voice colors

I still find it irritating to have one player v1-down blue and v1-up red, and the next player the other way round.
Example jpg:
It seems like the two oboes are treated like a keyboard. Why? And how come? And how can I cange it back to normal - what would be first voice down = blue, without any doubt.

Whichever Voice you create first is coloured blue. Whichever Voice you create second is coloured red.
There is no intended correlation between the number, stem direction and colour. It’s supposed to be arbitrary!

That may be true, but when you import a MusicXML file, Dorico can create the voices in an order that doesn’t have any obvious logic.

For example if a 100-bar-long part has 99 bars with a single voice, and the final bar with two voices, the first 99 bars might all be the second (red, stem down) voice.

OK, conceptually it makes no difference to anything (except possibly the explode function!) but it’s another random fact you have to keep track of if you want to edit the part.

If it bothers you, you can swap the voices and even define an easy key combination for it.

I have a slightly different issue. All my “first stems up” voices are blue, but the “first stems down” voices aren’t all the same color. I have one staff where it’s red and one staff where it’s purple. Is there a rationale for this? I even made sure I wasn’t in a third voice by cutting and pasting the music into the “first stems down” voice and it’s still purple.

It’s not a problem, per se, but it can be confusing because every time I see it it I feel like I’m working on the wrong voice.


As we established in the second and third posts of this thread, it may not be obvious why a voice is a particular colour, but there isn’t a correlation between the colour and the stem direction. As of 3.1 there’s a read-out in the status bar that tells you what voice you’re dealing with.

As I acknowledged, it’s not a problem with the program, but it’s an inconsistency that can be confusing sometimes. This is also the first time I’ve personally seen it assign something other than red to the second voice on a staff. Personally, I’d prefer some consistency within a document.

That said, I do generally love how Dorico works with voices. Much more flexible than other programs and as a result there’s much less work hiding rests, flipping stems, etc.

I’ll also add, that when I close the file and reopen it the colors now match. Still, if I’m working for a while on a project, I’d rather not have to interrupt myself to close and reopen a file…especially a large file…to fix something like that.

When you close and reopen Dorico, it purges any voices than have not been (are no longer being) used. This is why colors change.