xml import questions

In importing a particular xml file made in Finale, expressions like punta d’arco and marcato assai are imported without a problem but expressions like pizz. and arco are ignored, as are fermatas. Does anyone recognize this and have a solution?

Also, I’d like to find a global way to override Dorico’s dynamic/hairpin placement which keeps them horizontally aligned in each system but which means that there is often way too much vertical space between some dynamics/hairpins and the notes they affect. BTW, there are lots of places where Dorico places text or marking too far from the staff and this creates problems with vertical spacing. If I delete the offending expression, Dorico readjusts the vertical spacing between staves. If I only tweak the expressions position, Dorico doesn’t make the vertical readjustment, leaving unsightly gaps between the staves.

I have another question about grace note slurs. I need to slur a grace note to the upper note of a double stop. I can select both these notes (omitting the bottom note of the double stop) but Dorico places the slur going to the lower note nevertheless. I tried using a laisser vibrer tie after the grace note, but it turned it into an ugly nub which took quite a bit of tweaking to get to look attractive. In addition, I couldn’t copy this to another location (to avoid having to make the adjustments each time). The first is what I want, although it was made using a l.v. tie with a lot of tweaking.
Schermafbeelding 2018-12-28 om 15.05.05.png

Hello Vaughan.

For now, you cannot do much in terms of important playing techniques, unless you want them to be text only. As for the linking/grouping, there is a menu choice in the editing section of edit>preference that turns off the automatic linking when copying. Otherwise, Dorico does not necessarily group by default, only if the dynamics are created in one go, of if one is added in very close proximity. I you find that there are too many links and groups after importing xml, it’s best to to filter them wholesale and run a unlink or ungroup command and regroup according to taste. I have a list of shortcuts for grouping/ungrouping/linking/unlinking and I find it works quite fast. In the end, imports can be tricky depending on how they were created at first.

As for the grace notes, it is indeed unfortunate. But I find that changing the bottom note to another upstem voice and then setting the voice column to zero in Engrave Mode yields good results overall (after removing rests or course). Once it’s done in a single instance, it’s easy to copy-paste. Sometimes, slurs and/or stems have to be flipped.

There are a good many text-based playing techniques that Dorico does not yet import, chief among them obvious candidates like pizz./arco and mute/open. We do plan to return to this area in the near future, hopefully as part of the next round of work on playing techniques more generally.

As Claude says, when you import a MusicXML file, Dorico does use slightly different grouping logic for dynamics that it imports rather than how it groups them when you create them yourself. Any dynamic that is within (if memory serves) six quarter notes of another dynamic will be grouped with it when importing MusicXML files, whereas only directly abutting dynamics will be grouped when you input them directly. I would go along with Claude’s advice that unlinking dynamics after importing a MusicXML file is probably a good approach.

For your grace note issue, I would suggest that probably using a slur is still preferable to using an l.v. tie: you should be able to rotate the slur into a reasonable shape by dragging the right-hand end point while holding the Alt key; this is not currently possible with the keyboard alone, but once you’ve got the slur into roughly the right shape, you should be able to use Alt+arrow to move each handle (with Tab and Shift+Tab to select each handle in turn) to fine-tune the appearance quite efficiently, and if you have that situation over and over again, copying and pasting the slur will retain its edited shape.