Two Note Tremolos

To create a two-note tremolo lasting four beats, I entered a half-note on beat one and a different half-note on beat two. I highlighted the notes and selected the tremolo bar icon. That works.

Now for a tremolo lasting three beats, I entered a dotted quarter followed y another dotted quarter (total = 3 beats) and selected the tremolo bars. Dorico just looked at me blankly.

How does one create a three-beat tremolo with two notes?

I fear I am being stupid.

Hi @konradh , before you apply the tremolo be sure that the notes look the same. You have eventually to use force duration on the second note to overcome the tied note (Dorico will not make a tremolo when you have a tied note)


Ah, force duration. Thank you.

Dorico’s handling of this seems odd, but I am sure there are good reasons.

My new piece is asking the percussionist to maintain this on a Glockenspiel for several bars. I was concerned about that, but percussionists roll snares all the way through the Star-Spangled Banner, so I guess they can do it. :slight_smile: It sounds great in context.

You are welcome!

Maybe I am wrong, but this seems to have something to do with the “beaming” (strokes function like beams) and tied notes. For single notes tremolo it adjusts automatically, but in multi notes tremolo involving a tie I think Dorico cannot know how to adjust the strokes (that function like beams) because they are in common between the two rhythmic positions, with mixed note values and stems/flags:

In the Manual is specified that multi note tremolos can be applied on notes notated using a single notehead (so without a tie). (see the Note in this page of the manual):

Hmm. Turning Force Duration OFF or ON has no effect on either example below. What am I doing wrong? I can’t seem to get two dotted quarters.


Select the tied note/s, press O (letter) and then 66

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If a note already appears as a tie chain at the point you force its duration, you first have to change its duration such that it appears with a single notehead, and then adjust from there if needed.

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“O 66” worked (although I don’t know why). I guess 6 is the number keypad shortcut for a dotted quarter. (I should buy a wireless keypad.) Thanks!

@Lillie_Harris, I really appreciate your answer, but I don’t understand it. I can’t get Dorico to do anything other than what is in my image (except with O 66 which would never have occurred to me.) . Thanks.

-with O you activate force duration
-the first 6 transforms the note into quarter (because force duration is already activated, so you have “a single notehead” as Lillie suggested)
-the second 6 adds a dot

Dorico is smart enough to shorten the note (as in @Lillie_Harris suggestion) and simultaneously add the dot if you press 66 fast after another :slight_smile:

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I don’t understand Lillie’s comment because I can’t get the second dotted quarter to appear as a single notehead. That’s the problem.

OK, I tried something. I guess I have to turn on Force Duration before entering the notes. It won’t fix notes already entered. :neutral_face: No one said that.

It can, but you have to then change their duration after activating Force Duration – and change the duration to something that can appear with a single notehead, like a quaver or crotchet.

Correct :slight_smile:

I show you another (loooong but clean and explicative) way to do this, as an exercise to fully understand the logic behind this procedure. I hope is clear, otherwise ask
(but I suggest you learn the shortcut series that I suggested above :wink: ):

(after the first selection you can also just press eight instead of untying and deleting the quarter)

CleanShot 2024-03-20 at 17.07.03

P.S. the Manual describes meticulously every step, so read it carefully.

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You are very helpful–thanks!

I would just say that in my mind, the process is not logical, or at least not intuitive. After entering a note, you can click something in the Notes panel to change its duration, make it sharp or flat, etc. it’s not clear to me why Force Duration doesn’t work that way, but at least I know now.

I really appreciate the help.

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I appreciate there’s a bit of nuance going on here, but Force Duration is essentially a padlock, and it does what that implies: it takes exactly how that note appears right now, and locks it.

If that note appears as a quaver tied to a crotchet, then that’s what gets locked. Dorico has no way of knowing whether you’re intending to preserve the tie chain, or convert it into a dotted note of equivalent duration. Forcing the duration, then “re-specifying” your intention by way of changing the duration is therefore necessary in some circumstances, depending on the starting notation.


Thank you, @Lillie_Harris. The way you explained it is perfectly logical. Force Duration and I shall now be friends. :sunglasses:

By the way, I used to design software at IBM, and I understand that developers must make choices and cannot always predict how users will perceive them. :slightly_smiling_face:

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As I stated numerous times already, this is a thing everyone stumbles upon the first time (and probably some more) and I think it would be a good idea (for the future newcomers) to simplify it so that force duration is not needed.


I agree. If Dorico now is smart enough to know to apply Dynamics to different staves at different positions at once, it should be able to do this one, too.


Or is simply included in the operation.