Dorico Expression Maps - I've Added Two Steps That I Think Will Help Me

  1. I have created a special Windows Explorer folder in which to save each Expression Map. From now on any time I create or modify a map I export it to that folder. I have naming conventions that automatically organize them. Now I don’t have to rely on any other process (Playback Templates, for example) to keep and organize the latest versions of any expression map.

  2. I am setting up Length percentages in my Playing Techniques and Playback Techniques. Then in my Expression Maps I am (when it seems helpful) starting to add 80 and 90 length-percentage entries for the basic articulations of Natural, Legato and Marcato. I do this in order to lessen the need to manually drag-shorten or drag-lengthen playback note lengths, which is tedious.

It also allows for easy experimentation and change. I can see represented the percentage I have assigned in my notation. If it doesn’t sound quite right, I can lower or raise the length percentage by changing the percentage Playing Technique, modifying it easily until it sounds right. I can through experimentation figure out and document what percentages work in what situations.

Does it mean more Expression Map entries? Yes. Is it worth it? So far it seems so. If needed, I can always adjust some more manually, but for the most part I don’t need to do so much drag-adjustments in the Key Editor.

Not saying this would be useful for anyone else, but I’m posting this in case someone finds it helpful.

I don’t need to worry about the percentage Playing Techniques showing in the score. I don’t have to supply anyone with score sheets.


My post to start this thread was copied and pasted from my post in a V.I. Control thread. No activity here, which is fine, but some there. I feel I should add here what I learned in the aftermath of posting them.

The length percentage in Dorico only applies to the last quarter-note value of any note longer than a quarter note. That is, if I apply a 50% note length to a dotted half note, it doesn’t shorten the entire note by 50%, it only shortens the last third of it. So the dotted half is shortened by the equivalent of an eighth note.

I only post this to make sure anyone who reads this now is made aware of this.

It doesn’t mean length percentage is useless for my intended use, but it does make it less useful.

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