Tied Notes Handling


Could there be an option to treat tied notes as individual notes? This is mostly for copy/pasting passages from one instrument to another, or to other sections. It’s not intuitive to have to break a tie (U) then copy pasting to then re-tie the note again. Keep up the amazing work!



There has been a fair amount of discussion of this behavior around the forum. The short of it is I doubt it will change. The program has every reason to assume that if you are copying between parts you want the same pitches and rhythm. Tied notes are really “one note” that, for purely graphical reasons are displayed the way they are. That is why, when you click on one part, it selects the whole, because, in Dorico’s thinking, it is all a single note. The visual representation is fairly ethereal by comparison. You can, however, select individual bits of a tied note in engrave mode. That may, or may not help you.

Daniel and I did chat at a bit about this earlier today. There’s a possibility that in the future we could the ability to copy a rhythmic range which would copy only part of the time of a note, but to do so would be complex and may be quite unpredictable. As noted above, Dorico’s representation is that notes are stored with their played duration: tied notes only arise when they are drawn.

This design decision is the thing that makes Insert Mode possible. In Write mode you can only select the whole ‘tie chain’. In Engrave Mode it appears that you can select the individual notes in a tie, but actually you’re just selecting a segment of the full length note in order to set properties at that offset position.

You say that it’s not ‘intuitive’, but I would counter that that is only because your concept of a note is the notehead, whereas Dorico’s concept of a note is the note that is actually played.

Can you show an example? The way I see it - when you copy a passage that lasts for 8 beats, it’s nice to know that it still will remain 8 beats, no matter where you paste it or what it contains. That’s why I love the way tied notes are handled in Dorico.

But what if the passage ends with two tied quarter notes, and you only want to select the first 7 beats (example A) ? I see your point here, but is this any different from selecting any other partial note (example B)? Maybe a separate ‘copy along the rythmical grid’ feature could be an idea.
Skjermbilde 2017-05-12 kl. 00.01.23.png
Some other comments when it comes to selection and navigation around tied notes:

  1. There’s no way to select a bar that only contains the tail of a tied note. This makes sense as there isn’t any content in that particular bar, but it makes passage selection a bit quirky. Here’s an example where there’s no simple way to select the whole passage (except box selection):
    Skjermbilde 2017-05-12 kl. 00.08.07.png
  2. When I navigate with the arrow keys, the view gets centered on the beginning of the tied note (as in this highly exaggerated example ). This can be confusing. I understand that this is not trivial, but maybe it can be adressed in the future.


I think it is intelligently designed. I ran into a few issues before I wrapped my mind around the concept, but once I did I realized it was actually the smarter way to do it.

I think the easiest thing to do (and it really isn’t difficult) would be to select all but the final tied note that you want to copy, copy those notes, and simply add the final note with the proper duration. You’re still saving time by copying a whole string of notes and rhythms; one note is hardly a burden when you consider the time saved by copying everything else.

Couldn’t we simply extend the functionalities of the scissors tool ? For instance, pressing [modifyer key] + U would allow us to untie the note at the place where the mouse cursor is.

You can already cut a note where the note input cursor is, including in the middle of a written note.

There might be a problem using the “cut at the mouse cursor” idea, because it’s not easy to know exactly where that position is when it is in between two written notes.

I’m just imagining doing orchestrations. In film score it’s very common (noted: not the best thing) to have whole notes in the strings. If the passage is 16 measures of a tied whole note (exaggerating for the example) and you just want to copy 4 measure in the middle to add to another instrument the process would be to untie, then copy, re-tie.

This could be as simple as showing the caret grid when you select the scissor tool