Possible to add 1/2 or 1 to the trill symbol?

Is there any way to create this in Dorico? And if not, how would this have to notate traditionally? With a flat symbol? Or with a natural? There isn’t a key signature, so I always have trouble figuring this out.
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Wouldn’t you normally trill up a semitones? In which case you don’t really need anything other than tr.

There has been a thread about this not long ago:


I don’t know, I always thought that there need to be something when working in a non-key signature score.

Thanks. I will keep the flat symbol for now which should make clear that it’s a semitone.

Surely you mean a natural?! A flat in this situation is ambiguous at best…

That’s the confusing thing for me, I have some kind of blind spot to recognize what’s correct here. I trust your judgment, Leo. Natural it is :sunglasses:

And a natural might imply a downward trill from G# to G. I really would be wondering why just tr could be misinterpreted. I would certainly play it as G# to A natural without any extra indication. But I suppose…

That is why I would like to use a 1/2 and 1 symbol instead. No confusing any more.

Robert has a valid point here, but as far as I’m aware there’s no convention for using 1/2 and 1 to represent t semitone and tone in this context.

That’s not quite correct. This kind of notation is often used in film scores.

Right now I’m performing one of John Williams’ Harry Potter scores (complete movie, with the film) and this is used quite frequently.

1/2 and 1 is certainly handy for transposing instruments and is also frequently seen in contemporary scores. Traditionally, the accidentals apply to the note above, i.e the trill note…

Can someone post a (small) image/example of this notation? I’d like to see what it looks like.

See the original post, Derrek.

Thank you.

I got this idea actually from the CineScore Film Scoring Template which I bought when it first came out.

Fair enough - thanks for correcting me, rkrentzman and fratveno.

However, as a player that DOESN’T play film sessions I’d be puzzled by a “1” or a “1/2” above a trill - I can categorically say that I’ve never seen it outside of this thread, and I do play a lot of contemporary music.

Elaine Gould’s “Behind Bars” doesn’t mention this method of labelling trills - she talks about the upper notes of trills defaulting to whatever the scale describes (which obviously would be affected by a key signature if there was a key signature), and sharp, natural or flat signs relating to the note above the starting note of the trill. So in this case, if it’s treble clef then it’s G# to an A-something - hence my remark about a flat sign causing confusion (it would generally be taken to mean an A flat, which of course is pretty darn close to the G# that we started on). Even worse if it’s bass clef, as that would mean a B# to a Cb.

Gould also describes a method that I see all the time in contemporary music, that uses one or more stemless notes to the right of the main trill note, generally bracketed, showing exactly which pitches are required. This method is unfortunately difficult to achieve in Dorico right now.

FWIW I highly advise against using “1” or “1/2” above a trill if this is NOT destined for a film session. If it’s music for film then disregard this post as I’m completely unqualified in this area. If it’s not for film then feel free to disregard this post as it’s just the opinion of one man on a forum!

The confusing thing for me is that, indeed, when there is a key signature, it’s clear that the trill notes are following the scale, but what if there isn’t a key signature to guide the trill notes and I would like for example a g-flat trill on an f-note? Or an f-trill on an e note? Without key signatures (and where the music is clearly not in C-Major/a-minor), how would I know what the trill is supposed to do? I find it very clear therefor to use 1/2 and 1 trill symbols instead, no confusing anymore. Not sure though how to solve this in Dorico, maybe using an inserted graphic is the best solution for now. That is how I make the pedal diagrams.

The strength of this notation for extended trill passages has to do with how string players read and is, generally speaking, used for strings more often than for other instruments. For more isolated trills, many movie scores use multi-note tremolo instead. When a string player apprehends a passage such as the above mentioned “Hedwig’s Flight”, the player simply has to read the first note and trill with the same relative finger position throughout the passage. The notation helps sight-reading.

I apologize for the copyright violation here, but I’m quite certain that in a movie session, where all players are likely sight-reading, violinists and violists would would MUCH rather see this:

Than this (apologies for the lack of double-flat trills, but Dorico is aware):

In this respect, I would support Dorico in presenting us with that choice in the fullness of time.

Claude, I see what you mean.

The OP does not refer to an extended trill passage, though!

Dorico team, maybe this could could be seen as a feature request.

Andre, to use the traditional method all you have to do is work out what notes you want the trill to be. The starting note is the lower note (unless preceded by an upper grace note) and the higher note is always one notename higher, clarified with a natural, flat or sharp.

So if you have no key signature than a G# will always trill to an A, and what you want in this instance is a natural.

For an F/Gb trill you want an F printed with a flat sign above the trill.

For an E/F trill you want an E printed with a natural sign above the trill.