Pizz. playback in Dorico 4

Since upgrading to Dorico Pro 4, suddenly pizzicato markings only playback over the single note they sit over, rather than indefinitely until an “arco” marking appears. Is there a setting for this?

Update: this is odd. In one bar the behavior is as I described, but in another bar it works normally.

In Dorico 4 playing techniques that have a duration will have an effect on playback only over that duration. Is it possible that you have somehow created some of your “pizz” techniques with a duration? This might have happened if you had a selection of several notes when you created it. If you select one and hit alt-shift-left repeatedly (to shorten its duration to 0) does that then work as you expect?

Thank you! You are right!

this is great!
What might be the cherry on the cake for playint techniqes: if Dorico would automatically put a second playing technique in the notation, cancelling the first one if the previous playing technique has a duration.
So a pizz. would be automatically canceled with an arco, sul pont. with ord. etc etc.
One could be able to specify the cancelling technique in the playing technique editor.


[A third edit, to delete my first paragraph]

If you apply it with only one note selected, it stays in effect until cancelled with arco, which is exactly how it reads. Playback helpfully informs you if you’ve neglected to cancel a pizz. marking.

So I would recommend always doing it that way (or, better, with the caret and popover), not starting with a passage selected.

In Dorico 3 if you added a pizz to a selection it would behave as expected and be in effect until cancelled. In Dorico 4 If you have a selection and apply pizz. it only stays in effect for the selection. it should automatically add an arco at the end of the selection. Otherwise, there’s no indication that the pizz has been canceled but it plays back as though it was. This is bad behavior.

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This only happens if you create a “pizz” with a selection of multiple notes. What is happening is that in Dorico 4 we have added the ability for any playing technique to apply to a specific duration, if the playing technique itself has a duration. By default playing techniques do not have a duration, but they will if multiple notes were selected when the technique was created.

The fix is to select the playing technique and press alt-shift-left repeatedly until the duration reaches 0 - you can see this because it will no longer display drag handles at the start and end.

Was this added in 3.5? Because as I said I observe no difference between 3.5 (my first version) and 4. But maybe there’s something I didn’t try. Just for my information.

It was added in Dorico 4. However, you’ll only see it if you manage to create a “direction” type playing technique with a duration, and this only happens if you do so with a selection that spans multiple notes/chords. (“Attribute” playing techniques always worked more or less like this.)

Could you expand a little further what’s the semantical and technological differences between these two types? Am I able to set them when creating new playing techniques?

You can see the setting in Library > Playback Techniques. An “attribute” technique typically only affects a single note, whereas a “direction” technique takes effect until it is explicitly cancelled. Snap pizzicato (Bartók pizzicato) is an example of the former, normal pizzicato is an example of the latter.

In Dorico 4, if a playing technique has its own duration then the effect on playback always lasts for that duration, no matter whether the playback technique is an attribute or a direction.

Ah, it’s in Playback-Techniques, that’s why I never saw it before - I usually trust the default NP-Playback and usually only go to the playing techniques editor.
I still think automatic cancellation would be a nice workflow-improvement :slight_smile:


Ah - in other words, besides playback being pizz. only for the duration of the pizz. , “arco” would also appear at the end of the pizz. passage. That would solve the OP’s confusion, and it would also be awesome.

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IIRC This capability (or a version of it) existed in Dorico Pro 3.5, at least applied to articulations. The properties of the Direction-added selection allows one to indicate what is happening with a continuation line or other options. I like the flexibility, but one has to know how it works (as is true for a variety of Dorico’s features).

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Exactly. What is new in v4 is that if you are using this sort of continuation line then the playback will be consistent with it, for all types of playing technique.


This I know about, but that type of notation works for only some playing techniques, but not for pizz, for example. Again, would be great if „arco“ could be the end Cap for this continuation line.

Anyway, great the playback now follows this selection!

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