More annoying tie problems

So I work out what rhythmic notation I want and add the tie which completely re-figures the notation I want, in this case adding a dotted note. Why is it doing this? Adding ties shouldn’t affect the rhythmic notation at all. Even using the force duration key doesn’t always do anything. To me this should be considered a bug.

Dorico thinks of tied notes as single durations. This particular setting governs this particular note grouping.

If you don’t like it, change it. Or if you don’t like it in this one specific instance, select the three notes (as in your first image), then hit O to turn on Force Duration for all three notes, then hit T to tie.

If you’re hitting O to turn on Force Duration after you’ve tied stuff together, then you need to know that doing that locks the existing note values - it’s not supposed to mind-read the groupings that you want to change to.

When tie-ing notes with Force Duration, it’s often best to work left-to-right: set Force Duration on all notes ideally, then tie the leftmost note to the next note to the right, and so on. If you set Force Duration on the 2nd note, then tie a preceding note to it, you lose the settings because the 2nd note gets “eaten” by the first: it’s the first note that then dictates settings for the overall note (because Dorico treats tied notes as a single note “event”, as Leo said above).

You can also specify note and beam grouping according to the meter.



I still find the terms Force Duration and Lock Duration very confusing. What is doing the forcing and what exactly is locked?

Often I find myself randomly cutting ties, selecting notes and forcing/locking until I arrive at what I want, with absolutely no understanding as to how I got there! I’m sorry I can’t articulate the problem more clearly.

In Force Duration, you are “forcing” Dorico to display exactly the duration you entered, and not re-beam or re-bar it according to the meter.

In Lock Duration, you are copying existing durations into a sequence, and “locking” them so, although you are inputting new pitches, the durations are locked and won’t change.

I can understand how the OP’s example would seem like “locking” duration. But it’s Force Duration, because you don’t want Dorico to “fix” the note values, you want them to remain displayed exactly as they were before they were tied.

If you’re finding that there are many notes you have to use Force Duration on, it’s best to adjust the various note groupings in Notation Options. Finding the one which automatically corrects to exactly what you want displayed solves many problems at once. (And I speak from much experience in searching/learning about this.) :wink:

MOST of the time, adjusting the Note Grouping options will get you 90% of the way. There maybe some special instances in which you’ll need to use Force Duration - burit should be rare. There are some issues with some meters which need more options (2/2 is one of them).

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Thanks for the replies - will require further looking into.

Thanks, Dan.
I now realise that I need to use Force Duration far more often during note input!

Well, perhaps. The intention is that Force Duration should be the exception, not the norm. If you find yourself using it a lot, it may be there’s a notation option that needs to be changed.

I appreciate that, but for now I suspect my needs are atypical. Much of my current work involves rhythmic patterns that do not fall neatly onto beats or bars. I’ve experimented with many of the Notation Options, but none has avoided a lot of post-entry editing (hence my earlier frustration!).

Notwithstanding the intent of the creators, your explanation has increased my understanding and made my life easier. So, once again, thank you.

I used to do that for non-conventional rhythms (back when I was still hand-writing scores and parts), but I later learned that my notation was confusing musicians when we had little rehearsal time and that I got more reliable results putting those rhythms into standard notation.

To each his own.

I have the same problem

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I think these problems really should be re-vamped in Dorico. While there are many ways that speed up notation work and even support composing within the software, ties are most definitely slowing down many processes.

I attach a little video that showcases some problems with styled ties:

  • A style only applies to the first tie of a passage, where there are many tied notes (like 3 or 4 whole notes in a row)
  • Changes to styles are remembered in a weird way, and also do not seem to immediately be picked up (see video: I had to activated the dash/dot options and click INTO the list to make Dorico pick up on the 1/8 option [or whichever option is was])
  • untying notes (“U”) puts accents and other stuff that was attached to the first note on all the subsequent notes now (requires clean-up work)
  • it is not possible to put dynamics under tied notes (neither things like trem or a starting cresc / decresc hairpin); untying again is necessary, which is not a good workflow
  • working backwards does not work (at least not in my case - why, I cannot put in words; not shown in the video)

This gets also very cumbersome when e.g. a sequence of half notes has to be moved for a quarter note. Then Dorico creates tied notes. If those had accents and those note were to be untied again, then all those previously tied notes would have accents…

@dspreadbury Is there any way to ask you and your team to improve on this feature? Most preferably in a way so that tied notes can be “accessed” individually? It really would speed up workflow.

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I think you can put almost any item into any spot, if you activate the caret, and then input your dynamics where you want them!

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Via the caret is a way to go, but still slow. A dbl-click on the tied note would be faster.

Imagine 4 tied notes: now the dbl-click works so that the caret jumps to the first of the tied notes; then you have to move to the last one to enter sth… do this for an orchestra with a thick texture and maybe divisi strings where each group starts at a different value…

Double-click the staff, not the note.


OK, but that is only one aspect, it does not solve the other problems that are shown in the video.

Aside from that: double-clicking the staff is not always working and not exact. Try doing this on the tied over note as shown in the example: either the cursor jumps to the beginning of the tie, or you are somewhere else, but not on the note:

Bildschirmfoto 2022-11-28 um 22.26.45

You might find this a little thing, but in reality it contradicts with all the claims of being exact and fast. Clicking on a tied note should really be possible.

Styling multiple tie sections takes a matter of seconds with judicious use of Select More within Engrave mode.

U can be used selectively, wherever you like, and if you’re going to retie the notes then it really doesn’t matter if all the articulations have carried over - they’ll disappear when they’re retied.

Variations on this thread have been hashed and rehashed. There are downsides to Dorico’s way of dealing with ties. There are also upsides that competing programs lack.

I’m ducking out now.

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I find that if I double-click in the column of the tied note, indeed the caret goes to the beginning of the tied value. But if I double-click between the barline and the note, I can get the caret on the downbeat.

@Mark_Johnson Thanks for trying out. Unfortunately I do not get that behaviour. My resolution is set to 32nds and the screen is enlarged to the utmost value. Really huge. However: no successful in-between-clicking…

@pianoleo Thanks for your feedbacks, too. Not sure, why you mention that this topic has come up many more times elsewhere already. Do you want to emphasize that more people have problems with the tie tool? Hmm… that would emphasize my case, wouldn’t it? :wink:

Anyway, be it mentioned elsewhere or not (I read some of those posts and BTW: all I am doing is commenting on an existing post): there are problems and bugs with the ties (see styles: you can’t deny that that is a bug). I am quite obviously not the only one having troubles with it. After almost a year of using Dorico now, I am not convinced by this feature: it is cumbersome and it slows down immensely. I would very much like to see improvements here and appreciate an acknowledgement very much - that’s my feedback as a paying customer.

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