New Playing Techniques (Combining)

Following the excellent ‘Playing Techniques’ video by Anthony Hughes, I’ve created new playing techniques for the GPO5 Harp which work beautifully. For perfection it would be good if I could combine two of the playing techniques into one.

For the Harp Harmonics Playing Techniques I have to add two texts above the note, one to return a key switch to the default harp then another to add the ‘Harp Harmonics’ key switch. Is there a way these can be combined into one either through the Playing Techniques editor or through an Expression Map?

Adding the ‘Harp harmonics’ technique only doesn’t return to the default harp which has the harmonics patch so I need to, somehow, wire this technique to apply two keyswitches, one to go back to the default harp then one to apply harmonics.

I’m fine with adding two Playing Technique texts above a note if they can’t be combined as this works well, but I thought I’d check anyway.


I believe that, at present, a PT can only trigger one switch. You could easily add the second PT immediately before or after, and hide it.

You can make a playing technique in Engrave > Playing Techniques produce a combined playback playing technique: when you choose the playback playing technique, use Ctrl+click (Command-click on Mac) to choose more than one technique from the list.

Hello Daniel,

Many thanks for your really helpful replies.

I’ve tried following your suggestion but I’m still not managing to combine those techniques. Actually, I’m able to combine techniques in the Expression Maps by using Ctrl+click so I thought I just needed to do the same in the PT Designer.

Just to clarify, I’m in ‘Engrave - Playing Techniques’ and have selected my new Harpsichord 8’+4’ Stop PT. Then, I click in the ‘Playback playing technique’ field and Ctrl+click from the list to add the ‘Natural’ which then adds just the ‘Natural’ in the field and removes the 8’+4’ technique.

I know I’m missing something.


I think you can only combine techniques this way in the Expression map, not in the PPT designer …

Yes, I beg your pardon, Frank is right.

Hello Daniel,

No problem and thank you. Dan’s suggestion of adding two at once then hiding one is a good work-around and works well.

Having created new playing techniques, is there a way to save these so I can import them into a clean reinstall of Dorico?

I know we can import ‘Expression Maps’ but I don’t think these will include the new PT they contain.


At the moment, they won’t be included when you export your expression maps, but this is something that we will change in future.

For the time being, the best you can do is click the star button in the Playing Techniques dialog, which will save them as defaults such that they will appear in each new project you subsequently create.