Voices: change the voice of existing notes

If I’ve understood this correctly, the way to change the voice of existing notes (in Write mode) (Changing the voice of existing notes) is Edit-> Voices-> Change Voice ->.

I have a simple passage, on one staff that is shared by three voices: the first up-stem, first down-stem, and a second up-stem. To change the notes now sung by the second up-stem so that they become down-stem – without merging them with the 'first-down-stem voice’s notes – I went to Edit → Voices-> Change Voice, and tried two different ways to achieve this:

  • 2nd down-stem voice
  • new down-stem voice

. . . but neither changed the stem directions of that second up-stem voice.

What am I missing?

Thanks, in advance, for any tips you care to share!

Are all three voices present within that bar? The stem direction is notional: if there’s only one voice present in a bar, it’ll use upstems for notes below the middle staff line and downstems for notes above the middle staff line.

Was the music in question transferred into Dorico via MusicXML? If so, you may need to Select All and go Edit > Stem > Remove Forced Stem. To prevent this from being an issue in future, go into Preferences > MusicXML Import > Notes and Chords, untick Stem directions, Apply and close.

You can manually override stem directions by selecting the notes and hitting F (short for flip - this works on lots of different types of object).

Note that if you want to redefine an entire Upstem Voice as a Downstem Voice, across the whole flow, you can do so by selecting one or more notes and going Edit > Voices > Default Stems Down. Default Stems Up does the opposite.

Hi, pianoleo;

Yes: blue = first upstem; red = first down-stem; green = 2nd upstem:

(sorry about the musical incoherence at the end of that bar – those last two blue notes were originally meant to be green . . . they got shuffled in the process)

No – I entered everything manually.

I was able to flip the 3rd voice’s stems via “f”, but didn’t do so, because I don’t want to create confusion between “3rd voice notes which were flipped” and those that hadn’t been flipped.

Shouldn’t Edit-> Voices-> Change Voice ->new down-stem voice (or 2nd downstem voice) be sufficient to change the green voice’s (ie, 2nd up-stem voice) stem directions?

Hmmm. . . . I am able to change the stem direction of the red note (1st downstem) by “Change voice-New upstem voice” , but there seems to be something misfiring when it comes to that green voice.

AHA! I think I found the problem: somewhere along the line – perhaps when I used “f” to flip the green notes, earlier on – I must have inadvertently “forced” a stem direction change for that voice, because I just chose -->stem–> remove forced stem, and the green notes did finally change stem direction! Which leads to this question: does using “flip” constitute “forcing”?

Yes. Flipping is a form of forcing: it’s overriding the default.

There we go – that’s what was happening!