Request: status bar indicates voice number?

Sometimes, if you have lots of voice colors on a single staff, it’s hard to tell which voice is which (up-stem voice 1, down-stem voice 1, etc.). If you want to change the voice of a note or passage, you have to guess which voice you should change to.

As far as I can tell, voice color/number isn’t indicated in the status bar (and I haven’t seen this subject in a forum search either). Could I please request for a future update that the status bar show which voice is currently selected, at least for a single selection?

By pressing Enter, you will see the caret give the voice indication for a single selection.

Thanks! That works of course, I didn’t think to invoke the caret. Still, I do think it would be useful to see the voice number of a selection without having to invoke the caret.

Unlike some other notation software, voices don’t have special properties (like collision avoidance, horizontal positioning, etc) depending on their voice numbers, so most of the time the only thing that really matters is stem direction. You can make ties and slurs that start and end on notes in different voices, which means you need fewer voices than in some other programs.

And you rarely need more than 3 voices on a staff, so it’s not too hard to remember which color is which.

Sorry to come back to this, but I’m doing a piano reduction with varying numbers of voices in different bars, and trying to remember which color is which, or even whether they are up-stem or down-stem (many of them are whole notes), can get pretty gnarly. And as pianoleo observed recently, the colors aren’t consistent, but reflect the order in which voices are created:

So I’d still like to make this (eventual) request, that the status bar show the voice of a selected note(s).

Can you attach a picture of a few bars? I suspect you are using more voices than necessary (are you always creating new voices with shift-V rather than re-using existing voices with just V? Are you using a different voice for each note when you could use a chord in one voice?) but a picture or a snippet of the score would be useful.

Thanks Rob! I ended up getting it fixed OK, but I’m attaching a picture just fyi. This is a harmonium part, as a mockup for an electroacoustic piece for contrabassoon and electronics. So the project has a bunch of staves. I know that the right hand staff is usually blue, and the lower staff red - I’m not sure how I changed this but it happened near the beginning of the piece (there was a cross-staff notation that probably started it - I don’t usually have voice colors turned on, I didn’t even realize this until just now).

Where it got frustrating - I was adjusting time signatures, moving these different voices around with alt-arrow, and it got to be a huge mess, stems going the wrong direction, lots of implicit rests, etc. It would just be nice to click on, say, the gold-colored voice and then know right away what it is. I still don’t know, actually - the contextual menu says I have 3 up-stem voices and 2 down-stem voices, but I don’t know which is which. Maybe I’m using it wrong.

(Incidentally, does anyone know what the contextual menu “Voices -> Default Stems Up/Down” does? I think it changes the direction of whatever color voice is currently selected. Is that right?)


AFAIK if you have a voice in the score with no notes, it will get deleted when you save, close, and reopen the score. So it might be worth doing that before you do any more investigating and/or tidying up.

One way to map out the colours would be to add some single notes to the end of the flow temporarily on each staff, and then use Voices / Change voice in the right-click menu to assign them to the different voices. That will also show you if you have cross staff notes, because the colours for each staff of a multi-staff instrument are different.

You only need two voices on the top staff for your attachment. The red notes could be either yellow or green - if there is only one voice that has any notes at a particular point in the score, it doesn’t matter which voice that is.

I suspect many people who have started to use voices reach a point where they suddenly realize what is going on, and then either spend some time cleaning up the mess they had made, or just delete the score and start again “properly.” :wink:

I’d advise having note colors turned on while entering notes. I engrave complicated multi-voice organ works and find it pretty easy and supremely flexible to do with Dorico. Even in my more complicated things, I’ve scarcely ever “needed” more than 3 voices per stave and it’s really not that difficult to keep track of. Depending on the material, you can either enter top-down, bottom-up, long note values then shorter, or if there is true counterpoint just enter each voice as its own. It is also very easy to swap voices if you entered things in the wrong voice. You can filter and then use the right click panel and go to voices and switch the selected notes into a new voice.

Hmmm - thanks Rob and Romanos. I’ve tried working with colors turned on, and it just doesn’t feel like composing to me (I use colors for different things - text notes to myself, motives, etc.) - but for engraving, I do use colors when necessary. In the screenshot above, yes, I know it only needs two voices - but when I was experimenting with rhythmic placement, barlines, octave placement, etc., the different voices were co-existing, which is why I had three.

Anyway - I still think it would be nice to be able to know which voice a color corresponds to, without having to resort to adding extra notes at the end of a score à la Rob’s suggestion - but I seem to be in the minority, and it’s an esoteric request. No problem at all, and thanks again for your helpful comments!

Now that they’ve provided the little readout at the bottom I don’t think it unreasonable at all to show the same symbol as the caret would if you clicked on a note and invoked it. It IS a good idea fwiw.

Thanks Romanos - and while I was typing that previous reply, I realized that someone here said, it’s much better to let the team know what your problem is, rather than suggesting how to fix it(!). So I would like to amend myself, to request simply - it would be nice to know, somehow, which voice a color corresponds to.

Stephen, I expect the problem of identifying the colours will solve itself when you only have small number of voices and you use them in a consistent manner (e.g. for keyboard parts, mainly the first “stem up” and “stem down” voices, and the others only when you really need them). I find if I do that, I don’t need voice colors most of the time - it is obvious which notes are “default stem up”, “default stem down”, or “some other voice” and that is usually all that matters.

The colours for the voices you use most of the time will stay the same for all your keyboard parts in different scores.

To add notes in the same voice as a note that is already in the score, select the note and then go into note entry mode (press N or Return) and the cursor will be set to the correct voice.

But I agree that an indicator on the status bar or something similar could be useful.