Hi Dorico team,
Dorico has great automatic stem direction handling, but sometimes I don’t want stems to automatically change direction. This is especially true with hymns, where the convention used by some hymnals is, well, more rigid.
In many (correction: some) SATB hymnals, the stems never flip based on the position of the note on a staff (whether high or low). With two staves, a treble staff for SA and bass staff for TB, the notes on the top staff should (almost) always have stems up, and notes on the bottom staff should (almost) always have stems down. The only exceptions to this are when you need to distinguish between the two different voices on a staff (two parts singing in unison, singing a second apart, or singing different rhythms). For examples of this convention, see https://hymnsonline.org (all engraved in Dorico; tremendous thanks!).
This puts me in the unusual situation of needing to “undo” Dorico’s intelligent stem direction choices. Fortunately, I’ve been able to automate a work around with a script which forces stems up for up-stem voices and down for down-stem voices:
local app=DoApp.DoApp() app:doCommand([[Edit.SelectAll]]) app:doCommand([[Filter.VoiceAllUpStem]]) app:doCommand([[Edit.StemForceDirection?ForcedVoiceDirection=kForceStemsUp]]) app:doCommand([[Edit.SelectAll]]) app:doCommand([[Filter.VoiceAllDownStem]]) app:doCommand([[Edit.StemForceDirection?ForcedVoiceDirection=kForceStemsDown]])
I use a single up-stem voice for SA and single down-stem voice for TB, and then an independent voice for A or T whenever it needs to be distinct. But I must remember to re-run this script as a finalization step before publishing anything.
What do you think about adding an option to Dorico to prevent automatic stem flipping within a voice and, instead, always keep up-stem voice stems up and down-stem voice stems down? I bring this up because, even with my automation script, there are times when I still accidentally publish a mistaken stem direction, and it would be wonderful if I could just set this once in Dorico’s options and never have to worry about it again.