Dear Daniel and the Dorico team,
I am beyond excited for this product and so thankful that the team is so dedicated to making our lives so much easier.
I fully intend to switch from Sibelius to Dorico upon its release. After hours of manual work and countless, frustrating workarounds in Sibelius, I’d be thrilled if the team considered a few things to facilitate the work of composers/engravers especially involved in more extended notation. Apologies if these points have already been brought to your attention.
- Would automatic rhythmic spacing of feather-beamed groupings – i.e. gradually increasing/decreasing distances – be easy to implement?
- Speaking of rhythmic spacing, built-in considerations for proportional/spatial notation would be amazing. My dream would be the ability to disable or override the metric grid in any length of music to visually input rhythms proportionally (proportions that ideally would scale properly as systems are adjusted and justified) but I’d at least love to see some easier workarounds for our purposes.
The inspector in Sibelius allows adjustment of the horizontal position of a note without messing with the system’s spacing by changing a note’s X value. However, the ability to just drag the note one way or another without messing with the spacing of its context and without having to fiddle with numeric values would be quite a time-saver and much appreciated.
Additionally, as many probably know, there seem to be two Elaine-Gould-approved systems people employ for proportional rhythmic notation. One involves stem-less noteheads, often including “extenders” attached to notes to clarify how long they’re sustained. Another – my (and I think Berio’s) preferred method – involves straight/oblique flags for unsustained durations and beams for sustained durations. In Sibelius, faking the hanging beams (pictured in a later image of this post) is doable but it’s very difficult to manage a score that includes both straight/oblique flags and the traditional, curlier flags of 8th-notes and smaller. I’ve had do a destructive edit that replaced the 32nd-note flag (because I knew I’d never use a 32nd note flag) with an oblique flag and manually shorten the stem lengths that are extended for 32nd notes by default (and then hide the ensuing mess of rests around the notes). I wish proportional notation was easier to pull off in general, but I particularly wish there was a way to employ custom flags without making destructive edits!
- It would also be great if there was a way to make custom, extendable lines (I suppose that’d involve repeating symbols). The only way I know how to do this in Sibelius currently by destructively editing the existing trill/vibrato lines, replacing a trill line segment with an imported SVG. It would be great if we could do this nondestructively (because sometimes we wanna use a normal vibrato line in the same score…).
- Addressing another issue that arises from destructive edits: Sprechstimme notation! Or any notation that involves a symbol overlapping a stem. We can replace the buzz roll “z” with whatever we want in Sibelius but then we can’t use a buzz roll in the same score. I’d love to see Dorico allow us to freely customize our stems for sprechstimme, behind-the-bridge techniques, ingressive singing (pictured below), etc.
- Based on the last blog post, it seems the Dorico team is aware how tired we are of having to export scores to Adobe InDesign or Illustrator. Would the team consider implementing a Adobe-ish “pen tool” or polygon tool for curvy glissandi (pictured below), or for Saariaho’s commonly-used overpressure notation? More basic InDesign/Illustrator-like functionality would save many of us a LOT of headache!
- Lastly, a minor point… I do hope the software will automatically position slurs/ties/articulations correctly on notes with noteheads that are centered on the stem, unlike Sibelius.
e.g. (Sibelius’ default positioning)
Thanks so much!