Help! My name is Claude and I'm a cue-aholic! (No bugs of FR, just a discussion about technology)

I wonder if others had to fight that disease. Dorico has made cues in parts so easy that starting with version 2, I would cover my parts in cues and ended up overdoing it. Many conversations with a large number of orchestra peeps made me realize that although opinions vary greatly on the subject, the overall view remains that there is such a thing as too many cues in a part, Over the last three years, I have slowly corrected that problem, but I wonder if others have experienced this.

Whether we want it or not, technologies change user habits according to not only is what not available as a feature, but also according to what is easily available. So, I wonder if users have found that they overused other features when they were first available, such as lines for example. Totally unimportant: I’m just curious.

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Not much to say, except… yep. Guilty as charged.

Hopefully not. I’d like to think that signifcant tempo changes and meter changes speak for themselves without too many additional c(l)ues.

That said, I found myself wanting a cue function for what Ms. Gould calls prominent entries just last week. It’s not difficult to do with custom styled text that’s hidden in the score, but would be nice if it could somehow be handled as part of the cue functionality.

(Sorry to hijack, @claude_g_lapalme)


Yep Leo. I have started using this more frequently a couple of years ago. My wife performed Cello 4 in Ariadne auf Naxos once. Since, after the prologue that 2nd desk doesn’t play until the middle of the “opera” part, and then only for a few measures before waiting another gajillion bars before playing again, this time until the end, such a technique would have been preferable to the pages of bar rests and cues. But by the dress rehearsal, you kinda have those entries memorized, and she could see the show from where she was sitting, something she counts as one of her happiest memories as an opera cellist.!


Yes! I use word cues a lot. Certainly with music using a regular form (AABA 32 bars for example) most musicians will always know where in the form they are, but some simple word cues will help keep everything on track without all the clutter of a regular cue.


I completely agree–word cues can be extremely useful. In addition to the “prominent entries,” I use them a lot when there are aleatoric entries in other parts and it doesn’t necessarily make sense to notate their specific pitches and rhythms because they may be approximate/improvised.

I agree that it would be nice if some kind of word cues like this were part of the cues feature!

In general, I LOVE the way Dorico does cues! But one other thing I would like to see added is the ability for single line staves to handle 5-line staff cues and vice versa. (Or maybe this can already be done, and I just haven’t figured out how yet?)

There isn’t official functionality for this. It’s possible to give your unpitched player an additional pitched instrument, then cue into that. Dorico then automatically switches to that instrument to show the cues in the part (and is clever enough not to do the instrument change(s) in score layouts that don’t show cues). It’s a bit of a faff to have to hide the instrument change labels, though.

Ah yes thank you! I figured out this workaround on the last set of parts I made but was hoping for something a little less fussy. Hopefully we will get this in the future!

Yeah I have this problem with Dorico, it makes so much easy that I’m tempted to use it. Like breath marks. In my career that was (always?) up to the player, but now I find myself wanting to add them.

Also cue’s - yeah I have to stop myself. I restrict it to when telling a player to improv, I’ll give them the bass line so they can riff off that. By the way, what’s the best way to indicate ad. lib.? I just made it system text as there wasn’t a playing technique for it already.

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I’m not sure if it’s the best way to indicate ad. lib., but I’d enter it as either shift+x text or make a custom playing technique for it if you plan on using it more than once (and be sure to star so it shows up in future scores if that’s something you want). I also like to use some kind of line to indicate how long the player should ad. lib. Or you could use text to indicate the duration like “ad. lib. until bar ??” or “riff off bass line until bar ??” or something like that.