Fermata timing gap doesn't seem to work

In the properties pane if I select a normal fermata (with both hold and gap enabled), then all changes I make to its GAP duration % (e.g. 50%, or 100%, or 200%) is interpreted as a HOLD rather than a gap, and is always followed with the same, very brief gap. Not any different if I try to change the gap duration value more generally in the Playback options → Timing → Pauses, with play back pauses enabled. Dorico 5.1

Please post a Dorico project (excerpt) that demonstrates the problem.

I don’t know how to delete pages in order to create an excerpt project. I exported (in MusicXML) from Sibelius (I’m migrating from it) and I’m struggling to adapt to Dorico. The Help documentation says “In Engrave mode, open the layout from which you want to delete pages.
In the Pages section of the Pages panel, select the pages you want to delete”. I don’t see any Pages panel anywhere in Engrave mode. At least, here’s a screen shot.

I assume you are using the desktop version of Dorico.
Than it is a matter of typing CTRL-9 to open the Pages Panel, which will open to the right of your score.
If you are using the Dorico Elements version, your possibilities might be restrained.

Deleting pages won’t delete music.

Just give us a project file with a few bars and a fermata.

Select the bar after the spot in question, then press Shift-B, -1000, Enter. Or whatever obscenely large number you wish. That will delete all the subsequent bars.

I would dare say to do this on a copy of the file, just to be safe.


Indeed: I’m using Dorico Elements 5 ( and there is no Pages pane (ctrl 9 or ctrl f9 etc)

I uploaded a desktop video of one sample situation (but all 65 others are the same). You can hear the hold at 1:00:08:23 and the chord continues to be held at 1:00:11:09 where the gap is supposed to begin - and it lasts throughout until 1:00:13:07!!!

The value of a Dorico file/excerpt is that we can juggle the settings to see what can be done to solve the problem.

I understand. I created a new short score, added a fermata and it worked as specified. Hence, the problem comes after importing MusicXml from Sibelius. I noticed that you could display “Played durations” in the piano roll and upon verifying each note with a fermata, I saw that the top portion (played note) lasts as long as the bottom thin line (total duration). So, “All I have to do” (!!) now, is readjust all those played note durations to be shorter than their total duration line. Wish there was a script or plugin (as in Sibelius Manuscript language) to do that throughout the piece.
Played equals total duration

As suspected. I created a 4 bar thing in Sibelius (see ‘Test of Hold and Gap via MusicXML.sib’ in the ZIP file) with a fermata that extends 110% followed by a gap of 30 (see picture ‘Test of Hold and Gap via MusicXML.png’). I then exported the thing in MusicXml format (see ‘Test of Hold and Gap via MusicXML.musicxml’), imported that same file into Dorico and saved the project (see ‘Test of Hold and Gap via MusicXML.dorico’).

You will see that Dorico holds the note for the total duration although the tempo editor DOES show a proper split between hold and gap!

Sibelius has been supporting hold/gap for years, but not Dorico. However, this new feature DOES work in Dorico, as long as it is not the result of an import. The issue must reside in the musicXML file import. Either the MusicXML specification isn’t refined enough to support the distinction between hold and gap and thus the export process expands the note to its total hold+gap duration - or the standard supports it but there is an oversight in the Dorico import process - or in the Sibelius export process.

I think I have uploaded sufficient data to explore either way.
Test of Hold and Gap via MusicXML.zip (983.8 KB)
Test of Hold and Gap via MusicXML.dorico (891.6 KB)

I’m sorry if I’m misunderstanding you, but is your issue that Dorico is not respecting tweaks you made to fermata playback in Sibelius and that you hoped would be transferred by way of MusicXML?

If so, MusicXML does not to my knowledge include this level of information about the interpretation of fermatas – certainly, at any rate, Doric doesn’t import it.

What I hear when I play back the project attached to your most recent post in this thread is Dorico’s default interpretation of a fermata, which you can tweak if you wish using the Properties panel.

Hello Daniel,

Always a pleasure to hear from you. Sorry for bringing up this MusicXML interface aspect. As you say, I should be able to compensate using the default or property panel parameters for Hold% and Gap%. And it does work on regular Dorico scores but unfortunately not in the musicxml score I imported - where the hold lasts for the entire duration of hold+gap even though the tempo editor shows a distinction between both.

On the other hand, I just played with my default playback template and after re-importing the same test score I just uploaded (and which had the problem, if you listen to the MP4), the gap portion suddenly started to work!

This, to me is a show stopper. I don’t want to waste anybody’s time on a strange and pointed interface issue that’s getting weirder and weirder. I’m happy that in normal situations, Dorico’s implementation of hold and gap seems to work very nicely. I will take it upon me to deal with all fermata issues in my Sibelius imported score: at least, I have a work around using the draw tool.

If I import your XML file, the dotted minim with a fermata plays for 4 beats; and there’s one beat of hold.

That would appear to be expected. And I can modify the Hold and gap values, successfully.

It’s no different if I create a new fermata on another dotted minim.