Note input, copy/paste, repeat note

:smiley: at least I know whom to blame for the mess I will create in the first serveral weeks :wink:

Thank you, Daniel!

This sounds very well thought out - I’m so happy the repeat function is there. Anything which allows input without scrabbling for a mouse is always a bonus!

Can you explain a little more about how the copy and paste functionality will work?
I always thought it would be great to have a clipboard which could handle more than one thing i.e. CMD+C+1 would copy something into clipboard position 1, CMD+C+2 into position 2. CMD+V+2 would paste from clipboard position 2.
But maybe one can’t use letter keys on the keyboard in combination with numbers and presumably CMD+Shift+number will already be in use for some other function…
For a function like changing long passages between players (especially when there are 3 or 4 players notes to swap round), this would be much more intuitive than the way Sib does it at the moment.
This is probably what the ‘Ideas’ function in Sib was all about.
I found myself adding an additional instrument to use as a blank placeholder for those times.

I also hope the chaps at Editors Keys will create a set of keyboard stickers for Dorico for its release - that would help with the learning curve.

Thanks again!


Philip Rothman’s blog post about the Dorico announcement details the note input mode with a graphical keyboard map — very illustrative:

first of all congratulations to finally getting close to a release of this exciting application! Feels good to have a so engraving dedicated person in the front of this. My dream to get an app to fullfill advanced engraving needs.
About note input:

  1. Can you use a keypad like in Sibelius?
  2. Can you change note values and then “type” pitches with a midi-keyboard? ie, can you use a midi-keybard independant from duration?
    The combination of a keypad/midikeyboard is for me the absolutely fastest way of notation. Faster than writing by hand.
    For me this would be crucial.

Best wishes,

During note-input can I step back and change the duration and the step forward again to continue entering notes?

If so I could program a LUA-Script to simulate duration before pitch.

Our note input method does not use the external numeric keypad at all. The plan is that you will be able to redefine the default shortcuts, so if you want to map things onto a numeric keypad, you’ll be able to do so. Step-time input from a MIDI keyboard is going to be included, though it’s not yet working as we have yet to be able to receive MIDI from the audio engine, which is in the process of being integrated at the moment.

My main objection to duration - before - pitch is that (as with Sibelius) is I cannot freely play and tryout ideas without inputing notes. Am I missing something? It also would seem very advantageous to have the Finale note input method option if at all possible.

Will Dorico require the use of the escape key as in Sebelius?

In Sibelius, if you select a staff for input and then deselect it, midi thru will remain active for that instrument, so you can try out ideas without inputting any notation. Once you get used to the workflow of escape out and clicking into selection for preview before entry, it is pretty intuitive. As you say, FInale’s mechanism of duration after pitch for step-entry facilitates trying out ideas on the keyboard before input.

To me, the workflow for getting music entered via midi / step time in Finale and Sibelius seem equally efficient, and making the adjustment between programs seems natural and intuitive.

About Q for Qord, is it possible to select an entire unison line and add a 3rd above or a 6th below with a single command?

Not at the moment, Claude, but I’m sure this is something we can add at some point.

For now, you can enable the “Lock Durations” button in the note input toolbox, then engage chord input, and work your way through the existing melody, adding the necessary intervals by note name, and hitting Space when you want to move on to the next rhythmic position. It’s not as fast as making a selection of multiple notes and adding them with a single keypress, obviously, but it does remove the need to change note duration at every position.

Although it’s a pity, especially since “Product A” does this very quickly and I would use it often, I’m sure I could even find a workaround involving copy/paste/voices that would work even faster with longer melodies. I’ll experiment once I get the software. Still, it would be very useful to add this capacity.
It has been a bad habit of mine to use scoring software without truly thinking in terms of note names (something that is generally recommended) but rather in terms of “geography” on the staff. Hence my reliance on thinking more in terms of intervals, and my odd habit of entering music using a repeat command and up/down arrows. It seems quite obvious that I will finally have to eschew those practices and join the rest of the notating world!

