Note grouping conundrum

Sorry if this has been covered—I couldn’t find exactly this example by searching.

With these (factory default) settings…

…I get this:

And with these settings…

…I get this:

However, what I want is this:

Is it possible to get my desired result using Notation/Note Grouping settings and not Force Duration? I don’t think so, but maybe there’s some magical combination I haven’t found yet.

Which makes me wonder, would it be worth it to have a feature wherein for a given score, you could set custom note grouping rules—in this case, “a 3.5 beat note starting on beat one should always be a dotted half tied to an eighth”? Or would that be a can of worms best left untouched? :bug:


You can disallow double dots. Just head down to rhythm dots in Notation Options.


Thanks, @Janus! I tried that, but then I end up with a half tied to a dotted quarter. I’d really love a dotted half tied to an eighth.

There’s no accounting for personal taste, but you can force it easily.
(Why do people want to flout conventions and think they are normal?)

Edit: (sorry for being rude).
Force it by setting grid to quaver. Force duration (O) enter dotted minim. Extend (shift-alt-right)

1 Like

It’s all good. And thanks for the Force Duration tip (I was always creating both notes, then turning on F.D., then tying).

The reason I’m hung up on that specific notation is that it’s often the cleanest way to communicate what results in “hold a note steadily for three beats and cut off cleanly on the four”. Can be found all over the place in some scores.

1 Like

For what it’s worth, I use this frequently too.


I think what makes the difference here is that Dorico’s note groupings are rooted in an abstract, objective approach to beat division, whereas a tie to an eighth note where the eighth note indicates a cutoff is a scoring and performance convention. (The Brits among us see it commonly in nineteenth-century scores, by Parry and the like.) If we ignore convention, and go by the abstraction of making sound during notes and making silence during rests, the note groupings rules probably make more sense, at least among themselves.

An interesting tangent: when in the twentieth century do we start following the influence of hyper-specific scorings, like those by Mahler, Strauss, Stravinsky, Webern, or Boulez? In Elgar, is a tied eighth a cutoff or to be sounded? What about Walton? What about Finzi? What about Britten? What about earlier Britten vs. later Britten? What about vocal vs. instrumental?

1 Like