Irregular note lengths

Please feel free to ignore this as I’m sure you have much more important things to think about. I was thinking today on my drive to work about the complexity of entering different note lengths.

For example, it’s very simple to input a G that is two quavers long: Press “6”, press “G” - two steps.
3 quavers long is slightly more involved - “6”, “.”, “G” - 3 steps.
Now, what if I want a note that is 5 quavers long? Well, “6”, “G”, “T”, “.”, “G” - 5 steps.
Seven quavers is even more complex: “7”, “G”, “T”, “6”, “.”, G" - 6 steps.

May I propose a way of inputting notes based on multiples of a specified base unit.

It would look something like this:

1 = quaver
2 = crotchet
3 = dotted crotchet
4 = minim
5 = minim + quaver (or whatever the correct way of displaying that note length is depending on the context)
6 = dotted minim
7 = dotted minim + quaver
8 = semibreve
9 = semibreve + quaver

then perhaps
shift+1 = semiquaver
shift+2 = quaver
shift+3 = dotted quaver

shift+9 = minim + semiquaver
etc.

and maybe
shift+command+1 = crotchet
shift+command+2 = minim

shift+command+9 = breve + crotchet
etc.

This could perhaps be an alternative input option for people who rarely venture into anything shorter than a semiquaver or longer than a breve. So, maybe this could be something for a later version of Dorico, maybe something along these lines is already in the works (or maybe you can pass these off as the ramblings of a mad man), but I think this could be a really simple way of working with frequent, irregular note lengths.

This is, of course, assuming that Dorico works the way I think it does, in that it sees a dotted crotchet tied to a crotchet as a note 5 quavers long (or 2.5 crotchets).

You can already lengthen and shorten a selected note using Shift+Alt+left/right arrow, which uses the selected note value from the rhythmic grid, so making a note five quavers long could be done by entering a minim, hitting Esc, then hitting Shift+Alt+right arrow once (assuming the grid is set to a quaver).

I guess that works as well

In light of that, my only suggestion would be to change the default key commands for increasing and decreasing the grid resolution: opt+[ is set to decrease the resolution and opt+] increases, which makes sense verbally, but in reality I would imagine that the inverse would make more sense to match the left to right note resolutions of the num row.

This is fantastic:

You can already lengthen and shorten a selected note using Shift+Alt+left/right arrow

Are there other ‘hidden options’? I can’t find this in the manual.

There are no doubt things that you can do that aren’t yet found in the web help, as the web help is not yet finished, but we will be working quickly to expand upon it, and one of the reasons for publishing it on the web is so that we can easily and quickly update it.