Note input, Glyph and Mode questions French baroque

Started a new (learning) project: Pièces de Clavecin by JNP Royer, here is the first system:


Again it will be an arrangement for carillon, and immediate I stumbled upon a few things.

  1. Baroque “Dorian”: the piece is in d-minor, but notated without accidentals (kind of Dorian) which was very common in that time. I checked the forum topics and saw this was mentioned before, but there was no real advice how to deal with this. If there are no accidentals Dorico assumes atonal, or you can “force” it to C-major or a-minor, but the piece is not one of those, nor is it real Dorian modal. So the question is how to deal with this. I foresee two possible problems, first the trills with or without the added accidentals by Dorico, and second is the possibility of transposing, when arranging it is often neccesary to transpose to another key, how will Dorico do this if no key is known?

  2. Ornament glyph: the mordent is sometimes notated as a kind of parentheses on the right of the notehead (measure 2, upper voice, first note). I could not find this one in the Bravura font. Possible solutions I could think of are: choose another font (November2?), use the normal mordent sign, or make a new glyph?

  3. Inputting notes: the amount of keys to type in for the upper voice ONLY of measure 5 is rather overwhelming, I needed a lot of time to figure that out, here they are:
    / start grace
    5 eightnote
    e note e
    s start slur
    / end grace
    6 quarter
    f note f
    shift-s end slur
    / start grace
    5 eightnote
    f note f
    s start slur
    / end grace
    shift-o ornament
    short short trill
    enter enter
    66 dotted quarter
    e note e
    shift-s end slur
    5 eightnote
    d note d
    The result is only those three notes, but complete with the grace notes, slurs and trill, but is this really the way to go, or are there more efficient ways?

Just use A minor (or C major). It will make no difference to any future transpositions, nor trill intervals (you can always change the interval if necessary using the properties panel) as your accidentals are explicit.

(I can’t help with ornamentation glyphs - others are more expert)

I usually enter the main notes on pass one then graces, slurs and ornaments on pass two - but that’s just my preference. Particularly slurs, I find it much quicker to do separately and use tools like alt-click and paste articulations.

For repeated dotted patterns (bars 1 and 2) I would first enter all the notes as quavers, then select the passage and hit dot once (much quicker than forever alternating between note lengths with and without dots!)


Dorico is not well suited to the special needs of French Baroque. Those ornaments on the side - as far as I know they cannot be achieved in Dorico. And I can assure you they are not in November 2. I think the problem is Dorico is not capable of putting ornaments beside notes.

But November 2 does have nice French Baroque style trill and mordent symbols, very reminiscent of Couperin engravings.

I suppose you are going to have to make special noteheads. But I am not expert in that.

As an aside, can you really play all these French ornaments on carillon? Is it responsive enough?

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In relation to Baroque key signatures, D minor usually had no B flat. This in no way implies Dorian mode. It was a common convention (but not universal):

Baroque music written in minor keys often was written with a key signature with fewer flats than we now associate with their keys; for example, movements in C minor often had only two flats (because the A♭ would frequently have to be sharpened to A♮ in the ascending melodic minor scale, as would the B♭).

Are you going to modernize the clefs? If so, you are relieved of the trouble of finding those French clefs, which so far I cannot find.

I little while ago I had troubles with the unwanted accidental suplied by Dorico. After I added the key-signature C-dur or a-moll it was suddenly allright because only then Dorico knew the key, that’s why I am curious in this case also.

Ok, I had the impression that Dorico aimed at doing everything in one go and that is possible, even in this case, but requires (to my taste) too many keystrokes and thinking! I will see how my preference will end! The trick with the dotted notes I already saw in another thread, and I am VERY glad with that one!

That really is a pity! As harpsichordist this music is one of my absolute favourites, and I intended to play it a lot, also on the carillon. About the trills, offcourse not everything is possible (especially in the bass), but more so than you might think in advance. As a general “rule” one can best notate them, so leave it to the player (and the instrument, there are no two the same!) if it is possible or not.

In the November setting of the Couperin, there is a sign which comes rather close the the one I mentioned:

in measure 17, upper voice, first note. It is only on the “wrong” side, so if it is possible to flip and move we are there, but I see now that this examle is made in Finale…

Can someone confirm (or deny) this?
And if it is not possible will it be possible in some foreseeable future?

Think so, most players are not used to the old clefs.

With regard to the notation of accidentals, no it is not Dorian, but at first sight it resembles, and I think that it also came from the modal practice, it is some kind of transition halfway…
In that time there were more, in our eyes, strange notations, what to think of this one:
or this:
Both come from the harpsichord works by Jean Nicolas Geoffroy (1633-1694).
(BTW set beautifully in Score!)

But offcourse also the “white” notation in F Couperin and others, and the unmeasured preludes, all very interesting music!

No it’s not (pretty sure). [I’m willing to be corrected, but I have never read any such thing.] It’s 17-18C and only for minor keys for the reason given in the Wikipedia article.

White notation you can do in Dorico. Search the forum. And with an abundance of energy you can do the slurs in unmeasured preludes also.