Guitar score problems

I’ve been checking out what I can do in Dorico by importing guitar scores exported from Sibelius. I’m finding that Dorico very often fails to stick to the convention that bass notes in guitar scores should have stems down. I’ve attached a score that illustrates this (the first two and a half lines are ok because I’ve corrected them).

Is this something that could be improved, because it’s very tedious to go through forcing the stems down - especially since almost all wrongly aligned stems require the ‘Remove Force Stem’ command before the ‘Force Stem Down’ command will activate?

I’m also finding a problem with beaming. The beamed bass notes in bar 9/10 were rendered with stems up. It was very difficult to get more than one stem down at a time (a) because trying to select one of the notes selects both, but the FSD command only works on one of them (b) the break beam command doesn’t seem to work so couldn’t use this and flip the stems separately. I did eventually solve it by dragging the beam off one of the notes, flipping it and then dragging the beam back on.

Another improvement I would definitely like to see is continuously variable stave size. The available options at present are 60%, 75% and 100%. In Sibelius I adjust the staff size to the largest that will fit my music neatly onto (in this case) two pages. At the moment Dorico appears to be too inflexible in its stave size. It also seems to lack another useful Sibelius function of forcing a new page at a designated barline. This is especially useful in avoiding awkward page turns. (215 KB)

The problem whereby the stem directions of the notes in imported MusicXML files is unfortunately due to the heuristics involved in trying to guess what stem direction a voice in the MusicXML file should end up with, since voices in MusicXML do not specify what stem direction they should have: they are simply numbered. Hopefully soon we will have a means of changing the default stem direction of an existing voice, or indeed of swapping the contents of two voices.

I’m probably being stupid but I can’t see any beamed bass notes in bars 9 and 10. Also soon I hope we will have a means of specifying that you don’t want to retain stem directions, beam groups, etc. when importing MusicXML files so that you will get something much closer to what Dorico would have done if you had simply input the music in Dorico itself, rather than trying to retain even some of the formatting information from the source application.

To change the staff size, use the Layout Options dialog, on the Page Setup page. The options in the right-click menu are for e.g. making a solo instrument staff in a piano + solo instrument score smaller, effectively a cue-sized staff, not for changing the default staff size.

Thanks Daniel. I obviously can’t count. I was referring to the two Es beamed together between bars 10 and 11. They initially appeared with stems up and, as I said, the only way I could get both beams down was to detach the beam from one of the notes (having discovered that the ‘Break Beam’ command doesn’t work) and then force each stem down separately before joining the beam back on.

Thanks for pointing me in the direction of Page Setup. I have now managed to find how to change the staff size. I find one confusing thing about Dorico is knowing which items are in Setup and which in Engrave.

The things that are included in Layout Options certainly include things that you might also expect to find in Engraving Options, but the important distinction is that Engraving Options are project-wide, while all of the settings in Layout Options can be set individually for each layout. So one way to think about it is to ask yourself whether the setting you’re looking for would need to be set individually for each layout, and if it is, chances are we’ve put it in Layout Options.

Thanks, it helps a lot to understand the rationale :slight_smile: