Percussion notation bug (quirk) in version 2.2

First, I LOVE the update you have made in the newest update. Jazz articulations are a God send and work amazingly great!!

However, I am noticing a quirk (bug?) in percussion notation. This was working as expected in the previous version I will mention.

When I enter snare drum music (for example) and I have a quarter note with a roll (tremolo) tied to an eighth note, standard band music does not show the tremolo on the release note, the eighth note. I had no problem in the previous version going to engrave mode and changing the eighth note to not show the tremolo but now it’s a crapshoot if it will work. Sometimes it works as expected but sometimes Dorico turns the quarter-eighth into a dotted quarter which rhythmically is correct but not notationally correct. Am I making sense? (screen shot attached)

I try to always enter the music with force duration on most of the time so why is Dorico not respecting that?

The other (new) problem is because I have to switch between write and engrave mode so often to fix these percussion tremolos it’s a pain that Dorico does not seem to focus on the highlighted note or measure as before. It now shows the beginning of the piece and I have to scroll and find the part I’m trying to fix, sometimes WAY into a piece, every time. This is annoying and wastes time.
Tremelo problem.jpg

Here’s another example of something I was just working on. First example (Tremolo problem 2) is how it was originally notated. Second is after I tried to remove the tremolo on the tied 8th note (Tremolo Problem 3).

I haven’t had this problem since the early versions of Dorico.
Tremolo Problem 2.jpg

It didn’t add the other jpg!!

Tremolo Problem 3
Tremolo Problem 3.jpg

Could this perhaps be the reason for the undesired behavior? Force Duration should be the exception, not the rule. I can’t say for sure that it’s the cause of your problems, but it’s certainly possible. If it’s not necessary, I would avoid using it. Have you exhausted the options for global rhythmic settings?

The basic problem is that if you tie two notes together, so far as Dorico is concerned you only have one note, not two, so it either has a tremolo or it doesn’t.

A method that is “guaranteed to work” is to put your two notes (one with tremolo and one without) in different voices and tie them together. That way you don’t need forced duration, but you will need to use the “starts voice” and “ends voice” properties to get rid of unwanted rests. You can write the notes all in one voice and move them to a different voice later. And you can do all that in write mode, so you don’t have to keep switching modes and losing your place in the score.

But there ought to be an easier way!

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I just noticed the thread you posted, it certainly explains what I am experiencing when switching between modes.

I mainly use force duration when I know something will not appear as I want, say entering dotted quarters in 3/4 time or in jazz notation that is sometimes different. I will try and use it less to see if that makes a difference.


I know your method, but its a lot of “start voice” and “end voice” to deal with…and you are correct, there should be an easier way!

Thank you both for your insight!!

I’m not a percussion guru, but I wonder why you need the tie between the two notes anyway. The whole point of the notation is that the second note is a single hit on that beat.

I looked in Gould but there is only one throw-away example, without a tie, but with different text instructions (where to strike the drum) for the tremolo and the final hit, which isn’t very conclusive either way.

There are plenty of examples on the web of people using a tie, but I didn’t find anything very authoritative.

As you know, I’m sure, percussion notation is far from an exact science. I guess the reason I notate with the tie is just because that’s how I’ve always seen it done in band music over the years. The only real example I could find in the book “Writing for Percussion” by Solomon is that the release note is less accented when played if the roll is tied. Far from clear I know, maybe I’ll just start writing rolls with no ties.

Conceptually the tie is more like a slur, it indicates that the roll should continue to the second note without a break.
Would a slur look and behave correctly here instead?

I have often wondered whether the handwritten music in which the notation likely first appeared noticeable differentiated between a slur and a tie; so I am with you, Martin.

A slur would work but I’m afraid I would have to do lots of moving of the slur handles to re-position them.

The is example shows adding a slur, with no adjustment.
slur instead of tie.jpg

Dear Kevin,
You probably already know that, but I’ll share that information for the sake of readers who might not know it. You can alt-click-and-drag the handles of the slurs in Engrave mode, it can make this can of edit very fast.
Hope it helps

If you play with the engraving options for slurs, you can make them look a lot nicer for this automatically.

(This is just a demo - you could probably do better with a bit more work).

percussion slur.png

I can see why you might want the trem symbol hidden on the first two examples however the 3rd example pic you shared looks correct to me.

Doesn’t answer the question entirely but an interesting article nevertheless: Tremolo and the abstract truth

I’ve got this problem too, and wish I didn’t. What bugs me is that this shouldn’t be a problem; there shouldn’t need to be a workaround. There is a world of difference to a percussionist between a note with a tremolo simply followed by an ending note; and a note with a tremolo tied to an ending note; you can read any ‘timpanist’s method book’ to learn that (and the point is indeed reiterated in the link, above). This simply wasn’t an issue in Sibelius, and I do get tired of Dorico deciding it knows better than I do, how things must be done. Having to do infuriatingly time-consuming workarounds, that ultimately should simply not be necessary, is deeply frustrating. And the workaround (to use a slur and adjust its position) is not quick, because Dorico jumps to the beginning, as Kevin said in his opening post. I’d love to know the rationale behind that.

Use a slur. For all we know that is what composers intended when music was handwritten.

Orchestrator/percussionist here—just wanted to say that I agree there should be a way accomplish this notation without slurs and/or workarounds.

No workaround is required: simply select the note or notes in the tie chain that you want to show the tremolo in Engrave mode and set the ‘Single stem tremolo’ property.

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I can’t select a single note in the tie chain. It selects them all, and then the Single stem option doesn’t show up in Engrave. It seems I have to:
1 in Write, untie the chain (because it’s not till I’ve tied them that I realise it’s wrong)
2 select the note I don’t want tremolo’d
3 in Engrave, the Single stem option now appears. Select None
4 switch to Write and tie the notes back together again
(The option does appear in Engrave if I select the tie itself - but then the ’ None’ option gets applied to all notes in the chain.)

I had been looking and hoping for some option in Properties to do this; no wonder I couldn’t find it, since it only appears in the above circumstances.
I can’t honestly say I find the solution ‘simple’. :frowning: If I’ve input one note with a tremolo and the next without, then when I tie them together, I expect them to stay that way, without having to take any further action.