Music XML Import Works! Small issue with slash regions

Hi everyone, just got a fairly big new job so I’ll be here bugging you all for a while : ) Leo, I’m looking at you.

This job is a remake of a show I charted for the client in Finale. I tried importing using Music XML and it’s remarkably good. A couple of issues. First, the slashes at bar 21-22 should appear as cut time slashes (2 per bar) but they’re appearing as 4 per bar. Notice also that the slashes in the middle and bottom staves have turned into diamond noteheads and I can’t get them to appear as slashes. Can’t seem to fix this and I’m guessing I’ll be seeing it for any score I try to import. Any ideas?

The chord symbols are misaligned but this seems to be happening for all XML imports and I’ve just been manually adjusting them

I’m guessing I’ll have to delete/recreate the second stave, but there’s always hope!

For the chord symbols, is it possible that the chord symbols are rhythmically attached earlier than their intended position in the Finale document? Perhaps to get them to appear centred, you’ve attached them to different positions than their notated position? If so, you’ll either have to fix them in Finale or in Dorico – up to you where you think this will be quicker!

As for the slashes, you can determine the appearance of slashes in slash regions using the options in the Rhythm Slashes section of the Notes page of Engraving Options. If you don’t find any of those options to your liking, you can edit the slash notehead sets in Library > Notehead Sets.

Thanks Daniel. So I had already checked the default setting for the appearance of the slashes in the area you mentioned. The settings are as I want them; the issue is that when the XML import happened, only the slashes in bars 21 & 22 as shown above got converted to diamond heads. See the new screenshot attached - does this mean that Dorico thinks they’re slashes?

So that’s the one issue - the other is that Dorico wants to display the slashes as if the piece is in 4/4 time, not cut time. In cut time I’d want to see two slashes per bar and that’s what’s shown in the Finale chart (and notice that the diamond noteheads are appearing two to a bar - in fact those diamond heads are slashes in the original Finale document! So Dorico has correctly determined that there are only two ‘events’ in those bars. The problem is that the wrong symbol is displayed). The thing is I can’t seem to delete those slash regions and start again? Is it possible that some aspect of the Music XML data has ‘set’ the chart in a certain way such that I can’t just wipe out what’s in those bars and start again?

[EDIT: Wait… is it possible that I simply have to use the caret tool to change the subdivisions?)

I know what you mean about the possibility of the chord symbols being attached earlier than displayed in the Finale document. We all know how many situations can arise in Finale that necessitate such workarounds. I can’t recall of course. I can look at the Finale versions and try to determine that but for now I’m going to just start importing the Finale files into Dorico and see what happens. As I mentioned I’m actually very impressed with how things are working with Music XML imports.

Here’s what I’m starting to think. All those years ago, struggling with Finale, I had to use notes in those bars and somehow do some sort of workaround to make them display as slashes.

So now Dorico is correctly interpreting those events as notes in Bars 21-22. That’s why they’re appearing as Diamond noteheads. I definitely can’t change them in Write Mode using Edit–>Notehead–>Slashes

Dorico will create slash regions during MusicXML import when it encounters slashes in the MusicXML file, but of course there are multiple ways that slashes can be encoded in MusicXML, so it will depend on how exactly those slashes are encoded in your specific project.

Thanks as always Daniel. This has to be some artifact of a Finale workaround.

One more follow-up, I’ll start a new thread if you think it’s best. I cleared the slashes. But I can’t get Dorico to display two slashes per bar instead of 4, so it looks right in cut time. Can you give me a hint as to how to to get this happening?

I’m presuming you could insert and then hide a 2/2 meter for use with slash regions, or use half notes that you convert to slashes with no noteheads in lieu of slash regions (but I’ll let others confirm) …

  • D.D.
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Ah I was hopeful, sounded like a great idea! But there still seem to be 4 slashes per bar as default when I change the time signature to 2/2.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to add half notes and then convert them to slashes with no noteheads, will keep trying…
2 - 2 time slashes

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Whoops – Wasn’t in front of my computer to check. As far as turning half notes into stemless slashes, I believe you just right click to access the secondary menu system to access different potential “notehead” changes (that then affect whatever notes are selected accordingly including stemless slash)…

  • D.D.
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This is as close as I can come when inserting a half note B and using Write Mode–> Noteheads–>Slashes to try to change the notehead. If I could take one of those slashes and the stem away, I’d be set! I went into Engraving Options to see if I could specify or edit the slash notehead seen here but not sure I can.
half note slash notehead 2 slashes

Thanks D.D.

Yep, I got to that same menu via Edit–>Notehead–>Slashes but still looking for an option to display a stemless single slash in place of that half note

FWIW, the way Finale displays only 2 slashes in cut time is frankly wrong. Most musicians I know would much rather see 4 slashes there. Clinton Roemer’s “The Art of Music Copying” and Ken Williams’s “Music Preparation” (two of the most important jazz hand copying guides) both show 4 slashes in cut time.

If you really want to do it, a fast way could be to start a new slash voice, enter quarter, quarter rest, quarter, quarter rest, hide the rests with Remove Rests, then hide the stems in Engrave.

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Now this is helpful!

So much of the stuff I do is lead sheets in 4/4, and I haven’t had to deal with cut time slashes in any of the bigger stage stuff I’ve done. I just assumed that the reader would want to see two slashes. I’m now off to call my local music bookstore to see if they have a copy of either of the books you mentioned. I’m as little embarrassed that I don’t have either. My technique has basically been informed by what I saw for years when someone plopped a lead sheet in front of me.

Thanks a lot for this. It’s good enough for me, it’s going to be 4 slashes per bar.

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Unfortunately those books are both out of print. The Roemer book is often available on eBay though. Here’s a sample page from it where he has 4 slashes in cut time:

Elaine Gould’s Behind Bars is probably the current industry standard as far as notation books go, but she doesn’t address jazz/pop/commercial music at all.

I’m down the rabbit hole now, searching for copyist handbooks, etc. Just got off the phone with my local store - yep, the title threw them for a loop, they couldn’t find it. I’ll look on eBay. There’s gotta be a copy somewhere. Will also look into the Gould book.

4 slashes in cut time wouldn’t make me blink if I saw it on a chart, to be honest. I just assumed the slashes would have to be on the main pulses, metrically speaking

Thanks so much for taking the time to provide the pic. It helps.

Looks like there are 5 copies of it on there now so it’s not super hard to track one down.