Is it possible to edit the screen in Dorico 5.1 PLAY mode?

Can the screen be edited in PLAY mode?

Define “edited”…? What do you want to do?

On the piano roll: editing notes means: changing lengths, adding and removing notes, editing articulation, anything one can do on typical piano rolls.

What have you tried?

You can move, lengthen/shorten, change pitch, delete notes – all kinds of edits.

If you were familiar with Dorico’s Play mode before Dorico 4, it has changed a bit but I believe everything you could do before directly into tracks in the Play mode window, you can now do in the Key Editor at the bottom of the window. And even more things that weren’t previously possible, too!

See here for changing the notated duration of notes (e.g. making a quarter note into a half note), and here for only changing how long notes sound for, leaving their notated durations untouched.

Adding notes | Adding percussion notes | Removing notes

Depending on the articulation, there’s a Dynamics editor, Velocity editor, MIDI CC editor… Generally you should first add things like dynamic markings, playing techniques (pizz vs arco, that sort of thing) and “standard” articulations like staccato and accents in Write mode.


Why on Earth would you want to do that on a piano roll when it is so much quicker and easier to do it directly on the notation?!

On a DAW you are forced to manipulate the piano roll. The whole premise of a notation program like Dorico is that you do not have to put yourself though that agony!

Live and let live, Janus. It’s an option Dorico provides, it’s up to each user to decide what works best for them. Someone with little notation software experience but plenty of DAW experience may well prefer to use Dorico this way, at least at first. Everyone is welcome here.


I hope I was not being unwelcoming. I thought I was just pointing out the obvious.

Nit picking is a sport that thrives on piano roll. If one composes with cut and paste of elements, you might have octaves and chords in a single line instrument part, ie a flute. Removing the unwanted notes is dicey in notation, but easy on piano roll. Lots of other examples: to slide a note for feel, ahead or behind the beat; to shape articulation for playback, etc. Thanks to all for this discussion.

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I’m sorry - I don’t understand this observation.

Seriously, I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

I cut and paste notes between instruments all the time without difficulty (in notation). There are many tools available to manage this process selectively. You can filter your material either at source or after the event to remove notes you don’t want.

I disagree. I find it precise.


I guess this is just a matter of what workflow you’re most familiar with. I truly believe that once you really get the grasp with all the tools available for filtering in notation, in Dorico, Janus’ advice is absolutely right. And although I understand what you’re doing with the piano roll, I would clearly use notation for that too. But I can understand you’re feeling more at home with the piano roll, so be it :slight_smile:


Improvements to the ‘sound’ according to whatever instrument library you have in play.

Sometimes we want small adjustments to what gets sent to the playback engine that would not show up in traditional notation.

In the note editor you can get two different views of the score. One for what shows on the page (perfectly quantized information), and ‘another view’ that shows what gets sent to the playback engine for whatever instrument is on the stave’s end point.

Some libraries enable various playback features (I.E. portamento) by ‘overlapping’ the ending of one note with the beginning of the next note. It might only be needed in a few places, and in ways that the expression map engine either doesn’t translate well ‘consistently’, or is difficult or clumsy to implement as compared to just touching the phrases where it’s needed in the key editor.

Also, when it comes to dealing with notes held over many bars (or any note length longer than one bar), it’s sometimes easier/quicker, and far less annoying to just drag it in the key editor than to battle with ties/quaver-size/etc.

There are plenty more ‘workflow’ reasons that someone might go for the key editor. Just a few examples that I can fit in a small amount of time/space. If I had the time, I could easily write a 30 page paper minimum on uses, time saving tricks, etc. Plus, it’s going to get ‘even better as a power tool’ as scripting abilities are gradually added to Dorico and documented.


I disagree. I find it precise.

Actually I only work in notation in Dorico. But when I want to select a single note (and the score is zoomed out) often more notes /elements are selected. Charlys approach seems to be a solution…

Try using the up/down arrow.

Yes! That’s what I do. But it seems like a solution for a problem. When using the key editor as a magnifying glass, it might be easier.
But as Lillie said: it’s up to each user to decide what works best for them.