Types of text

Generic text in Dorico Pro can exist as text items, either staff-attached or system-attached, or in text frames, which are fixed to the page rather than the music. There are dedicated features for other types of text that often appear in musical scores, such as tempo marks and dynamics.

In Dorico Pro, there are the following types of text:

Text items

Text items exist at rhythmic positions within flows. They can display any text you enter, apart from tokens. You can customize the formatting of text in text items using the available text editor options, such as by applying different paragraph styles to each line of text and different character styles to each character.

Text items can apply either to individual staves, which is known as “staff-attached text”, or to all staves, which is known as “system-attached text”.

Figure 1. A text item below a piano staff
Text in text frames

Text frames exist on pages independently of rhythmic positions within flows. They can display any text you enter, including tokens. You can customize the formatting of text in text frames using the available text editor options, such as by applying different paragraph styles to each line of text and different character styles to each character.

Figure 2. Text frames on the first page in a piano part layout, with the project title frame selected
Tempo marks

Tempo marks indicate how fast music is played, often with a combination of text instructions and metronome marks.

For example, A tempo, Larghetto, ritardando, and accelerando are all tempo marks.

Figure 3. Tempo mark containing text instruction in French and metronome mark
Rehearsal marks

Rehearsal marks are ordered sequences of letters or numbers that provide useful reference points. They are often shown in a rectangular enclosure.

Figure 4. A rehearsal mark, showing the letter G
Playing techniques

The term “playing techniques” covers a wide range of instructions intended to tell performers to modify the sound of the notes they are playing, for example, by changing their embouchure or changing the position of their bow, or by modifying their instrument, such as adding a mute or depressing a pedal.

For example, pizzicato, flutter-tongue, con sordino, and “snares on” are all playing techniques.

Figure 5. Some of the playing techniques available in Dorico Pro
Dynamics

Dynamics indicate the loudness of the music and can be combined with expressive text to give further clarification about how to perform the music. Dynamics can indicate an immediate change in volume or a gradual change over a specified duration.

For example, , , and “crescendo” are all dynamics.

Figure 6. A phrase with multiple different dynamics
Lyrics

In Dorico Pro, the term “lyrics” is used for all text that is sung by singers. Lyrics are organized into lyric lines, with different types of lyric lines available for lyrics with different purposes. For example, lyrics in a chorus line are shown in an italic font by default.

Figure 7. Lyrics for a soprano duet with basso continuo accompaniment
Fingering

Fingerings use numbers and letters to recommend which fingers players should use for notes.

Figure 8. Piano music containing multiple fingerings, including a substitution fingering and alternative fingerings
Figured bass

Figured bass is a shorthand that uses figures to specify the harmony above the notated bass notes. Figures use a combination of Arabic numbers, accidentals, and horizontal hold lines to specify both the intervals above the bass note that make up the chord and its duration.

Figure 9. A basso continuo part with figured bass below the staff
Chord symbols

Chord symbols describe the vertical harmony of the music at a specific moment. They are frequently used in jazz and pop music, where players often improvise around chord progressions.

For example, “Gm7”, “Dsus4”, and “C6/9” are all chord symbols.

Figure 10. Chord symbols shown above slashes on the Clarinet and Piano staves to help the players improvise around the notated Cornet melody.
Repeat markers

Repeat markers show that musical material is to be repeated. They often involve jumping to different positions and sections in the music instead of moving through the music consecutively.

For example, D.C. al Coda, D.S., and Fine are all repeat markers.

Figure 11. A mid-system coda section
Comments

Comments are notes or instructions added at precise positions in a project without affecting the music. They are considered annotations in Dorico Pro, meaning they are not printed by default.

Figure 12. A passage with comments and replies