Dynamics to multiple staves


Bassoon staff and all strings except viola have pp in bar 5. I mark bar 5-7 in the bassoon to add SHIFT+D “<f”. This very dynamic is automatically added to all strings except viola.

This time I was about to copy the dynamic to the other staves, so I was happy that it happened by itself, I just do not understand what I did!!

Is there actually a method to input dynamics and other markings to several staves at once? I did not think there was, but this little incident hints that there might be.


Under the hood the capability exists for dynamics to be shared between staves, and you can create groups that are shared by inputting dynamics on one staff, then copying and paste those dynamics to the same rhythmic positions on other staves. In due course, we will also make it possible to create dynamics on multiple staves to start with.

Aha, so you mean that I triggered this by copying the initial pp from one of the string staves to the bassoon?

BTW, I found that glissandi are not copyable. It would be nice if they were.

They ‘attach’ to notes, which currently means those notes need to be copied along as well, otherwise the glissandi don’t know where they belong to, and hence get discarded. Do they copy for you if you select the notes at the start and end of the glissandi too?

OK, I see.

Yes they do, including the notes.

Will this be in the forthcoming update? Working on large scores and not being able to add dynamics to multiple staves makes things tedious!


Unfortunately you can’t create dynamics across multiple staves in a single operation in Dorico 1.1, but this definitely remains in our plans.

OK. I’ve read this thread, and I believe I understand the current limitations.

That said, I have a SATB arrangement, and I’ve added dynamic markings, such as “rall.” and “a tempo,” which have appeared above the top (soprano) staff. But I need to duplicate those markings on the other staves (A, T, and B).

I can select a marking, then control-click and select copy. But when I attempt to paste the marking, it simply pastes it directly on top of the original marking (over the soprano staff). The same is true even if I first select a note on another staff, which I thought would tell Dorico that “this is where I want to paste.”

As such, so far, I’m currently unable to duplicate any dynamic or tempo markings to other staves.

(Actually, copy/paste does seem to work for dynamic markings, but if I’ve selected, for example, “p>f,” pasting only pastes one of the three marks; not all three.)

How do I efficiently copy and paste these tempo and dynamic markings to other tracks?

Dear soundsgood,

Tempo markings do not behave like dynamics, they are system objects. You can select above which kind of system they are going to appear in Layout options (Full score selected on the left panel), Staves and Systems category. I do not think you can make them appear above each staff — that is not the way the tempi (I am talking about the bold fat tempi markings here) are used to be engraved. I agree that will rall… or accelerando, which are often engraved in italic non-bold and appear in any staff (above or in-between staves for piano) there is a lack. You can achieve the result using alt-shift-X system text tool, but the playback will not behave accordingly to those markings.

Dynamics : select the dynamic you want to duplicate, alt-click on the notes you want to have this dynamic. It does work, and they are linked.

Hope it helps !

In what universe are “rall.” and “a tempo” dynamic markings?

I realise you’ve used “dynamics” and “tempi” interchangeably in your post, but you really need to separate them in your head or we won’t be able to help you. Dorico handles shift-D text as Dynamics (which are specific to one voice/player/stave) but it handles shift-T text as Tempi (which apply to the whole system and typically only appear above the top staff of a group of voices/players).

How’ve you actually input these instructions?

If you want accel. or rall. and the like on specific staves, use text or system text for the indications.
If you want playback you may have to make compromises with fonts for consistency, unless you want to change the style of the Gradual Tempo Text Font in Engrave Options > Edit Font Styles. Not sure what impact that will have on other expressions in the category in your music.

Thank you. We’re all refreshed and and inspired by your unique style of “helpfulness.”

I had originally included more examples, in that sentence, of the various types of markings I was attempting to replicate: e.g., “p,” “m,” “rall.,” and “a tempo.” But prior to posting, in an effort to condense the post, I removed the dynamics examples, inadvertently leaving the tempo examples in proximity of the term “dynamic markings.”

Of course, in two, subsequent sentences I was quite clear that I was attempting to replicate both “tempo and dynamic” markings. But naturally, I shouldn’t have expected anyone to read my entire post for inference or comprehension. There are hints that you may have done so, but why let context overshadow an opportunity for a personal attack?

I regret the initial error. (We humans sometimes make them. It must frustrate you having to deal with us.)

Very helpful! Thanks! :slight_smile:

Hey, MarcLarcher,

For further clarity, yes, I’m referring to the types of markings that you described as often being “italic non-bold.” I don’t care so much about the styling, but I dug out some professionally published choral music to confirm that typically, markings like “rit.” and “rall.” are included above each choral part. (If those markings are above the soprano staff only, how can tenors or basses be expected to see them?)

You mention using an option-shift-X system text tool. I’ve searched for more info on this, but haven’t found any. Can you please be more specific—or at least point me to the relevant Dorico help page online?

Thanks in advance. :slight_smile:

Thanks! I’m not concerned with playback. Your screenshot is exactly what I’m trying to do. Let me see if I can replicate this using the tools you suggested.

Thanks again! :slight_smile:

soundsgood, I’m not looking for an argument, and I intended no malice. I wholeheartedly apologise for my opening statement, which I guess could be interpreted as aggressive.

However the rest of my post stands.

If you read YOUR post end to end, it really doesnt give any clues as to what you’re doing or how you’re going about it. That really was all I was going for, in order to help.

I’ll take my refreshing form of helpfulness elsewhere now.

Toodle pip!

Actually System Text (ALT+SHIFT+X or the Mac equivalent) will not let you put markings on each staff; System Text mimics the staff assignment(s) of the normal tempo markings. You’ll need to add the rall. markings to each staff desired using regular text (SHIFT-X), although copying the text will save a few keypresses for each copy. I had to remind each copy to use italic script.

[EDIT: It appears the text I described in this post is actually called “regular text” (shift-X) not “system text” (option-shift-X). I’m new to Dorico and wasn’t aware of the distinction. I’ll leave the post as-is, but wanted to acknowledge that I was informed that my use of the term “system text” was apparently incorrect. Sorry for the misunderstanding.]

MarcLarcher and Derrek,

I’m thrilled to discover that indeed I can use system text to input tempo markings above each staff. After inserting the text once, I can then copy it via contextual menu (control-click) or keyboard shortcut, then select the corresponding note on other staves and paste. (I do understand these won’t affect playback, but I’m not concerned with playback in this case.)

Dorico developers, a couple of comments:


  1. I do wish we could make a vertical selection across multiple staves, then add similar, system text on multiple staves. That would save a lot of time (even more in pieces with more players or instruments!). Unless I’ve missed something, that doesn’t seem to work, currently.

  2. In the screenshot below, I’ve selected a note on the bass staff. In the upper staves (green box), I was able to easily paste the tempo markings (actually system text) via contextual menu. But on the bass staff (red box), with the identical location selected, Dorico sees the slur and refuses to paste the text above the selected note. Instead, it puts the text at the beginning of the phrase, which in this case is literally on the previous page. I then had to grab the text and drag it to the location I’d originally indicated.

(I encountered similar behavior, yesterday, when inserting either a tempo or dynamic marking (or both; I can’t recall at the moment). When Dorico sees a tie or slur, it (often) overrides the user’s choice and puts the marking at the beginning of the phrase or first tied note.)

Respectfully, I’m not sure this is helpful. :slight_smile: When the user has selected the desired location, shouldn’t Dorico simply respect that? In this example, the fact that the selected note on the bass staff happens to be tied is irrelevant. That’s where the text needs to go. :slight_smile:

I can understand Dorico applying logic when we’re inserting an element that would be an actual mistake (say, a 5th quarter note inside a 4|4 bar, or whatever). But I don’t understand why Dorico needs to “correct” our desired placement of text or other markings.

Can't paste text over note tied from left.png
3. Finally, as I learn my way around Dorico, I find myself repeatedly visiting windows like Paragraph Styles in order to get something just right. But each time I do, Dorico defaults back to the uppermost tab—the Composer tab, in this case—requiring us to reselect the desired tab on each visit. This is also confusing because the tabs are, understandably, very similar in appearance. As a result, more than once, I’ve found myself changing fonts on the wrong tab, because I hadn’t noticed that the selected tab had been reset.

Would you kindly consider making windows like this remember the last-selected tab? That would be be a much friendlier approach. :slight_smile:


Thanks. I wasn’t aware of the distinction. (I’ve had a hard time finding documentation on this.)

Yes, I’ve been using shift-X, which apparently is “regular text,” not “system text.”

Thanks again.