Multiple custom tonality systems including custom accidentals with transposing instruments

Hi everybody!

I came across a strange problem. I don’t know if it’s a real bug or if I’m missing something. And I havent found anything in the forum that really matches this problem.

I have create custom tonality systems with custom accidentals, so far so good. When I use them with non-transposing instruments is everything fine. But now I want to use different tonality systems at the same time with transposing instruments in a transposing score and dorico won’t let me use my own accidentals, particularly with the notes C and F. And this is not applying to all my accidentals. You can see the problem in the attached file.

Can please someone helps me?
Thank you a lot!

P.S. Dorico is real an amazing notation software, the team is doing a very great job! I was spending the weekend with lilypond specialists and they told me, that they have to admit how amazed they are :slight_smile:
trouble_with_custom_tonality.rar (858 KB)

Welcome to the forum, Vivian. I’m glad you’re enjoying using Dorico.

The nature of the problem is that transposing instruments like clarinets and horns transpose in 12-EDO, not in whatever your custom tonality system would imply. Dorico has to try to find the matching pitch for the transposed instrument, so it ends up choosing the accidental that produces the pitch closest to the pitch determined by adding the instrument’s transposition to the concert pitch. This often will not produce precisely the same answer, in which case it has to choose the closest accidental.

This is an issue that we have discussed with a number of microtonalists, but as yet we’ve been unable to determine what approach we should take to resolve it. I can understand what you would like to see, which would be the same accidental showing in the trnsposed part for the horn and clarinet as you see in the flute, but mathematically that’s not what Dorico thinks is going on.

Hello. Long time lurker, first time poster. Before I start moaning I should say that I’ve been with Dorico since v.1, I think it’s a fantastic app and would never want to go back to that other one I used to use. I particularly appreciate the amount of effort you continue to put into solving this kind of thing, which let’s face it is pretty niche stuff.

I have the same issue - my setup is writing in Johnson notation, I have a 12000(!)EDO setup and a whole heap of custom accidentals (this is exactly why I use Dorico, I’ve not found another notation system that comes close to this kind of customisablility). I find myself wondering if it might be possible to customise the transposition definition in terms of divisions (e.g. if you’re in 12EDO and transposing a fifth that equals 7 divisions, wheras if you’re in 12000 and approximating just intonation that equals 7020 divisions)? Or if fiddling with the core transposition functions is too risky, maybe a feature to clone, say, a horn into a new instrument that has all the same settings but you can redefine its divisional transposition?

I’m well aware that a) you’ve had many conversations with many people about this and have probably already considered all this and b) this is the kind of thing that seems a piece of cake to a punter and absolute hell to a developer! But that’s my two cents’ worth, as it were.

Here is a related issue which may have come up before, although I couldn’t find it in a quick search. I have some artificial string harmonics in HEJI, where I must notate them “by hand” instead of using Dorico’s harmonics in the Properties. This only happens with really extreme accidentals, I’m guessing because of Daniel’s explanation above that Dorico can’t find a close enough matching pitch to a touch-4 harmonic. (742 KB)

I have found a solution for my problem.
First I had made custom tonality systems for each “key”. Now I’ve made only one custom system that contains all possible accidentals from all “keys” and now Dorico can handle it in transposing scores and transposing instruments.


I’m experiencing a problem in this regard and I hope to find a working solution. I have a Horn in F with a single raised Bb (24 EDO) as its key signature that is displayed in the transposed part as a lowered F#… I would have expected to see a raised natural as it ”rhymes” with the original raised flat. I haven’t yet found a method to ”force” a raised natural in the transposed horn part key signature although, ironically, on each F note in the part there is a ”cancelling” raised natural, the microtonal accidental that I, in fact, want and need…

Is there a way to resolve this odd problem? (either properly or as a workaround…)

(Hope this is the right thread for this question…)
Thanks in advance

You should be able to select the note in the part and respell it using the note name below (Alt+-), which will respell the note in the part without affecting the full score layout.