Harp pedals - Dorico 3

Firstly, I’m so happy for Dorico 3! A tremendous work by the team, creative, unexpected and really smart solutions on all the new features! :heart::heart:

Now to my question:
As discussed in an earlier post, it is not always appreciated by harpists to print out the pedals with the graphical symbol. Some likes it and some don’t. My experience, though, is that most players tend to be more positive to the scale when presenting the tonality (in e.g. glissandos) which also Elaine Gould seems to prefer. Are there any plans to integrate this kind of notation as part of the harp notation too?

Pic stolen from Behind Bars, p. 359

I would love to see this option as well. I asked in a harp forum for their pedal preferences and some do indeed like the notated scale with glissando instead in a diagram.

We have no current plans for this, but I would not rule it out for the future.

There is a relatively easy workaround: create the scale notes as grace notes and hide the grace notes’ stem in engrave mode using the properties panel.

Grace notes aren’t ideal because they come before the end note of the glissando rather than after the first note, but you could of course create a tuplet following the main note, perhaps in another voice, and put the notes in there, before scaling them down and hiding their stems, but that’s obviously a few more steps.

I do agree with Andreás. Using grace notes before the carline produces a layout identical to Elaine Goulds directions but with a messed up playback.

As written in Behind Bars, page 358:" […] The starting note takes the full duration, when possible in one note-value […]" I’m not sure how to produce this with the tuples method?
This pic is from Dorico, with grace notes before the barline with hidden stems:

I’d be sooo beautiful if this could be implemented in some way in the future. :slight_smile:

For the tuplet method, you would e.g. insert a 16th-based tuplet on beat 2 with: 18/12 (12+6).
Insert your notes with 16th instead of grace notes.
With the properties, hide all tuplet aspects (number, bracket), and make your 16th grace-note sized.
Hide the stems and beams as with the grace-note method.

You might try making the final note a quarter (or possibly dotted or double-dotted) to adjust horizontal spacing after the final note automatically (although manual adjustments might still be necessary).
Then you would end up with a 21/12 (12+5+4) for quarter note, 23/12 (12+5+6) for dotted quarter, and 24/12 (12+5+7) for double-dotted quarter.

Sorry for any possible errors, not at my Dorico station to double-check!

Thijs, wow, that one sounds pretty troublesome… :open_mouth:

The grace note version is really easy and gives an excellent layout. (attach the grace notes to the target note -> Put them before the barline in properties -> hide the stems in Engrave -> Done)

The only downside is that Dorico won’t play it as a glissando, but I guess the tuples version will get the same kind of playback…

I think I understand why Thijs suggested you what he suggested: the grace notes appear before the barline, whereas the notes for the glissandi should appear after the beginning of the glissando. It’s a detail, but if you want to be picky about details (and this forum is all about people picky about details, otherwise there would be nobody here!) it’s important. This leaves the necessary room for the glissando line…

Ah, of course Marc. Maybe the spacing becomes a bit tight using grace notes, but I don’t Think it’s so tight that it becomes hard to read, or? I thought I could increase the space between the last grace note and the barline, but that didn’t work for grace notes Before the barline.

I tried doing the same, using tuplets instead. I must admit I didn not fully understand Thijs explanation, so maybe I did it the “wrong” way.

This one is created with a 6:4-tuplet and 32:nd notes, starting on a position somewhere to the right of the starting note in a 2:nd upstem voice. (maybe a bit tight spacing between the G and A…) This looks great and plays also back pretty well. The only down side of this method is that there are quite many steps to complete it. (Add voice, hide bracket and tuplet number, change scaling & hide rests in the 2:nd voice)


I’m sorry if my explanation was not clear!
But you’ve done what I tried to explain (using a second voice while I usually use one voice).

All work-arounds have their pros and cons (horizontal spacing, playback, number of manual steps,…) of course.

Hehe, no worries Thijs! Thanks for the tip! :smiley:

Let’s hope for a proper implementation of this in a future version of Dorico. :smiley:

I came across this pedal notation just now where normal sized notes are used, there is apparently lot of freedom in notating it.

In some John Williams/Hal Leonard pieces it’s notated similarly to this.

Feature Request:
In the absence of headless notes to set pitches for a glissando…

Normally one would not include pedal settings in the Conductor score, but before a glissando it would be helpful to force a pedal diagram in the Harp part to show in the Conductor score as well. The would be helpful to be able to apply a Property to a banner to make the diagram visible rather than hiding every other pedal setting in the flow.

Sorry, I don’t think we’ll be doing that. If you want even one harp pedal change to show in the score, you’ll need to enable the layout option to show them.

Definitely, it would be a great addition to the already awesome harp feature of Dorico 3.
I’m married to a harpist so, besides my wife’s input, we have a loooot harpist close friends… almost every one I’ve asked (including harpist friends from different settings and countries), they really prefer, appreciate, and thank so much to have both: the pedal diagram AND the seven note scale before the gliss. Salzedo recommends it also. And, the most aesthetically pleasing way of including the scale to most of the harpists I’ve consulted is putting the notes cue-sized, stemless, outside of the gliss line, between parentheses. The thing is it will mess a score layout; that’s why it would be awesome if you could have a way of showing in parts only, just as the pedal diagram.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about (the pedal diagram doesn’t show because it’s on the previous system).

Yes, I’d like to see this as well in a future upgrade (ability to add smaller sized stemless notes to indicate the notes of the glissando).

People familiar with Sibelius are probably familiar with the terrific plugins by Bob Zawalich (and Neil Sands) that make this really easy in Sibelius.

JosueVera, your pic was actually quite easy to create, and also to get the playback to work as expected, but maybe you’ve already fixed it. Anyway, her’s how I did it:

  1. The high an low note in Up-stem voice 1
  2. The small notes in any other voice (e.g. up-stem voice 2) with short note values,( e.g. 32nd notes’ish)
  3. Hide stems in Engrave and scale to Cue size and hide the rests.
  4. Parantheses as text (shift-x) adjusted in engrave.
  5. Select the whole bar and then Write -> Calculate Harp Pedals. (In this example I’ve set the properties in Layout Options not to show the pedals)
  6. In Play you can now change the sound for the selected voice that indicates the scale. Set that one to be quiet.

Now you’ll have the gliss played with the right notes and it doesn’t mess up the layout very much.

Sounds like quite many steps but it’s actually quite smooth, and looks as your pic. :slight_smile: