# Ties vs. dots/notes

Hello there. As many others I’m just migrating from Finale to Dorico 5 Pro. Until now I quite like the concepts used. There is one thing I do not understand: how does Dorico decide when to use a tie instead of (dotted) notes?
I have made a single part in Dorico and have set all grouping in Notation Options to: break at the half bar in 4/4-time. In this example Dorico breaks the quarter note in the second half of the first bar in B. In the first bar in C we have a similar situation in which the quarter note is not broken:

Thanks, Stijn

Welcome to the forum @minke1 !

The difference between the bar after B and after C is, I believe, that the crotchet at B is followed by a rest, rather than a note.

There should be an option for this on the Note Grouping page in Notation Options.

Thanks for your incredibly fast answer. In have changes the eight note after the quarter note in C changed to a rest. The result stays the same. (I also tried to change the eight note before the quarter note into a rest with no result ).
And even if it would have helped, it doesn’t explain why this is happening.
I read the article, but I already set all options under “Notation option/Note grouping” to “Split at the half bar”

You’re right, there doesn’t seem to be an option that covers your specific example: fascinating!

One thing you can do at a high level is input the time signature (presumably 4/4?) as [4]/4 or [2+2]/4 into the popover, which will force Dorico to treat whole bars as either a single chunk or two groups of minims. However, this will also affect beam grouping for as long as the time signature applies.

Your other main option is to use Force Duration:

1. Select the tied note in the bar after B
2. Press O
3. Press 5 (to make it temporarily a single quaver)
4. Press 6 (to lengthen it back to a crotchet)

(If a note already appears as a tie chain, you need to change its duration to a single notehead first, before lengthening it again; otherwise Force Duration locks the ties into place)

Thanks. I did use “Lock duration” and this works of course. As I’m new to Dorico I’m trying to understand the algorithms used instead of manually locking things that aren’t working as I expected. Thanks for your help!

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No. You did force duration (O). That is different from lock duration (L). Lock duration is used to repitch the notes of phrase without changing the rhythm (just as useful a tool as force duration, but with a different purpose).

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Could you please explain this rule? I also don’t understand why this is happening. Why is the G quarter note treated differently in these two bars when in both cases it falls offbeat?

Now I’m suspecting that the “rule” invoked is about the eighth rest before the quarter-duration note.

Thanks for explaining this to me, Janus.

I allready tried this with no result

I’m afraid I don’t quite follow you, @minke1. My post was not an instruction of any kind, but simply a response to Lillie’s observation about the decision-making algorithm in Dorico.

Are you saying you tried adding an eighth note where the rest on beat 3.1 occurs and it didn’t change the subsequent tied eighths into a quarter?

What’s the logic behind this rule?

I have no idea. I was just trying to find the pattern. That is definitely a question for the Dorico team.

Most, not all, the notation rules in Dorico come from Gould’s “Behind Bars” standard reference.

I added an eight note rest before and after the quarter note in C. The quarter note stayed a note without a tie.

What is it that you actually want — tied eighths or a quarter? Or are you just wanting to understand Dorico’s decision?

In this case I want a quarter. This is quite easy to achieve with Forve Duration. But as I’m leaning Dorico I mostly want to understand the logic of Dorico.

Gotcha. As I said above, I’ll leave that answer to the “magician”-logicians behind it.

The logic is very simple, syncopations are easier to read when a note precedes and/or follows it, and not a rest.

That really depends on one’s training, experience, and musical culture. Another thread earlier this summer explored that, for anyone interested:

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