[Solved} Natural harmonics note recognized in low position on violin or Bass

It’s still me :unamused:

I really like to use harmonics :sunglasses:

I noticed than in lower position in violin or Double bass,
natural harmonics are turning red.

It’s ok as I can print it, but it could be nice if Dorico would accept it.

Best regards,

Hi cellicello

It appears that you are using natural harmonics in the violin, which can be shown using the ‘harmonics’ property when the note is selected and choosing the correct partial number.

Some of these also exist in your double bass part, whilst others are appearing as red because those are NOT harmonics, and rather just open strings. The first harmonic partial exist one octave above these notes (the double bass is a octave-transposing instrument).

Hope this helps!

Conradasman, Thank you for your reply.

For some reason, The Roman numbers are above the staff in this example but I want to use natural harmonics in this case.

On a violin, a B (natural harmonic) on the 4th string (G) will sound 2 octaves + a third higher B
Same for an A on the 4th strings (E) of Double bass

And it’s not an open tuning :wink:

So it would be nice if Dorico could include natural harmonics in low positions in its collection :slight_smile:

I’ve not opened your project to see, but I would suggest making sure that you set the ‘String’ property in the Notes and Rests group of Properties to make sure Dorico knows which string you’re working with.

I just check the ‘String’ property in the Notes and Rests group of Properties
and I can’t turn on the String button.
But when I turn off the natural harmonics,
then I could turn on the string, and it is written 4th string (G)
I attached a file with the same phrase.
Natural harmonics low postion string instruments.dorico.zip (810 KB)

The natural harmonic you are evoking in the Violin is not typically notated with a degree sign as the node (fingering) does not correlate with the resulting sound. These types of natural harmonics are typically written with diamond noteheads. This can be achieved using the settings in the attached screenshot.

I have provided two types of notation to represent the string indication. Currently, only the first is native to Dorico’s ‘harmonics property’. The second has been discussed https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=179114

As for your Double Bass harmonics, they will always show in red because Dorico does not currently support scordatura at the moment (the red colour, however, isn’t visible upon final PDF and normal printing).

Hello Conradasman,

Thank you for your reply.

I got that I need to use a diamond notehead for this kind of harmonics.

About the double-bass, the harmonics on this example are not scordatura, but regular tuning ^.-
I will use a diamond notehead also for it.

I regret that Dorico can’t play more natural harmonics in the violin family instrument.

For example on a violin, a C(5th fret) natural harmonic played on the 4th string would sound like a G.
But when I play it, Dorico will make it C sound (even with diamond) and it doesn’t feet with the harmony of the music.

As I use a lot of natural harmonics in my work, and when I send the mp3 to the client, I have to explain to them that the program
that I use can’t play properly my music.

Dorico claim to be The advanced music notation software,
and harmonics are really an important domain to develop, I hope it will be included in future versions.

What you say about the C on the G string is not something I can reproduce. Here is a document that starts with the very harmonic you describe. If you set the parameters as seen on the accompanying jpg, it should play perfectly. For Natural harmonics, you must use the white notehead, even for quarter notes. (The black noteheads mean something else in guitar notation). If I play my file, the non-harmonic pitches following the harmonics are the same as those harmonics preceding them; and that happens correctly on both Halion and Note Performer. If this does not play correctly on your system, then there is something wrong, or you are missing a step.


Natural Harmonics.zip (536 KB)

I wonder if the original project has an instrument that is labelled as ‘violin’, but actually is some other instrument that has just been renamed to ‘violin’ (eg via MusicXML import). One thing to try is to change the instrument in Setup mode to violin, which should confirm to Dorico that it is really a violin.

What Paul said is very true. Out of range notes, harp pedalling errors and other such details will be not work correctly unless Dorico is certain that the right instrument is chosen. Sometimes, I have copied and pasted orchestral xml imports into a Dorico created template to save a bit of time, instead of changing instruments one by one, especially when dealing with instruments labelled in another language in the original file.

Having said that, I do lament the fact that the natural harmonic lying at the major 6th of an open string is not currently “active” and shows red. While the same note is available by touching the major 3rd, that major sixth provides a frequent alternate option in passages where the fingers happen to be in the vicinity. I sent the team the first movements of the Cassado suite as an example and they did agree that extending choices for natural harmonics with diamond noteheads is something that they will visit in the future.

Hello PaulWalmsley,

Thank you for your advice.
I couldn’t get sound of your file,
but I could reproduce it on my project.
It works perfectly fine :smiley:
I didn’t understand that I need to use white diamond notehead,
sorry about that.

Thank you all

Actually, on this project, I get a red notehead,
even I use white diamond notehead for the Double Bass.
I can’t choose the string either.

Why can’t you choose the string? What happens when you activate the ‘String’ property (in the Notes and Rests group)?

As on the picture, I can choose a natural harmonic with a white diamond notehead,
but on the Notes and Rests section, I can’t turn on the string button.
It will turn on show {2nd} for a second and turn off.
I tried on the same staff bar 36 1st beat to change G to a natural harmonics,
it’s work fine.

Basically, in my experience, the only natural harmonics that can be notated and played back when using white diamonds is when the string is touched at the following intervals on the string:

minor 3rd
major 3rd
perfect 4th
perfect 5th
octave

Anything above the octave is not allowed: the note turns red and the string properties cannot be used.

Of course, as with the case of the “missing Major 6th” explained above, most of those can be played elsewhere. cellicello’s high E on the E string can be played by touching the A one 4th above the E string; and of course one may simply wish to use a circle. But there are cases, such as a gliss, where having a couple of octave’s worth of touch points per string would be extremely useful. There are plenty of examples in the literature. The 6th is used a lot and the double octave is often used in glisses, alongside the other touch points on the way there.

Thank you very much for those great explanations.

I once made this chart—in Dorico, of course—as a reasonably complete* explainer of all possible harmonics** both natural & artificial. Feel free to do with it whatever you want :slight_smile:

*Double bass excluded for two reasons: 1) I don’t know as well what the possibilities are and 2) it would mess up the layout
** in the real-world sense. This was made before Dorico added the harmonics functionality.

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I’ve had the same behavior—harmonics do not playback and are red when touched at M6 and M10. When you attempt to choose the string, it won’t activate, and thus you can’t select it.