Funny Bug: Changing Note values in chords flips them

  1. Open a new empty project (Dorico 3.5.12)
  2. add a piano player
  3. in the lower system, enter an f as quarter
  4. with shift-I, add the octave below
  5. select the lower f, press 5 to change to eighth.
  6. with the lower f still selected, press 6 to change back to quarter. The upper note no changes to eighth
  7. select upper note, press 6. The lower note now changes back to eighth.
  8. Repeat until Dorico 4 comes out. Enjoy while doing so.

This is a known limitation since forever, actually, and quite frustrating (though not a bug, I guess). I believe Daniel said somewhere on the forum that it is fixed in Dorico 4.


oops, I missed that, although I have followed the forum quite extensivley the last weeks. Cheers then!

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Well, since I said that, I can’t find any mention of this on the forum here, so I may be misremembering, sorry.

For what it’s worth, you can get around this by activating Chord input temporarily.

Yes, it’s not a bug, but rather a consequence of the way overwriting durations works in Dorico. I feel like I’ve typed this explanation once before in the last 24 hours but what else have I got to do on a Saturday night than repeat myself? So here goes.

When neither insert mode nor chord mode is active and you increase the duration of an existing note in a particular voice, Dorico has to overwrite whatever exists in that voice in the region encompassed by the change of duration. So in the case of extending an eighth note by an eighth to become a quarter, the region described by the second eighth note has to be overwritten.

Why does it have to be overwritten? Imagine that the eighth note you are lengthening is followed by another eighth note of a different pitch. When you extend the first eighth note, you expect the second eighth note to be overwritten. Likewise, if that following note were a quarter note rather than an eighth, you would expect the first eighth of that note to be overwritten, leaving the remaining eighth behind.

This mechanism of identifying a range in that voice to be cleared is the mechanism by which the partial or complete overwriting of subsequent notes in the same voice is accomplished.

A consequence of this is that any existing sounding notes in the voice are also truncated in that region.

There are two ways to avoid it. One, as Jackson suggests, is to engage chord mode, because then Dorico does not clear any part of the range, but of course it does mean that any note in the same voice immediately following the one whose duration you are extending will not be truncated or overwritten.

The other way is to select both notes, e.g. by clicking the stem or typing Ctrl+Shift+A with one note selected, before you specify the new duration.

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Thanks for the detailed explanation! It honestly makes a lot of sense, but of course seems unexpected. I received a fiel with this notation by a client, no idea how they achieved it.

I hope you will enjoy the rest of your Saturday night with not too many repetitions :slight_smile:

Again, I have to say, your interest and personal involvement in supporting us is unprecedented in my experience- and greatly appreciated🙂

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This method does not seem to work in Dorico 3.5.12. Does it work in Dorico4?
Changing Note values in chords flips them

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It won’t work in 3.5.12 if you’ve already mistakenly already lengthened one of the notes, no.

It will work, though, if you:

  1. Select a single note in a chord (in which all of the notes are currently the same duration).
  2. Use select more to select the whole chord.
  3. Type the new duration.

I’m pretty sure that was what Daniel meant.

Indeed it was, Leo. But as it happens it will indeed also work in Dorico 4 if you have two notes of dissimilar duration in the same voice: select them both, type the new duration, and both notes will be set to the new duration.


A nice improvement! Thanks.