Some issues with chord symbols

I am trying to get a good appearance for jazz chord symbols in Dorico 3 and encountered some problems.

Most projects I am doing are jazz, where I like a handwritten appearance, so I set the Music font to Petaluma which automatically sets the font for chord symbols and their extensions to Petaluma Text or Script.

However, there seems to be something very mixed up. When I enter chord symbols with accidentals they seem extremely large, especially the sharp symbol. Furthermore, the sharp symbol looks different than the sharp symbol from Petaluma.

  1. Why isn’t the Petaluma glyph chosen when the font for chord symbols is set to Petaluma?

When I doubleclick the symbol in engrave mode to edit the appearance and then select the accidental I have several choices, the second seems to be the Petaluma variant.

2. Why is there no indication what font is used for the glyphs already present?

I choose the third (preselected) variant and doubleclick the sharp symbol to open a new editor where I can exchange the glyph for another.

3. Why is in the panel where I can select the glyphs I want to add Bravura the preselected font for all categories although the chord symbol font is set to Petaluma?

  1. If the font size of the sharp symbol is intended that way, I would like to change that. But it is extremely uncomfortable to change that for every single chord (not only every root, obviously). There must be a way to give the user more control about single aspects (see also next point)

  2. In the engraving options I can set the amounts of scaling and offset for super- and subscript components, alas only for all of them together. I would find it extremely desirable to get access to the following components separately:

  • root accidental (preferably independent settings for b/#)
  • first interval after root
  • other intervals/alterations

For example, in the G13b9 chord I would like to have the 13 in superscript, but still in a larger font size than the following b9 alteration.

One specific problem:

I want to enter a C6/9#11 chord symbol. Dorico turns that into C6#11add9, which I would consider wrong or at least bad practice. I can override that by editing the appearance, but again it is very annoying having to do that for every possible root.

While I understand the idea behind the chord symbol preferences I would welcome the possibility to sometimes choose differently without creating a completely new exception. For example:

In the settings I can chose for a maj7 chord between different text representations (ma, maj, j) or the ∆ symbol. I then can chose the vertical position of the text and the triangle independently. So, when I set the appearance to maj7, Dorico would still know how I’d like to place the triangle. Same goes for other chord types like diminished, half-diminished and sus.

In my opinion, Dorico should follow the settings when I enter chords with a midi keyboard, but when I enter a symbol via the text popover Dorico should try to stick to what I entered. Maybe one could cycle through different representations like one can already do with chord diagrams.

Here is the project: (1.79 MB)

  1. They’re both from Petaluma Text, they’re just different variants from the same font. All of these are Petaluma Text options:

  1. See above.

  2. Because these dialogs always default to Bravura. They’re not aware of what your current Music Text font is.

  3. This is the relevant Engraving Option that globally alters the size of root accidentals.

You may need to compensate for adjustments to other subscript and superscript components by adjusting this font style:

and also this Engraving Option:

I can’t answer the other points - they mostly seem to be feature requests, and I’m merely a user :slight_smile:

Thanks Leo for the detailed answer.

  1. Ok, I found them, very well hidden. One should assume as the dialog defaults to Bravura, not to Bravura Text, One should look into Petaluma (not Text) as well, even more so as the ranges offer categories like accidentals, and especially „accidentals for chord symbols“.

  2. This is a different issue, there is no way to get the information from what font an already present glyph comes from.

  3. Yes, I know this options, but it alters the size of ALL superscript components.

I encountered another thing:

I set the default font for chord symbols to Petaluma Script, so any new document uses that. I did however keep Bravura as the music font (not the music font for chord symbols, this is set to Petaluma).

When I start a new project and add a C#∆7 chord symbol the sharp symbol looks ok (size-wise). As soon as I go to engraving options and change the main music font to Petaluma the sharp and the triangle change, even if the two checkboxes (update text fonts) are unckecked.

Generally I find it unconvenient that only one set of default settings can be used. When I open Doricos Bigband template I would expect it to use Petaluma from the start, but setting Petaluma as default music font would mean that also the orchestra templates would open in Petaluma.

Please give us House-Styles!

And yes, I agree that most of my points are merely feature requests.