Drumset notation

Maybe a little offtopic: I know the team from Dorico is developing the Drumset notation. During the time I will ‘notate’ drumset on a staff that has no sound and for playback on staff that is hidden in the score.

Is there a standard for drum notation? Sometime I see the snare is (with the hi-hat) notated as ‘first voice’ and the bass as second. Sometimes I see the snare and the bass notated as second voice (beams to below).

There are many “standards” for drum notation. That fact may be the reason Dorico’s development team are taking time over it - they may be trying to cater to lots of different ways of doing it, like they did with chord symbols.

A significant proportion of drum notation uses upstems for hands and downstems for feet.

Very intersting discussion on the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/musicengravingtips/permalink/1783532201945664/

There’s been some guidelines from Norman Weinberg and PAS out there for a while:



We are deep into the implementation of percussion notation, including drum set notation, at the moment. We are aware of three main conventions for the voicing of notes on a drum set/drum kit staff: one is to have kick and snare in one down-stem voice, and hi-hats/cymbals in another up-stem voice; another is to have kick in the down-stem voice and snare, hi-hats, cymbals etc. in the up-stem voice (the basic division there being “feet” in one voice and “hands” in another); and yet another is to use a single voice for everything.

Dorico will make it easy to use any of these conventions – and indeed to create your own mapping between instruments in the kit, stem direction, and which other instruments should be grouped on the same stem (i.e. in the same voice) – and it will have a number of other clever tricks up its sleeve, too. I think we are on track to have the most powerful and flexible support for percussion of any scoring program.

I really am anxious to see this. Go Dorico!

This sounds really promising !

All sounding exciting… :slight_smile:

Was/is there time for the ‘dedicated tool for sticking indication’ to be included - mentioned briefly here:- https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=655354#p655354

That sounds pretty good Daniel! Can you tell a little bit about open and closed hihat notation? And I really hope there is a good import and conversion for midi files. I’m working with Supior Drummer and EZDrummer.
For me it"s also important that I can copy the base part from a drumkit to a bass drum player alone.

And… I really hopes that it would be possible to make a library with drum patterns. A library like EZDrummer where I can put and save drum patterns that I often use. This is also possible when ‘midi clips’ can be inserted, but a library (toolbox) looks very handy to me.

Succes with the development of the drum-notation.

We won’t have any drum pattern library features in this first release, but you should be able to easily maintain a separate project containing your favourite drum patterns (e.g. as separate flows) so that you can copy and paste them into your current project.

In Dorico, because each percussion instrument (e.g. bass drum, snare drum, every tom-tom, every cymbal) is actually a separate instrument, it’s easy to copy the music from just one component of the kit to another instrument. In Layout Options, you would change the percussion presentation option from five-line staff to show individual instruments, which will make every instrument in the kit appear on its own individual single-line “staff”, at which point you can then copy and paste from that staff to another bass drum held by a different player.

As for MIDI and MusicXML import, we are doing the best that we can. With MIDI we assume that the instrument is using the General MIDI drum set, and then we import accordingly. With MusicXML, different applications export different amounts of percussion data, so the results can be variable. Again, the neat thing is that because each instrument is imported as an individual instrument and then combined together into a kit instrument, you can easily change a single instrument within a kit instrument, or change the staff position where that instrument appears in a five-line staff, etc., completely dynamically.

I’m loving these little bits you’re revealing. I can only hope that the implementation is running smoothly, and that it works just as well for those who want to engrave for multipercussion sets a bit more demanding than your usual drum set.