There is almost nothing I disagree with in Elaine Gould’s book. I think it is a brilliant work in just about every respect.
But there is this one nagging item. She categorically says that all tempo information always goes above the staff. That is certainly not the convention I am most familiar with. Without a doubt, style information, metric equations and absolute meter marks always go above the staff. But in most music I am familiar with, gradual tempo changes are indicated below the staff more often than not. This is particularly true of jazz charts where the space above the staff is often filled with chord names.
It is not only jazz pieces. I just pulled 20 classical pieces out of my files at random. In the great majority of cases “rit” and “rall” are below the staff. “a tempo” is about 50/50. “Meno mosso” “stringendo” (and similar) are usually above – those aren’t usually gradual changes. With apologies to Ms. Gould, I think she is just plain wrong on this one, and Dorico has it wrong to follow her lead on this. Immediate tempo changes are above the staff. Gradual tempo changes are below the staff most often, and “a tempo” is a coin flip. Personally I prefer “a tempo” below the staff if it is reversing a nearby “rit” or “rall”. It it is being used as “tempo primo”, then it makes sense above the staff.
I realize that I can make this happen by individually editing every part in engrave mode, but I really do think that Dorico should provide an engraving setting that allows the user to put gradual tempo changes (in parts only) under the staff by default.
Just wondering if others have a completely different experience.