Feature Request: options affect current note instead of next note

I couldn’t really figure out what terms to search for, so my apologies if there is already a thread out there for this…

I have been following Dorico with a lot of interest, as a user of Sibelius… but most of my work is just lead sheets, so I was very excited to try out the free version of Dorico, which has the requisite feature set for that. I think it’s a good move. Next time I have to do a scoring project, if I’m fluid in using Dorico, I’ll probably end up springing for the full program.

For the past few years I have been doing my lead sheets in Noteflight, and I really like the way it handles note entry. Settings such as the note length and accidentals affect the most recently entered note, rather than having to be preset before entering a note name. I find it really fast and intuitive. As a musician, I think of the note first, and then how long it will last. Because as a musician, you start the note before you end it! And since I spell a note C sharp, not sharp C, it feels natural to type them in that order. I note that ties seem to work this way already in Dorico, which is nice. (I realize composers have to commit to a note length when they first draw it, and accidentals are laid out before a note, so I understand the thinking…)

By contrast, in noteflight, I enter the note C, decide it should be sharp, because it’s not in the key signature, and then make it a quarter note, and then dot it… and then change my mind and realize it should actually be a half note… Then I enter the next note. And all my changes show up there right in the text as I am entering it. I never need to look away from the staff to do normal note entry. It’s incredibly fast and fluid.

With dorico, I have to look away from the text to different places in the interface to verify I have the right note length and accidental BEFORE I enter the note. Not only less intuitive, but much less fluid, as I have to constantly monitor the whole interface. Basically it comes down to the difference between showing relevant note information directly in place on the staff, vs. multiple other places in the window.

I’m wondering if there could be (or is!?) a global setting for this? As a longtime Sibelius user, I have scored a lot of music both ways, and the superiority of the noteflight method seems pretty obvious to me, even though I can adjust to the other.

A thought anyway.

If (among other things) you are advocating pitch-before-duration note entry, there has been much discussion of this.

Welcome to the forum, Eric, and thanks for your thoughts on note input. While we are actively planning how to accommodate something a bit like Finale’s “speedy entry” feature (which essentially allows you to specify the pitch before the duration), we’re not currently planning a note input method that would reverse the order of applying modifications such as accidentals and rhythm dots to the just-input note rather than the next note to be input, but I wouldn’t rule it out altogether.

Thanks for pointing me to that thread. I’m encouraged that the idea is under consideration. For now I will continue to try to get used to duration first…

I will note that, as an existing Sibelius user, the side discovery that pitch-first is possible to set up in Sibelius may encourage me to keep working in it for a while longer… possibly until it comes to dorico :wink:

But, I’m sure you’ll do it better!

The way that Finale’s notes ‘squish together’ in a single bar during entry is unbearable.

At least Sibelius does some ‘note-spacing’ during pitch-before-duration entry.

Implementing this function in the manner that Sibelius does it would be great…some actual note-spacing during entry.

The future looks bright!