Issue with Notehead set editor, can't delete and other question

Ok, I am playing around with the Notehead set editor, which seems so COOL!!!

However, I created somethings and now want to delete them, but can’t seem to do that.

As one can see, the delete button on the left side does not work. And when I select on the notehead that I created but now don’t want, I can’t delete it either on the right hand side.

How am I supposed to get rid of these tests that I created?


Dear Robby,
I had the same ptoblem with the playing technique editor, and I learned here that if my new technique was applied somewhere on the file, the delete button was disabled. Try and delete (or change noteheads) where your new ones were used, and see if that helps?

Yes, I agree with Marc: Dorico thinks you’re using that notehead set in the score, so it won’t let you delete that notehead type.

Ok, that is odd.

This is a file I created almost a year ago, with many flows. I tried testing out the new notehead editor, and it changed some of my previous flows, which I had not noticed before. Because I was only testing it on a new flow.

I think I’ll be able to figure out from here what to do. Thanks Daniel and Marc.


OK, I have another issue with the notehead editor.

I am trying to create two different noteheads. One for me to use as a right hand (RH) shape, and one as a left hand (LH) shape. I am trying to create some beginner percussion sheets, and thought this might be a great way to introduce sticking patterns. The rhythms will all be quarter notes without stems.

When I create a new Notehead set, here is what I am doing:

I change the notehead part at the bottom to name this “RH” or “LH”. I then choose the symbol I want by double clicking on the one presented and changing it to the shape I want. All seems good to here. Then I create a another notehead. This new one automatically brings over the RH settings, and I now the new one is linked to the previously created one. If I change the new one to have a notehead name of “LH”, the RH one changes to also say left hand. If I change the RH back to say RH, the LH now says RH. In my mind these should be to 2 completely separate noteheads, but Dorico is linking them.

I finally got fed up with the circular work, so I deleted both the RH and LH and tried to create a new one, and it defaulted to the last edit I made to the LH one, even though the LH one had been deleted.

Am I missing something? I did not select any of these to be default setting.


You’ll need to create two notehead sets, one for the left-hand notehead(s) and one for the right-hand notehead(s). In each notehead set, click the ‘New Notehead’ button in the action bar at the bottom of the dialog on the right-hand side: this is the way to make sure that the noteheads you create are completely independent.

I might be missing something… but that is exactly what I thought I did. Let me play around with it again and report back.


Ok, it’s working now. I am still confused as to why it defaults to a note head and LH when I create a new set. It seems odd. But I did what you said and was able to delete the LH note head that shows up.

Thanks for the patience.


I am having issues with the notehead set editor. I am finally getting around to working on this project that has been on the back burner for the last 4 years, with a few attempts over the years to get things started.

Here is what I want to do: I want to create a series of noteheads for many different things (I am thinking about making my own graphics for this). In the end I think I will have about 12 different noteheads. One for Right Hand (RH) one for Left Hand (LH), one to indicate firmly pressing the LH stick into the drum head while hitting the LH stick with the RH stick (sound effect). And about 9 other things similar to this. Right now I am just trying to get the LH and RH to work.

The issue I am having, is I am trying to create a notehead for right and left hand playing. In the Notehead set editor I am creating a new set, named RH (the notehead is a graphic I made).

I press the + button to create a new set. By default a notehead is already in place that I cannot delete. I add my new graphic graphic notehead and give it a new name RH. I still cannot remove the default notehead from the set.

When I select a note I want to apply the new notehead to, I select the new notehead from the right click menu to apply to a note . It applies the default notehead that I could not remove. I am working on a document with many flows, in some flows I will still need the default notehead, in some I will not. So I do not want to change the default notehead in every notehead set.

I want a notehead set that is unique and independent to this set only.

Can someone help explain what I am doing wrong.


This doesn’t directly answer your question @Robby_Poole as I believe normally, as long as a notehead set has at least 2 noteheads in it, you can remove one (as you can’t have a notehead set with no notehead at all). However, I wonder if this might be more useful for this situation - for noteheads relating to percussion, you also have the option of playing technique-specific noteheads. Once created, you can access these during note input (see step 5) and outside note input by changing the playing technique of existing percussion notes.

@Lillie_Harris, thanks for the response. The issue is more that I would like to create my own noteheads, and not use the ones Dorico offers by default. I seem to be able to get all of the steps done, except removing the default notehead and apply the new graphic notehead I created.

I tried your suggestion and created a new notehead in the notehead sets, but I was unable to see the new notehead set from the percussion techniques menu when I tried to select which notehead to apply.


Did you create a new playing technique notehead for the percussion instrument and then change the playing technique of some notes belonging to that percussion instrument, using the instructions in the links provided? Playing technique-specific noteheads aren’t a notehead set, so they aren’t available via the Edit>Notehead menu. You can use the given key command to “change the pitch” of the percussion instrument notes, which changes the notehead and associated playing technique. The benefit of the playing technique-specific method is they can affect playback (and indeed, the ones provided by default for e.g. the snare drum do).

@Lillie_Harris, I did. I have drawn a shape in my graphics program (pretend a 5 pointed star) that I want to use as a notehead. I tried to add this “graphic” by creating a notehead set. That method would not work, as I could not seem to delete the “default” notehead from the notehead set. As much as I tried, I could not get this 5 pointed star to apply as a notehead.

I then attempted your idea. There was no method under the percussion playing techniques to add my shape. I could only chose from the preset amount of noteheads that Dorico has. Perhaps I am missing something here. But I could not find a place where I could add/import graphics from the percussion techniques dialogue.


Here is what I did:

From Engrave mode, open the notehead set editor.

Then I pressed the + button on the bottom right to create a new notehead set.

I then pressed the + button in the bottom middle to add a new notehead, and then I added my star from the graphics tab, and resized it to an appropriate size.

I then changed the name of it, but was unable to remove to default notehead.

I then tried to select my new notehead set.

All that happened was that the notehead shrunk in size (because I use the large noteheads by default).
Screen Shot 2020-12-13 at 6.51.09 PM


You have to set your new notehead as default before you delete the old (default) one.

A notehead set can’t exist without a notehead that it can default to.

I’ve tried that, I think…

Still cannot seem to delete the notehead that is there. Any other advice?


I figured it out!!!

I was try to press the trash can icon to remove the default notehead, as it would remove the star notehead if selected.

If you press the square with the up-arrow to the right, it removed the notehead.

Thanks @pianoleo for giving me pointers to look in the correct direction.


In case it’s useful for future reference or anyone else reading, the docs for the notehead set dialog is here - I should have linked to it earlier, as it mentions the “remove from set” button.