Note spelling agnostic?

I’ve been in a hardcore engraving contract for the better part of a month. I’m setting a large “cantata” that is mostly tonal. My process is first rhythm and voices, then note names.

I’m finding a few things quite annoying: I use “Y” to input my rhythms, which defaults to clef references (such as “G” for g clef, etc). When I go back to input note names, I find that Dorico needlessly spells things enharmonically, such as an E major chord, but using “A-flat” as the spelling for G-sharp. This becomes a tedious job to constantly exit out of note input to change enharmonics, especially with melodic passages. It would be awfully nice to have a note spelling agnostic setting that could prefer a certain spelling over another (I know this is likely impossible).

Does anyone else run into this problem? Ultimately, I’d love to “stream of conscience” input the note names after writing the rhythms, but if I do that, I’ll likely let some note spellings pass by and be more prone to errors in the editing process.

A. Don’t look at every pitch as you input it; Dorico (by default) reserves the right to respell the previous note based on the context provided by the next note.
B. Give it a key signature. If you input no key signature, or an open/atonal key signature, it seems to default to sharps up and flats down. You can always delete the key signature if you don’t want it in the finished product - Dorico won’t respell if you delete a key signature.


I do often let it go, but it will still spell things as A-flat in a context where G-sharp is immediately apparent, only because the notes surrounding the context are usually a G natural from input with Y.

To be fair, given the context you have just laid out, between two G’s I would also express the half-step above as an Ab. So the Dorico routine seems to be acting sensibly to me.

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Keep in mind that Dorico only looks at the isolated part to determine the spelling. It can’t smell that the rest of the players have an E major chord, so it decides that melodically, G-Ab-G makes more sense.

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I completely understand, it’s just frustrating… the energy to go from inputting rhythm on “Y” to adjusting note spelling is something that is fraught with error.

Finale has “Favor Sharps” or “Favor Flats” as two Enharmonic options (amongst others) for accidentals.

However, my experience is that I still needed to intervene after the fact when using these: invariably a piece that’s mostly sharps will still contain the odd flat, and vice versa.