Harmonics and Octave Lines

I was very disheartened today to see that natural harmonics inside octave lines still position incorrectly (above the line instead of positioned on the notehead). I have hundreds of measures to edit that need all of the elements in the screen shot with the harmonics positioned correctly. Passage is from Keeril Makan’s lovely piece for electric guitar and orchestra “Dream Lightly”.

We know this needs to be addressed, but it’s not a small or simple job, and it will require a pretty thoroughgoing reworking of the phase of spacing and positioning that handles octave lines, slurs, tuplets and articulations to also include e.g. playing techniques in there. It’s absolutely in our plans for the future, but since it is a unit of work that will take in the order of months to accomplish, it’s not something we have as yet been able to schedule given the relative priority of other items.


In the meantime, @derekjohnsoncomposer have you come across the trick that I think I first remember @pianoleo sharing, which is to flip the octave line below the staff, then drag it back up graphically to above the staff? That seems to be a quicker and more consistent way of getting them ordered the other way.

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(( If playback (or behaving like a good Dorico citizen) isn’t important, it’s possible to sacrifice e.g. the UnStress articulation and change it to a small circle in the Library>Music symbols editor… and use that in place of a real harmonic :slight_smile: ))


Thank you @dspreadbury for following up. I’m relieved to hear that team Dorico is on the case! The way Dorico handles every other aspect of this passage is just brilliant.

Thank you @Lillie_Harris , this is a much quicker fix than adjusting the harmonics Y position in engrave mode (which doesn’t work across all layouts). This will work for now!

an update using @pianoleo’s octave line flip hack. i’m re-engraving this part for a performance next month (shout out to my fellow performer/engravers). thanks again @Lillie_Harris and @dspreadbury . I’d say that @fratveno may have a very good idea to expand the capabilities of articulations, or to allow performance techniques to behave like articulations. anyway - go team - many thanks!


The Y offset property for harmonics is local, which means if your property scope is set to “Locally”, it only affects the current layout and frame chain. If you set the scope to “Globally” before changing the offset, it’ll affect all layouts, but you can also propagate all properties on selected notes/items after the fact.

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If you don’t care about natural harmonics playback, there’s a workaround even simpler : change one of the Schoenberg rhythmic articulations for the natural harmonic symbol. It will treat the harmonic as an articulation rather than a playing technique. You don’t need to fix anything in Engrave mode. There might even be a way that this articulation triggers the natural harmonic playback.

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thank you @francisb . I do need the harmonics feature on, as it allows me to make accurate tablature (even for very high partial harmonics).