Getting rid of spurious fermatas

So, we have:

Dorico in its wisdom puts in six fermatas here, due to excessive polyphonic zeal. So then one has to remove four of them in engrave mode. What I find weird is that you can’t delete them, you have to move them off the page area. Why is that? That is my question.
What is preventing the Dorico design from simply allowing one to delete unwanted fermatas? And as a secondary point, why add a fermata to every voice in a case like this, very common, where nobody to my knowledge would ever write six fermatas - it makes no sense. I officially name this disease fermatitis.


With a fermata selected, open up Properties and investigate:

Well I never! A cure for fermatitis! Thank you!


You can also set that in the Holds and Pauses section of Engraving options.

So one remaining question - why the business of having to drag them out of the room to hide them?

Good question to which I don’t have an answer.
On certain occasions it is better to use a fermata playing technique, but in the screenshot you posted you’ll be fine with the options.

I think that’s only when you don’t want one on every staff.

Yes, but why not allowed to simply delete unwanted instances? People say Dorico is logical, but I cant follow the logic in this - I think it is the only instance where you have to hide something in this manner.

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For the time being it’s definitely worth creating a fermata playing technique as suggested by @LAE. It seems more elegant than dragging the unwanted second fermata out of the room and it’s even a little faster than the “one per voice” option in the properties if you want just one on each side.

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If you set it as an engraving option, it’s even quicker!

As a former Finale user I must say that I prefer having to fiddle a bit removing unwanted fermatas than risking having parts missing them… (been there done that)

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I don’t mind removing them, I just think it’s a weird way you have to do it. What is this dragging off the page business really?

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As far as I know, dragging “mandatory” stuff off the page to hide it (when all else fails) has been a standard work-around since Finale.

I’d agree that being able to hide individual fermatas would be useful, rather than deleting them; despite hiding things being anathema.
One of the things that first attracted me to Dorico was the ability to add one fermata on staff, and get them ‘for free’ on all the others, compared to manually selecting every staff.

I know that Dorico treats various things hanging off the staff in different ways: like Chords, or like System Text: it may be that making exclusions to “this appears on every staff” is complex.

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One of these days I will do a tour de force and go through all Engraving Options and I’m sure I’ll discover the most wondrous surprises. Or maybe it’s faster to make a suggestion here and then find out it can be made even easier? :wink:

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Except, as has already been explained, in cases such as yours it’s just a case of either setting the global option correctly or setting the local property correctly. There are fairly limited circumstances in which fermate don’t apply simultaneously to all players (such as where one person plays a cadenza) and this isn’t well catered for.

The implementation of fermate as local, staff-attached objects in other programs, and the fact that their users didn’t/don’t necessarily understand that fermate should be added to every player’s part, has led to several hours of wasted rehearsal time and confusion in just my working life. Fermate that are system-attached prevent this issue from occurring.

There are existing feature requests for handling cadenzas and cadenza-like situations, but these haven’t been implemented as yet. No-one’s suggesting the software’s “finished”.


Hold on - when did I ever say the software is finished?

@pianoleo This is polyphonic keyboard music, not ensemble, so I suppose Dorico is not yet smart enough to understand you don’t need six fermatas on a polyphonic chord. On the other hand, the instrument is ‘harpsichord’ and there’s a faint possibility one day in the future it could figure this out!

My main gripe is this weird business of having to drag them out of sight. It’s fiddly and you have to do it only after the pages are all finally laid out or you risk having them appear on a page still. Surely simpler is better - just allow a fermata in a multiple set to be deleted. I submit this for consideration as a feature request.


But if you never want one fermata per voice, just set that global option, save as default, and never ever drag any fermata off page again.

Just to summarize the options suggested here:

In the Engraving Options / Holds and Pauses you can set the number of fermata signs per staff. Default is “One per voice”. With “One per staff” you have at most two in a keyboard score:

If you want just one you can either drag the unwanted out of the room or you can add a fermata as playing technique and then set one by one: