How to auto-engrave "preferred string"?

One can set a “preferred string” number in the Properties panel, for a string instrument (e.g. cello). But this choice isn’t reflected in the engraving. It seems that I still need to explicitly add a regular text to label this choice of string.

See the attached image for an example. The Roman numeral II is used to indicate that the second string (i.e. D string) should be used. Various publishers use I, II, III, IV, or 1ma, 2da, 3za, 4ta, or 1a, 2a, 3a, 4a, or even A, D, G, C to indicate this preference.

I wonder if this already exists in Dorico, and I simply haven’t discovered it yet. For now, I’ll manually tag these text labels.


A question to Dorico’s team.

Here’s the relevant quote from the Manual (p. 459):

The string on which the selected notes are played is changed.

Apparently, activating the ‘String’ property does not result in graphics (engraving).
So, the inevitable question is: what does this property do?

Igor Borodin

Perhaps it affects playback?

I haven’t seen such a ‘String’ option in HALion Sonic SE.

The ‘String’ property is currently only used by the fingering features for showing string fingering shifts – see pages 26-27 of the Dorico 1.2.10 Version History document.


Thanks, Daniel. But I am not sure I believe the Known Issues and Solutions doc :slight_smile:

The doc says that one needs to set the “String” property in Notes and Rests pane, for “Indicate shift to next note” to work. But The “Indicate shift to next note” works without me setting any “String” numbers. See screenshot.


I also wanted to write about this. It would be very handy to have possibility of engraving number of string by turning on this switcher. Of course it’s good to have choice, if it will display or not the number of string.

Edit. The second idea, I have, is to have possibility engraving number of string in “fingering” popover. Logically – it’s connected with fingering.


I realise that this comment does not speak to the question posed, but it is offered in a spirit of helpfulness.

Looking at the second of the music examples above, it seems to me that the player, being obviously of advanced ability, does not need all the fingerings or bowings given. Indeed, their presence may make it more difficult to read the notes. To such a player the odd hint has implications for following notes and passages. For instance just giving the fingering 1 on “middle” C# implies, in the absence of II, the A string.


I realise that this comment does not speak to the question posed

With all due respect, your comment is indeed completely unrelated.

There might be various valid reasons to specify in string music both the fingering and the string - expressive, stylistic, technical, educational.
Let’s leave the decision of specifying editorial/performing/teaching instructions to the discretion of a composer/editor/teacher!

Igor Borodin

Thanks, David, for the spiritual support :slight_smile:

Some of us are not advanced players, nor publishers of music scores for professionals. I am simply OCD with respect to cello music I play recreationally, a few times a year. I like to mark my own fingerings on paper as I try different ways to make a piece sound better, given my lackluster abilities. Then I religiously reproduce it with software (previously Sibelius, now trying Dorico and loving it). So, yeah, I do need those “preferred strings” on my sheet music, so I when I dust off my cello today, and sightread that printed sheet from three years ago, I don’t have to fiddle with tricky bars to try to remember what I decided last time.

That said, this time I was just faithfully transcribing the Adagio from Bach Organ Toccata, as revised by Pablo Casals. What I really wanted to do was to then transpose it down to see if the piece would sound better when played without piano. I can’t tell you why Casals insisted on adding the “I”. Perhaps he was as OCD as I am :slight_smile:

That second picture referred to here was of course a screen capture of my Dorico session. It’s identical to how my late friend Pablo had them though. Originals can be purchased here


I use a preferred string number (in Roman numerals) often. And often use to place a different Roman numeral next to each note played in a double stop, like in this example:
Probably it could be solved, for the more standard situations, by adding Roman numbers to the Fingering items. But maybe an additional Text style could also work, for free placement of preferrend string notation right in the score.



Has anyone figure out the best/fastest way to write a “sulla IV corda” marking and actually having it show on the score with a line and hook, too?

Using Shift-X text seems about the only solution, but what about the line and hook?

You can probably twist a piano pedal line sufficiently to achieve this, with judicious use of editing of properties.

I’ll give this a try, Daniel. Thank you!