Figured bass and the natural 4th

Firstly, well done on the 3.5 update, I really like it and never thought I’d get so excited over the addition of an 18th century method of music notation!

I’m copying a piece in the key of Fmaj that calls for a B natural over an F, the only figured bass in the old score is a natural4. When I try to add 4n in the popover, I get nat4 over 2 with the popover showing <6>,n4,2. I don’t want the 2 but it ignores my efforts to type <6>,n4, <2> instead removing the <> around the 2.

I can turn off the cleverness, forcing Dorico to obey what I write, when I do, hey presto! <6>,n4,<2> automatically. I can then turn the cleverness back on again and carry on until the next time I have a similar issue. What am I missing that’s stopping me from typing a lonely n4.



There is an Engraving Option for that case.

Alternatively you can also force Dorico to follow your input literally for just one figure by starting the string with an exclamation mark.

There are some additional qualifiers you can use in the figured bass popover that Michael, the developer behind the feature, didn’t reveal to me (or didn’t reveal them clearly enough to me, at any rate) for me to be able to document them in the Version History, but we’ll update the popovers document in the very near future and I’ll try to include all the extra secrets in there.

Thanks for the tip with the exclamation mark. This will come in handy (even though for now I changed the setting to follow input literally). But I’m still wondering if I missed an engraving option because I think I set everything to display only a minimum of numbers for any chord, but I still encountered two chords that don’t behave as expected:

I am trying to write a 35 chord that goes to a 36 chord so I wanted the B.C. to display 5-6 but dorico automatically adds a 3 below the 5. I know that it is part of the chord but I did specify that I don’t want to display root position chords and no 3 in first inversion. Is there another choice I should try in engraving options?

At another chord (Adim (C-Eb-A) over pedal tone Bb) I would like the B.C. to displayin F major 247. Dorico adds a 5 to this chord. I know it may be part of the chord but it is not necessary for the harmony, so it should be optional, and in this case -since I’m analyzing a given chord I would actually prefer it not being there.

Nonetheless I’m really grateful for this feature and the whole software for that matter. You are doing a great job:) And for this figured bass it is probably not possible to give an option for everything with all these different traditions so the feature to follow input literally is really great.

Thanks to both of you for your replies. I shall try the exclamation mark trick. I look forward to the full explanation of all the figured bass tricks and treats.

Yes, but do investigate what you can do in Engraving Options!

The letter o also works (o for Override) to force literal input.