List of absolute tempo changes

I usually input tempo markings in the popover. But today I went hunting for “Allegro” in the list of Absolute Tempo Changes in the Tempo panel. I found the list, with its artificial assignment of metronome markings, curious. Even terms that have nothing to do with absolute tempo like Tempo giusto, misterioso etc. are given metronome markings. Perhaps this was done only as a convenient way of organizing these terms, but for me it made “Allegro” hard to find. I’d prefer alphabetical order.

I find it easier to type the tempo and/or MM equation into the SHIFT + T (tempo) popover.

I’m pretty sure it’s currently only possible for this list to be organized by metronome marking. The good news is that it’s fairly easy to customize, should you want to do so, with a doricolib file. I added a bunch of items to my list, mostly because I can never remember diacritical marks in Bembé, Afoxê, Baião, etc.

Any custom markings added work with the popover too, which is what I always use anyway. The factory presets are configured in the scorelibrary.xml file:

Messing with factory files isn’t really recommended, as they will get overwritten with any update, but you could go through and delete definitions you don’t want, redefine the metronome marks (the amount setting above), etc.

Sorting alphabetically would be a nice feature request though, but I’m pretty sure isn’t currently possible.

1 Like

+1 and a (vertical) “timeline” of all tempo markings, immediate + gradual, used in a project. With the new feature of CSV export of texts it can be made externally, but a dynamic list in Dorico would be welcome IMO, with a “link” to the corresponding bar in the score.

Personally, I think this list is a complete waste of space. Not least because tempi are always in relation to the underlying beat (which is not always a crotchet).

Take for example the other thread on Mozart 40. It is marked Molto Allegro with a cut c meter (an extremely common tempo mark). You cannot enter that using the side panel! The best you can do is choose Allegro (q=140) and change the text and metronome speed. q=140 is obviously too slow and h=140 absurdly fast. Molto can only be applied to relative tempi, but Molto Allegro is not a relative tempo!

And why does the list only include the Italian terms? I’d conjecture that many users wanting this facility are more familiar with Fast Rock rather than Gioioso (which I can’t recall ever coming across. Even Beethoven 9 misses the opportunity)

(Apologies - mini rant over)

1 Like

Thank you @Derrek @FredGUnn @Mats_Frendahl and @Janus for your supportive comments. Besides Gioioso, there are several other items that I don’t recall seeing as tempo indications and very common ones that are not present, like Allegro con brio and Andante espressivo etc. User control over this list would be very helpful.

FredGUnn, I admire your programming skills. Wish I had the guts to get into the guts of the program like that. But my recent creative attempt regarding the Playing Techniques ended in disaster so I will play by the rules for the time being.

1 Like

I sent an image on the Immediate Tempo list some time ago to a very “scholarly”(???) organist who is ‘world famous’ in the organ circuit and his first comment was “These are not all Immediate Tempi. The list is filled with errors”. And I tried to “impress” him with Dorico’s tempo features… It didn’t go well.

To add on to @Janus ‘rant’ :), I’d add the ‘a tempo’ which in “98% of all solo scores” are printed as lowercase (bold) italic. “A tempo” or “a Tempo” in big bold seems to be a modern thing (except for some older French organ scores). Great for conductor’s scores with clear visibility but somewhat annoyingly big in piano and organ scores. I understand the logic behind it, but an Engraving Option would be nice. (Yes, I can use a para style, but it does not have the tempo change and does not show up in the tempo list, nor is grouped with the other tempo words in a CSV export.)

Only because a tempo item must have some associated number. A lot of fairly arbitrary assignments baked into the software, with the result that 99% of the time they need to be changed after entering them.

There is the “Used in This Flow” section at the top of the panel, which lists in chronological order. But it omits both gradual changes and duplicate tempos. I find this more useful the way it is. For a real tempo map the key editor is better. (I might wish the latter could be zoomed down further to show more bars. But I haven’t really used it yet, so that’s not a real FR.)

The issue of italic rather than boldface for tempo modifications such as a tempo has been brought up and discussed in many other threads.

The list is a “unique immediate tempo markings” list. I personally do not have much use of that, but I guess some might find it useful to quickly ‘recycle’ previously used tempi.
I find it quite natural (and more useful) to see a complete list of all tempo markings. Perhaps there is room for a future addition? As the CSV export collects all tempo markings, the software design is probably well-made to show such lists. The post-processing of the CSV works well, but it could be a convenient function in Dorico.