Mozart 'fermata'

Does anyone have a suggestion for the best way to make a kind of fermata often used by Mozart? It covers a number of beats and usually indicates rhythmic freedom during those beats or a possible cadenza by a soloist. It needs to be flexible enough to be able to be stretched to cover different areas, even at the same rhythmic spot. I used to do this in Finale by creating an expression using a slur with a dot under it, grouping the two elements but allowing horizontal stretching. Playback isn’t important (or perhaps even possible).

This is what I mean:


I don’t know of a best way, but if pushed, then:

  • for pauses over notes, I’d use an actual slur and I’d construct a Playing Technique that was just a dot. Position the Playing Technique as close as possible to the visual centre of the slur, using the caret, then tweak in Engrave mode as necessary.

  • for pauses over rests, I’d construct at least a couple of Playing Techniques (probably I’d export some slurs with dots as SVG and then reimport them back in), then place using the caret as close as possible to the visual centre of the where the pause should be, using the caret, etc. etc. You can always use the Custom Scale property on individual instances of the Playing Technique if they’re nearly the right size, rather than making a whole new PT.

Thanks, Leo. I ended up making a screen shot of a constructed slur plus text dot and importing it into a playing technique. I’ll have to make several of these at different sizes. It’s then copyable and there aren’t positioning problems between slur and dot.

I hope by “screenshot” you mean “exported graphics as SVG”. If you really went with a screenshot then be careful - you may find that it doesn’t scale too well when printed.

You’re right, Leo. I did use a screenshot and it’s not only difficult to edit but I’m indeed not convinced how the [low] resolution will look when printed. I’m afraid I’ve no idea how to export a graphic as SVG. I looked it up in the Dorico help and it spoke only of exporting individual layouts as graphic files in print mode but not how to export a small part of a page.

For that purpose, you could for e.g. set up a layout with a single flow, containing just the music/notations you want to export, then change the page size to be just the right size for that (and possibly set margins to 0 if necessary) and export that layout as an SVG.

Ah, that’s what I was afraid of! I’ve had to do this in Finale every so often and there was a lot of trial-and-error involved.

It’s possible to isolate elements of an SVG file in third-party software. Odd the top of my head I think Inkscape is the free program that people use, but somebody may have a better suggestion.

Inkscape is quite confusing, IMO. I’ve tried it several times (using the online documentation and YouTube tutorials) and gave up every time. I found it infuriatingly difficult, even after trying to learn it the “right way.”

I would love to know of a more user-friendly option for simple modifications to SVGs (basically just cropping).

Boxy SVG comes to mind

Nikola, I explored it, and this is exactly what I was looking for. I don’t need it often, but when I do, Boxy SVG will be perfect. Thanks!