Force duration - ties - dotted notes


I’m having a problem getting the look that I want. I’m in 4/4 meter and I want to have two whole notes, one dotted half noted and one eighth note all tied together. Dorico wants to change the final bar - the dotted half and the eighth - to a half note a quarter and and eighth note. If I try to use force duration, it changes the final bar to a double dotted half note.

Am I doing this in the wrong order? I thought that force duration could be used for precisely these kinds of situation, but Dorico still renotates the music…

See the attached file…

I run into this problem not infrequently, and I’m not sure what’s up with the Force Duration tool either. One would presume it’s a bug, but if it’s not, and that is desired behavior, then I don’t actually understand the tool, which could very well be the case…

I’ve been sitting here trying my darndest to systematically go through every possible order of entering those notes with different configurations of the Force Duration tool to get it right, and, depending on the order, I do get different results; it’s just that none of those results are the one you want. I’ve also tried fiddling with the Note Grouping options in the Notation Options menu, also to no avail, unfortunately…

However, if you don’t mind a workaround, I have one for you, and it’s fairly low impact. Turn off Force Duration. Make the offending measure into an 8/8 measure. Hide the time signature. Should work now :wink:

I’m not in front of Dorico at the moment but I suspect this is related to the global setting to split long notes at the half-point of the bar. Regardless, if you truly input with force duration it shouldn’t matter either way.

It seems as if Dorico ignores the ‘force duration property’ of notes that you decide to tie together after input. If I enter all these notes with force duration and tie them on the fly it works for me.
There’s the option ‘Notes starting on a beat followed by a rest in the middle of the beat’ in Notation Options and I haven’t yet understood why setting this to ‘Split at beat boundaries’ doesn’t solve the problem here…

This doesn’t surprise me. If you input things with FD, then link to other notes, you are effectively overriding what you input originally to create a note of a new duration, at which point Dorico likely defaults back to its normal behavior. That would explain why entering the note in with FD beginning to end would work but tying to new notes would not. My theory anyway.

This makes sense.

So, I did a little more fiddling, and I figured a few things out. Attached is a picture of three different results, all input with different combinations of Force Durations.

The Contralto result is achieved by inputting at least both whole notes WITHOUT Force Duration on, then turning it on either before the dotted half or before the dotted eighth. Ties are input along with the notes in note entry mode and not after the fact.

The Tenor result is achieved by inputting both whole notes and tying them with Force Duration on all in note entry mode, then skipping the next tie, then inputting the dotted half and eighth with the tie still in note entry mode. The final tie between measure 2 and 3 is then added after the fact, outside of note entry mode.

The Baritone (desired) result is achieved by beginning with Force Duration turned on, and entering all notes and ties as they come, all in note entry mode. No tying after the fact.

Obviously this would be the ideal way to enter something, but what if, in the course of composing, one decides they want a tie where previously one didn’t exist. It seems this would require entering the whole tied section over instead of simply adding the missing tie. If this is desired behavior, it’s not ideal, though depending on the way the engine is set up, it could be tricky to change…
Force Durations.JPG

It makes no difference when you tie!
As a point of clarification:

Romanos has nailed it. If any part of a tied note needs a forced duration, one has to replace all notes from the beginning of the tied note. It doesn’t matter whether you tie as you go, (hitting “T” before each note addition), or tie after-the-fact. I believe the ultimate truth to all this is EVERY note of a tie needs to have the forced duration, not just the note or notes that need “correcting”! Users are getting unpredictable results sometimes because they (logically) try to force durations on only those notes that are not notating as they would like.

You can try either approach:

  1. rewrite all notes from beginning of the tie with force duration on, select them all, hit “T” - it works.
  2. rewrite all notes from beginning of the tie, hitting “T” before each note is entered (tie as you go) - it works.

The key is having all notes of a tie with the force duration on.

Dorico’s not so gentle reminder that it thinks of any number of tied notes as a single note can be perplexing at times! But it’s very logical once you think about it. :smiley:

All of the notes tied together have to be instructed from the beginning using force duration. It won’t work as you intend otherwise.

I thought I had tried that, but obviously not. It worked, thanks!


Please see my post above. If you want, you can tie the notes after inputting them as well.

As a point of clarification, it does indeed matter when you tie the notes. In my example, every note in the tenor line was input with Force Duration, but the middle tie was the last thing to go in, and it was put in not using note entry mode, but after exiting note entry, selecting the tied wholes, and pressing T.

It does seem to be true that every note in the tied chain needs to have force duration, but it also matters when you tie and whether you have Force Duration on when you tie. Promise :slight_smile:

Dear snakeeyes,

I believe you are mistaken on the point of when a tie is invoked, provided you select all notes before invoking the tie. If you want the tenor to look like the baritone in your example (whole note tied to whole note tied to dotted half tied to eighth note),

You can do the following:

Press enter to activate note entry mode.
Type the letter O (to engage force duration mode).
Type 8 G
Type G
Type 7.G
Type 5 G
Press escape key (to get out of note entry mode).
Select all notes desired to be tied.
Press T

I swear this works (at least it does for me).

Alternatively, you could follow the above directions, but type “T” after each note entry to tie as you go (leaving off the last 2 instructions).

I’m not sure why one would tie notes together in stages (several actions) when you can simply select all and hit “T”. If you tie notes together in several stages, the first notes you tie together become “one note”, (at that very moment), separate from the tie chain, and so on.

(Perhaps I am misunderstanding your desired end result). Please try to do exactly what I showed you and it should work!

I do agree with you that if you tie notes together in stages and then try to get one tie of the intermediary groups, you may get unwanted results. That’s why I suggest you select all notes to be tied together and hit “T” to do the trick in one keystroke, which is easier anyway. :smiley:

If you desire to not re-input all of the notes, the quickest way to fix the notation of the tenor as you show (with the double dotted half that you don’t want) is:

Select the tied note
Press the letter U (to cut with the scissors tool)
Select the last note
Type the letter O (force duration on)
Type 7. (7 then period key to get dotted half forced duration)
Press the right arrow
Press the enter key (to get into note entry mode)
Type 5G
Press the escape key
Select all the notes you desire to be tied
Press T

It works like a charm because all notes are selected before tying.

I hope this helps!

Oh, hey, all good, I don’t actually have a desired result myself; my posts were in reference to dannemoller’s original post, but I was trying to suss out the exact workings of the tool (not just to get the desired result, but to know all of the different input methods which will produce the wrong results as well and why). And I am aware of the different ways to achieve the whole/whole/dotted half/eighth tied chain, including the one you’ve just posted above, and can indeed implement them just fine, though I certainly appreciate your trying to explain it to me further.

What I was trying to point out is simply that while, yes, force duration must be on during input of all of the notes intended for the tied chain, that alone is not enough. It also does matter when/how you do your tying. Your two approaches you list up a few posts will of course work, but there’s at least one other way (if not more) somebody might try to put in ties (with force duration on the whole time, mind you) that would seem equally reasonable but won’t actually work. The one notable one is the tenor line in my example, because it is a reproduction of dannemoller’s initial problem. In that case, force duration was on the whole entire time, including while placing ties, and that’s the result Dorico came up with. The issue arises because if you’re not in note entry mode, all the notes intended for the tied chain must be tied simultaneously. If you tie them one at a time, each time a new tie is added, Dorico reinterprets each of the previously tied subgroups as a full duration unto itself and THAT is the duration that is forced, not the visibly notated (read: previously forced) durations.

All I was trying to say was that adding ties one at a time is a very reasonable way someone might assume they’d be able to tie things together (as it follows very naturally from the compositional process), but it won’t work. That’s all. Perhaps I could’ve been a bit clearer :smiley:


Ah, you know, I just noticed that you included the phrase “provided you select all notes before invoking the tie.”

Turns out that I was just trying to say pretty much the same thing, but from the other way around :wink:

All good - just meant for my post to be informative to all as “the devil is in the details” as they say! Hence the length of my post.

Cheers right back at you!

So much trouble for something that should be so easy to do! I’m a beginner Dorico user after many many years with Finale and Sibelius (past 20 or so years). Still too early to say, but it looks that when Dorico tries to “help” it sometimes gets you in a lot of troubles.

Hopefully the options available in Write > Notation Options > Beam Grouping and Note Grouping get ties right in most cases. When you do need to use force duration to specify notes within ties, make sure you have force duration on and tie from left to right, as at each stage two separate notes become a single one, with the earliest note “calling the shots” - e.g. if the first note didn’t have force duration set but the second did, tie-ing the first to the second removes the force duration.

It’s also worth pointing out that all the previous posts in this thread were written over three years ago. The force duration tool has been updated in the meantime, and its workings are much more intuitive. Certainly all of my own previous posts in this thread are moot as well as most of those of others; as it is now, if you activate force duration on any note at any point and tie that note in any manner you wish at any point, Dorico will maintain the displayed note values properly regardless of how many other notes you tie it to and in what order. There may be a few edge cases where things don’t behave exactly as you might expect, but at that point, you really have to be trying to intentionally flummox the tool.