tempo changes start with capital letter?

I have always been taught and read this in scores and engraving books that tempo changes do not start with a capital letter, but in Dorico it starts the first word in a tempo change with a capital, is this correct?

Also the word “a tempo” starts with a capital which looks really strange, I never saw this and I cannot find a way to change this in Dorico.

According to Elaine Gould in Behind Bars (page 182), “New (established) tempi have initial capital letters; temporary indications (allargando, accel., rall., etc.) do not.” This is certainly the practice with which I am familiar.

Michael Aves

Hi Michael, yes that is what I mean, but I see that for example più mosso starts with a capital, however I was able to change this in the properties panel and saw that there is a tremendous amount of control on objects, I am very impressed!

Yes, the degree of control is very good. Going back to “Behind Bars”, putting a capital on Piú mosso is consistent with Elaine Gould’s rule. Although it does indicate a relative tempo whereas others such as Allegro, Adagio etc. do not., like them it’s not a temporary indication of tempo.

Personally, I think modifications should be lower case: meno mosso, più mosso, allargando, rit, rall. I would have thought most scores I’ve seen have ‘a tempo’ in lower case: there’s an argument that it’s a relative instruction, or a cancellation of a modification, if you will rather than a definition in its own right.

Usage dictates definition with something like ‘più mosso’ or ‘l’istesso tempo’, which can be temporary modifications or major directions, perhaps at the start of a movement (and would need capitalisation).

I was once taught to capitalize tempo indications which take effect immediately (A tempo, Più mosso etc), and not to capitalize those that take effect over time (rit., rall, allarg., etc…)

This is probably why Daniel and his team have so much work deciding how to express some of these things in Dorico: we all learned slightly different practices. Somewhere down the line, no doubt, a certain amount of user customization will be allowed for these things.

Hopefully, total user customisation of everything. It can’t be a next-gen tool if it doesn’t do what the last-gen does.

It’s a fine line between being a help or a hindrance. Finale’s flexibility is also its weakness: because you can adjust and specify everything, you have to do everything. Dorico is clearly aiming to do as much as possible for us, but there are as many assumptions and rules and conventions in music as there are pieces of music.

By chance, I was just looking at the Boosey & Hawkes style guide, which says modifications should be lower case. So, “Poco Andante”, but “poco più mosso”.

I agree generally, but have seen Più mosso at the start of a movement where it must be capitalised.
The software should do what it considers the right thing first, but let you do the wrong thing if you need.
Will Dorico be an all-use tool? Or a closed ‘fine-if-you-need-what-it-does’ program? Musical grammar and conventions are pushed and broken for good reasons as well as bad.

In the fullness of time I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t add engraving options that will allow you to change which kinds of tempo marks are capitalised and which are not, and of course you always have the option of not using the built in “Più” modifier and simply overriding the text of the “Mosso” tempo to “più mosso” in Properties if need be.