How to get Dorico to have a different duration on the bottom note of a chord

I’m trying to get the following to render in Dorico:

This indicate a spread chord where the G and the E are held for the first crotchet, and the E and C for the remainder of the chord. It’s reasonably standard, I’ve seen it in quite a number of scores, but I cannot seem to persuade Dorico to make it happen. Selecting the lower note and changing the value changes the value for all the notes of the chord, and assigning the bottom note to a different voice causes Dorico (correctly IMHO) to show the G separately.

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The easiest way is probably to switch the bottom note into a different voice, Edit > Remove Rests on the surrounding rests, then switch to Engrave mode and set the Voice Column Index for the minim and the crotchet noteheads to 0. This will give correct playback.

An alternative method would be to create a new notehead set that uses the default quarter/crotchet notehead for all durations shorter or equal to a minim, then select the low G and switch it to your new custom notehead set. This is slightly less faff if you’ve got loads of these, as you only need to setup the Custom Notehead Set once, but it won’t give correct playback.

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I went with your first method and it has rendered perfectly! Thank you for such a fast response.

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Richard

If you want that E tie to curve away from the middle of the stave, switch to Engrave mode, select the tie itself and hit F (short for “flip”).

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:slight_smile:

Hi there

This doesn’t matter much, but I thought it might be helpful to correct a slight misconception in your description of what this notation means.

String players will play this chord starting with the bow on the lower two strings and, immediately after the bow starts moving, moving to play the top two strings. This means that the black notehead doesn’t sound for anything close to a full crotchet except (in this case) by virtue of it ringing on after the bow leaves it.

If you want to hear what you describe, you need to notate it like this:
Screen Shot 2021-05-23 at 12.59.43

Hope that helps
Jeremy

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Actually, nobody expects the bottom note to last a full crotchet anyway, whether it happens to be the open G string that keeps ringing or not. Chances are it’ll even ring longer here, depending on bowing, dynamics, and the quality of the instrument. Writing the chord entirely as semiminim/ half note makes no difference at all IRL. (It will sound different in computer playback, however.)
I don’t think writing the bottom note as a crotchet indicates playing a separate crotchet rhythm on the lower half of the chord. It just indicates breaking the chord to taste - which you’d do anyway.

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Thanks both @JHughes and @PjotrB - I’ve been given a score to produce from parts, and i’m a trumpet player by trade. So I don’t really mind how the player interprets what’s written , I just have to make it appear! Really great to have you respond though, as some else coming on the thread may think I’d got it right - which I clearly havent!

If you’re just supposed to reproduce existing material, then this notation is perfectly fine. If this is for orchestra, it may even count as a subtle suggestion to not play divisi, which is what a string section would normally do if they encounter double stops.

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