Override combined long notes?


One feature of Dorico keeps giving me a hang up: the way notes that have been tied together are permanently treated as “one note.” For instance, in my current piece I have 3 whole notes tied together. It is impossible to select only one of them to add a marking, it automatically selects all three and anything I add goes straight to the first one.

I’ve gotten around this with hairpins by moving them manually in Engrave mode, although this doesn’t seem ideal.

My issue now is that I have three whole notes that are tied together with a trill. The first two have a whole step trill, while the third shifts to a half step trill. So far, I can make the first trill end after the second whole note, but I can’t create a new trill just for the third whole note without overwriting the original trill.

I’ve tried reinputting the notes with “force duration” selected but they still get chained together. Does anyone know of a work around?

Thank you!

Firstly, you should never (or at least, very rarely) have to untie notes or move things in Engrave mode to put items in the middle of the tie chains. That’s what the caret is for, and the generic key commands to move and lengthen/shorten items (Alt/Opt-arrow keys and Shift-Alt/Opt-arrow keys respectively).

See this short video tip demonstrating how to use the caret to add dynamics in the middle of tie chains.

For changing the interval within a trill, there’s instructions for that here. For steps 1-3, you could instead double-click the staff (but not on a stem) where you want to change the trill interval, which activates the caret at the mouse position.

You may also find these introductions covering the concepts of rhythmic position and how Dorico approaches notes and rests useful.


Thank you Lillie! That solved my issue very easily!

I’ll dive into those resources you provided. I think my issue stems from using the caret when inputting notes and whatever expressive markings I’m able to do in the moment, but not using it when I’m editing.

That’s understandable, if you’re used to other software it’s quite a different tool. Depending on the situation, you might find it easier to e.g. just add something to a selected note, whatever its duration, and then lengthen/shorten the added notation, or add it to the staff below (it that has a note the desired duration, say) and then move it up a staff using Alt/Opt-N (or Alt/Opt-M to move down a staff). There are a fair few options that once you’re familiar with, you can use interchangeably depending on what feels easiest in a given situation.

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I’m afraid I’ve never been able to get this to work, although perhaps it’s due to a setting I’m overlooking. Regardless of where I place the caret, if I call up the dynamics popover and enter a hairpin, no matter how many times I press the spacebar before I enter an end dynamic, and regardless of the value of the note selected in the Notes Panel, or the rhythmic grid value I have set, the hairpin is always entered with the length of one quarter note. I’ve always had to resort to entering the hairpin in another voice and moving it, or entering it as Dorico does by default and changing the length and position manually.

It would also be nice to be able to enter hairpins using this method but without an immediate dynamic at the end. If I try this, I get no hairpin at all.

Try spacebar after enter…

  1. Caret.
    (Rhythmic value if the one selected doesn’t suit.)
  2. < or > (no need for popover)
  3. Right arrow along the grid - not Space.
    4a. Shift-D absolute dynamic Enter
    4b. Type ? to end hairpin.

That said, I have no problem with your method. Maybe if I add a video you can figure out what you’re doing differently.

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Indeed, it wasn’t clear to me that you have to press Return or Enter first before pressing the spacebar, since when one does this it looks initially as though Dorico has ignored the action.

Thanks to both of you.