Selecting ties and/or tied notes?

Two things with this one:

  1. Is there a way to just select for example the last of two tied notes? That would be nice when adding a gradual dynamic, and the starting point for the dynamic should be on the last of the tied notes, such as the attachment shows.

  2. Is there a simple way of just removing a tie?

  1. This is not possible in write mode (and is unlikely be possible in future, either). To create a gradual dynamic starting on the last tied note, press Return to show the caret, position the caret where you want the dynamic to begin, then create it with Shift-D “<”

You can select the last note of a tie chain in engrave mode, but this mode is not for creating your music, but for performing graphical tweaks and page layout.

  1. Not yet, but this will be added soon, according to the team. For now, your options are Undo (if you just added the tie by mistake), or positioning the caret over the last tied note and replacing it. Make sure you’re not in Insert mode.

Daniel said somewhere that to stop a tie, choose the appropriate note (by arrowing forward from an earlier note?) and change its pitch, which will kill the tie. Then change the note back; the tie will not reappear.

Are you sure? For me Shift+D < when caret is active makes nothing happen… I can make text dynamics, "mf’ ’ s and such but no cresc/dim hairpins… The easiest way I found so far is to just “go and get it” (making sure nothing is selected, for example with cmd+D) from the right side panel, then into engrave mode and change the offset (lower panel) if need be.

What is the actual benefit of having all three objects selected (first note + tie + second note) when clicking any of them…? :question:

Thats good news, thank you! :mrgreen:


What happens for me when approaching a tied note in any way, mouse or arrow keys (in write mode) is that the the whole little threesome (note + tie + note) gets selected…! So when altering the pitch, both notes change and the tie stays!

Could there be some preference setting I have overlooked…? :unamused:

The benefit to having all the notes in a chain of ties selected is that it shows you what’s really going on: that note is just a single note. You can’t, after all, hear the tie when you listen to the music. The fact that tied notes are not a single item in other scoring software is actually the source of a lot of problems, e.g. articulations appearing in the wrong place, edits such as repitching or adding/removing accidentals causing unintended mistakes because only one half of the tied pair gets edited, and so on.

Dorico thinks about music the way it actually is, not the way it happens to be convenient to program. This does sometimes require a change in mindset on the part of the user, particularly users who have been used to other scoring software for a long time, but I think in the long run it will pay off. It’s very hard to make an error with a tied note in Dorico!

Thanks for the reply Daniel!
I hear your points, and I am absolutely with you on the “change of mindset”-thought, and I am trying to keep that in mind as I’m crawling towards learning how to walk…! :slight_smile:

That said, one of the things on my wish list just now would be to have an easily acessible override, for example having shift+alt+cmd+click making it possible to select any part of the note-tie-note chain.

All the best!

Well, I’ll certainly bear it in mind, but I don’t think your proposal fits terribly well, for better or worse, with the model that we have chosen for Write mode. You’re not really saving many (if any) keystrokes by simply hitting Return when you have a tied note selected and then use the arrow keys to move the caret to the desired position within the tie chain, and that way you don’t open up any problems that might otherwise exist following your suggestion.

That only works if the tie spans other notes or rests, as in this example:

The best way to do this quickly is to tie notes after the hairpins/dynamics etc … are written in. They will not move to the beginning of the chain once the tie is written. I had to do this for tied notes which keep changing in dynamics. In the end, it’s not that clunky once you do it a couple of times

Hi Daniel,

But what happens if during a review of a composition, and one decides that a tie shouldn’t be there; shouldn’t there be a function to just delete that one tie without deleting other (valuable) notes?
A simple override function would be helpful in this case, like a Shift-click that would just select the one tie (out of maybe 8 ties) that one might want to delete.

Yes, I agree it would be useful to delete a tie. The idea is that we will have a Scissors tool that will cut any note or chord, tied or otherwise, at the point at which you click, into two notes or chords.

