Painful working with tied notes

Hi, maybe I’m missing something but I’m finding it really painful working with long tied notes.

Some examples.

  1. Say I have 2 whole notes tied together. If I want to change the second whole note to a half note, I have to untie it first, change the second note, then re-apply the tie. If it was 3 whole notes, I’d have to re-apply the 2 ties.

  2. If I have a long series of tied whole notes, and want to put dynamics at several points, I end up having to untie and retie notes all over the place.

  3. If I have a long tie ending part way through a bar followed by a series of notes, I can’t copy and paste the part of the tied note along with the following notes anywhere else. Unless - you guessed it… I untie it first. Then I have to patch it back up after.

It all boils down to 1 thing. Since a tied note is considered by Dorico to be a single note, all selections are based from the beginning.

This philosphy is highly problematic and causes a lot of extra work and pain.

It’s necessary to be able to select individual members of the tied note. Ctrl click would work for me, or just click.

  1. No! Lengthen or shorten the duration! Much faster! :wink: Set your rhythmic grid to eighth (my preferred duration usually), and Shift-alt-(let arrow 4 times). Done! OR… if the long note will be followed by new notes, simply navigate the caret to the second half of the second measure, and start inputting a new note. It’ll automatically shorten the 8-beat note you had.
  2. Maybe. But not difficult to achieve. Instead, type “p<mppp” or whatever command string into your dynamics popover, then drag each dynamic to adjust their horizontal positioning.
  3. It is really quite fast to grab, copy, and adjust notes. Have you explored R, Ctrl-Shift-alt-L/R and others? I find I need to go into note input mode less and less - grab what I already have, copy it, and quickly manipulate it.

The only time I do still get tripped up is where I’m wanting to highlight a long section that ends in a multi-measure tie. I click the first measure of the selection, then Shift click on the final measure that contains the tie, and nothing. I have to click on the penultimate measure instead.

I also have to untie notes to add playing techniques that change over time, like downbow to upbow. But it’s a quick step.

I do like the idea of a modified click though!

  1. Thanks!
  2. OK thanks
  3. So you can select a part of a tied note? I use R a lot. Didn’t know about Ctrl-Shift-Alt L/R (is that to expand selection?).

I had another case which was painful which was chaining more on the front of a tied note. I wanted to copy/paste one bar of the chord (over 4 horns) and tie it up (e.g. chord starts a bar earlier).

I found with selecting blocks, if I just clicked in the bar somewhere (not on a note) it would just clear the selection. Or is there drag-window selection? I didn’t notice that. I kept finding myself having to click on note-heads to do block selections always, and the target zone there is so much smaller it’s more prone to mis-clicks.

I really like in Sibelius how it blocks the bar out in blue when you’re selecting. It makes it really easy to work at a macro level to rearrange stuff. Many of the ways Sibelius works suck, but there are also a lot of things that were the result of a long evolution and are there for good reason. The Dorico team knows more about these things than anyone else.

  1. No, sorry I read your question too quickly. You do have to tie and untie in that case.

Ctrl-alt-shift-L/R doubles or halves the note duration. Handy for rapid duration changes! If you want to change a whole note to be two whole notes tied together, it’s just one step!

Sorry, I’m not understanding exactly your question about the copy-paste for the horns.

When you want to place a dynamic in the middle of a tied note, don’t untie the note: just show the caret and move it to the desired position, then add the dynamics.

We don’t intend to change the way that selection of parts of tied notes work in the near future, but I do understand that you would like to be able to copy and paste part of a note. However, that’s really an operation that is quite unusual in Dorico’s terms. You think of a tied note as lots of separate notes tied together, but Dorico thinks of them all as a single unit. This has a great many advantages, but you can’t do the same things you did in Sibelius without adjusting some of your habits.

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re the horns. If you have say 4 staves for your 4 horns, and you want to copy say 4 bars of chords over the 4 staves. In Sibelius you can click anywhere in the top first bar to start selection, and shift-click anywhere in the bottom 4th bar. In Dorico you have to click on notes. That’s a small proportion of the screen real-estate that a bar is. Much easier to miss.

Thanks Daniel for the tip about accessing points through the tied note for placement of things. As for whether selection of part of a tied note is common or not, I tend to end up doing it a lot in Sibelius. I’d need to figure out some other kind of workflow to effect the same thing in Dorico, but I think I’d end up untying then retying.

It may be possible to treat a tied note as a single note for the things that benefit from that (rendering?), and as a collection for UX? It may be that UX when editing is the more important consideration as this is where the human time is spent.

adrien, surely treating tied notes as single units makes sense nearly all of the time when it comes to UX? The whole point of tied notes being single units is that if you change the time signature or copy and paste to a different place in a bar, the note grouping and beaming change automatically, which is something that Sibelius can’t do (or at least couldn’t do a couple of years ago when I switched to Dorico).

And for bar selections you can select by clicking anywhere in the top stave bar, and everything turns orange. You can then shift-click anywhere in the fourth bar of the fourth stave and all four bars of all four horns will be selected.

If I understand your reply correctly, that is in fact incorrect. Shift-click works just as it does in Sibelius. You can easily select multiple measures, not just individual notes. In fact, the shift modifier in Dorico does tend to grab everything in its path.

Except where tied notes are involved, where it either extends the selection to include the full duration of the tied notes or excludes them entirely.

Yes, this is the one aspect of ties and their behavior in Dorico that continually trips me up! “Why did my selection disappear? I thought I clicked on the… ohh…”

that wasn’t happening for me. Shift click on anything in the end bar other than a note just cleared the selection. Tripped me up about 20 times.

I guess my philosophy as a software developer, is that it’s the developers job to make the software work for the customer, and the developer puts in a lot of work to save the customers a small amount of work on a task, because if you add up all the customers and all the times that time is saved, it can turn into a very great amount of time. You can do just about anything if you put your mind to it. The hardest part of software development is not the “how do I do this”, it’s the “what should I do”.

So I could imagine a scenario where Dorico could offer a way to select parts of a tied note. Then you’d get the best of both worlds. Being able to select one of the ties would be great too, so if you have 8 measures of tied whole notes, you can break it into 2 x 4 measures tied.

You can already split a tied note in one specific spot by putting the caret in the place where you want the tie to be cut and hitting U.

And that spot can be anywhere in the “middle” of an existing tied note, not just at one of the written noteheads. Which is one more reason why treating tied notes as a single entity is A Good Thing :slight_smile:

I have to say this has been one of the things that has tripped me up constantly in Dorico so it’s good to see it being discussed here, I’m making notes of some of these methods and will look to use them the next time I’m writing. Hopefully I can commit them swiftly to muscle memory so i don’t have to keep coming back here to remind myself! :wink:

(I do like the modifier key idea though)