Force accidental in novel tonality system


I’m having a hard time figuring out how to force an accidental while using an alternate tonality system in Dorico 4. I think I have set up what we would call G Freygish: G, Ab, B, C, D, Eb, F, G using the tonality system dialogue box, and have created a cusom key signature to reflect this using the conventions of the music notation common in this music domain — B natural in brackets, Ab, Eb.

In the second section I need to show a couple of notes of Bb but I can’t figure out how to show the accidental using note input. I have successfully been able to create an A-natural just before it, but somehow can’t get a B-flat to show on that note. Any suggestions??

If you’re entering notes via MIDI it should happen automatically (assuming you hit the Bb key). If you’re typing on a QWERTY keyboard you’ll need to hit - (minus) before you type B, unless your preferences are set for accidentals to be typed after the note, in which case you’d type B minus.

Thanks so much,

Unfortunately that doesn’t work. – when I either select the “flat” sign on the left hand menu, or when I type “-” it doesn’t show as B-flat.

It just de-selects the flat and ignores it. Could it be because of the key signature not registering the b-natural properly??

file is there for the time being.

I’m sure there’s something I’ve missed here. thanks, jw

Your custom tonality system’s not quite right. The flat is set to a pitch delta of 0/12, meaning it doesn’t actually register as anything different to a natural.

I’ve rebuilt your custom key signature within the regular 12-EDO tonality system, then flattened all the As and Es (which weren’t registering as flattened as your flat wasn’t flattening - see above!)

Project attached.
beregovski 15 Tsu Der Khupe pianoleo.dorico (1.1 MB)

Hi Pianoleo,

thanks so much for doing that. My question is how would I know how to set up a tone system using 12-EDO when that is not an option given in the tonality system dialogue box?

I thought I was following the instructions in the manual about how to create a custom system and while there is mention of the 12 and 24 edo systems, I don’t see anything about it in the actual dialogue box that I see.

Where are these other things configured??

I think the missing piece of info is that you don’t need to create a new tonality system. You can add your G Freygish as a Custom Key Signature within the built-in 12-EDO.

This was not clear to me from the documentation either. I had to go and try it to be sure how to do it – helped very much by having made some microtonal systems in Dorico last year.

Thanks Mark,

Very helpful. Perhaps the documentation can be updated at some point to reflect the idea that you can use the existing tonality system to add key signatures? I was very much at sea in trying to figure out how to do it correctly, and am still not quite sure if I could reproduce what @pianoleo so helpfully provided.

Thanks, JW

I did it in just a couple of minutes:

  • With 12-EDO showing in the key sigs panel, click the pencil button to edit
  • In the dialog, under Custom Key Signatures, add a new one with the + button
  • Name it, set the root, and add the accidentals
  • Get everything just so and click OK to save (2 dialogs)
  • Apply the key sig from the panel

And it’s easy to go back and alter its definition if you want – but to edit a key sig you go into the tonality system it belongs to.

The opening sentence of the manual section Creating/Editing custom key signatures states: "You can create new and edit existing custom key signatures in any tonality system… " [my emphasis]

Does it need to be any clearer?


For “regular” musicians who aren’t used to thinking about “tonality systems” when inscribing music, that is not clear. the western classical system has a fixed number and type of key signatures. It is NOT illogical to think that if you want to use a non-standard key signature that you would be using a different tonality system. It may be incorrect, but it is not illogical for me to have followed the path that I did through the documentation available to me.

Janus, with the utmost respect, what I am hearing in your comment is that if a person does not have a degree in music composition then DORICO is not for you. If Dorico is ONLY intended for those with advanced music degrees then it might be better for it to advertise itself as such, or to state those prerequisites more clearly in the documentation.


I am perfectly prepared to accept the title of “stupidest person trying to learn Dorico,” which I’m pretty sure has floated around the upper eschelons of the forum here in response to my deeply earnest attempts to use the documentation provided to learn how to use this program. I am constantly told to watch un-tagged videos and to work through tutorials – neither of which address the actual problem I actually trying to solve, which is – more often than not – either non-typical, not addressed in the untagged video or tutorial, or deeply more stupid than the basic level of assumptions made in either the videos or the tutorials.

For example. Today I’d like to use the “play” function to see if I have correctly transposed a piece from one key to another.

In the “play” window there is a little widget that theoretically allows you to switch which flow you want to play.

But for me (and probably only me) I cannot switch from flow 1 (the one it is playing) to flow 2 (the one I want to play) because … clicking on the place that says “Flow:” does not do anything. So. (obviously) I have done something wrong to mess this up.

Screen Shot 2022-09-11 at 10.11.09 AM
See … here’s a screenshot. …

see how the “tsu der khupe” is greyed out?

Now I have to start a new thread to figure out what I don’t understand about clicking from one flow to another in the playback. I will definitely be told that the solution is obvious. There will be an implication that what I believe to be obvious – clicking on the thing that says “Flow:” – is actually totally dumb and that I should have known that there was something else I should be doing.

But I don’t have time to deal with that either time-wise or emotionally today, so I’m going to just let it go and figure how to verify the chords without the playback option.

The easiest way I have found to start play at a specific flow is to select one note at the start of the flow and then press P.

The Flow selector is greyed out if you have something selected within the Flow.

The “Go To Bar” command has a drop-down menu of all the flows, and is one of the easiest ways to move to a Flow. Command G (CTRL G on PC).


But if you just want to hear each flow, you don’t need to go to Play mode, as Derrek says.

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Ben, thank you for this. :pray: It’s not my thread but I just learned something very useful!

Thanks Benwiggy,

It appears that if you have something selected in any flow you cannot change the flow in the Play window. thanks for the tip. Problem solved.

thank you, JW


Don’t think of yourself as stupid. Anyone who is writing music and using this program is very smart!

This is a complex program with a 1568 page manual followed by a 100 page index. Everyone who is new to this program and even the experienced users run into problems whose solutions are either buried deep within the manual / menu system or whose solutions are currently unavailable or even worse, whose solutions are only known by experienced users but haven’t yet made it to the manual or videos. Hence, this forum.

I know that once I figure out the logic used by the programmers in the way they constructed the menu system it will be easier to find solutions on my own. Until then, I’ll keep using the manual, the forum and videos to seek help and eventually give help to those who are trying to find solutions to their Dorico problems.

Doug :slightly_smiling_face:

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