Dynamic Text

Simple question, but I stuck …
Normally I can input p espress. as dynamic text (cmd-d), but I am not able to input just espress. as dynamic text or < express. (cresc. espress.).
What am I doing wrong?
Thanks in advance!

Either use p espress, and then hide the p in the Properties, or just use Text with a Paragraph Style that matches the Dynamic Text style.

Dynamic modifiers (= any additional text alongside a dynamic) have to have an accompanying dynamic. You can add “espress.” as a prefix/suffix to existing dynamics, including hairpins.

Thank you! I try this workaround. :slight_smile:

Thank you! Since I have to engrave a piece of Puccini, where there is no material available, I try to get close to the original score. And Puccini uses espress. or <espress. as dynamic signs … I will hide the p or whatever in the popover menu.

So if I wanted to add espress. without it being tied to a dynamic modifier, in italics, spaced evenly between the staff in piano music, what would be the best way to do it? Shift-X text? Which paragraph style would be recommended so I don’t have to do a lot of re-positioning in engrave mode?

Much music published by some of the world’s largest music publishers do this. In my opinion, that makes it standard music notation. It’s too bad dorico doesn’t allow us to use such a standard notation without the tedious step of going into properties on a per entry basis. The same could be said for things like rit, rall, accel, legato and the like (some, but not all shift-t items) being in italics between the staff in keyboard music rather than only allowed above the staff in non-italic bold (as in instrumental parts where it is just fine that way). I was looking at a book yesterday published by one of the world’s largest publishers - which implies most musicians in the world are accustom to seeing it the way they do it which makes it a notation standard - in which such terms were in italics between the staffs. The book in question was published two years after dorico was first released so it isn’t archaic or non-standard. But we can’t do that.

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Paragraph style for generic text: you can create your own one, and if you save it as default, you can set up a key command for adding text with that paragraph style already selected.

Dorico allows you to enter such text as a modifier alongside a dynamic (with the option to hide the dynamic if you want) or as generic text, with various text formatting options available to you. You could even create a custom playing technique for “espress.” and other common modifiers, if you really wanted.

Tempo marks between piano staves: this has been discussed before, e.g.

See Daniel’s response in that thread:

You can also change the formatting of the font styles used for tempo marks if you don’t want them bold.

Why don’t you simply suppress playback of the dynamic, then you are not tied?

I do it exactly as Lillie described above. I have a Paragraph Style called “Expressive Text” that is just the italic variant of my main text font. I created a shortcut for it, so whenever I want to input italic text I simply invoke that shortcut rather than use Shift+X.

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Best answer, create a new paragraph style. I’m not worried about playback in most things I do. That having been said, as I get more into dorico, playback may be something I’ll have to rethink given how well it looks to be implemented.

I did not know that tempo marks between staffs had been discussed with the answers given. I did search but there’s only so much time in the day to be reading everything on the forum , even all the replies I get. I’m kind of surprised it wasn’t in version 1 given how standard it is in piano music. Thanks though.

But creating a new paragraph style implies writing (for example) a dynamic on a note with shift+D and then select the following note, input another text with the newly created paragraph style, and write espressivo or whatever…am I correct?
But wouldn’t this create issues with the alignment of these texts, since they are attached to different objects?

All I want is to achieve this:
Screenshot 2022-10-22 at 17.19.22

If I write it in Dorico with Shift+D, what I get is not in Italics and I can’t find a way to change this…
Screenshot 2022-10-22 at 17.24.30

I can’t remember ever seeing a score where the expression text wasn’t in italics…
Screenshot 2022-10-22 at 17.26.18

Thanks for your help

You should find that the text associated with a dynamic is italicised by default; if not, chances are you’ve changed the setting for the Dynamic Text Font font style in Library > Font Styles.

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Thanks Daniel, I’m on a fresh install of Dorico and didn’t change anything in any of the settings…I don’t know what could have happened.

It would be worth going to check what is set for the Dynamic Text Font, all the same.

Well, as you can see, that’s set to Regular, and it needs to be set to Italic.


I saw it, thanks…but I didn’t change anything. I’m demoing Dorico and installed it recently without messing around with any setting. It also just crashed whilst browsing through the additional dynamics tab. How can I reset everything and do a fresh install?

You don’t need to reinstall anything. If you would like me to check into why Dorico crashed, please do Help > Create Diagnostic Report and attach the resulting zip file here.

Dorico Diagnostics.zip (810.1 KB)

Thanks for attaching the diagnostics. The crash isn’t one I’ve seen before, but also one that I’d be willing to bet is unlikely to recur on demand. Let me know if you see it again.

Regarding the state of the Dynamic Text Font font style, could you please start a new project from one of the built-in templates and then open Library > Font Styles, select the Dynamic Text Font font style, and verify that Style is indeed set to Italic as it should be in that project?

It looks to me from a couple of the screenshots you’ve posted in various threads that you have been making changes to the fonts used in your projects one way or another. If you’re using Petaluma, for example, as your music font, it’s worth knowing that Petaluma Script, which is the text font that will be used by default when you use the Petaluma music font, doesn’t have an italic version, so in that case I would expect Dynamic Text Font to be set to the Regular style rather than the Italic style.