May I make a request for the inclusion of Hauptstimme and Nebenstimme (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hauptstimme)?

These are found in, eg, Berg’s Lyric Suite and Schoenberg string quartets

They do have Unicode equivalents and so, I guess, are in Bravura but inputting Unicode is a bit of a nuisance (unless it’s been improved since this post: https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=115068&p=629211&hilit=unicode#p629211). They would need attaching to a note or rest but I don’t really know if they would count as playing technique, dynamic or just good old plain text. I guess the Dorico team have a style guide for this kind of thing…


You can reasonably easily copy these symbols from here. When you create Shift+X text in Dorico, make sure you choose the ‘Music text’ character style from the top right menu in the text editing popover to ensure that the Hauptstimme and Nebenstimme glyphs are explicitly pasted in the Bravura Text font.

Bumping this to suggest that the H[] and N[] are excellent candidates to become Lines in v3.1, and I was almost surprised that they weren’t in there yet.

I disagree: the lines as included in Dorico 3.1 are strictly non-semantic, whereas Hauptstimme and Nebenstimme are semantic. Certainly having a nice generalised way of drawing lines makes their implementation easier, but it still needs to be done in the properly semantic way, which is on the backlog for future versions.

We can use “Playing technique” at present.
“Playing technique” allows “continuation” in Dorico 3.x.
It would be what hrnbouma would like to achieve.

Yes, just use Playing Techniques!

I used them in a Jazz chart as advised by members here for things like “Drum fill -------” or “1st solo -----------” which seem to be somewhat along the same lines (haha) as your Hauptstimme and Nebenstimmt markings?

As you can see, there is no continuation line, just a specific hook at the end. Also, the symbols clearly surround the notes. When using PT’s for this (which I have been doing already) Dorico places the symbols vertically centered high above the notes, requiring constant manual adjustment. And PTs don’t have an “Avoid collisions” property that can be switched off, so they tend to mess up the staff spacing quite significantly in tight situations. Daniel, I’m afraid I don’t see your specific distinction between semantic and non-semantic symbols; the Lines are also conveying some meaning on the page, it’s just that Dorico doesn’t attempt to interpret them for you in this case. And what could there be to interpret about the purely graphical Hauptstimme notation?

I’m not an expert on the interpretation of Second Viennese School music, but I was under the (possibly mistaken) impression that these markings made their way into the performers’ parts and provided them with the information about when they have the most important part. They might in any case be interpreted during playback to bring a specific voice to the fore.

Maybe the PT continuation options could be extended to provide a new option “no continuation line, only hook/symbol/whatever at the end”?
That could come in handy in other places too, like lengthy Jazz solos or the like.

You are right!
I think, however, that a continuation line would be helpful if a “Hauptstimme” or a “Nebenstimme” appears across two systems as follows:

You can avoid the centred position. Please see the following picture (It is not perfect, but you can design a symbol like this using multiple glyphs):
Screenshot 2020-01-21 22.10.14.jpg

Thanks prko. I was hesitant to fiddle around with extra glyphs (its superfluous ink after all) but you can use dot scaled to 1% and it still works—I can deal with half a pixel. In general I haven’t seen continuation lines even when the H spans one or more system breaks, so it’s just a separate PT for the end hook.

Certainly they also show up in the parts, but it’s debatable if they should affect playback. I’d compare it to the older practice of appending “solo” or “espressivo” to a dynamic marking, the interpretation of which is also more subtle and performer-dependent than simply boosting the dynamic. Certainly Schönberg, who invented the notation, fussed about dynamics all the same and even supplemented the H and N with “espress.”. He also keeps marking it when it is completely superfluous because there’s no-one else playing or the texture is very obviously “melody + accompaniment”.

Here he suggests a kind of contradictory approach: don’t boost the marked part but do keep the others subordinate—in whatever way you see fit.

In conclusion: I at least would be perfectly happy if Dorico wouldn’t interpret these symbols as anything more than a tool for analysis, and any influence on playback needs to be either very subtle or include an off switch.

Any hints on finding these among the thousands of glyphs in Bravura Text? Daniel’s link above no longer works.



It is pretty fiddly though, having to adjust the baseline and position almost every time. I suppose there’s not enough demand, but would be nice if it was incorporated into the auto positioning of other musical symbols.

If you want to incorporate a line, you may find the Lines functionality (which didn’t exist in January 2020 when this thread last surfaced, let alone 2017) easier. Build the haupstimme as a Line Annotation, then incorporate it (with a Line Body) into a Line that will then appear in the right panel.

There’s a guide, of sorts, on Scoring Notes.

Thank Leo, I’ll give it a go