Editing notes of a percussion instrument

Hello, I’m creating an orchestral percussion set from a drum set. I just want to be able to copy and paste rhythms from other instruments and move them up or down to whatever line of percussion I need.

When I have tuplets and I move a note or notes up or down Dorcio expands the tuplet into straight notes and creates a new tuplet in a second voice but as rests. Before and after screenshots attached.

Coming from Sibelius, this ability to copy and paste and move things across instruments is, to me, a really basic part of what makes a workflow fast and comfortable. If I have to write in everything each time rather than copying/pasting this costs me time and physical strain. It’s bad enough that we have to hold down alt to move notes (it strikes me that I need to move notes 100x more than I need to navigate the score, so don’t understand why arrow keys have been designed with the navigation function instead of move/edit notes, getting RSI from holding alt down all the time)

(sorry for grumblings but in case it’s useful perspective as a pro user trying to switch platforms…)


Tuplets on percussion are currently a tricky beast. To the best of my knowledge, the easiest way to work around this is to edit percussion in a layout that’s set to represent percussion as single-line staves, using N and M to move selected notes up and down.

As to holding down Alt, my understanding is that Dorico’s developers took the view that in Sibelius it’s far too easy to accidentally move things. Requiring Alt makes mistakes much less likely. It’s also more consistent: in Sibelius up/down moves notes, but left/right navigates.

cheers Leo, so it seems the tuplet issue is fairly insoluble at this point. Oh well, another thing to add to the list of downsides of Dorico.

As for arrow key functionality, of course I’m biased coming from Sibelius, but I still think the sib functionality is better from the point of view of speed and physical strain. Not sure that changing it / adding an extra key to avoid mistakes is a good reason, imo. At least I never had this problem in sib, and even if you mke a mistake, it’s v quick to rectify.

btw I do like Dorico, despite all the pointed remarks…

Nick, if you want to change it so that the unmodified up and down arrow keys raise and lower the pitch in Dorico, it’s possible to do so: in the Key Commands page of Preferences, in the ‘Note Editing’ category, look at the various Raise Pitch… and Lower Pitch… commands.

If you really want to swap the keyboard commands so that Up/Down move the pitch up, and Alt-Up/Down navigate, it’s possible from Preferences > Key Commands. As somebody who’s spent thousands of hours behind Sibelius, and now over a thousand hours with Dorico, I don’t recommend it, but it’s possible.

Ace, thanks both!