Expression markings

Iy used to be so easy in early Sibelius days… If you wanted to write “espressivo” in your score you’d type Command E then type “espressivo”. How do you do it in Dorico please??

It’s one of the (very very few) things I miss from the Sibelius era… One of the first things I did when starting to work in Dorico was creating an ‘expression’ text style (corresponding to the dynamics suffix style), so that I could at least use Shift-X staff text to add espressivo or whatever, without having to wonder what dynamic it should be attached to (which then had to be hidden, which you can easily forget). I’ve never understood why the Dorico developers designed it like this. Staff text of this particular type should be way easier to handle, as it’s so common.

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Since espressivo is always relative to surrounding dynamics you need to sett a generally level for it. I just use (eg) shift-d f espress., then hide the intensity property.
(I actually find this more useful than the old Sibelius way)

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If you create a Paragraph Style, and save it as a default, you can then give it a key shortcut.

I use Shift E for Expressions.



For me, espressivo is not a dynamic marking.

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In many classical scores passages would be marked espressivo, dolce, en dehors etc. indicating they should be be more forward (louder) in the texture. Particularly in 18C scores dolce would often be used as a substitute for mf.

I’d argue dolce (or equivalent) would mostly indicate a form of piano, if it’s treated as a dynamic. In the following example it’s clearly opposed to fort[e]:
Scherm­afbeelding 2023-09-14 om 22.24.55
(Mondonville: In Exitu Israel, basso part, a piece I played last week. Probably not a scientific edition, but these indications look original. The doux is where the soloist enters, and the accompaniment obviously should step back a bit).

As I said it is all context specific, which is why it is useful to be able to specify a general dynamic level along with the expression (something Sibelius is unable to do - which is the point of the thread).

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Dear Ross,
Just so as Ben told you, create a new paragraph style that has the same parameters as dynamics text (Academico italics 12pt relative to staff size). Once you’ve saved it as default, you will be able to create a shortcut for it. I also use cmd-E, because it’s convenient. And every time I feel it’s not convenient to use dynamics suffixes or prefixes, I hit cmd-E and it’s done. A 30s operation that you need to do once :wink:

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Thanks Marc (and Ben too!)
Being fairly new to Dorico, I’m still figuring things out. How do you create a new paragraph style? I can’t find the window that Ben showed.

My screenshot is from the Write menu > Create Text, which shows the available styles.

You can edit and create new styles in Library > Paragraph Styles. If you save the style as a default, it will then be available in all new projects, and you can assign a key shortcut to it.

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I agree – for me it is invariably a patch change – I’ve created a p.t for it in libraries where there are enough articulations to allow this.