Play as % of written duration - wrong idea


I’m getting a lot of clipped playback. Unadorned crotchets playing as quavers etc.

I know everyone does it (Sibelius etc) but playing back a percentage is wrong thinking.

Musicians don’t do it. It may be simple and convenient from an engineering POV, but it’s wrong.

Can I suggest that gaps between notes be based on other things such as reality of playing. For example a gap between an up-bow and down-bow is pretty much fixed. The gap for a breath on a flute is also pretty much fixed. That gap to tongue a note on a wind instrument is also pretty consistent.

None of these gaps are a consistent percentage of the written note value.

Play a slow whole note for 95% and you get a large unseemly gap. All the combinations of percentage durations for slurs and notes makes it pretty much impossible to get Dorico to play back as a human would unless you start editing individual note durations.


I don’t think it’s completely wrong but indeed it would be nice ( and probably not that complicated to implement) to have an option for a fixed value in milliseconds.

This has been done already - the timings aren’t specified in milliseconds, but converting to “the percentage of a note at 120 bpm” isn’t exactly hard.

From page 71:

Note shortening. The Play as % of written duration option on the Timing page of
Playback Options has been constrained so that longer notes, or music played at a
slow tempo, are not excessively shortened. A note will be shortened to the
specified amount if it is a quarter note (crotchet) or shorter in duration; if it is longer
than a quarter note, then only the final quarter note portion of the note will be
shortened. This quarter note portion also takes the prevailing tempo into account,
so the maximum amount by which a note can be shortened is the defined
percentage of a quarter note at 120 quarters per minute.

I’m still finding the problem on 2.1.10. This is with quarter notes in a slower tempo. They are becoming 8th notes (e.g. like staccato) at the end of a slur. It’s quite disconcerting.

I had to crank them up to 99 and 98% to get it sounding close.

In reality when playing different instruments would have different gaps between normal notes. Maybe one day…

That’s why the “crank” is there.
Not that I do not hope for more refinement down the road as well.

I agree this sort of control ought to be “per staff” not “per score”.

So has the question changed, or are you complaining about two different issues?

I guess I didn’t consider a slur to be adornment (in terms of affecting note length). Not like staccato or tenuto.

with sections of 4 slurred 1/4 notes, the last one was sounding like it had a staccato marking. Literally playing about 50% of the duration, whereas all the duration settings were default.