Introducing Bracketura: a bracketed SMuFL font

I’ve created a SMuFL font, which has a small set of bracketed articulations, fermatas and trills, as single glyphs.

These can be used to easily create editorial playing techniques…

… which can then be used in your score.


Note that you have to select “Basic Private Use Area” - it doesn’t show the SMuFL categories. Possibly because I haven’t done a JSON metafile.

Interestingly, I created a similar font years ago for use in Finale, where I created bracketed copies of Maestro glyphs and then just changed the font to create a bracketed version of any symbol in the program.

There’s a few glyphs that I added, but haven’t bracketed yet. If there are any particular glyphs that you’d like to see incorporated, let me know. (7.5 KB)


Thank you @benwiggy. The fermata in brackets is just what I needed today :pray:

Awesome! You know I’m a huge fan of these sorts of tools to solve problems that are small but actually big… Great work.

1 Like

Are the expected obvious use cases mere single-glyph playing techniques? If so, it should be relatively easy for me to generate a doricolib for making these cases importable via the Library Manager.


Yes! That would be great, thanks.

Awesome. Thanks!

Thanks so much @benwiggy! What a useful gift to the Dorico community.

I had one suggestion. Maybe I’m the only one who does this, (but I think I’ve seen it somewhere). I make the bracketed staccato dots look like this for ones below and the corresponding flipped version for those over. It avoids potential conflicts with staff lines and just seems to work better in general:

Bracketed dot

Really useful! Thank you!


Ah, yes: I haven’t checked that sort of thing. I’ll look over it when I get a minute.

Because these are used as Playing Techniques, they are always outside the staff! (He remembered after furiously changing the Articulation options to no effect…) You can move them into the staff manually, of course.

I’d suggest that the ‘double’ artics don’t look very good in the staff – with or without brackets. But I’ll spend a bit of time seeing what can be improved.

I use off-center brackets for the dots only, and both on and off the staff for consistency. I agree with you about the double articulations, but not much experience with those.

One other suggestion. I find the Dorico (Bravura) wedge (or “stroke”) a little large for use as a “staccato” in 18th and early 19th century music. They are smaller in many old first editions and current authentic editions because they tend to dominate when there are many in a row. So I have reduced the Dorico ones to 75% in the Music Symbol editor. Then I place standard brackets around them. (I should have created my own playing techniques for them.) I can reduce your symbol the same way, but it also reduces the bracket thickness. Not a big problem, but perhaps you might want add a couple of smaller ones, if you see fit.

1 Like

With some input from @benwiggy, I was able to cook up two doricolib files (one for import via the Library Manager, one for preloading via the DefaultLibraryAdditions folder), containing the appropriate Playing Techniques:

playing techniques from bracketura - doricolib (10.2 KB)

NB: Bracketura has to be installed on your system for these to work properly.

1 Like

Oh Man! Can you quickly produce sister font Parentura for articulations in parens which I am clamoring for constantly? :slight_smile:

1 Like

When needed, I have added smaller parentheses as text, and then you can put them around what you want, but that is quite some work so I agree something like “Parentura” would be very nice!

Thank you for this font and for the accompanying library files! What a great addition for a small but aggravating issue we run into from time to time.
I know how to install the font (Win10) but I don’t know what to do with the library files – where do I unzip those to? Thanks in advance for the help!

you must put the file:
bracketura - playing techniques.preloadable.doricolib
in the:
C:\Users\yournameaccount\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Dorico 5\DefaultLibraryAdditions\

if the folder “DefaultLibraryAdditions” doens’t exist you must create it


Thank you Alexander!

The other file you can drop onto the Library manager window, and then import its differences.

Thank you!