Piano Clusters

This is the first time I am writing at this forum.
I started working with Dorico 3.5 a week ago, and there are still some things that are not so clear to me.
For example: How can I create a cluster in low register in the piano?

What kind of cluster notation are you looking for, Carlos? Dorico doesn’t have native support for clusters, but depending on the kind of notation you want to achieve, there will be a solution of some kind.


My idea is to have a black rectangle, but I don’t mind trying something else

In that case, you might find that simply stacking up notes two staff positions apart and using Edit > Notehead > Round and Square > Rectangular Noteheads.

great! Just one more thing: The rhythm is a whole note (well, 4 beats), is there a way to make it all black regardless of the duration?

Yes, to do that you’d need to define a new notehead set that uses the black notehead for all durations. Check out the documentation here.

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Yet another cluster challenge: Can I, with today’s cluster options, make rhythm dots look tidy with clusters? That is, have only one big dot, for example?

No, I don’t think so, because you can’t adjust the vertical position of rhythm dots, so you’ll always have one per staff space. You could perhaps use a non-dotted note value, hide the rest somehow (whatever your preferred method might be), and then add your dot using some other means, e.g. a text item.

Ok. Thank you for the answer.

Good evening, or night,
YET another cluster follow-up:
I write a piano piece with a lot of clusters. I have settled on:

  1. Writing the top and bottom notes of the clusters only,
  2. creating specialised cluster notehead sets for them, and
  3. filling in the gap with vertical lines.

It looks quite nice. BUT I will use loads of time ajusting the lines in Engrave mode! So – is there a way to specify that these lines should, by default, span somewhat shorter than the chord (to fit in between), and at a given horizontal position? (So far, they always pop up to the left of the chord, and too long for it.)

No, unfortunately you cannot specify that vertical lines should occupy the same horizontal position as the notes themselves. Until such time as Dorco has proper support for cluster notation (which is planned for the future) you will need to employ workarounds of one form or another.

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I may be misunderstanding something, but: if you use custom notehead sets anyway, shouldn’t you be able to set up a variety of sets that cover the vertical lines as part of the notehead itself?

For example, then you could have one generic set for the bottom of the cluster, and several sets for the top of the cluster, covering all needed vertical distances. This would have to be applied on a case-by-case basis, but it strikes me as preferable to fiddling with vertical lines each time.

Looks like a very good idea indeed! And it even looks to works regardless of stem direction!
Thanks a lot!

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