# Pitch-before-Duration and Dotted Notes with Tied notes

I find that Pitch-before-Duration is working beautifully (…coming at this from a Sibelius-user’s angle)

However, I find that I have to switch my thinking and entry method when I’m inputting a dotted-note that is tied to a previous note.

(FYI: Dotted-note with ‘Articulations and Dots after the Note’ (or before the Note) preference works find when everything is on the beat and their are no ties or syncopation involved)

Example:
I would like to have a quarter note from the last beat of a measure to be tied over the measure into a dotted quarter note in the next measure.

I find I have to ‘switch my thinking’, compared to Sibelius, where I would just enter ‘Quarter Note / Tie / Quarter Note with Dot’…everything looks fine.

In Dorico, if I enter ‘Quarter Note / Tie / Quarter Note with Dot’ I don’t get the same result…it account for the previous tied in the result in the mathematical reasoning, which doesn’t end up being a Quarter Note with Dot.

So, whenever I want to input a Dotted-Note which is tied to the previous note in the previous measure, I have to enter ‘Quarter Note / Tie / Quarter Note / Tie / Eighth Note’ in order to get the proper notation.

(Note: this entry method needs to happen for any tied notes of any duration anywhere in any measure that involves tied notes or syncopation going into tied notes)

I’m able to ‘switch my thinking’ to get the proper result, but I’m wondering if I’m missing something in any settings, preferences, notation preferences, etc. The end result does work, but I’m just wondering about the rational.

Thanks all. (It would just be nice to type in Dotted-Notes as normal when following a tied note as in Sibelius to keep a smooth mental flow happening)

I just tried this and it seemed to work as expected for me. E.g. in 4/4, entering a quarter note G at the end of bar 1 tied to a dotted quarter at the start of the next bar, I type:

G, 6, ., T, 6

and I get the expected result.

Daniel, if I set the preference for articulations and rhythm dots after the note, I find that if I go pitch 6 T 6 . I get a crotchet tied to a minim. Dorico is dotting the whole value - a minim split over a barline - rather than dotting just the end section of the tie chain.

I think in real use I’d be resorting to Shift-Alt-Right in these sorts of situations, but I recognise I switched my thinking quite some years ago.

I get the same result as Leo using those keystrokes (which I had described by words)

This makes it ‘awkward’ thinking for writing a stream of syncopated notes that are mostly found in jazz or commercial music.

Perhaps changeable in future revision?

Sure, one can adjust their thinking, but if trying to capture the ease of thinking as if one was using a pencil and score pad, then it is ‘break in mental flow’ when composing.

This is the only thing that ‘bugs’ me in Dorico! Thanks for reading and listening!

Notice that Daniel typed the dot after the first quarter, not the second. That may be counter-intuitive but explain the different results you and Leo are getting from what Daniel did.

I suspect the difference is in how “Specify accidental, rhythm dot and articulations” is set.
If it’s set to “Before”, Daniel’s sequence of keys works fine and gives the desired result.
If it’s set to “After”, Daniel’s sequence of keys works, but only because it so happens that both ends of the tie chain are the same note value - it doesn’t matter which quarter note gets dotted. It seems counterintuitive that you would have a quarter note, then a barline, then dot that quarter note (resulting in a tie to an eighth over the barline), then tie another (syncopated) quarter to that.

Yes, indeed, that’s exactly what it is designed to do. As you know very well, Leo, and perhaps Cam hasn’t quite yet fully internalised, a note split by a barline is treated as a single note, so if you make it dotted, it will use the whole duration of the note to determine the amount of augmentation, resulting in a note that is three quarters in length.

I had a long and slightly tetchy conversation with somebody not so long ago who swore up and down that when you add a rhythm dot, Dorico should calculate the duration to be added on using only the last notehead in the tie chain (which of course wouldn’t change the behaviour for a note shown as a single notehead). I’ve been mulling this over but I’m not yet decided on whether it’s something we should change. It’s the kind of change that could upset a lot of people’s workflows, and I’m not convinced the benefits are there.

I’m confident that 100% of the time Dorico knows better than me.

FWIW I’m fully behind Dorico’s philosophy that we are entering data, and the typesetting engine knows best how to format it. The fact that it’s a WYSIWYG editor is just a nicety, we could as well be typing in SQL commands for how the system is architected AFAIK. This is like La/TeX’s system of document preparation, and like in LaTeX you can bend the rules when you need because the engine can’t read your mind, and likewise Dorico also lets you force your intentions when needed.

On this one I think keeping with the philosophy of the architecture is best, I agree my brain wants to think “hey I just said dotted quarter/crochet so what are you up to here?” but that’s an artifact of the system doing a good job of convincing me that I’m in control. Yeah dummy (talking to myself here), a tied note is a whole duration being considered. Unless it’s egregious to expect people to get this it’s usually best to keep architecture design consistency IMO.

The problem with that idea is that you would have to predict how Dorico notates the note before you entered the dot, and that may depend on the context.

For example suppose you to start a bar with a quarter + a dotted half. When you enter the quarter + half, Dorico might notate it as a quarter + two tied quarters, depending on the time signature and the engraving rules. So you would have to “guess” how much duration the dot would add. Not very useful IMO.

I would vote for having a dot simply added to the value of the last note that was inputted. (…Daniel! …I sure wouldn’t want to get into a tech argument with you!)

