Why staccato plays but notated spiccato

I’m using BBC SO Pro and I’ve notated staccato notes over the first of a few measures that are to be played spiccato because that’s how I understand performer’s expect to see the notation, and added the ‘spiccato’ playing technique over that same first measure. However, the playing technique does not change to spiccato; it simply remains as staccato, probably because the staccato dots are overriding the playing technique I’ve specified.

When I remove the staccato dots, the playing technique correctly reverts to spiccato:


Is there a way to force the playing technique to be spiccato, but yet keep the staccato dots? Or is it acceptable to simply leave out the staccato dots as long as I’ve specified ‘spiccato’ above the affected measures?

(Off the top of my head) Try putting spiccato and staccato in a mutual exclusion group in your expression map.

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They are already in a mutual exclusion group.

If you hover over the technique lane, you’ll get a bit more information. The problem is that it’s not staccato OR spiccato, but AND.

Try creating an expression for both Spicc and Stacc.

I’d leave out the dots, just ‘spicc.’ will do fine. Depending on tempo and style, most players would play this passage slightly spiccato anyway.

exactly what @benwiggy says. You’ve notated staccato and spiccato together so unless this combination is defined in the map (which would be pointless in my view), Dorico will not change the articulation. If players really want to see the notation as you’ve described then you must put a stacc+spicc = spicc p.t. line into the EM.

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I get that I’m trying to use both spicato and staccato notations. However, that’s the way I understand that performers expect to see it in the music, with dots over the notes and “spicc” over the measure.

Are you inferring that if I take them out of the mutually exclusive group, it should work?

the thing is that when Dorico sees both a staccato dot and a spiccato instruction, it sees two articulations and you need an Expression Map combination of the two. Take a look at the screenshot where I highlighted this entry. The keyswitch should be the same as for spiccato on its own as that’s what you’re wanting here (E-1,127) If you use them together then indeed they shouldn’t be in the same mutual exclusion group as I understand it.

Out of curiosity, have any performers specifically said they require a staccato marking for spiccato? To me this seems fully superfluous as spiccato by nature is very short.

To my understanding, many composers do not even notate spicc and just leave it up to the performer whether to use spicato or not, depending on how fast the passage is I think. If it’s a faster passage they’re more likely spicato; otherwise, they would normally use staccato.

So if I use them together in the expression map def like you’re showing, it should work the way I want it?

That worked! But what determines which playback technique actually plays? Because when I combined them I only heard spiccato, which incidentally is what I wanted, but how can I know for sure it won’t try to playback staccato instead of spiccato when they’re combined? Is it because when you combine them the verbal instruction takes precedence over the symbols (dots)?

No. The logic is that you are requesting a specific combination (staccato+spiccato, with staccato being requested by the articulations on the notes and spiccato by the playing technique), and if that specific combination is found in the expression map, that is the switch that will be used.

the actual playback technique is the one specified by the keyswitch (E-1 , 127 on my map) . Dorico is looking in the map for a combination of staccato and spiccato p.t’s and when it find this combination, it will then look to see what the specified keyswitch is for this combination. Obviously the keyswitch is for only one technique which is set to the spiccato you require.

Which is what I understand Daniel is saying.