Holds and pauses

Different notations are used to show where the established rhythmic flow of the music is interrupted, either with a moment of repose or a short silence, before continuing. The most subtle effect is produced by a tenuto mark, with more significant effects denoted with holds and pauses.

The duration of the break in the music intended by the hold or pause does not need to be specified. This leaves significant room for interpretation, even though the different styles of holds and pauses normally indicate larger or smaller breaks.

Figure 1. A musical phrase with three fermatas

In Dorico Pro, there are the following types of holds and pauses:

Fermatas

Fermatas indicate that a note is held for longer than its notated length, which applies to the whole ensemble. In Dorico Pro, fermatas exist globally at the corresponding rhythmic positions, meaning they are automatically shown on all staves and voices.

They are also known as “pauses” and informally sometimes called “birds’ eyes”.

Breath marks

Breath marks show suitable places for players to breathe, or suggest how the music is phrased to create a similar effect.

Caesuras

Caesuras indicate that a note is sustained for its full value and is followed by a break in sound before continuing. In Dorico Pro, caesuras exist globally at the corresponding rhythmic positions, meaning they are automatically shown on all staves.

Note

Holds and pauses do not currently have an effect in playback, but this is planned for future versions.