Hi All,

I’ve been following Daniel’s blog and any other Dorico-related news with great interest. I recently heard a podcast where he mentioned that Finale and Sibelius bear the imprint of the times in which they were created, and I very much agree.

I’m a long time Finale user, and I find it to be exasperatingly dated in many ways. One thing I specifically don’t like about it is how often it takes you out of your creative musician mindset and forces you to think like a piece of software.

As an example, if you enter any chromatic pitch in Finale, it will guess what the spelling of that note should be. So in C major if you enter the note Ab and Finale guesses it’s G# you have to change the spelling. So far, no big problem. The problem is that if that is the first of 16 Abs in that bar, it’s going to call it G# 15 more times. It’s true that you can enter a whole measure of wrong spellings and then correct them all at once, but it forces you to look a whole bars of crazy spelling while trying to think about the harmony therein. It’s extremely un-musicianly, disconcerting and tedious.

One thing Finale does well is to let the user decide if they’re going to use a mouse and typing keyboard, or a musical keyboard, or a combination thereof for input. Reading in this thread that Dorico will only work with a typing keyboard is a deal breaker for me, 100%, I’m sorry to say. Removing the primary stock-in-trade tool of most composers - the musical keyboard - as well as removing the ability to quickly and easily audition and enter choices about chord voicings, makes this a tool I would never buy or use. I can imagine no scenario where I would trade my lifetime of musical keyboard skills for my poor hunt-and-peck typing. And being unable to enter whole chords in one go makes it an order of magnitude worse.

One more thing: using the keypad along with a MIDI keyboard in Speedy Entry in Finale means that I can enter music almost as fast as I can hear it, and I never have to look at my hands. Typing on the number keys across the top is, at least for me, a much less sure handed operation.

It would be amazing if someone developed software for novelists or screenwriters so that in a pinch they could even capture their ideas even without access to a typing keyboard. But to write such a program and specifically forbid the use of a typing keyboard would be utterly lacking in common sense. Most people in those professions are so accustomed to using that tool that they hardly know it’s there. Diverting their attention from being creative to learning some bizarre system of word entry invented for a piece of software would be as counter-productive as possible. For me, doing any kind of musical input without access to a musical keyboard is just as useless.

I would think that the best solution with respect to note input is to make it possible to use just a typing keyboard, or a typing keyboard with a MIDI keyboard, and let the use decide what works best for them. Also, a simple Key Commands feature such as in Logic and other software would let the user map note values and other commands to whatever keys they prefer.

My overlong 2 cents…

Steve, we will of course support MIDI keyboard input, just as soon as the audio engine that is currently being integrated allows us to achieve it. We expect this to be before 1.0 is released, but if not, it will certainly come as quickly as possible afterwards in a free maintenance update.

Since I grew up using a 10 key adding machine I touch type both it and a standard keyboard so I use left hand for note name and right hand on keypad for duration. Quick, efficient, and no need to take my eyes off the score.
Will I be able to map the durations to my keypad? I certainly hope so.
(Curses and imprecations directed at all laptops sans keypad. May they overheat and blowup.)

Yes, you will be able to assign shortcuts to the numeric keypad as you wish.

Thanks Daniel. I thought so but wanted to be reassured. We are all such fragile creatures.

Just a quick +1 to prioritizing having a pitch-before-duration setting as soon as possible – of course any switch in software has a learning curve, but this is a pretty fundamental change for people who have used the other paradigm for two decades, that it could turn off prospective switchers. At this point I can nearly always input a monophonic line into Finale Speedy Entry as fast or faster than I could play it in real time. Retraining that instinct would be a major impediment to making a switch.

And another +1 for a pitch-before-duration mode. In addition, it would be nice to have the “ghost” cursor to select pitch with the arrow keys then hit the duration key to write the note (ala Sibelius.) I tend to find this very quick and useful, especially when I am without a midi keyboard on a laptop.

I am trying to get used to duration before pitch and the Dorico keys for pitch, but old habits are hard to break. :smiley:

Pitch before duration mode would speed thing up for me considerably.

Dealt with at