How Dorico Interprets Note Durations

Question: why is Dorico creating a tie between 8th notes and quarter notes rather than displaying a dotted quarter note (see attached screenshot)? I had a dotted quarter note selected, but it did this instead. In addition, after the first 8th note in the bar, I moved over by one beat to enter the next chord, and it placed two 8th note rests rather than a quarter note rest. Is this normal?


Yes, the default setting is to visually display the middle of the bar. In this case, I think it’s best. You can modify some of these settings in Notation Options–Note Groupings.

If these options don’t cover your use case, you can always turn on Force Durations (O) to make it display exactly like you want.

Regarding Dorico’s choice to use two eighth rests instead of one quarter rest, that’s also the conventional notation that you would see in published music. Wherever possible the note and rest durations should help the player to understand the metrical groupings of the bar, so Dorico automatically does this for you. If you’re used to other software that takes your input more literally, this may take a bit of getting used to, but if you’re not super-experienced with preparing music notation for performance, you can be reassured that Dorico’s default behaviour follows conventional practice and will produce notation that your musicians will find easier to read. Easier to read music equals better performances.

Or use the ‘right’ time signature. :wink:

I figured that was the case, and actually forgot to ask this question, as I can’t sight-read from sheet music. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the info!

Thanks for this! I need to read up on this topic-- as an amateur/beginning composer, I’d never known about composite time signatures until recently. :slight_smile: