ties question


im testing dorico right now but some things just don’t feel right (yet)?

for example - i would like to have in the second half of this beat a tied dotted quarter. (see image)
i spend over one hour to figure something basic out… can somebody help?
thanks a lot!

There are lots of options for how rhythms are displayed, in the Write menu, Notation Options, Note Grouping.

However your example is one that “slips through the cracks” in the options, and you have to do it manually.

Enter the four 8th-notes, press T for the tie, press O for “force duration” (or click the “G-clamp” icon in the left hand panel), then enter the dotted quarter note.

Then press O again to cancel the force duration, otherwise Dorico will notate everything exactly as you input it, and that might not be a good idea if you copy and paste the music to a different part of a bar later on, for example.

You can also fix this by editing the music after you entered it.

Select the tied notes and press U to “untie” them. Select the first 8th note and press O to set forced duration. Then select the quarter note and press “.” to convert it into a dotted quarter. Then go back to the first 8th note and press T to replace the tie.

It’s a lot quicker to actually do it than to explain it!

The reason it’s not displaying as a dotted quarter (and why it’s not a global option) is because in 4/4 time, the middle of the bar needs to be represented visually. That a fairly important convention, so I’d advise against “hiding” beat 3. But if you really must, Rob is of course correct in his explanation.

The half bar is between the first tied 8th and the quarter, isn’t it?

If I enter a dotted quarter at the start of an empty bar of 4/4 time, Dorico writes it as a quarter tied to an 8th until I put another 8th note after it. That’s too pedantic for my liking, even if there’s a reference in Gould that says you are supposed to do it that way.

This kind of intrusion into my affairs would drive me nuts, Rob. Is it possible to change the default behavior of Dorico globally through a setting so that when one enters a dotted quarter note followed by an eighth rest in duple time, one always gets a dotted quarter note followed by an eighth rest?

Knowledgable composers use music notation creatively. They don’t follow any book slavishly.

The OP said they wanted a dotted quarter on the second half of the beat, so I assumed they wanted 8th-8th-8th-dotted quarter tied to eighth. That’s what I was referring to as being incorrect. But I’m not sure if they perhaps did mean “bar.”

Rob and John: there’s an option for the dotted quarter to start the bar. Notation Options—Note Groupings—Time Signatures with half bars.

Thanks, dankreider. That is reassuring.

thanks so far for all your replies.
you were completely right, of course i meant bar! sorry for that…

i switched the dorico language to english now, but I don’t find a menu notation options in the write menu… where’s that? im on the latest version of dorico…

both of these solutions work for me, thanks!
but why isn’t the dotted quarter the standard way to display my entry? it’s kind of complicated this way…

The last two entries in the very long menu are “notation options” and “note input options.”

I assumed they wanted this, allowing for the fact that the OP’s first language might not be English.
tied rhythm.png

that’s where i was looking, but it’s not here…

I see from another related post that you’re running Elements, so you don’t have access to Notation Options.

yes i did‘t know about this limitation…
however i got the ties as i want them now, thanks a lot!

is it possible to run the 30 days demo on both, elements and pro?

The dotted quarter followed by an eighth rest is the standard way to notate this. The tied version would be used to show something special. A look through the standard repertoire will confirm this.

Unfortunately, there is a tendency among publishers now to spell out rhythms as if for beginners. Along with breaking notes up with ties, secondary beams are broken to show smaller groupings even when it is visually disruptive and contradicts the meaning of the music. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and the gang probably would have been appalled, because they did exactly the opposite thing and tried to make the notation reflective of the meaning of the music and as simple and uncluttered as possible. They particularly avoided ties whenever possible.

I am glad that several engravers on another recent post:


don’t want Dorico changing the rhythms they input, unless they desire it.

I don’t believe so, at least not typically. You could perhaps ask the team for a Pro trial code. Although when I was demo-ing Dorico, even with a new trial code, the elicenser did not allow me to run a second trial on it. That’s as much as I know…

Actually it can be useful to Dorico to change the notation for the rhythms if there is a lot of syncopation. For example in 6/8 time is quicker to enter a half note followed by a quarter rest, and let the computer sort out that you mean a dotted quarter tied to an 8th, followed by two 8th rests. Four keystrokes instead of eight.

I find you can control almost everything with the Notation options available, except the over-fussiness about indicating beat divisions with ties. But now the behaviour of “force duration” has been changed, you can edit the rhythm without re-entering the notes which you had to do in previous verisons. It’s getting there, one step at a time.

I’m with Rob on this one.

Look at the long note here:

In other software I’d have to have typed out those divisions. In Dorico I hit 9 and typed the note name. Two key strokes rather than (I think) 12.

The important thing from the user’s point of view how predictable it is - if you “know it’s going to do the right thing” you can let it, and if not, you spell out the details.

But if you are composing rather than engraving, don’t forget that “premature optimization” is usually a waste of time, because you will probably have to optimize it again when you change your mind about something.