How to make smaller noteheads of all tied notes except the first notes

Dear users and developers,

Is there a way to make smaller noteheads of all tied notes except the first notes?
I used Laissez vibrer in the attachment, but I would like to use real ties.

Best regards,

Screenshot 2022-08-31 at 4.22.54 PM

Select the relevant noteheads in Engrave mode, and then change their size?

Edit: ah no, I was misremembering sorry. If the notes weren’t beamed, I’d suggest using different voices and tieing them together, but perhaps here using an LV tie for the first note in each pitch’s tie chain is the simplest way.

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What does that notation signify?

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It is a non-standard notation to make it easier to read notes for pianists. The passages above are after pressing the sostenuto pedal. So the pitch notated (=played) will sound even though the player releases the keys on the piano.
The simplest way is not notating the remaining pitches, but the player could be confused. So I think this small noteheads might be helpful.

I’d have thought any of the following would achieve the same performance and be much clearer?


I’d agree with @Janus - aren’t you just writing in the effect of the pedal?


Thanks for the suggestion. However, the sostenuto pedal is not the sustain pedal.

In @Janus 's examples, the first and the second notation are simple and appropriate. For the sustain pedal, the first notation is enough.

For sostenuto pedal, I have been using the notation as follows:

I primarily use the second notation. However, in my new piece, I am trying another notation because of a cohesive notation style in that piece. However, the notation is too complex, as you pointed out. Hm.

Yeah, I know we try to avoid critiques of engraving here, but as a pianist, I find that confusing.


I would untie the first notes, scale the remaining notes, and then ‘fake’ the first tie with an LV, which is what you’ve done. I don’t think you can scale individual noteheads of a tie.

The notation is beyond my pay grade!

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Instead of enumerating every note of a chromatic cluster, it’s much more compact and easier to read a range indicator such as:
A to G♯ range


How did you insert the thick vertical line between the two notes? I was not able to find it.

Surely there’s a better way, but in my haste to post the idea, I cobbled together four separate text items, including two of U+E136 for the connecting line. My next thought was to try making a new paragraph style with appropriate point size and small line spacing so at least the characters could all live in one text block.

But on further thought, this is a good candidate for a playing technique, with the symbol designer.

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Couldn’t you use Lines?

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I withdraw this post. Dorico already has the feature. Sorry!

For this kind of notation, Finale is tip-top, even though it is highly inconvenient regarding basic notation features. I Hope Dorico will support more notation options, for this specific case, more note head shapes.

I could do it using a vertical line after adding a thick vertical line! The placement should be manually updated after changing pitches. Anyway, it works if one uses this kind of notation! Great!

You can create cluster noteheads in the notehead editor. There are even the different parts for it (both ends and middle parts) in different styles available in the symbols list.


Thanks! I have found it!