Removing ghost accidentals

I imported a MusicXML file into Dorico 3.1 of a piano score. The notes got imported but for some reason, I have phantom E naturals all over the place. See the attached screenshot. The song is in G, but I sometimes have “ghost” E naturals in the left hand for no reason (and no, there are no E sharps or E flats to necessitate cautionary accidentals).

I’m trying to get rid of them, but the Dorico instructions on deleting accidentals ( don’t seem to work. Hitting 0 does nothing. Clicking on the natural sign in the tool palette does nothing. Toggling the accidental to flat then back to natural brings back the ghost natural sign.

What else can I do?
Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 6.07.05 PM.png

To add one extra note, I have other measures in this song with the exact same notes but no extra natural signs. So as a temporary workaround, I figured I would copy one of the “clean” measures over one of the measures with the “ghost” natural signs. Result: the ghosts re-appear after pasting. It’s like those measures are haunted.

It’s because of the E-sharps in the RH. You have some control of how accidentals are displayed in Notation Options. Or select the notes en masse, and in the properties panel below, select the toggle for Hide accidentals.

1 Like

I have a problem similar to this, though the details are different. I imported an XML score in C major (relatively few accidentals in the piece). The notes are correct, but every note in Violin II has a natural in front of it (OK, not literally every note: it lets naturals carry through a measure). Is there any mass operation I can perform to get rid of all the redundant naturals, and just show the notes as the other staves do?

I would first try:

  • Select the whole Violin II part
  • Filter for notes
  • Turn off Properties > Notes and Rests > Accidental

and see whether that fixes it. MusicXML can often force accidentals like this too easily.

If that doesn’t give the desired result, have a look at the many settings in Notation Options > Accidentals and see if changing one of those yields what you wanted. Change only one setting at a time, so you can see exactly how they affect the part.

Thank you, @Mark_Johnson, for the good suggestions. Your first idea (predictably in retrospect I guess) hid the naturals readily enough, but also the accidentals that were wanted. And I couldn’t find ways to make the second suggestion apply, as they aren’t really “cautionary” accidentals, just unneeded ones.

But they did make me think of something else to try: I used the Shift-I popover to transpose all of Violin II up a minor second, and again to transpose it back down. And that solved it: only the needed accidentals remained. So I thank you heartily for a mental nudge that did the trick.

1 Like

For the future, go to application Preferences > MusicXML Import, and turn off Accidental Visibility.

TBH, I turn off everything except “Note Duration” (which Forces Duration on everything), and Text Items.


Many thanks, @benwiggy. I am doing a series of these, so there will definitely be a “next time” soon, and I’ll try what you suggest.

It’s been said a million times, but what a great forum this is.

@benwiggy – for the record, Accidental Visibility was already off. (I don’t think I’ve ever looked at this Preferences window before.)