I have yet to see anything about how Dorico will handle tremolos. I am wondering if you can shed some light on this matter, and maybe discuss this in an upcoming blog post.


One of our developers, James (whose birthday it is today — happy birthday, James!), is working on tremolos right at the moment. The work being done at the moment is all on the notation side of things rather than playback, which is still at too embryonic a stage to be concerned with playback of tremolos just yet.

In common with the Gerou and Lusk book (Alfred’s Essential Dictionary of Music Notation) we’ve chosen to think of tremolos as a notational shorthand that indicates a kind of repeat — in this case, repeated notes, either repeating a single note or chord, or alternating between two (or, in rare cases, such as Britten’s Death in Venice, more than two) notes or chords. So tremolos are found in Dorico’s interface in the Repeats panel in Write mode, under the heading Repeats Within Beats.

Two-note tremolos are fully implemented, and work pretty much as you would expect. Put in the two notes you want to see as part of a tremolo, and select either the first note or both notes, as you please, and specify whether you want one, two, or three tremolo beams. Dorico automatically doubles the written note value of the two notes, beams them appropriately (automatically breaking any existing beams that the notes were previously a part of), and draws the tremolo beams at an appropriate length. A variety of engraving options are included: the gap between the stem and the edge of the tremolo beam (which we term the inset), with separate values for beamed notes, quarters/halves, and whole notes; whether the tremolo beams should automatically be centred between the two notes if they are an octave or more apart, rather than positioned as if the notes were both stem up or both stem down (on by default); and so on. In Engrave mode, you can also of course adjust the vertical position of the stems between which the tremolo beams are drawn, even if the notes themselves have no stems (i.e. whole notes).

One-note tremolos are in the process of being implemented at the moment. They are similarly chosen from the Repeat Within Beats section of the Repeats panel, and if you select multiple notes, they will all receive the same kind of single-note tremolo. The stem will be lengthened as appropriate. “Z on stem” will also be available as well as the usual one, two, or three strokes on the stem (though the Z and the regular tremolo slashes are mutually exclusive). Because tied notes in Dorico are single events, if you select any note in a tie chain in Write mode and add a tremolo, the tremolo slashes will appear on all notes in the tie chain; if you need to have a tremolo starting or stopping in the middle of a tie chain, then you can switch to Engrave mode (where it is possible to select individual noteheads in a tie chain) and override the number of tremolo slashes on a given notehead within a tie chain using the Properties panel.

That’s pretty much it. They’re easy to create, and they’re sensibly positioned by default (I would say that Dorico’s positioning of two-note tremolos is both more flexible and also much better by default than its main competitors). Playback will follow in due course.

I hope this is the kind of information you were hoping for.

Happy Birthday James–and many many MANY happy returns!!–and thanks for all the info Daniel:) Thanks Bob


That is exactly what I was looking for. Sounds like it will be very powerful.

Only concern is putting it in the repeat section. I understand the common logic you presented, shorthand for repeat. I am not 100% sure if I consider it a repeat though. I tend to think of it more as an embellishment, ornament, or a performance instruction.

Nonetheless, I am looking forward to the release. And can’t wait to see it in action for myself.


I’m interested in this new software, but want to know if it can handle string tremolos correctly, i.e., with a short stroke thru the stem parallel to the beams. Finale can’t, it makes ugly short stroked always point up to the right. But in orchestral music it looks funny. The literature is loaded with examples and it seems to me that notation software should be able to get it right.
Two simple examples:
Will Dorico create this style?