Gregorian

Hello,
I wonder if Dorico could be configured to be able to write down the scores in Gregorian.

Thank you

Do you mean Gregorian chant notation, or neumes? If so, I’m afraid Dorico won’t support these kinds of notations at first, but possibly we’ll be able to support them in the future.

Thank you

Is it already possible to notate Gregorian chant notation? (stemless noteheads) I can’t find this possibility.

Yes. There is an option “Hide stem” in the Properties Panel “Notes and Rests” in Engrave Mode.
My workflow is to select the notes with the new Select More Command (Ctrl+Shift+A) and enable that property.

Stemless noteheads, yes. True neume notation, no.

It is my sincere hope that as the scripting support is expanded Medieval2 will be ported over. I’ve come seriously close to purchasing Finale again (I haven’t used it in about 10 years) simply to run that amazing plugin. I will essentially have everything I need if that gets ported over.

One quick tip: I suggest that if you do the stemless route (I do it all the time) experiment with the default note spacing. I find that if I use quarter note heads the spacing is way to wide so I brought it down to about 2 which feels much more comfortable as a default. From there I make manual adjustments.

Meanwhile, a free alternative way into neumes is via the Gregorio Project which includes the Illuminare Score Editor (see the Gregorio tutorial pages). It is well worth getting your head around the basic concepts because the output options are flexible and very beautiful. The output could, of course, be incorporated into Dorico via graphic frames.

I’ve peeked at that and other similar things, however I’m not a coder. That’s a bit dense for me and while I could most certainly do it (I did make mini scores to test it out) it would take me far longer than is practical.

I’ve had considerable success using a template in Illustrator, which sets out the staves and lyrics, with a palette of neums to drag into position.
Plainchant is so different to the expected rules of figurative music, that everything an app like Finale or Dorico does to ‘help’ will be fighting against you.

The Klemm Medieval plug-in may work well, but it’s very expensive.

And not easy to use. Probably not Robert Piéchaud’s fault, but it requires a good bit of doodling to make it work in Finale. Too daunting for me. YMMV.

With due respect to the various attempts out there, there simply is no good solution for this that doesn’t require a good bit of awkwardness. I could see Dorico doing this one day, in its typical elegant and delightful fashion, and basically having a monopoly on plainchant notation.

Agreed. With genuine support for open meter and the ability to plop barlines wherever you want without fuss, they are already ahead of the game in one sense. One problem for the dev team is that once they start to support one kind of ancient notation, other requests will follow. That said, the deeper I get into the chant world the more I’m surprised to discover it has a very substantial following and there are still many new publications being produced with newly engraved chant. It’s definitley not as “dead” as I thought it was. (Not to mention all those who seek to create fresh typesettings of ancient scores.) Sadly I’m sure this will be a monumental undertaking (à la guitar tab) so I’d guess we will be waiting a while.

To what extant do you sense that these new publications and editions in neumatic (or other medieval) notation are intended primarily for scholarly consumption rather than for performance?

It’s still the preferred musical option for the Catholic liturgy, though it’s no longer mandatory, and there is still research going on to figure out exactly what the notation in historical documents meant.

Even if the content was “frozen,” publishers are not going to want to keep reprinting photographic reproductions of pre-computer-era documents for ever.

And although engraving conventions are pretty universal, I would wager barely a fraction of the extant literature has been typeset and made available in any sort of SVG format.

It pretty much has to be typeset only once, and made available freely.

I just see a lot more publishers using stemless noteheads instead of neums (at least in publications intended for performance, such as the Episcopal Hymnal 1982), so I thought I’d ask. (In no way do I suggest that the desire to reproduce neumatic notation is no longer valid.)

I think this is largely in part due to the fact that generating fresh neumed scores is such a pain. Stemless notes are so easy in our software. Personally, I sing chant every week and I have grown to prefer the medieval notation as there are many subtleties that cannot be conveyed in modern transcriptions. I’ve even been toying with the idea of composing new chants in authentic notation. It’s all a matter of familiarity. I’m introducing my choir to chant and working toward reading original notation.

Our Compline choir uses a mix of old-fashioned neumes and modern scores. In fact, I recently created a service book and hymnal for our group, which you can find here:

https://seattlevics.org/

(click the link in the “Our Music” section to view the PDF)

The overall book was produced in InDesign, using the Festa Dies font for the Gregorian chant lines (sadly, it produces some subtle artifacts, but it works well enough). All the 3-part harmony pieces were engraved using Dorico 1.1, which means all the stemless notes were manually tweaked to remove the stems (quite a painful process that would have been much easier with the proper stemless support now available!) The Dorico scores were exported as PDFs and placed into the InDesign document as part of the final layout.

The point being, there is still interest/demand for Gregorian chant/neume-based scores, though if Dorico ever supported it, I would consider it an amazing bonus, and not something I’d necessarily expect from modern notation software.

Aaron, congrats on a beautiful book. That was quite an undertaking and the final result is lovely.