Inputting notes

You can input notes into your project when note input is activated. You can input notes with a computer keyboard, with the mouse, or by playing notes with a MIDI keyboard.


During step input, you must specify the duration, accidentals, and articulations before specifying the pitch. This applies to all input methods.

You can later add notations to notes after they have been input when note input is deactivated.


  • If you want to input notes into multiple instruments held by a single player or instruments not visible in the score in page view, you are in Galley View.

  • You have chosen the appropriate input pitch setting.


  1. Start note input in any of the following ways:
    • Select a note or rest on the staff where you want to input notes and press Shift-N or Return.


      If you select a notation, such as a dynamic, pressing Return opens the corresponding popover instead of starting note input.

    • Double-click the staff where you want to input notes.

  2. Select a note value in any of the following ways:
    • Press the number on your computer keyboard that corresponds to the rhythmic value you want. For example, press 6 for quarter notes (crotchets), 5 for eighth notes (quavers), 7 for half notes (minims), and so on.

    • Click the rhythmic value you want in the Notes panel on the left of the window.

  3. Optional: Add an accidental.
  4. Optional: Add an articulation.
  5. Input the pitches you want in any of the following ways:
    • Press the corresponding letters on your keyboard.


      Dorico Pro automatically selects the note whose register is the smallest interval away from the previously input note. However, you can force a different register.

      • To input a note above the previously input note, press Shift-Alt as well as the letter for the note.

      • To input a note below the previously input note, press Ctrl (macOS) or Ctrl-Alt (Windows) as well as the letter for the note.

      You must press Ctrl on Mac, not Cmd.

    • Click the staff at the rhythmic position of each note you want to input.

      A shadow notehead appears when inputting with the mouse to indicate where the note will be input.

    • Play the notes on a MIDI keyboard.

  6. Press Esc or Return to stop note input.


Notes are input with the selected duration and are played back as you input them by default. Notes continue to be input with a rhythm dot and any articulations until you deactivate them. However, accidentals are only added to the first note you input after selecting them.

Beams are automatically formed between adjacent notes that are an eighth note or shorter, as appropriate for the time signature and their position in the bar.

  • You can change the default beam grouping in your project on the Beam Grouping page in Notation Options.

  • You can also move the caret to other rhythmic positions without having to input notes.

After Completing This Task

You can move notes to different rhythmic positions after they have been input, and move them to other staves.