Note: I’m a good composer who knows the ‘rules’ of how to notate over the middle points of a measure using a pencil and paper, and it’s wonderful the way you even give people those kind of notation options in Dorico’s Engraving and Notation options. But this is a ‘special case’ problem.

You guys did it ‘right’ in Sibelius in my humble opinion. Adding a dot to a note (a note which happens to be tied to the previous note) you simply add a dot to the note, much as in the way when you’re thinking when using a pencil and paper…draw a quarter note and add a dot (or whatever duration for which you want to add a dot…it doesn’t matter what came before this newly dotted note and it doesn’t matter that it may have been tied to the previous note)

In my humble opinion that would really save a lot of ‘headscratching’ when in the flow of composing or arranging.

When notating using the setting ‘Add Articulations etc After the Note’:

If I write a syncopated eighth note which is tied to the next note and I want that next note to be a dotted note of any duration, it really throws you for a loop when you don’t see that dotted note appear. You have to go back and think “ah yes…Dorico wants me to add the tie, then break down my desired dotted-note into it’s mathematical makeup…so, I have to add a tie, then a quarter note, then another tie, and finally add an eighth note…ahh!..now I have my simple dotted quarter note which is tied to the previous note”

For this scenario, it doesn’t matter if the syncopation is over the bar line or over the ‘break point’ between say beats 2 and 3. It’s still clumsy to many of us for sure; too much ‘non-musical’ thinking.

Adding a dot to a note (after the duration is input) works great when all the notes start right on the ‘beat’. Great for writing a lot of straight ahead ‘classical-style-era’ or even funk horn lines when everything is metronomically right ‘on the beat. But for a lot of syncopation and ‘pushes over the bar line’ or ‘pushes into beat 3’ when the next note is going to be a ‘dotted-something’, that’s when the musical flow comes to a stop and you have to start thinking far too ‘mathematically’.

I have to say that this is one aspect in which Sibelius is more fluid and more conducive to straight ahead notation when you’ve been trained with pencil and paper.

Please! I’m not trying to start any “Sibelius vs Dorico” thread. This is just the only thing in Dorico I’ve found that loses a mark to Sibelius.

Thanks for listening and pondering!

While what you request is musically logical, the way Dorico defines a note (and thus defines 150% of a note) presents significant programming challenges, so while I hope the Team can eventually meet these expectations, I tend to cut them some slack regarding how soon this could happen.

Cam, if possible you should try to adjust your mindset to think about the played duration of the note you want to hear, rather than tying yourself in knots worrying about exactly how that will be notated. It’s tricky with notes that are, say, five eighths in duration, but I still think the best way to input this is actually (to continue my example from earlier) G 7 T 5. Then you don’t need to worry about dots at all.

Right…and what works for me is to change the note input preferences to ‘Add Articulations etc Before Duration’…

…and to change my mental thinking to “create dotted note” instead of “add a dot to this note”

Meaning that if I want to notate a dotted half note in a new measure and this note happens to be tied to the previous note in the previous measure, then I simply go ‘dot’ + ‘duration’ (after I’ve already made a tie coming from the previous note)

All’s well!

Hah! All these semantics! Just a change in ‘musical mental wiring’ for me. But it’s actually very logical to now think ‘create a dotted duration’…Compared to ‘add a dot to this note’.

“There are many roads to Rome” (here’s some great trivia for you…this great old truism was actually handwritten by Charles Ives on a 1st Trombone part as handed out and played by my trombone/arranging instructor Dave Robbins many years ago when he was freelancing in various orchestras in the US. He’d often quote this during my lessons as a reminder to stay vigilant and musical!)

Anyways, it’s nice to be able to converse with someone like yourself who has created such amazing tools for musicians around the world, and reassuring to all of us that our thoughts are considered.

Right, Dorico forces us to think logically and musically, rather than typographically or notationally, which is its job.

Interestingly, even when I used Finale, I preferred to enter dotted rhythms across barlines by ‘overfilling’ the previous bar, which is the Finale way of doing what Dorico does automatically. If I needed to enter the OP’s example above, I would have entered a half note on the fourth beat of the bar. This would result in an ‘error message’ from Finale that there were too many beats in the bar, after which I could select ‘move the extra notes to the next measure’, which would create a quarter tied over the barline to a quarter in the next bar. I then just pressed the augmentation dot. This was actually quite fast: with the caret on the 4th beat, press 6 (Finale’s shortcut for a half note), return (to dismiss the error message and create the tied note) and then . (to dot the quarter). Perhaps just as easy and fast as in Dorico, but nowhere near as elegant or logical!

I increasingly use the ALT+SHIFT+arrow keys to augment the length of a note by an eighth (which is my normal grid setting).

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Good tips! Thanks all.

Will carry on with more Dorico knowledge, which is the goal.

“I increasingly use the ALT+SHIFT+arrow keys to augment the length of a note by an eighth (which is my normal grid setting).”

With the size of my scores operations like that are too slow and clumsy feeling. On the flip side, I’m getting much better at knowing what I want before I enter it, so I get it right the first time! Too slow to backtrack and fix something I input wrong.

Who is backtracking? I enter the note and then extend it. ALT+SHIFT+arrow is as easy as pressing the period key.

I just mean that alt-shift-arrow is slower and clunky compared to hitting period, in my scores.