Articulations are markings that are drawn above or below notes and chords. Articulations tell a performer how to attack a note or how long to play a note relative to its notated duration.

In Dorico, articulations are defined as something that alters the way a note is played, in a way that is consistent across all instruments.

As instructions like bowing directions, harmonics, or tonguing apply to different instrument groups, in Dorico such directions are defined as playing techniques, and can be found in the Notations panel on the right of the window.

Articulations are categorized into the following types:

  • Articulations of force

    Indicate a stronger attack at the start of notes, and include articulations such as accent and marcato, which is sometimes called a strong accent. Dorico shows these articulations at the start of a note or tie chain by default.

  • Articulations of duration

    Indicate a shorter duration than notated, and include articulations such as staccatissimo, staccato, tenuto, and staccato-tenuto, which is sometimes called louré. If a note includes ties, Dorico shows articulations of duration above the last note in the chain by default.

  • Articulations of stress

    Indicate notes that should be emphasized or not emphasized where that contradicts the prevailing meter, using stressed and unstressed marks. Dorico shows these articulations at the start of a note or tie chain by default.

You can find the articulations at the bottom of the Notes panel in Write mode.

Dorico positions articulations automatically on the notehead or stem side of notes and chords, according to the musical context. A note or chord can display one of each of the three types of articulations.

You can change the effect of articulations on playback, based both on the type of instrument and the playback devices in use in the Note Dynamics section of the Dynamics page in Playback Options.

You can open Playback Options in any of the following ways:

  • Press Ctrl/Cmd-Shift-P in any mode.

  • Choose Play > Playback Options in Play mode.