Niente - Basic Feature Request

Please let us input niente - aka stylized “n” directly in the dynamics popover.

It isn’t great to have to click in with the bottom panel.

Do you always (or almost always) want all your niente hairpins to use the “n” rather than the circle? If so, change the default appearance in Library > Engraving Options > Dynamics > Gradual Dynamics.

(Although to be honest, I get the expected “n” when typing “>n” into the dynamics popover already, even though my Engraving Option default is for the circle, apparently.)

Edit: ah yes, referring back to my own documentation, there are two possible popover entries for niente hairpins, each of which gives you the different appearance.

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Yes, this already works for me.

According to the Version History, we got this last month with v. 4.3.20.

Sure. But I’m asking to use niente separately from the hairpin.

When you enter “f” or “p” in the popover you get the a dynamic marking regardless of entering < alongside it. Simply asking if there is a way to do the same with “n”.

Additionally the ability to use both SF and SFZ in the same score would be great as well. I think I just wish there was more freedom in the dynamics. It feels constraining compositionally and it is a real vibe killer while writing music to find out the dynamic you want isn’t allowed.

How does that work in performance? You’re playing along at mf, and then you hit ‘n’ and … are immediately silent?

You can have both sf and sfz: change the property in the panel. They can’t both be default, though.

Niente means ‘nothing’. Why don’t you write a rest instead? Or is this a theatrical context, where actors pretend to be playing?
Niente makes no sense without a hairpin, and in most cases, a simple ppp will do.


If you really want a niente “n” on its own, you could create a custom playing technique that comprises the niente glyph?

It will go above the staff automatically, so you’d need to flip it on instrument staves, and it won’t group with other dynamics. But it’s an option to produce the look you want.

I suspect adding support for “n” on its own via the dynamics popover isn’t likely to happen any time soon, if at all, as it isn’t widely used. Unless you have examples of published music that uses this?

Sure, I realize n on its own isn’t widely used. But neither is the strange symbol dorico defaults to for “sul pont.” It is a dynamic indication and should be able to be used freely.

But I think the issue is more with usability.

If one enters a cresc. over a group of notes, and then later decides that the starting dynamic should be “p”, one simply selects the first note and adds the p. The p and the cresc. are automatically linked together. If you wanted the starting dynamic to be “n”, selecting the first note and typing “n” does nothing. It doesn’t make sense that p can be added as a starting dynamic in this way, but n cannot.

If one is not immediately getting louder (cue hairpin), I’m not sure why one would enter a note labeled niente at all.

I see where you’re coming from, especially regarding the unintentional conflicting (identical) popover entries for two different sul pont notations – if you have Dorico Pro, you can go into the Edit Playing Techniques dialog and change the popover entry for the symbol to something else, and save that as default, so you don’t experience the clash anymore.

In Dorico terms, “n” simply isn’t a dynamic on its own, the way p and f are. It’s essentially a property of a gradual dynamic. Hopefully once you get more familiar with how Dorico works, this will come more easily to you when working with dynamics.

I have to admit, this seems an unnecessary complication. If niente were simply treated as a force dynamic, all bases would be covered without changing the way Dorico works.

Link to a discussion of this started 5 years ago, in which I came to the same conclusion.

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