possibly OT: opposite of accent?

This is not just a Dorico question. It’s a general music question, with possible implications for Dorico, depending on the answer.

Can anyone think of an articulation that means the opposite of an accent? That is, a symbol that means “play this note a little less strongly than normal”?

In my 70+ years of reading and playing music, I don’t recall ever encountering such a mark, which seems odd, since almost everything else in music has an opposite.

And, if you know of such a mark, how does one make it in Dorico?

I’m going to feel really stupid if there’s an obvious answer. :nerd:



sfp? Opposite of sfz? Edited: Nope, I was wrong.

Isn’t the ‘breve’ or ‘unaccent’ articulation the answer to this? Introduced by Schoenberg I believe. It’s among Dorico’s standard articulations (the saucer-shaped one).

Yes. In poetry, the breve is used to show what syllables are unstressed.

Thanks. I knew the shape from poetry scanning, but there I believe it means simply Not stressed, as opposed to the opposite of stressed. That’s why I didn’t make the connection.

Thanks, I’ll use it.


In a sight reading session, it’s likely many won’t know the meaning of that symbol. I’ve never run into it in 50+ years. A simple text directive is the way I’d go.

Bruce: It will be used in a piano solo, and more than once, so I think using the symbol, with a performance note on the page that faces page one of the score (the inside of the cover page) will be an efficient way to do it, rather than a possibly bulky text directive in the score itself every time it’s needed.

But I agree, if it was in a part or parts for an ensemble, it could be a rehearsal stopper. I had never seen it used in music before either.


Different context, but this sort of unaccented note is fairly common in jazz and is usually notated in parentheses or with an X instead of with an articulation.

I don’t think that the Schoenberg marking is what you want, since it just means to treat the note as a normal weak beat in opposition to a normal strong beat, which has its own Schoenberg marking.

Better would be either of FredGUnn’s suggestions, with an explanatory note at the beginning of the piece.

This is just guessing, however, since one would really need to see your piece

Use the “U” accent above a note (there’s an icon for it in Dorico’s notes palette; the hot key is “@”), or parentheses around the note to indicate a “ghost” (i.e. weakly accented) note.

More here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accent_(music)#Anti-accent_marks