was the. philosophy of Arnold Arnstein and made him a very well-known and successful music copyist in NYC during the mid 20th century. I was his assistant for a few years and saw the results. The musicians would practically cheer when they saw him at the rehearsals because his parts were so error-free and playable. He was also concerned about repeats and had special rules for their placement to make them as clear as possible. He did allow mid-measure repeats, however, because it is can make for an awkward visual presentation to not use them. Imagine the use of first and second endings in the Beethoven example above.


Yes, I agree with you in the case of that Beethoven example because the entire piece is offset by a quarter note. Once the player has negotiated the first one, the rest follow the same pattern. But I have seen Sousa marches notated that way that were a complete disaster. However, that did result in more compact part. Considering Sousa’s band played the same pieces over and over, it wasn’t a problem for them.

Small thing. When notating duets, I sometimes like to differentiate between the first and the second singer with the help of colours.

However, as for now - you have to colour tied notes in extra step in Engrave mode. And ties cannot be coloured at all (slurs can)

Concerning making the last (tied) note blue: I tried it and that works well with the next steps:

  • click on the last note and enter the key u
  • select the last note again and enter the key o
  • click on the second to last note and enter the key t

Faster variant: - click on the last note and enter the keys u, then o, then t .

I hope this helps.

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I wish there was a workflow possibility that you can write (or select an existing) just the rhythm (or random notes), select them and than freely play-in the notes. Would be awesome if it on top of that worked with chords spread over multiple staves.

You mean like this?


Make sure to follow the links to the topic on extending the caret. That’s how you do it with chords across multiple staves.


it would be nice to have the ability to “pause” note entry even while the note entry caret is active, exactly for this type of case.
since wanting to repitch requires a number of keystrokes to set it up, having to exit note entry to try out a few things then continue note entry, then exit again, and re-enter, repeatedly (as often happens when composing something new) adds a lot of extra keyboard shortcuts.

something like keeping a key pressed (for example the Shift key) during note entry might temporarily pause MIDI signals being sent from your keyboard to Dorico, so you can sound out some things and be able to return quickly afterward to actual note entry?

I know this would be difficult for those who enter notes using a QWERTY computer keyboard. But I’m sure some alternative might be found?


I’d love to be able to extend the caret to non-adjacent staves. Too many flute/violin and oboe/viola and bassoon/cello unison!! :crazy_face: And being able to have one of the staves in such a selection to input an octave higher or lower would be great as well!

You could use pitch before duration, which allows you to try out different notes before committing.
So when repitching existing rhythms, all you have to do is press L, try out some things, and press L again to continue, without ever leaving note entry.



It may be not posible to extend the caret to non-adjacent staves, but with the instrument filter you can program the staves you want to be adjacent and then extend the caret. For example add a filter preset that includes flute and violin, another preset for oboe and viola, etc.

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Unfortunately, with big scores Dorico pretty soon starts to take quite long to apply the filter and then again to switch it. For copying printed material page by page, I found it much faster to copy-paste than wait for the filters (I think they are better for other kinds of tasks).

And I have to say that it’s a pretty minor issue overall. I just finished copying a 450-bar section of a piece for a large orchestra and the number of tools that Dorico provides to seriously speed up note input (and corrections!) is incredible.

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Nice use of color! I have some players who use highlighter pens to mark matching repeat signs, matching D.S. signs, and similar, in different colors for each pair. To simulate that, I used a photo editor to place small transparent .svg color rectangles behind the graphics file emitted by Dorico. Dorico files are great for having transparent backgrounds, it lets the black stay black with the color layered behind it.

But, the first thing I tried was using the color setting in the Dorico panel to change the color of the repeat bars themselves, and it doesn’t work, at least not for me. They stay black. It would be nice if that worked, maybe it would be enough they wouldn’t have to pull out the highlighter pens. Or… maybe there is something I’m missing that would make it work now :slight_smile:

+1 for Cubase integration
+1 for comprehensive choral condensing