increasing/doubling note durations without shifting later notes

Hi all,

Apologies if this has already been addressed elsewhere, a quick search didn’t seem to turn up any answers and I don’t have time to spend today searching around.

When I want to double or proportionally increase or decrease note durations using shift+alt+arrow, i need to have insert mode on to effect the change. But this always ends up pushing later notes on the same staff around, even if they come after many blank measures (I often end up deciding a section needs to be longer and so inserting extra measures).

Is there a way make these kinds of edits without affecting later notes, or to set a signpost of some kind at the end of my section-in-progress that will block insert mode from pushing the following music around?


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There is no way to do this in one step: when you use Insert mode, it always moves everything in the current voice. One option you could try would be to switch the existing notes to a new voice before you double their value, then switch them back to the original voice afterwards.

That’s a brilliant idea!

Yeah, this works OK unless the later music also has music in more than one voice…

It would seem to me that the whole “Double” or “Halve” durations command really only makes sense as an “insert mode” command - I can’t really think of a situation where I’d want to double durations on a group of 8th notes, say, and lose half of the actual pitches. In which case, I would think the default behavior should be that I’d end up with the note durations doubled and everything shifted appropriately, but without affecting succeeding, non-contiguous music.

Maybe there can be some way of inserting a marker or signpost in front of music I don’t want to be affected by Insert mode edits? Or some way to have insert mode only apply up to where default bar rests begin, or where user-entered items stop? It would make insert mode way more useful in the way that I imagine most of us want to use it.

I’ve done this a few times by splitting the flow, ensuring that later music is not affected. This would work even better if we could then ‘merge flow’…!

If you follow Daniel’s advice (“new” in “new voice” is the key), there should be no problem with existing music!

I’ve been lacking in time to experiment, rather than just hit a deadline… I’ve stuffed up something similar to Daniel’s advice a few times.

In general, I like the way the insert mode works, but when I have to insert alot of music, I find it easier to have a “scratch-pad flow”-- work it out there and then paste it into the main flow. Too often, something moved that I did not intend should move.

In a large work, wouldn’t creating a new voice everytime you want to insert stuff ulitmately make moving between the voices unmanagable ?

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When you close the project, any voices that are not used get cleaned up and deleted.

But you don’t have to use a different “new” voice every time. Just keep one voice for this purpose only, and re-use it as many times as you need to.

i see.
I think there are still some issues where if the music you are inserting has to be slurred… I’ve never gotten slurs to work across voices.
I also wonder what would happen if the voices are (someday) attached to midi-channels.

good to know about the voices getting cleaned up. I did not know that.

Dear shr23,
Slurs do work across voices : select the first note of the slur in a voice, cmd-click the last note of the slur in any other voice and press s. Granted, you cannot lengthen or shorten this kind of slur as easily as a slur within a voice.

You can create slurs across voices as Marc said, but collision detection doesn’t always work, so you may have to edit them in engrave mode.

If you select a passage containing multiple voices and create a slur, you will get a separate slur for the notes in each voice, which is sometimes useful, but not always!

I tried Daniel’s “new-voice” technique with a 100 bar piano piece with 2 voices in each staff.
The goal: insert 8 new bars starting at measure 8.

The basic problem is, while composing the 8 new bars, you cannot use the insert mode (reliably) because it will
start sliding out the music beyond bar 16 (and depending on how you use the voices, you may not notice it right away)

Following Daniel’s scheme, at Bar 8, create 2 new voices in each staff and
simply insert the new music, freely going in and out of insert mode. At first, this worked magically;
but then you have to move voice2 back to voice1 on both staffs (upper and lower voices)
and then exit the program to remove the unused voice from the remainder of the flow.
The filters help, but I found the process… fiddly.

Personally, I find the OP’s idea more appealing and intuitive. I would rather just insert 8 new bars and put
a “signpost” after that last inserted bar indicating that the insert mode should stop there; ie,
a “pseudo” end-of-system. (or perhaps, let it push though-- at this point its a user problem).

Other observations

[Rob Tuley] “When you close the project, any voices that are not used get cleaned up and deleted”
Yes, if you remember to revert every new voice added back to existing voices. Otherwise you get alot of
voices if you do this often in one flow.

[MarcLarcher] “Slurs do work across voices…cmd-click the last note…”
Yes, you are right, but the placement is substandard compared to how Dorico does it within a voice.

[jsaulle] “It would make insert mode way more useful in the way that I imagine most of us want to use it.”
I agree.

Thanks everyone for your input.

If you just want to insert 8 bars at bar 8, then use the Shift+B popover to add 8 bars there.

yes, got it. The issue is the use of insert mode once you start editing the music there. Please read the 3rd and 4th paragraph of my last post assuming this step has been done.


I did (of course) read those paragraphs, and understand your request.

Well, if you use 25 different voices on a staff, Dorico is going to assume you have a reason for doing that, and keep them all separate.

But the point is, most likely you didn’t need to create them all in the first place. There’s a reason why there are two different key commands, V and shift-V!

This is all fine, but I can’t help thinking that it would be resources well spent by the team to make the whole business of changing existing notation with no ramifications more straight forward…

Composers (at least the bunch I know) tend to change their minds aLL the time, and the shock of discovering that something later on in the score has changed, can be downright fatal… composers like to act when the muse strikes, and thinking about changing voices and whatnot is simply too aggravating…

It’s probably not as easy to implement as it sounds, but having a “fence” property for barlines (with a key command toggle) would be very helpful indeed. Anything beyond the “fence” will be totally unaffected by any metrical edits made to the left of it…

A hearty “Amen” to that!

I agree, and I think you helped make my point. I do not want these extra voices… it is Daniels’ technique that is requiring them.
I just want to insert music into the existing voices and then be able to adjust that music with the option to allow/not-allow the later music sliding around.

Anyhow, I’ll stop now… I think it’s as clear as I can make it.