# Entering Tuplets

I struggle quite a bit whenever I need to enter tuplets. The help on “Adding Tuplets” is rather brief.
After experimenting many times with different sequences of entering tuplet, I think the ‘correct’ way of entering, say, a quintuplet (5) of semiquaver (16th note) is like this:
(1) double click a bar to activate entry mode (of course, in Write mode)
(2) press 4 (to select semiquaver)
(3) press ; (to activate tuplet popover)
(4) enter 5:4 (the first number means quintuplet, the second number means semiquaver), [enter]
(5) enter five notes, this completes the tuplet entry.

There is some redundancy here. The “4” in step (2) is repeated in step (4). But if you omit step (2) and follow the other steps, then Dorico will use the existing note duration, which is the crotchet, and the tuplet formed will be wrong. This is despite step (4) which specifies that the note duration is to be formed with semiquaver.

Actually, the second number in step (4) is not required, so step (4) can be just 5: (without the second no.) and the quintuplet will be formed with whatever duration selected by step (2). But the colon : is still necessary, otherwise, no tuplet is formed.

My little suggestions: why not make Dorico respect step (4) and eliminate step (2)? Or Dorico can also continue to work in the current manner, but eliminate the need to enter colon :. I.e. if step (4) is just “5” (without the colon), then Dorico will understand that the quintuplet is formed with the semiquaver specified in step (2). In addition, why must it always be colon? Can Dorico also accept comma, slash, etc.? Since we know the two numbers form a ratio, the colon conveys no more essential info and it can be any convenient symbol. I.e. step (4) can also be entered as “5,4”, or “5/4”, “5 4” (space in between the two numbers), etc., it is just a separator.

When reading tuplets it might help to think of this way.

In step 2, you’re selecting how long each beat of the tuplet will be. Using the 4, you selected a semiquaver. When you type 5:4, it might help to think of this as “five in the place of four” as the amount of substitution the tuplet is doing. In this case five semiquavers where 4 would be. You could have another type of tuplet such as 5:3 where five semiquavers would be sounded in the space of three semiquavers. The “:” is just the standard notation over a bracket for unusual notations such as “5:3”. There are some good examples of the general case for tuplet notation on Wikipedia: Tuplet - Wikipedia

HTH

It is just a coincidence that you entered “4” twice.
In step 2 you specify the duration of the notes in the tuplet
In step 4 you specify the number of “normal” notes for the duration of the tuplet.

For example in 6/8 time, you might have 5:6 in step 4, not 5:4 - i.e. the quintuplet takes one beat, which is a dotted quarter note.

In step 5, the tuplet might not contain exactly 5 notes. In your original example you could press 5 (for an 8th-note), enter two notes, then press 4 and enter a 16th-note. In other words, the duration in step 2 doesn’t always specify the length of the notes in the tuplet either!

IIRC, in 1.1 you can use a slash instead of a colon in the popover.