Key command to select all notes in a chord?

I regularly need to select an entire chord. I love the speed of arrow keys for selection and manipulation, but to select an entire chord, it seems the only possible solution is to carefully click on the stem.

Is there a series of keystrokes that accomplishes this? I couldn’t find one, and I tried various combinations of Ctrl, Alt, Shift, and the like. If a key command doesn’t exist, I’d like to request it. Currently, working with chords requires me to be zoomed in and carefully clicking with the mouse, which is a much slower workflow than I enjoy with individual notes.

Perhaps Ctrl-Alt-Shift with Up/Down? I don’t believe that combination is currently in use.


What about shift+up arrow? That is what I assigned to a macro so I can assign fingering to a full chord.

Just in case, sometimes I forget about good ol’ marquee selection. I often use that for chords although I rarely have issues with clicking on the stem.

Claude: this forces me back to the mouse. You’re right though, that it’s a little easier than clicking on stem. Still, I’d like to stay on the keys.

Andre: Shift-Up doesn’t work. That grabs the selection on the staff above as well.

I’ve discoverd that holding shift (on Mac) and clicking any note in the chord selects the whole chord.

I find clicking on the note head away from the stem will choose a single note in the chord.

To be honest I have been a little frustrated with the note selection in Dorico. It’s taken me a while to adjust from Sibelius. I’m more or less fluent now (or at least know how Dorico will respond to certain manipulations.) I haven’t been using the keyboard arrows to navigate. I find that navigation a little unpredictable.

It’s funny - I have the exact opposite problem: I want to select just one pitch in a chord, and I inevitably hit the stem selecting the entire thing! One thing that makes getting the entire chord is if you decrease the view % - harder to hit the a single pitch in just the right spot.

If you accidentally select the entire chord, you can use the up or down arrow to switch to single-note selection…

Sure - I just thought it funny that we encounter the same issue from different directions!

For what it’s worth I have recently been working on a command that will select more of the selected thing, and one of the things it does is that if you have a single note selected, invoking this command will select all the notes in the chord. So in due course there will be a dedicated command to do this that can be invoked directly via the keyboard.

Sounds great, thank you Daniel!

Hear hear - much needed!

Something I’ve been experimenting with is playing all notes/chords on my MIDI keyboard without specifying any durations, and then going back in insert mode and fixing up the durations. (I’m not a good enough player to do realtime MIDI recording unfortunately!)

In an idealized case (single voice, no chords) this works well and is fast, using keyboard navigation to move along a line, shift+arrows to select multiple notes, and shift+alt+arrow to increase/decrease the duration.

However, as mentioned above, with chords involved, the arrow keys only go to a single note. I haven’t tried the new “Select more” yet but even so, having to hit an extra key combo to pick the whole chord makes this input process awkward and also (I suspect) doesn’t play well with shift-navigation to select multiple neighboring chords.

Also, moving left/right along a voice will sometimes hop to an unexpected location on another voice or even another staff, or selecting a non-note item, which slows me down.

Some nice-to-haves that would make this work better (unless I’m missing something that already exists):

  1. A way to select chords by default instead of individual notes when using keyboard navigation.

  2. A way to tell Dorico to prioritize logical neighbors over visual neighbors when navigating on the keyboard (that is, if I’m in a particular voice and navigate left/right, I expect to stay in that same voice, even if another voice is visually the next thing to the left/right).

Mostly just writing this here as another use case/scenario for wanting better chord selection, but the other navigation issue is also something to consider. Thanks for listening!

The vexed issue of selecting with the arrow keys in Write mode has been endlessly discussed here. We know that users want us to change this, and we will do so in a future version.


What workflow do you recommend at this time?

In Sibelius, I’ve been working out voicings in a single “voice,” adding intervals, using arrow keys to go back and forth to hear the chords, tweaking individual notes until I like them, and then exploding…

Is there a preferred way to accomplish arranging voices and adjusting them in Dorico?

(Shift-I does a nice job for the initial harmonizing, but things seem cumbersome to iterate on or I am missing something.)

Is MIDI keyboard the only option?

I think the approach you’re taking in Sibelius can be used in Dorico in a comparable fashion. You should find that you can easily select different notes in the chords you’ve produced with Shift+I using the up/down arrow keys, then modify the pitches as necessary using Alt+up/down arrow (or Shift+Alt+up/down to move by semitones).

There really needs to be a key command to select all notes in a chord. My workflow centers around typing a chord with my keyboard and pressing the “repeat” shortcut. However, only the note gets repeated, not the entire chord. Since there is no purely-keyboard way of selecting all notes in the chord, I have to use my mouse just to select the chord before I can repeat it. That really slows me down. I’m experimenting with the trial version of Dorico and the lack of this feature is really tripping me up.


How about this command? Is it possible with Dorico 3.5 ? Im still with 3…

Shift Command A (or Shift CTRL A on Windows) will select all the notes of a chord when one note is already selected. You can try it in 3, I think.

Its selecting all notes in that particular bar, but not focusing on the chord.