key command to force accidental?

Hello,
is there a key command to force an accidental? If not please add one in the future. If you don’t use the “2nd vienna school” accidental preset and write without bar lines accidentals last a whole line.
Actually it would be nice to get an option like the “2nd vienna school” but where the natural signs are only shown if necessary, which is actually the most common way in actual contemporary music.
thanks
Frank

You can hide or show accidentals for any note in its Properties. Is this what you mean? Or the actual keyboard shortcut? In that case, you may assign a macro to the property.

Frank, do the ‘Modernist’ options not help at all?

Thanks,
The mordernist option doesn’t have extra accidentals in the bar. I would like to have a # on every f# etc. not only once in a bar, just no naturals in repetition

Have you tried filtering by pitch, and then showing accidentals on the properties panel at the bottom?

You could use the filter to select all natural notes, then in the properties panel, select “hide accidentals.”

WARNING: That would filter the necessary (e.g. cancellation) naturals as well as the unnecessary ones.

Can I second this request for a single key command to force the appearance of an accidental? Like Frank, my personal spelling preference is to show more accidentals than “Modernist” facilitates, but not nearly as many as “Second Viennese.” My convention, which I see from a lot of composers working in non-tonal idioms, is that accidentals last only for the immediate note and its immediate repetitions. But I also still want naturals to appear when modified notes of the same letter name (in any register) have appeared earlier in the bar or in the previous bar. These “Cautionary” settings are available in Dorico, but only on the “Common Practice” setting. If the “Cautionary” options in the Notation Options Accidentals panel could be available for a “Modernist” setting, I’d be able to get exactly what I want. But for right now, I have to force a lot of accidentals manually, and that’s multiple clicks every single time.

It would be nice, too, if the setting for immediate repetitions of the same pitch would differentiate intervening rests from intervening changes of pitch. I like to repeat the accidental when there’s been an intervening rest, but Dorico doesn’t count that.

(Disclaimer: I’m on Dorico 1 still, so if this is improved in Dorico Pro 2, I’d love to know that!)

Welcome to the forum, apchilds. I certainly understand the request, and I confirm it’s on the backlog; there’s no change in Dorico 2 in this regard.

Thanks, Daniel. Is there any hope that the “Cautionary” settings could be made to apply to the “Modernist” mode in a future version? I think it’s important that forcing a cautionary accidental be made easier in any case—but that change to the Settings would make my life much easier.

I would never say never, but the logic would have to be very different, because the duration rules for ‘Modernist’ are so different to those in the ‘Common practice’ set. We made the decision early on that in general cautionary accidentals only make sense in the context of the common practice rule set, but possibly there is a more limited and very specific rule that could be implemented for the Modernist case, rather than having to try to make all of those cautionary options apply?

The first time I explored Dorico, I was so excited when I saw all of the “Cautionary (courtesy) accidental” options, because all of them that don’t relate to key signatures (which is most of them) are directly relevant to my preferred spelling and cautionary practices. And then I was devastated to realize that they aren’t available with the “Modernist” accidental duration rule, which also conforms quite well to my practice. So I can choose “Common Practice” and have the cautionaries work the way I want, but then I need to force a lot of repetitions. Or I can choose Modernist and force a lot of cautionaries. From my experience, the “decision early on that in general cautionary accidentals only make sense in the context of the common practice rule set” overlooks the typical practice of many composers writing in non-tonal idioms.

Perhaps more relevant to the overall workflow: I’m coming to Dorico from 28 years experience in Finale. Finale of course doesn’t attempt to establish any kind of spelling protocol, so I need to manually force many accidentals to appear to get what I want. Dorico already understands my spelling goals better than Finale. But it still takes me longer in Dorico to get the accidentals I want because of how many steps are involved in forcing an accidental to appear (vs. just typing * in Finale). I’m glad that a quicker force-accidental solution is on the backlog; but I’d love a “Modernist”+“Cautionaries” solution, which would be life-altering.

As I say, I’d be very interested to hear exactly what your preferred rules are. Then we could think about how we might be able to accommodate the things that you need.

(I’m excited to learn that 2.2.10 will provide a single key command to change the accidental status. That will be a big help!)

My accidental convention is basically this: Accidentals affect only the note they precede, plus any immediate repetitions. Naturals are provided as cautionary accidentals when a note in any octave of the same letter name has been modified in the same or previous measure. (If the music is unmeasured, a natural is provided if the previous note with the same letter name in any octave was modified.) This convention has developed over time from one that began as “accidentals are used in the traditional fashion (lasting through the measure but not transferring at the octave), but cautionary accidentals are provided frequently for clarification.” I’ve gravitated toward my current practice because it works: I’ve never had a performer ask me a question about an intended or ambiguous accidental. It’s basically a hyper-consistent application of cautionary accidental practice, as Gould indicates is critical (p. 87).

I think I’m in pretty good company in using a convention of this style. You’ll find some kind of “Modernist” + Cautionaries convention (to varying degrees of consistency) in music by John Corigliano, George Crumb, Mario Davidovsky, Beat Furrer, Betsy Jolas, Oliver Knussen, Magnus Lindberg, Steve Mackey, Andrew Norman, Shulamit Ran (from whom I learned it), Gunther Schuller, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Joan Tower. (That’s just from a quick perusal of my library now.) And many more composers adopt it for unmeasured music. On the flip side, the only composers I can think of who implemented the “Modernist” convention with no cautionary accidentals were in the generation of Milton Babbitt. Hans Werner Henze often says “accidentals apply only to the note they precede,” but he still uses naturals within the measure (and not just upon immediate repetition) for clarification.

I’m also happy to hear about the key command for accidental status - diving into the properties panel for anything, along with its tiny 0.001 pixel buttons is a user experience concern, and anything that can be moved to the keyboard is good by me.

Just a toggle for force cautionary on would do it tbh!

I added the commands to toggle accidentals in direct response to this thread. I hope you find them useful.

Thanks for elaborating on your own practice for cautionary accidentals – I’ve added this to our backlog and we’ll definitely consider how we can support this more fully in future.

In the course of some work the other day I explicitly formulated for the first time an ‘accidental practice’ for atonal or highly chromatic keyboard music which probably doesn’t differ that much from apchilds’ above, but might be useful:

(1) Sharps and flats are restated before each affected note, except for immediate repetitions of the same note or of a short, distinct figure containing that note. In contexts where such repetitions are less obvious, such as chordal textures, accidentals are restated regardless.

(2) Sharps and flats are cancelled with naturals in the same bar, staff and octave according to the classical rule. After a barline, in a different octave and/or in a different staff cautionary naturals are used, sparingly, within a narrow span depending on context.

The above could not be directly translated into an algorithm as it involves elements of judgement (what is a narrow span? What is a short distinct figure? What is a non-obvious repetition?). But it does point to the necessity for being able to quickly show/hide accidentals.

Thanks, Daniel, for moving quickly on a helpful solution and adding the larger issue to the backlog.

:wink: sorry for impatience. :wink:
when will the update 2.2.10 be available?

In the past, new Dorico software has been released on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays.
Members of the Team have said “soon.”