Many different Dorico-questions

Dear Dorico team,

I am a Hungarian contemporary composer:

Very sorry for my bad english.

First of all, I would like to say many thanks and congratulations to your new notation software. I think it is a fantastic work with wonderful engraving, I expected it since long time, and now I am so happy and proud to having it!

However, I have many remarks and questions.

For me the main problem is the quite poor and laconic HELP, in which very important program functions (like metronome marks or text handling) are mentioned with only one or two sentences, or they have no mention at all. Please, please, improve it and give more detailed directions for use.
When I purchased my first Sibelius version (Sibelius 3), I became it together with a big book (580 pages, actually written by Daniel Spreadbury :slight_smile:), in which I could found explications and using instructions about EVERY little item of the program.
It would be so great to have such one even now, AND it would be nice to see also more and detailed video tutorials from Daniel.

Now my questions.


  • How can I create a metronome mark (individually or together with a tempo marking)? Does this affect to the playback tempo, like in Sibelius?
  • How is most efficient to handle the non-musical texts in a score? I mean, how can I create a Subtitle for instance, which is non included in the Paragraph Styles? Where should I modify my Title: directly in the Engraving page, or first in the Master Page Editor? I am not so familiar with this box-based object handling.
  • How to simply move a Text frame, and how to align it to the center of the page?
  • Why I cannot see my Page number (actually “3”) on first page, while in Layout options Initial page number is 3, and Visibility is Always shown?
  • How can I align position of the Instrument names of the first staff system instead of Right to Center? How can I adjust the size of the Inst. names? (I would like to have smaller abbreviated names).


  • How can I select the whole staff in a flow (I mean I want to copy the whole playing material of a movement to another instrument)? Or is the dragging select method the only one which I can work?


  • For instance, I am in 2/2. I want to input a half note on the 2. crotchet place of the bar, but I don’t succeed it - Dorico changes it to two quarter notes with a tie. Why? How can I obtain to have a single half note? In Notation options, in Notes starting after the start of the bar of multiple beats in duration “Notate as a single note” is selected.
  • Why must I input a normal Tenor part on MIDI keyboard with an octave higher for correct pitch? (I mean, why I can’t input to its sounding pitch?)
  • How can I take one selected note simply up or down?


  • Which is your suggestion for a good workflow for working with parts?


  • How to create an Instrument change?
  • How can I create in my orchestral parts Cue citations from other instruments (called in Sibelius Paste as Cues), helping the players to enter after a long tacet?


  • How can I hear the sound of the instruments during inputting music? This is important because usually I compose with piano (only headphones) and it would be great to have piano sound to try my music before writing it down.
  • How can I change the default instrument of a part to another?

Thank you very much, and I am really sorry for so many questions (I am sure I will more…) Also sorry if I missed to find something in Help.

Hi Rameau,

I don’t believe that all your very basic questions are not explained into the pdf reference guide (There is any ?)
I didn’t buy yet because I’m waiting for the box edition in France but I begin to think that maybe I must to wait Dorico 2 ?

Type Shift+T to create a tempo via the popover, and type e.g. q = 120, where q = quarter, e = eighth, h = half; you can add a dot for a dotted metronome mark, e.g. q. = 120. This will affect playback. You can edit it subsequently by selecting it and going to the Properties panel.

You can create your own subtitle paragraph style (we will probably add one ourselves relatively soon). I would suggest making your edits in the master page editor, as then they will apply to all layouts that use those master pages (e.g. if you edit the master pages used by the parts, then all parts will automatically pick up those changes.)

Switch on the big switch in the Frames section of the left-hand panel in Engrave mode, and then the handles will appear on the frames. Drag on any part of the frame outline that is not a handle to move the frame rather than change its size and shape.

The “First” master page doesn’t include a token for the page number, which would be of the form {@page@}. You could add this yourself if you wanted.

Edit the “Staff labels” paragraph style to change the size of staff labels. Unfortunately you cannot currently change their horizontal alignment, but this will be possible very soon (again by editing the alignment of the paragraph style).

Unfortunately at the moment the marquee selection is the only method, but this will be addressed very soon.

Unless you have a recognised syncopated pattern (e.g. quarter-half-quarter or quarter-half-quarter rest), Dorico won’t produce a half note in an off-beat position in 2/2. To force it to, you can use the Force Durations button (shortcut O, icon like a G clamp) in the toolbox, which forces Dorico to use the duration you specify in the panel even when it would otherwise choose a different result. I recommend you use Force Durations sparingly, though.

This sounds like it could be a bug. I’ll look into this when I have my MIDI keyboard to hand.

Alt+up/down arrow. Use Ctrl+Alt+up/down to move by an octave.

This is a very general question: if you want specific advice, please ask a specific question.

Add as many instruments as are needed to a solo player, then in galley view input the music for each instrument as needed; when you switch back to page view, you will see that the instrument changes have been created for you.

Unfortunately Dorico does not yet have support for cues. We will endeavour to add this important functionality as soon as possible.

If you use MIDI step-time input, then you should hear the notes echoed to you, but we know it’s important you can hear them in other circumstances, too, and we will add this as soon as we can.

Unfortunately this is also not yet possible, but we expect to be able to add this soon.

This sounds suspiciously like what has annoyed me every time I have to arrange tenor parts in Sibelius: that a tenor singer apparently is considered a ‘transposing instrument’, sounding an octave lower than written. Which means: copying/pasting a tenor passage into any other instrument (or singer) always ends up an octave too high. Wasn’t the G-clef with the 8 underneath supposed to take care of that?
(Maybe it’s because tenor recorders historically also use the G8-clef, while NOT actually sounding an octave lower?)
Are tenors also transposing in Dorico?


Why does Dorico do the same what annoyed me terribly in Sibelius: there a tenor singer is considered a ‘transposing instrument’, sounding an octave lower than written. This becomes clear as soon as you try to copy/paste a tenor passage into another instrument (or singer). Why? Wasn’t the ‘8’ underneath the G-clef supposed to take care of the octave down? Isn’t it called a tenor clef for a reason?

Peter Bouma

Thank you very much, Daniel, for your kind help!
For me, for all of this one thing is very crucial: the cues. I’ve planned to start a new orchestral concerto in Dorico, but without cues I cannot make the orchestral parts. Do you think this problem could be resolved before Christmas? (just for planning, if not, I have all the work to start in Sibelius).
The other little question: how can I break apart a figure of eights actually beamed together? (eight rest - eight note - eight rest - eight note). Thank you in advance.

And two more questions: I simply cannot find out, how can I add a page number token to my First master page. Could you help, please? Are collected somewhere the token names?
Can I change the size of the abbreviated staff names?
Many thanks.

The same for Euphonium. I’ll think it’s an bug. Copy the same measures to an Tenor Sax those measures display an octave lower, the correct octave.

This is still a matter of some debate within the team! The answer, for now at least, is that octave clefs don’t transpose by octaves, and the tenor voice is a transposing instrument, in the same way as a guitar, a piccolo, or a double bass. I wouldn’t rule out making it such that an octave clef could transpose the music by one or more octaves in the same fashion as an octave line, but it’s not implemented that way at the moment.

I really can’t make any promises, though I know it’s very important for orchestral work. It is certainly beyond the scope of our initial update planned for a few weeks’ time.

I’ve export my score to Music XML Finale. There’s an octave difference in the Euphonium part. Finale is (I think) correct in this way.