Graphic fermatas which are independent of other staves

Hi, I am trying to use fermatas to hold instruments in an unmeasured composition for voice and piano. Dorico keeps adding them to both staves when I don’t want them. Are there graphic fermatas which one can place where one wants (like in Sibelius)?

Hi rgrande, the “native” fermatas are indeed automatically added to all staves. If you want a fermata for one staff only, one way you can do that is to create a custom playing technique that comprises a fermata glyph. (In synchronised music, it’s generally beneficial for all players to know of changes to the meter, hence why Dorico shows them on all staves by default.)

there isnt a way to add it to one staff with alt, like key sigs and time sigs?

No, Lillie’s post is what you’d need to do.

ok, I’m quite new to Dorico so I’ll have to study a bit to understand what a custom playing technique is, as well as glyphs and all the other stuff on the page you directed me to.
Thank you.

It’s basically just a playing technique that you’ve designed yourself, that could be text, an image, a glyph etc. “custom” in Dorico generally means “user-designed”

I would also recommend to create a custom playing technique for the fermatas.

Engrave Menu / Playing Techniques…
Press + at the bottom left – New Music Symbol – Give it a name such as: “Fermata up”
Type: Glyph
Popover text: Fermata up (if it’s not already there)
Press the Pencil on the lower left side of the white window
In the editor press the trashcan on the lower right side to delete the selected text
Font: Bravura (if not selected already)
Range: Holds and pauses
Double-click the up fermata
Back in the first window click the star sign “Save as Default” at the bottom left, so you’ll have the playing technique fermatas also in future projects
Do the same for the “Fermata down”

Now you have the two fermatas listed in the Playing Techniques Menu. The fastest way is to use the popover for Playing techniques: Select the note where you want the fermata, Shift + P, Fermata up/down (or whatever you named them).

Sounds a little complicated, but it isn’t really. There’s also a less elegant way to get rid of unwanted fermatas: just drag them out of the score, so they won’t show or print. Custom playing technique is more fun :wink:

You can also specify that a single playing technique appears differently when it’s above/below the staff in the Edit Playing Techniques dialog (Appearance > Different above and below). Of course, some might prefer having the 2 PTs separately (i.e. you can deliberately call up one or the other in the popover) but this way a single PT automatically handles both cases.


Thank you Lillie and Juerg, I have created my playing technique. Now i will try to use it.