Marcato combined with tenuto or staccato kept together

Due to the literature combined articulations should be on the same side of the note:

In Dorico it’s possible to set the articulation placement in the engraving options. But not for combined articulations, only individual articulation symbols. The normal is to let the articulations be on the note side except for marcato that normally are placed above the staff. However the exception above placing the marcato and staccato/tenuto together regardless of the settings are not handled.

This example from Dorico looks very strange to me:

Maybe Marcato+Tenuto and Marcato+Staccato combinations should be separate articulations in Dorico such as the Staccato+Tenuto articulation to be able to handle this in an easy way?

Here is an example from the book Music Engraving Today by Steven Powell, where they treat combined articulations as separate symbols:

Figure 2 (part of)

The staccato dot on the whole note when it is tied is not sensible. But it’s true that Dorico puts marcato and staccato on opposite sides of any up-stem notes by default.

The Powell book is clearly using Finale and Petrucci. It was Finale’s approach from the beginning to have these combined articulations as characters in the font itself. To my eye most of them are too close together. Plate engravings are more flexible with the relative positioning of staccato dots with other marks. (But, again, not to the extent of putting these two on different sides.)

So in my view, though your examples are not great, I take your point regarding Dorico. Let’s see what Daniel says.

Thanks for these examples. I guess the appropriate solution to this would be to add additional options (or perhaps only one additional option) to the Placement section of the Articulations page of Engraving Options to allow you to specify the default placement of the marcato-staccato combination directly. I’ll make a note of this as something to think about for the future.


Maybe this helps:

Engrave Mode

Now you can have this:


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Hi @NorFonts,
No this do not help because the settings affect all articulations, not only the combined ones. You can do that way to get the combined articulations right, but then most other articulations became wrong. A new setting for combined articulations is required.

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Thanks @dspreadbury,
Yes combined signs maybe becomes a problem when it came to slurs, so a new option in the engraving options is probably a better choice. Maybe a simple checkbox labeled “Keep combined articulations together”. It’s not only marcato+staccato that should be included but all possible combinations of articulations.

I’m not convinced by this statement. In general, articulations will typically have the same placement anyway. Marcato is a special case because it often goes above the staff. The way Dorico handles articulations, you can’t have arbitrary combinations anyway: only one articulation of force (marcato or accent), one articulation of duration (staccato, staccatissimo, tenuto, staccato-tenuto), and one articulation of stress (stress or unstress).

Yes, the two combination that is problematic today are Marcato+staccato and Marcato+tenuto, because the marcato use to be above the staff and staccato/tenuto on the note side. So it is mainly these two combinations that would be affected of a “Keep combined articulations together” checkbox.