Half / Double note durations

I couldn’t find out how to double or halve note durations from a selection. Is that even possible? Sibelius never handled it well (in my opinion) and it seems it would be well suited to Dorico’s insert mode. :slight_smile:
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This question has already been treated in different posts. It is in Dorico’s team’s plans, coming in due course :wink:

Can’t you just select something and do shift alt right arrow to lengthen durations by the selected grid resolution or shift alt left arrow to decrease them? In my opinion this is even more powerful because you’re not limited to exactly half or double. :smiley:

In Insert mode, you can just change the duration (type one number, not several shift-alt-right-arrows). But this idea doesn’t work very well if the duration of the notes changes frequently in the passage you want to edit.

Thanks, I hadn’t found any posts about that topic! Perhaps I’ve searched for the wrong keywords?
As Rob mentioned shift-alt-arrows is not the solution though I really love this feature too!

@musicmaven In case you wonder when halve / double note duration is useful: when I’m downloading music-XML from MuseScore as a quick starting point for a transcription or get work of my students, sometimes they are notated in the “wrong” rhythmic feel. They might have used quarter notes for quite fast passages and tempos up to 200 bpm or more. To the trained eye that just looks wrong. It will be great to fix that with a single command.

Is there anything new on this topic? I just wrote something out for a client in 3/4 time and now he wants it diminuted to 12/8 (4 bars > 1 bar). For Dorico, with its awareness of real note length (e.g. for tied notes) and powerful meter-changing-features, this should be really simple to implement… I really could use these rhythmic augmentation and diminution now. If you know any workarounds, these are welcome now, too (at the moment, I’d just try to export everything via MusicXML to Finale and reimport it, which will kill any layout refinements I made, I suppose).

And how about even other factors like 1.5 (converting triplets to three singles, like 4/4 with many triplets to 12/8)? This will be useful, too, and again, I don’t know which other notation software should be able to do this easier than Dorico.

Oh, and I did not find the other posts MarcLarcher mentioned (searched for augmentation, diminution, half rhythmic and some others)… so I’ll just add these keywords to this thread.

You should find that selecting a note and doing Ctrl+Shift+Alt+right arrow doubles its duration, while Ctrl+Shift+Alt+left arrow halves its duration. We will make the various commands for lengthening and shortening notes more explicit by adding them to the Write menu in the next update.

I agree it would be very neat to be able to scale by other factors as well, but that would indeed require things like the automatic creation of tuplets (or indeed perhaps their automatic removal), and while that is something that Dorico could certainly in theory handle it’s probably not something we can do imminently.

Great tip, thank you Daniel !

These commands do not work on my system atm … They do the same as shift-ctrl arrow, I have tried also after resetting the shortcuts …

You are correct, on my system, ctrl (cmnd) + Shift + Alt + (arrow) changes the note values by the rhythmic grid, not a doubling or halving.


It would be logical that the keyboard shortcut do not work, since I have changed many things in my shortcuts, so updating does not change anything in those. But I have looked for that kind of Key Commands, and did not find “double rhythm value” nor “halve rhythm value”. Is there another term I should be looking for ?

Apologies, perhaps this has changed since version 1.1.10 was released – I am, as always, using a development build that is further along than the build you are using. This will all be a fair bit clearer in the next update.

Sorry for the late reply, but thanks for your answers! I tried it, too, it’s not working on my system (1.1.10), too, so I’m looking forward to the next update!

It looks like version 1.2 still behaves the same way, or am I using it wrong?

This is the before and after using Ctrl-Alt-Shift-RightArrow:
which just gets rid of the even-numbered sixteenth notes. I wanted to change all sixteenths to eights, etc. Is that possible now?

You need Insert Mode turned on (hit “I”) before you use the shortcut, given you’re asking Dorico to fill twice as much time with your music.

Thanks, that works great. I looked in the new PDF documentation, but never found it for this feature.

For some reason, my Dorico (Elements 2.2.10) didn’t have these key shortcuts set by default. I don’t know if this is a general issue or just mine. Thankfully, I did find these configurable under “Key Commands” and set the shortcuts mentioned here (they weren’t taken by anything else).


One more thing: Is there a way to get halve/double durations work for chord symbols. (I couldn’t get it to work)
My use case: I changed my time signature from 4/4 to 8/8 since I realized it was a better fit for my beat - accordingly I also doubled the tempo and the notes duration. But now I’m stuck with the chord symbols at half their wanted new duration.

No. Chord symbols don’t have a duration; just a rhythmic position. You’ll need to move them manually.

Too bad. That makes sense, but I still would have liked to double/halve the intervals between the chord symbols.