Dorico changes microtonal accidentals

I’m using the default 24edo Tonality System which I don’t normally do because it includes an unnecessary set of alternative accidentals in addition to the more standard one (consisting of half-sharps and inverted flats), and this results in manual adjustments, as in this case. This seems like a bug. I have used the inverted flats (picture 1) but Dorico randomly changes these to the alternative accidentals with arrows (picture 2) in different layouts. Why? The pitch is correct and correctly notated in both versions, but I never used the arrow accidentals. Note that this is not an enharmonic equivalense such as Ebb = D but the same note notated with two different-looking accidentals.

Is there a reason you have to use the default 24-EDO? If you normally use your own tonality system that doesn’t have these duplicate accidentals, you can apply that here and the notes should all display as desired without further editing.

If this isn’t a case of changing spelling in a part layout such that the score is not changed, I don’t know how it is happening.

No reason other than laziness; the 24edo was needed only for a short section and for the few notes I I just used the default one which is already there. It doesn’t work well in other ways, either: transposition with Shift-Alt-arrows and enharmonic re-spelling are both dysfunctional because Dorico may choose one duplicate or the other. It is unfortunate that this is the default quarter-tone Tonality System in Dorico; I have always instructed users not to select it but make their own. Besides, the notation with inverted flats and half sharps is the standard quarter-tone notation that does not even have to be explained in a score, at least in Europe. The rarely-used arrows (for 24edo) are unnecessary in the default 24edo palette.

Over the years there have been discussions about this.

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Dorico provides two 24-EDO tonality systems, each with independent sets of accidentals. One uses the Gould-style arrows, the other uses the Stein-Zimmermann set. There are no duplicate accidentals in either of the factory-provided 24-EDO tonality systems.

That would be great but in my Dorico (5), the palettes in both of those factory-provided tonality systems are absolutely identical and include both the arrows and the standard quarter-tone accidentals.

That’s only because you’ve done something to them to make that the case. Check in Library > Library Manager and see what you see when you look in the Accidental Systems category.

Done something? How? I thought you can’t alter them because they’re the default systems.

You can still edit the built-in accidental systems, and presumably that is precisely what you’ve done.

But why would I have added the never-seen arrow accidentals to the Tonality System with the standard accidentals? I suppose Dorico reads some old Tonality System file from the time when there was only a single default 24edo system. I’ll look at the Library Manager.

The library manger showed the two default systems and they seemed to be OK, the description of the Stein-Zimmer version does not mention arrows. But the two default 24EDO systems are identical when selected from the Tonality System menu, and if I try to edit them, Dorico won’t let me trash the arrow accidentals - presumably because it’s the factory default palette. What should I do to get the Stein-Zimmermann set appear in the menu of every Dorico project by default?

Try quitting Dorico, then moving the userlibrary.xml file out of the way from your user-level application data folder, then restart Dorico and verify that with your user library file out of the way, you see the expected default tonality systems.

Thank you. I did just that, and it worked. What’s in the userlibrary file? I notice that HEJI that is one of the default tonality systems when I start a new file is now missing from the Tonaliity System menu. What else is gone, all my default settings, layouts etc?

Yes, a lot of your customisations are found in the userlibrary.xml file. What I suggest you do is zip it up and attach it here, and I’ll manually remove the affected accidental systems for you.

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Great! Thank you very much! (25.1 KB)

Try this version: (25.2 KB)

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Brilliant! Thank you so much.