New alternative fingering option

I just encountered a new option under Engraving Options>Fingering>Alternative, Editorial and Cautionary>Enclosure for alternative fingerings>None. Thank you very much, Daniel! I had asked about such an option last year and it was very nice to see it in Dorico 3.

A few comments:

  1. I have rarely seen the option “italicized” as shown; it must be very uncommon. The two numbers would usually be over one another rather than side be side, usually with the italicized number closest to the notes to show that it is the composer’s fingering. In some cases, however, editors might show the composer’s fingering in normal type and the editorial fingering in italics, so it would be good to have options for the italicized number both above and below. No line separates the numbers in this case.

  2. The “None” option will work well in the case of set of alternative fingerings that form a unit, since the two numbers may be adjusted to be far enough apart to insert a line between the two sets.

  3. In the case of a single alternative fingering, a short line is generally placed between them to distinguish such fingering from chordal fingering. Therefore another option would be welcome called “line” which would like “none” but have a line between the numbers. This would avoid having to manually insert a tenuto mark, or whatever.

“Line” and “None” options would handle a majority of cases. However, remaining:

  1. Multiple alternative fingerings. Three and more sets are not unheard of.

  2. Alternative fingering is sometimes placed below or beside the notes, which avoids the use of the dividing line. This would require being able to move the two (or even 3 or more) numbers independently from each other.

Therefore the best solution would be for the user to be able to assign as many independent finger numbers as needed to a single note.

Thanks for the feedback, John. Being able to assign an arbitrary number of fingerings to a single note is not something that fits especially well with the way this feature has been designed. The fingerings are stored in the note itself, and it’s not really practical as things stand to allow you to specify an arbitrary number of fingerings. However, once you are going beyond two fingerings for a given note, Dorico’s ability to position them automatically diminishes, so at that point you gain less by having them be real fingerings. As such, I wonder whether adding the third or beyond fingering using either a custom playing technique or a simple Shift+X text item using an appropriate paragraph style and then manually positioning the numbers would be any less practical. Shift+X text may be preferable since you can explicitly disable its collision avoidance effects. Once you have entered one or two fingerings with Shift+X text you can of course duplicate them elsewhere in the piece using copy and paste (e.g. using Alt+click).

You are very welcome, Daniel. I will continue to experiment with the new capability and also combining it with the text style of entry. Using a glissando line works well for the divider, since I am not concerned about playback.

Please do consider the proposed fifth option of “Line”; alternative fingerings occur most often singly, and having the line there already would allow a very efficient input of most alternative fingering. And also the options of the italicized alternative fingering being below or above. This situation occurs a lot in urtext editions.

It’s decidedly non-trivial to automatically create a line between a primary and secondary set of fingerings, but we certainly don’t rule it out for the future. In the nearer term there will be better solutions for creating arbitrary lines than to abuse a glissando line for this purpose.

Thank you, Daniel. I think you understood my comment, in which case, please ignore the following:

The “line” option would place a short hypen-like line between a single finger number and its alternate, not groups of such pairs. Since single pairs occur much more often than groups this would go far in handling this issue. If you are also considering the automatic placement of lines between sets of such alternative fingering, that indeed would be wonderful.