Jazz Font?

Will Dorico have a sigler/inkpen/reprise-style jazz font?

Quite possibly not at the time of the first release, Roger. I have been working on one, off and on, but the amount of time it takes to create a music font is not insubstantial (I estimate that I have spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours working on Bravura), and there are many other demands on my time at present.

Hopefully some other font designers out there are working on SMuFL-compatible handwritten-style fonts: any SMuFL-compliant font should work with Dorico out of the box.

Thanks Daniel - you’ve always been great about keeping in touch with the users. But I hope you or somebody else stays on it because it is a threshold issue for some users. And, as I nagged you in the early days of Sibelius, a decent jazz font will enhance the product’s attractiveness in the USA.

Matching chord symbol font to the “handwritten” looking jazz font would be a must though. And of course the chord symbol functionality in itself.

Slightly on a tangent, would Dorico make it possible to utilize prefixes, suffixes, OpenType ligatures etc. to take advantage of alternate fonts and their features as rehearsal marks (such as Reprise Rehearsal or Numberpile: http://www.sibeliusblog.com/tips/using-numberpile-for-circled-numbered-rehearsal-marks-in-sibelius/)?

Indeed. This is not a make-or-break for me because some of those jazz fonts are horrible. They look cool, but I curse them every time I have to read one of those charts. There was some font very popular in the 90s that was used by a lot of publishers and I could never tell the quarter rests from the eighth rests. This is a disaster. The font is not there to look cool. It is there to help the musician play accurately.

If a jazz font is easy to read and helps the musician feel at ease in the “jazz atmosphere”, that is terrific. But there is a very fine line between the right atmosphere and a complete train wreck. Please help in service to mankind by avoiding any of these gratuitously sloppy fonts. Musicians everywhere will appreciate that.

If it’s not there to look cool, why use a jazz font at all?

There is a tradition. A good jazz font just seems more at home on a jazz chart, but some of them are really anti-musician. When the engraver makes choices that lead to sight-reading errors, then the engraver is a failure, even if he thinks the product looks cool.

There very much is a happy medium where the font looks like it could have been penned by hand, yet is easier to read than any hand-written score. That should be the goal, IMHO.

The appearance of charts created with handwritten-style fonts would be enhanced by the inclusion of multiple slight “variations” of common symbols (noteheads, flags, articulations, dynamics, clefs, etc.). For example, instead of a single “whole note” glyph or “fermata” glyph for the font, there could be five slightly different versions of each to choose from. It seems like the new SMuFL standard could help streamline this, and perhaps in the future there could be a way for Dorico to “randomize” these glyphs automatically. Not that this should be a priority, but it may be attractive to some copyists, publishers of jazz charts, etc.