I’m increasingly under the impression that a specialised “keyswitch” ossia staff would be the best way to work in Dorico in the future, something that you could quickly open with a shortcut, that doesn’t get printed, that you can quickly hide again so it doesn’t interfere with layout and with dedicated clefs that go really low or really high. That, in combination with the already available MIDI CC drawing and the upcoming keyboard transcription would make Dorico as powerful as any DAW for quality Playback.
The reason being notation will never represent a players’ instinct, no matter how sophisticated the program is. For example,
- a staccato keyswitch is inappropriate at very fast tempos or slow ones, a real player will play staccatissimo on fast tempo, despite the score having staccato markings and simply cut the note short on a slow tempo (what VSL calls portato), in other words it’s completely tempo dependant.
2.- what we call sustain, most woodwinds will tongue, very delicately, on reasonable passages, but on very fast passages they will always play legato unless you specifically ask for double/triple tonguing.
3.- Legato in real life begins on the second note of a phrase, but it’s notated from the first
4.- SFZ, fp, etc. all need tempo and dynamic context, a one-dimensional keyswitch simply doesn’t cut it.
Most of the necessary tools are already in Dorico (for example the ossia has a Playback start offset, perfect for keyswitches!) It’s just missing this specialised staff that hides and has special cleffs.
I use to work like this in Sibelius when I needed a good playback demo and aside from the extra staves and the lack of proper CC control it was actually quite effective.