In response to my first post at the weekend, pianoleo offered a solution: creating a new Playing Technique which can be attached to a note but hidden and set it to create either a staccato or staccatissimo. That solution works in as much as it provides a couple of different shortenings, but these are percentages and not exactly ideal.
If it were possible for Dorico to implement a new feature it would be better working on the principle of reducing a note’s duration by a certain amount (ticks, 480 per beat in Dorico’s internal clock) instead.
That led me to remember this:
The above is an excerpt from a trumpet part from the Nutcracker Suite. I created an edited and heavily annotated (yuk) edition of the suite for Pete Long to play with his London-based Echoes of Ellington orchestra in the same concert as his own jazz version of Holst’s The Planet (well worth a listen) two years ago.
Here you see a series of three-beat notes each of which is shortened a little for that percussive, detached style. A breath comma is used to indicate a small gap, and many big band musicians will understand that. It is far better than rewriting the music with shorter notes and quaver rests - that just serves to clutter the page and obscure the simplicity of the rhythm.
So, if Dorico could create a new sort of object that is attached to a note and displays a breath comma above the stave and after the notehead, and the automatic effect would be to reduce the duration of the note by a certain amount (which I would set to approximately one quaver’s worth) rather than a certain percentage, it would solve the issue of long notes. If the comma could be hidden at will I would be able to use that a lot of the time. If I needed to produce editions for people like Pete Long, I could simply unhide all the commas.
I would not wish to use a device like this to deal with short notes, though. There would be so many of them it would be a real pain. I would prefer the Playback Options settings I proposed in the earlier message.