Note heads and different types


Is there plans to increase the types and kinds of alternate note heads that can be used with the forthcoming percussion update?


I don’t have any specific plans, no, but if there are notehead shapes you’re looking for that are not currently included, let me know what they are and I’ll see what I can do about including them if possible.

Will do Daniel!!!




Bravura seems to already have a fair amount of Note Heads already. Maybe a way to access all of them would be great.


No, I don’t plan to simply add all of the noteheads that Bravura has in the next release. If there are specific noteheads that it would be useful for you to use that you need for percussion notation that are not yet included, please let me know what they are and I will try to add them, if possible.

I’ll appreciate the Null notehead, and maybe a cue sized ones till you’ll sort that out/

Ok, let me stew on this for a while.

Just out of curiosity, when it comes to more note head implementation, is just for the next major update you won’t add more? Or is it the plan to never add more?

As someone who has done A LOT of drum line arranging here in the US, the need for more note heads will certainly be necessary at some point down the road. When you look at some of the samples from Virtual Drumline, you will see in some cases 3 different types of rim shots. Often arrangers will use 3 different note heads to differentiate what kind of rim shot they want used.


qanunji, the next major update will include support for cues, and support for changing the size of practically any item in the score, so you won’t need explicitly cue-sized noteheads: you’ll be able to make any notehead of any appearance cue-sized if you need to.

Robby, the point is that SMuFL defines dozens of notehead types, including some very obscure ones. Adding dozens of new notehead types creates all manner of user interface problems – chief among them making it easy for you to find the notehead you’re actually looking for – that we will not have time to solve in the immediate future. So if there are one or two missing notehead types that are important enough that they should be included by default, I am certainly willing to add them, but only based on definite musical need, not just “there are a bunch of characters in a font, I want to use them but I don’t know what for”, as the trade-off is not a good one until such time as we have either or both a better user interface for choosing notehead types and a means of allowing users to create their own.

my request: white diamond half notehead. Now, in case of a quarter note, the symbol is black.
Its Implementation maybe breaks some underlying behavior, but the symbol is ubiquitous, not only confined to the string harmonics: winds harmonics, breathing and whistling sounds, special vocal techniques, silent pressed keys…

Thanks for considering this

Yes, mati, I’m well aware of your need for a white diamond notehead for string harmonics, etc.

I would love a stemless slash notehead (for chord charts) and a notehead that is X for short notes and diamond for long notes, like Sibelius has.

Speaking of slash noteheads, one of the only things I missed when I switched from Finale to Sibelius (all those years ago) was the “staff styles” feature, that would allow you to automatically convert a measure to rhythmic slash notation or even turn a 4/4 bar into 4 stemless slashes (no matter what other content was in the bar), not to mention the other cool things Staff Styles could do. This as opposed to entering these things manually as normal notes, with their corresponding noteheads. It would be amazing if Dorico had this, though I’m not getting my hopes up.

However, I will mention that when I use alternate noteheads in Dorico, and then I copy that music to another bar, they revert back to the default notehead.

Thanks Daniel!!!

Thanks Daniel.

Your answer makes total sense, and I can see the dilemma in my request.

I guess if there is one request, I will echo what Tuzmusic has stated; copying note heads between measures is a minor inconvenience. Especially if you’re talking about a drum set part, with lots of X’s as note heads.


This shouldn’t be as much of a problem for drum sets because the notehead styles are much more a part of the underlying character of each percussion instrument. Each note can be assigned a playing technique (eg rim shot) and then the correct notehead would be chosen based on the technique and the stylistic information for that instrument. When you copy and paste those notes around then those properties would be copied too and be rendered appropriately.

Attached is an image showing two types of noteheads that I need for chanting. The first is bracketed by double-lines. The second is doubled. Is it currently possible to achieve this look? If not, please consider adding these as notehead types (even though neither is actually a different notehead).

Daniel created a template with a rounded breve note(head) here.
Basing your file on that template should help with one of your concerns until planned notehead options are available.

If it’s possible, I would like to have:

  1. black square notehead (you can create a cluster, when you input a chord and exchange noteheads to a black squere)
  2. accent notehead (e.g. flute pizzicato)

What does an accent notehead look like, Del_Gesu? Is it literally an accent articulation used in place of a notehead?

That’s what I was wondering. I play flute so I wonder if I’m missing something I should know about.

Here you have the example:

E. For me good source for checking the ways of notation is “Music Notation in the Twentieth Century: A Practical Guidebook” by Kurt Stone. It’s a little bit out of date (for example there are no accent-like noteheads), its from 1980, I guess. But there are many, many exeamples how to notate the contemporary music.

Perhaps it’s already there and I’m not seeing it, but I could use a “no notehead” option - i.e., just the vertical line.

Among other things, this would be useful for scoring harp glissandi.