Waaaaait a minute… just stumbled over how it’s done, Daniel you can cancel my previous override request! :mrgreen: (But still want to be able to delete ties at some point… :sunglasses:

In write mode:
Select the tied notes
Hit Enter (Hello caret)
Arrow key to desired start position
Hit ‘<’

  • nothing happens… yet *
    Arrow keys to desired end position
    Hit’<’ again
  • voila - crescendo hairpin * (‘shift’+’<’ for diminuendo)

And, if wanting to specify mp < f:
In write mode:
Select the tied notes
Hit Enter
Arrow key to desired start position
‘shift’+‘d’, type for example ‘mp<’
Hit enter
arrow keys to end pos
‘shift’+‘d’, type end dynamic, ‘ff’

Edit: Realized it’s also possible using the spacebar…
In write mode:
Select the tied notes (or any notes or rests…)
Hit Enter (Hello caret)
Arrow key to desired start position
Hit ‘<’
spacebar until desried length of hairpin.

And, if wanting to specify mp < f:
In write mode:
Select the tied notes
Hit Enter
Arrow key to desired start position
‘shift’+‘d’, type for example ‘mp<’
Hit enter
Spacebar to end pos.
‘shift’+‘d’, type end dynamic, ‘ff’

Great stuff!

But Daniel, I’d point out that while a tied note is indeed ONE note (you don’t hear a difference in the duration), a lot can happen within that tie musically, and presently (I’m using Pro 2) Dorico is very very restrictive when it comes to making these gestural notations.

Maybe during a three measure tie the player crescendoes and decrescendos twice, maybe they bend the note a quarter tone flat and then back in tune, maybe they gradually change from sul tasso to sul pont if they’re a string player. In the current version of Dorico making these kinds of notations is near impossible (not able to draw lines to show gradual change, not able to draw gliss lines freely without going from one note to another). Even though notes are tied it doesn’t mean you’re only going to notate changes that pertain to the entire note. I’d love to see more flexibility with this function (ability to address notes individually within a tie). For now I’m just using slurs, avoiding ties altogether- or going back to Finale.

Hi kylefolks,

I agree with you. There should be easier options to work with tied notes.
Currently, I do all the necessary changes like adding dynamics, etc. before I tie the notes together. As well it is possible to re-enter the write mode Shift/Cmd + n and enter there a cresc or other stuff.

Currently, it bothers me most that it is not possible to select parts of tied notes, e.g. a complete bar with a whole note that is tied from the previous bar into that one, to copy it into another position. When I copy a complete handwritten score and I know that certain phrases are doubled partly in other instruments I must not tie the notes, but first finish everything, do the necessary copy operations and the hopefully not forget the final tieing of notes.

I understand the motivation within Dorico how tied notes are handled. BUT for human readability (and because of other reasons) bar lines were added somewhere in the 15th or 16th century and so we read them still in bars. And I don’t see any reason why it should not be possible just to select a part of a tied note. There may be users, that think always in lengthy tied notes, but I am sure, that there is quite a number of users, that think differently.

I would not go so far, that I would go back to Sibelius - I never used Finale -, if this is not solved. I started about 1992 with Score and it was great at that time and it offered a huge flexibility even that one had to learn all the codes to use it effectively. But as soon Sibelius 1.0 was out, I immediately switched and never went back and I was happy at that time. And now because of the much better usability concept, I love Dorico (even that certain features are missing. That is fine for me because software development takes time.).
But when I would be asked, what do you don’t like within Dorico? For me, the only pain point is, how strictly tied notes are handled.

Regards, Felix

I don’t have a single clue about technical restrictions, conflicting future plans, or other downsides, but here’s an idea;

With slash regions, one can select individual slashes - which is useful for adding dynamics, cutting regions etc. Yet - the region is still treated as one item, and any edit applies to the whole region.

Could this be a compromise for tie handling as well?

For the record, I’m fine with the current implementation - the drawbacks are much less than the benefits.

Not sure about bends (if they are handled yet at all), but hairpins, etc are eminently possible within tied notes. Place the entry caret at the entry position and use the popover to begin or place the dynamic.


+1 for part-selection of tied notes. This is a “must have” for composition / arrangement.

Sorry to crash the thread, but selecting the 2nd note in a tied note group, and then trying to create the hairpin (in my case, a dim.) using the Shift+D and > key just doesn’t create anything. Am I doing something wrong, or is this a bug? It’s a question I’ve been asking myself a lot today! Thanks.

If you’re selecting the second note of the tie chain, you’re in Engrave mode, and you can’t create things in Engrave mode. Switch to Write mode, hit Return to show the caret, use the arrow keys to move to the place where you want the hairpin to begin, type Shift+D to open the popover, type > and hit Return, then hit Space to advance the caret and give the hairpin the desired length. Done!