Numbers in enclosures for use with instruments and electronics

It’s common for composers writing scores for instruments and electronics to indicate cue numbers in the score. For example, a place where a performer should press a pedal would have a number in a circle (or diamond), possibly with a vertical arrow pointing to a place on a staff.

This is rather easy to achieve in Sibelius, but it seems impossible to do in Dorico, at least in any reasonable way. I have looked at previous forum posts about text enclosures.

There might be many cues, so using the guitar fingering numbers is out. Using circled rehearsal marks seems cumbersome, as their attachment is constrained to the start of measures, as far as I can tell. And maybe one also wants to use rehearsal marks. I also tried importing an SVG graphic of a simple circle as a playing technique. But since neither SVG transparency nor z-plane order changes are supported, the opaque circle sits on top of the number, obscuring it. It would be possible to create a playing technique for every cue, with the number included, but there could be 30+ cues.

Is there a workaround I’m overlooking?

I did find a font that could work (Numbers Style Two by Gerald Gallo), though there is a license issue for anyone wanting to distribute digital editions. Still, it could be the best way.

John

Hi John, making a custom playing technique for each number (i.e. each playing technique contains the circle, the arrow, and the number) might be the way to go. Once you’ve created the first one, you can duplicate it and just replace the number component to achieve a consistent result - in which case I’d recommend adding the number to the technique last, so it’s the “end glyph” for easy arrangement purposes.

1 Like

I’d personally use plain old Staff Text using glyphs from the Enclosed Alphanumerics block of Unicode. (Figures 21-50 are in the Enclosed CJK Letters and Months block.) If I needed an arrow, too, then I’d use these glyphs in a Playing Technique.

The built-in Academico font supports the most common glyphs in this block, but you could always use another font if necessary.

1 Like

One of @DanKreider ’s fonts include a bunch of these circled numerics; I believe it is the musglyphs font. White on black and black on white.

1 Like

I found some fonts on my Windows system that has some of the code points mentioned by @JesterMusician . I don’t know which come with Windows or which come from other sources like MS Office. But, it may be helpful to some.

1 Like

Thanks, @Lillie_Harris, @JesterMusician , @Romanos401, and @Craig_F. All great suggestions!

I’ve since also used the CombiNumerals Pro fonts, which have a clever way of letting you type arbitrary numbers into a circle or oval, and read about the Numberpile and Numbers With Rings fonts, all of which seem to be good solutions, if you don’t want to build your own playing techniques.

Thanks again!

John

1 Like