Unnecessary accidental

I’ve entered a passage of music that has some interesting modulations, which result in one bar having an Fb chord throughout. In the bass-line, the repeated Fb has a repeated accidental on the 6th quaver (8th-note), which I don’t believe is necessary. Any suggestions on a) why it’s appearing, and b) the best way to remove it?

(Not shown in the screenshot below - I have a key signature of four flats).

I’ve encountered something like this but very rarely; if you enter a note that has already been altered but add the same alteration to it, Dorico adds it because it thinks you want a “reminder” or simply want to see the alteration there again (for whatever reason). You can clear it by typing the alteration keys [0,dash,equals] or using ALT+[up/down].

Out of curiosity, did you enter the music with a MIDI keyboard, computer keyboard, or was it pasted (at once or in chunks)?

In the properties panel I believe there is a way to hide accidentals.

So this makes me think 2 things… This seems like piano part, if so… Dorico will show the cautionary accidental if F natural was used anywhere in the measure, which leads me to wonder if the F on beat in the right hand is an F natural by accident hiding the accidental?

I would check the properties panel for every F in the bar, and see if it one is accidentally hidden.


Ooh- this has got more interesting. First of all, thanks for the tip about the properties panel - I’ve checked all the Fs and none of them have their accidentals hidden. Hiding the accidental on the troublesome Fb, 6th quaver of the left-hand part, solves the issue (in that it now looks correct).

I’m still interested in why the Fb on the 6th quaver was created in the first place. I used thiagoriberio’s suggestion above of selected the errant note and using ALT+down then ALT+up to see if this fixed it, and it didn’t - ALT+down moves the note to an Eb (no accidental displayed due to the key signature), and ALT+up takes it back to the Fb, with the accidental showing. More than that, it exposes another unnecessary accidental - moving the Fb down to an Eb takes away the accidental on the Bb in the right-hand part at the same rhythmic position, which I hadn’t properly noticed before. This is another unnecessary accidental - the B is already flattened in the key signature, and hasn’t been amended earlier in the bar. In fact, there’s already been a Bb in the right-hand part, one-and-a-quarter beats into the bar, and this Bb hasn’t been given an accidental, whereas the one above my erroneously accidentalled Fb in the left-hand has been given one. Quite odd! I guess I can hide this one too, but I’d be interested to know why they were added in the first place?

Tim: can you zip up and share this project or flow with us? I’ll be glad to investigate for you.

Feel free to PM me directly with it, if you wish.

These accidentals are shown when you choose Show cautionary accidental in Notation options > Accidentals > Cautionary (courtesy) accidentals > Notes with augmented or diminished intervals because, well, Fb–Bb is an augmented fourth. I guess they’re not shown when the Bb appears earlier because Bb and Fb are not played at the sime time there.

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That’s nailed it! I hadn’t considered the augmented fourth as a potential cause of the problem. Thank you so much - not just for your answer, but also for showing that Dorico was doing what it was meant to do all along… :smiley:

I chose to resurrect this thread with a possibly related issue, instead of starting a new one.

During the course of a particular score, there are several key changes.

At bar 130, it changes to D flat major.

For some reason, the music following that particular key change is constantly notated with accidentals, as if there was no key signature at all. It is as if every note is equipped with a cautionary accidental … throughout.

It might have to do with the fact that I haven’t written the score starting from bar one, I have made instalments and am now bridging sections that includes key changes from earlier? The fact remains, however, that I now have both a key change, and yet there are cautionary accidentals for all notes.

Suggestions? I tried to fiddle a bit within Notation options, but the mystery prevails.

Later that same day …

Something even more confusing (and who knows, this might be a clue to the solution for someone smarter than myself):

I just chose Edit > Transposed pitch for the score.

  • Instruments in B flat now show E major (D major concert pitch).

  • Instruments in F show A major (D major concert pitch).

  • Instruments in concert pitch show the desired D flat major.

And all parts are still with every “black” note proceeded by the appropriate accidental.


Even later:

The problem solved itself. I opened “Key signatures, tuning systems, and accidentals” (as I have done all the time). Instead of choosing among “Used in this flow” key signatures, I went to “Key signatures” and chose one from scratch. That solved it.

Are you talking about the second panel on the right, in Write mode ? I just ask, because I NEVER use it. Not sure it would be of any necessity, since I always input key signatures with shift+K and fill the popover. That might explain I never ran into the issues you had. Hope it helps !

That’s the very panel I’ve been using. Thanks, I’ll try and follow your advice another time, and hopefully avoid the problem!

I’d be interested to see your project, Runter, so I can take a look and see if there’s anything obviously awry.

This topic is 5 years old, but it seems the best match for a similar oddity. I began note entry in the first flow of a project, and all notes have chromatic signs, even the naturals on first appearance of a pitch (and I did set C Major, not atonal). I’ve looked at Notation Preferences and seen nothing relevant. I know I can hide accidentals using Properties, but I’m also interested in the “why.” This is the fragment:
Needless Naturals and this is the cut-down file:
Needless Naturals.dorico (539.2 KB)

Selecting the passage and going Edit > Reset Appearance fixes it, which would suggest that the material originated as MusicXML with the accidentals explicitly set. For next time, go to Preferences > MusicXML Import > and untick Accidental visibility. That way Dorico will ignore whatever’s in the MusicXML and the accidentals will follow the Notation Options.

If this material really did originate in Dorico, I have absolutely no idea (though my first 10 words stand).

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Thank you, @pianoleo. In fact, this flow did not originate as MusicXML – I entered the notes myself. Those are the first pitches in the project.

That said, the other flows in the project did originate as MusicXML (though they didn’t exhibit this problem). I added this one today (empty) and moved it to be the first flow. Could it be that the other flows have somehow “corrupted” this one from a distance? despite my having removed all the later flows for this upload? I would still like to understand the “why” of this.

I’ve entered a little more music since my inquiry, and every note is preceded by an accidental. To carry out your solution, I suppose the most efficient way is to enter all the music in the flow, superfluous naturals and all, and then carry out the operation you described.

Hmm. The good news (at least I think it’s good news!) is that if I add some notes to your cutdown project with my MIDI keyboard, I too see the unnecessary accidentals. With any luck someone from the development team will download the project and get to the bottom of it.