is it possible to break a tie in Dorico?

New to Dorico here. First let me say, cleaning up a MIDI piano part is a thing of beauty in Dorico. With Shift/Opt/ R and L arrows to change durations, Opt N and Opt M to move selected music between staves, and custom key commands for voice assignments I’m flying through this part in record time.

One thing I’m finding as I work is that sometimes I’d like to remove a single tie from a long tie chain. I know I can shift+option+arrow individual durations up and down, and that’s great, but sometimes, what I want is already on the page, and a simple ‘delete of a tie’ will make it so. My gut is saying this isn’t possible in Dorico because I’ve tried in all the usual ways, but still, I thought I’d check here and see if there is some secret method to accomplish this.

Can one simply select a tie and delete it in Dorico? If so, how? Thanks in advance.

Hit U.

More specifically:

If you have a note selected that contains multiple ties, U will untie them all.

If you want to untie at a specific point, invoke the caret, get it exactly where you want to cut the tie, ensure that the right voice is selected (using V to toggle round voices) and then hit U. The note will be split accordingly.

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Excellent! So happy to hear this. Cutting a single specific tie is the one I most often need. Thanks a million.

Finally, I got the solution, Thanks a lot.

U does more than just break ties. If you invoke the caret, move it half way through a half note and press U, it will split the note into two quarter notes.

It’s a neat way of inputting some complex rhythms on a single note. See the attached example where I entered two whole notes, selected 16th notes on the rhythm grid, and stepped the caret from left to right pressing U at the appropriate moment.

Using U to input rhythms.PNG

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Wow! The “U” tool is the missing link. Really valuable intel. Thanks Chris.

What does invoke the caret mean?

Shift-N to turn on Note Input mode, which will display the orange caret.

Invoke Caret


The little orange line that pops up to indicate where you are inputting notes or other bits and bobs.

I am newbie also. When I try to enter a quarter note at a 1/8 note position in the caret, I get two 1/8 notes tied. This is very frustrating. How can I simply get a quarter note. Many thanks,

There are actually different answers possible to that simple question. It depends on your time signature, on what Notation options you’ve chosen (cmd/ctrl-shift-N>Note grouping), or simply if you press o (force duration) before entering the note… Please be aware that using force duration obliterates any “clever move” from Dorico. It might seem a good idea, especially at the beginning, but I would advise against this. There are very good reason for the team to provide us with a tool that can group notes according to common rules that depend on how a bar is divided in certain time signatures. Hope it helps !

Many thanks. I need to get back to the manual and study note grouping ! I am in 4/4 time and writing very brief simple stuff to learn how to use Dorico. I was using shift-N to enter notes using my mouse. Looks like I have some work to do to understand all this !!

If you’re writing quarter notes off the beat, keep an eye out for the option(s) relating to syncopation in Write > Notation Options > Note Grouping.