Dynamics lock to entirety of bar repeat sections and slash regions

Adding a dynamic over a repeat section results in this:

Screenshot 2023-07-17 at 9.04.39 AM

This is odd because sometimes we want to crescendo halfway through a repeat section: it will not allow me to drag the beginning or the end of this dynamic. Horizontal lines have the option to “attach to barline, notehead, etc”, but dynamics do not.

Slash regions are selectable, but even if I select 3 measures of a slash region, it still applies the crescendo to the entire region.

The end is nudge-able but not the beginning (it jumps over the repeat region entirely)!! So if I want a dynamic effect to start halfway through I’m SOL.

How would one create dynamic instructions over partial repeat sections or slash regions?

You can use the lengthening/shortening and moving key commands to change the duration of the hairpin and/or move its start point.

Alternatively, you can create the dynamic elsewhere spanning the required duration, and copy it into place in the middle of the slash region. You’re right that currently, selecting any part of a slash region essentially selects the whole item for the purposes of calculating the duration of subsequent items with duration that you input.

Is that by design or is that just an annoying byproduct of how repeat sections are treated?

I appreciate the workaround but honestly it just ruins the workflow to have to remember 500 different workarounds for everything instead of just clicking where I want something or dragging it to fit once it’s placed. There’s just no consistency in any of this UI.

Also “lengthening and shortening using option + ->” only shortens the end of the dynamic. You cannot move the beginning because nudging it sends the entire thing to the next measure after the repeat section.

Also just to reiterate, dragging doesn’t work at all. The endpoints are frozen and locked to the edges of the repeat section.

Not to mention: even if nudging did work… hypothetically, what if my repeat section is 200 measures long? Am I to nudge it 100 measures, one tick at a time?

I don’t see why implementing a functional endpoint dragging mechanism is so challenging!

You can change the rhythmic grid resolution to something coarser, eg whole notes, to move items by a larger increment per key command press.

I understand (and the team is aware) of the desire to be able to select individual slashes/bars within a slash region and have that be used for the duration of subsequent items. As to why it’s not currently possible and the difficulty in changing functionality to make it possible, that’s beyond my ability to say.

Presumably in that case one would split the repeat sections into smaller groups (e.g. at Rehearsal Marks), so there would never be (hypothetically) a repeat section 200 measures long to begin with.

Either way, the point would be that you’d still have to create a separate repeat section just to house the dynamic mark, which is kind of ludicrous.

Aspects of the design that I’m sure are in the documentation, but have not been mentioned here:

  • Dragging dynamics with the mouse snaps to notes only (not bars, not rests, not the grid). Convenient if you know to expect that.
  • You can input markings starting and ending at any rhythmic positions using the caret. A hairpin doesn’t appear until you hit Space to give it a length. Or you can just put the caret at the start position, start a hairpin with the popover, move the caret with arrow keys to the end position, and hit Shift-? to specify the duration and finish entry.
  • In addition to Alt- and Alt-Shift arrows, Ctrl-Alt-arrows (Command on Mac) move by the rhythmic grid even if there are no notes there. (See section 3 on the manual page, just above the new click and drag method.)
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None of this applies to repeat sections though. Some of it does to slash sections, but it should be more consistent across the board.

Once you show the caret you can move it anywhere, even inside a repeat region.

Ok I see what you’re saying… It still sounds like a lot of extra steps for us so devs can avoid programming click and drag to work intuitively.

Sounds as if you think the Developers have nothing else to do to make the program better.
I’m sure, if they feel your idea has merit, they will put it on their to-do list.

The popovers are actually one of the unique features that Dorico has. They’re not there to avoid writing code to do with mouse dragging. In fact, I reckon it would be quicker inputting material such as this using popovers rather than dragging.

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Oh they have plenty to do.

It probably is, but only because clicking and dragging doesn’t work half of the time. If clicking a handle and dragging it is not something the Devs believe is useful then they should delete that feature instead of leaving it in half-baked.

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Clicking and dragging is designed to work to and from notes, as that’s where gradual dynamics typically occur. Seeing as you’ve mentioned intuitiveness, yes, I’d argue it’s intuitive to be able to drag the starts and ends of dynamics to notes and not to be able to drag them to not-notes.

The caret and popover work fine whether there are notes, slash regions or rests.

Given this functionality worked just fine for its intended purpose before they implemented slash regions, by your token they might as well delete the slash region functionality entirely and leave dynamics working fine. Would you be happy with that?


This conversation reminds me of those old school Linux-type people who are so proud of themselves for only using keyboard shortcuts despite the invention of the mouse.

One thing doesn’t work the same way for everyone, and maybe people here are just such Dorico fans that they can’t understand that someone else’s workflow might be different from their own, or have different intuitive expectations of a UI…but whatever.

Popovers aren’t great because you have to remember a hundred little command prompts. Sure I’m still learning them, but that shouldn’t absolve the other aspects of the GUI from acting according to what one might reasonably expect.

And sometimes they just don’t work as expected. Just now, I clicked and selected a single bar line in a totally normal measure and tried to use the popover to convert it into an End Repeat. It inexplicably didn’t work, even though I’ve done this sort of thing before. I eventually gave up and just clicked the icon because I know it works.

That just sounds like poor implementation, not me expecting too much of a piece of professional software

“Work fine” to me just means that you’re used to the way they are. Which is fine, but I’m saying they could be improved (for me) without breaking the way you expect them to be. I don’t see why they have to be in opposition.

Yeah but slash notation and repeat sections imply notes, don’t they? Why is that so hard to fathom that I might want to attach a dynamic to a note within a section that graphically displays a shorthand for notes?

If they don’t want to support click and drag functionality, they should remove it and make us use popovers instead of leaving it in half-functional. Look at my other post about the UI going haywire while dragging a slash section. It’s a mess.

It’s ridiculous to suggest removing slash regions instead of just improving them :upside_down_face:.

I’m glad you said that. I had the same thought about the suggestion to remove click-and-drag functionality.

And yet you’ve done it again:

It’s not half-functional: it works for what it’s designed to do. Feel free to complain that it doesn’t work for something it’s not designed to do, sure, but please don’t demand that the functionality be removed for those of us that rarely use slash notation - it’s good functionality for which we’ve paid!

You sure got me there.

I’m complaining that the design doesn’t make sense, and the bugs and crashes in the program compound upon that problematic design.

A slash region simply fills bars with slashes to indicate that something be played. Sometimes there can be music behind it (and it masks the music), and sometimes not. A particular slash doesn’t represent a “note”, eg the fourth slash in a 4/4 bar isn’t a slash on beat four… it’s just the fourth slash in the bar.

I guess this is a similar scenario with bar repeats: they’re just an indication of what to do… a symbol in a bar and not in any particular rhythmic position (like a note).

Which note?

I do understand what you’re getting at (I think!): you want to be able to drag the dynamic to any object in any bar?