[Solved] Help with stem direction in cue

Hello, All,

Per the attached image, I have created a cadenza in a solo part, and am trying to get the accompaniment parts to look right. I have everything about the attached image working just fine, except that the stem direction in the cue is wrong — it should be up. The measure is unmetered (time sig is X.)

I’ve tried everything I can think of: changing the voice of the quarter note; putzing around with forced duration rests; changing the Voice Direction setting for the cue to Force Stems Up. The only thing that gets the cue to go stem-up is selecting the extra rests in the bar (that appear when I deselect Ends Voice on the quarter note). However, then all those extra rests appear; and if I select them and then hit Remove Rests, the cue stems flip back down.

I’ve spent a lot of time on this, and I’m getting nowhere but frustrated. Any ideas?

Thanks, as always.

What have you set in the properties panel? IIRC there are specific properties for stem direction of cues…

Yes, that’s correct: “Voice Direction.” I wonder why that’s not working…

Are you perhaps changing the properties in one layout, but failing to propagate to all other layouts?

Can you show a larger-context screenshot, maybe with voice colors?

OK, I finally got it figured out. I had to enter a Forced Duration quarter rest at the very end of the X metered bar in which the soloist has the cadenza. Then I had to select all the remaining rests in between and do the Remove Rest thing. I then used Note Spacing to make the bar the right “shape”, resulting in what you see in the image attached here.

The actual reason the cue stems were misbehaving was that the quarter rest under the cues was one 16th off from being directly under the cue, so the cue “didn’t know” it was there and so didn’t respond correctly. At least that’s what I believe was the cause. What I know for sure is that when I got the quarter rest into the right “slot”, the cue stems immediately popped up.

As always, thank you guys for your help. This one really had me “wrapped around the axle.”

I am having a related problem. The only instrument that I can use for a cue in the oboe part is the piano but it uses four voices in the upper staff with two having stems down.

When I add the cue to the oboe part, all the stems are forced up.

I don’t want to move the two voices to the lower clef to remove them from the cue. I have tried forcing the stems of the third and fourth voices down in the piano part and propagating properties but this does nothing to the cue. I cannot hide the whole rest in the oboe part, nor manually adjust the direction of only two voices in the cue.

Is there any way to solve this preserving the linked cue or must I create a pseudo cue in the oboe part?


Why not put the left hand notes on the bottom piano staff (which also gets rid of the visual mess in the piano part with four voices on one staff) and just have the top two voices in the clarinet cue?

Thanks Rob. That is certainly a possibility and I may have to do that. I would prefer to leave the parts in the upper staff even though it is a bit cluttered because it will be easier for the pianist to read rather than having to change staves when there is no logical reason for doing so there.

The bigger question, though, is whether there is a way of having two voices in a cue with stems in opposite directions or will cues always force stems in one direction? This will often be the case if one is using the piano to provide a cue.


No, in general a cue can happily contain multiple voices and show stems in opposing directions. Do you want to attach your project so we can take a look and see what might be wrong? Perhaps you’ve used two up-stem voices in the original source material and then forced the stem directions there, rather than properly used two opposing voices?

Thanks Daniel:

Attached is the bar in question. The cue in the oboe part appears correctly in the score in galley view but the stems are mashed together in the oboe part in both write and engrave modes. I’m sure I have done something wrong but cannot find it.

Excerpt with Cues.dorico.zip (806 KB)
Thanks for your help,

If you apply the same octave shift to the cue in the oboe part as shown in the original piano source material, then the only problem is the Eb on the bottom line of the staff, which has a flipped stem in the source music; try inputting that in a new up-stem voice so that it naturally has an up-stem and you should find that appears in the oboe cue correctly.

Thanks Daniel:

I appreciate the time you have given to try and solve this problem.

I tried applying the octave shift to the cue as you suggested and everything looks correct in the score in galley view except for the one eighth note flipping down instead of up. I can live with that.

When I examine the oboe part, however, the final lower 32nd note triplet is flipped up and causes a beam collision that can’t be adjusted.

I tried creating a new downstem voice for the offending notes as you suggested but that had no effect on the cue in the oboe part.

I may just create a pseudo cue in the oboe part in the interest of time,

Thanks again,

Sorry to take so long to come back to this again. I’ve looked at your project again, and the best solution for the time being would be to re-input the down-stem triplet 16ths and the down-stem Eb4 in voices that belong to the RH staff of the piano instead of being crossed from the LH staff. You can move the notes to the staff above using Alt+N, then use Edit > Voice > Change Voice > New Up-Stem/Down-Stem Voice as appropriate. You’ll have a few stray rests that you will have to remove after you’re done.

Thanks Daniel:

I’ll give that a try. Your help, as always, is truly appreciated.