Exclude notes from transposing in transposing parts

I have a score with some “special noteheads” in transposing wind instruments to let them play effects. The score is a concert score, the parts are transposed. In some places I want the “special noteheads” to always be on the same line in the staff - in both score and transposing part. The rest of the part shall stay transposed.

So I’m looking for a possibility to exclude these notes from transposing. I don’t find another solution than writing an instrument change to a non-transposing instrument every time when the “special noteheads” appear and then another instrument change back to the transposing instrument when it shall play transposed.

Is there maybe an easier solution that I don’t see? I think there is no property that excludes notes from transposing. Or do I overlook something?

There’s no way to prevent a note on a regular pitched staff from being transposed when switching between concert and transposed pitch, I’m afraid. Your workaround of using an instrument change to a non-transposing instrument is probably the neatest way to solve it for the time being.

Many thanks for your reply, @dspreadbury! So I will do this with instrument changes for the time being.

Are there plans to implement something in future updates to exclude notes from transposing in a faster way? That would be great! Maybe a property or something like in percussion kits where you can cycle through available playing techniques with shift-alt-arrow down and shift-alt arrow up?

If you have only a few “special noteheads” in these transposing instruments my workaround would be no problem. But when you have a piece with lots of these effects this workaround is very time-consuming and you have to take care a lot not to make mistakes with the instrument changes and their appearance.

It would be great to have something for this in the future!


This is the first time I can recall anybody requesting this, so it’s not something that’s likely to be near the top of our priority list, I’m afraid, but I’m not opposed to it in principle.

Today I came up with this problem. It’s a common thing to do when using extended techniques, say key clicks, blowing in reeds without producing pitch, etc. I was thinking about using a slash voice and change the notehead as a workaround, since I don’t use slash voices in this problem. But then the problem was that I wanted to use more than one notehead that should not transpose. So maybe I’ll go the same way of @Vanderlang or just let them live transposed and explain the performers to just ignore the weird pitches.

FWIW, I recall that this was a thing in Sibelius, where you could specify that a specific notehead set shouldn’t transpose. Of course that was the way Sibelius had to do slashes, and Dorico has a neater way to do them, but when a pitched instrument makes percussive sounds, those noteheads allowed to do so.

I would also like to add my request for non-transposing noteheads.

When creating lead sheets, I often include some shorthand drum cues (e.g. kick and snare). In Sibelius, I created custom noteheads that handled this use case perfectly:

The reason the non-transposing aspect is important is that I often need to transpose my lead sheets to a different key, and when I do, my “drum cues” remain unchanged at the same position.

Side note: I also hid ledger lines on these custom noteheads.

Please consider adding this useful functionality!

Welcome to the forum, @MichaelF. You should find that you can use Dorico’s normal slash voices for this purpose (though that won’t allow you to use a cross notehead, it must be said), and override their position on the staff using the Slash pos. position in the Notes and Rests group of Properties.

Thank you for sharing that workaround, @dspreadbury. Cross noteheads notwithstanding, it’s good to know that I can approximate a similar result in Dorico.

I would only suggest that this method seems to be much more laborious than it is in the other program. In the other program, I can create custom noteheads that are pre-configured to be both non-transposing and without ledger lines, and assign a keyboard shortcut to that notehead set. Then I simply enter the notes in a standard fashion and alter them with my keyboard shortcut. I am excited about Dorico and hope that similar functionality will come in due course. :slight_smile:

I imagine this use case might also be solved (and potentially improved) if I could create the drum notation on a separate unpitched percussion staff (with a custom percussion kit) and then create a cue from that percussion staff to my lead sheet staff, keeping the drums’ relative staff positions, stem directions and noteheads. But I understand that only single unpitched percussion instruments can be cued at present time.