Dorico Elements and ties (buglet?)

hello,
at the moment I am on tour, using Dorico Elements 2 on my laptop.
As already known, Elements has no Engraving Mode - still a few Engraving options can be imposed:
System Break and Frame Break via the Write Menu.
Also I noticed, I can put an articulation onto the last note of a tie if I Untie the notes first, input the articulation onto the last note and then tie the notes again: the articulation will stay at it’s place (good news :).
But I encounter an issue with ties, when I have another voice in that stave: one of the stems might flip to the opposite side and can’t be put back, neither through the Property Panel nor through a Forced Stem Menu…

In these cases it seems the file does have to be opened in Dorico Pro a just to fix the stem.
stems opposite.png

Does Edit > Stem menu not work in Write mode? It does in Dorico Pro.

Ben, can you select a stem of a tied note in Dorico Pro?
I can select the tied note (both noteheads and the tie are highlighted), but I can not select a stem. This is, why the stem menu has no effect. I tried Untying, then forcing the second stem down via the stem menu; but after I re-tie the stem flips up again…

[edit] the reason for this misbehaviour (bug) might be the first voice being moved to the staff above.

Actually, does this really improve legibility? I think I’d prefer keeping the first voice on the left hand staff. The pitches are quite obvious from the context, and crossing the staff induces disturbance: those flipped stems, and the eye has to move up and down again… just a spontaneous thought (that you have not asked for, so feel free to ignore it).

I probably agree the cross-staff notes don’t improve legibility much in that specific example, but the issue is the bug.

It’s easy enough to make an example where the cross-staff notes are the best option - for example, make beats 2 and 3 of bar 2 the same as beats 2 and 3 of bar 1, but an octave higher.

Ah. You’re right. I can select the entire note, but only the first stem moves. I can’t select the stem in Write mode.

A pianist would probably like the cross stave notation, it is easier to sight read.
And sight reading is on what you build a performance.
I am reproducing/copying an original score, I’d like to keep the original way of notation.

Not this keyboard player. Reading four leger lines is no problem. More than four - start thinking about other notation options.

The problem with the cross staff notation IMO is that you lose the relative position of the left hand chords. which is obvious if they are all on one staff - even if they are entirely on leger lines.

I agree with Rob. I have to sight-read constantly. I’d always prefer to keep the notes in their respective staves if possible.

When I write in a 5th in the LH (or an octave), my generally “acceptable” cutoff point is anything above E5. If the bottom note is that, or below, I’ll keep it in the lower staff.

I think a lot of piano music is notated cross staff to give the engraving a certain flow or a dynamic look.

I agree that’s the case, but clarity for the performer should always be the first principle! I dislike engraving choices that favor aesthetics over legibility (not that the above example was really confusing per se).

Regarding changing the stem direction of all notes in a chain of ties in Write mode, this is planned but not yet implemented, so it can’t be done in Elements as it requires selecting each note in the tie chain independently in Engrave mode.

Me neither.

Excellent point! Do not underestimate the importance of the relative position of notes for sight-reading! Try reading notes that are written in some antique clef you’re not used to and you’ll see what I mean!

Also, when in doubt I’d always try to keep the notation as simple and ‘usual’ as possible. Music notation, though intricate and potentially beautiful, is first and foremost a form of communication, and as such it is most successful when it doesn’t draw attention to itself. In many cases (including this one) I’d consider single cross-staff notes or chords a ‘rather serious interference into the normality of notation’ and I would try to avoid them unless there are very good reasons to use them.

Having said that… discussing this without knowing the larger context of these bars seems a bit pointless to me. Perhaps there are good reasons for using cross staff notes elsewhere (e.g. complicated chord changes) — and breaking an established notation pattern could be considered a serious interference just as well.

‘Serious interference…’
I’ll better stop now. :roll_eyes:

famous example :wink:


Haha, yuck! For the eyes. But a feast for the ears… :wink:

People used to write keyboard music that way on pre-printed manuscript paper, because the staves were too close together to do anything else.

And seeing the difference between the original and ossia versions isn’t made any easier by inconsistent cross stave notes, either!

(And why is the A on the second beat of the last bar cross-staffed differently from everything else? Is the composer trying to notate something musically significant to the performer, or is it just an accident?)

That isn’t a reason to perpetuate the “tradition” just because a notation program can also do it, IMHO.

I am speculating now: a concertpianist does think his instrument as one big thing; splitting the music up into two staves is just a help or guide for us dilettantes :wink:

Or it might be a natural representation of the fact that we’ve got two hands.

Frankly, I think the notation of this Tschaikowsky passage makes it a nightmare for sight-readers. Then again this is not exactly the kind of music that’s performed prima vista.

I sometimes regret that c clefs are no longer used for piano music: not the Tschaikowsky, but many other situations like these could be elegantly solved with an alto clef.

K_b, that particular excerpt of Tchaikovsky is a piece of cake to sight read (I’m a concert pianist) EXCEPT there’s a mistake - there shouldn’t be a treble clef before the second beat! (Edit: it should be before the third beat. I agree about not dividing it quite the way it’s divided, but it’s still clear and pianists do tend to just kind of merge multiple staves together and comprehend it all as one thing.)

Hm ok. I’m going to be quiet now.
(EDIT: Yet, I still think it would be easier to read if the left-hand chords weren’t allowed to be distributed on two staves at once.)