Issue moving intra-tuplet notes

Say I have the following tuplet:

I want to move the selected notes from position 2 and 3 to positions 1 and 2 in the tuplet. Using Alt-Left arrow moves them, but it breaks the tuplet:

image --------> image

On the other hand, doing the reverse operation (starting from positions 1&2 and pushing the notes to positions 2&3 works fine:

image --------> image

edit: doing it note by note instead of a multiple selection works fine too.

presumably the first “position” holds the tuplet information, and when one overwrites it, the tuplet disappears.

This can be done with chord mode (Q) on, so the first note doesn’t overwrite the tuplet.


Thank you Mark, I confirm that it works! However, it looks more like a workaround than the “as designed” method, because I can’t see how it makes sense the chord mode is required in that direction, but not in the other… Or I simply don’t fully understand the extents of Q mode. I understand how the two situations (forward/reverse) can be explained from a programming standpoint (like Derek’s explanation), but from the user’s perspective, I don’t get it.

I also noticed a really weird behaviour while Q mode is enabled, the selected notes in my example can’t “exit” the tuplet: only the leftmost note will make it using Alt + Right arrow, unless there is a tuplet somewhere after the initial tuplet. For example, this one doesn’t work:

Result after Alt + Right arrow (2x), with Q mode active:

This one does work (with Q mode active), seemingly because there is a tuplet in bar 2:

Result after Alt + Right arrow (2x) (as expected):

No doubt the Team will address it when the time is right.

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The difference is only that a tuplet has a starting beat position. With chord mode off, copying notes over the start point of an existing tuplet overwrites it, just as it does to notes. Perhaps you can see where this is often desired. I think it’s quite as designed.


I like your explanation, and it made me realize that the tuplet in Dorico behaves like a “modifier” for the notes under its range and that it has a pre-set duration. It can be moved independently from those notes by selecting the tuplet without the notes and moving it around (chord mode on). (except when it collides with another tuplet, then it get absorbed).

So, sliding one or more notes that sum up to the duration of the tuplet to its initial position replaces it (with Q off), just as sliding one note into another one of the same length does, unless chord mode is on, in which case the duration of the notes being moved is ignored and only the positions of the note are considered. It’s just slightly counter intuitive, because the chord mode effectively changes the duration of the note(s) being moved around. But I can handle this.

In light of the current explanation, I tried something different: input mode on (shift+N), chord mode off, with the caret at the starting position of a 3:2 tuplet. Adding a quarter (the total duration of the tuplet) does not replace it (as logically expected). But how is this different to sliding a quarter note towards the beginning of the tuplet, where the tuplet gets replaced if chord mode is off?

Sorry to insist on that issue, I only want to understand better and, if possible, help improve Dorico, which I really like to use.

With the caret active, and you’ve just started a tuplet, it is ready to accept new note entries. Without the caret, when you’re just moving entries, a selection can “clobber” existing entries if Q is off.

A different example: Enter a half note and an eighth note. Select the eighth and (with Q off) shift it an eighth earlier: The end of the half note gets overwritten by the note you moved, so now it’s a dotted quarter. If you move that eighth back by a half instead, the half note gets overwritten completely.

Similar with tuplets, with Q off: If you move notes into the duration of a tuplet but not onto the start of it, the tuplet survives, and the notes within take on the tuplet’s proportion.

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Yes I understand that. My point is that the tuplet behaviour seems to be inconsistent. Taking from your example: What if instead of a half note that you slide an eight into, it’s a tuplet of quarters (total duration of half note)? The eighth will eventually “eat” each note but the tuple structure will remain intact. Same if I slide in a quarter note. But if I slide a half note (or longer duration), the tuplet structure disappears too if I enter from the left or reach the start position coming from the right. That’s what I don’t get: why the start position of a tuplet is handled differently depending on the duration of the sliding note? I’d expect the notes continue to take on a proportional duration within the tuplet, even at the start position (2/3 of its duration in case of a half note entering from the left, just as when it enters from the right).

If you know what happens, you don’t need to know why. It’s not as if the Team will ask you to program something for them, and the Team by now knows how you feel about the situation. If they feel changing something will “make the program better,” they will do so when they can.