Inputting notes using pitch before duration

You can input notes into your project by specifying their pitch before their duration, meaning you can test pitches before inputting them without leaving note input. You can input notes with a computer keyboard, with the mouse, using panels in the lower zone, or by playing notes with a MIDI keyboard.

By default in Dorico Pro, you must specify the duration before the pitch of notes.

Note
  • These steps describe selecting the pitch before the duration when inputting notes. However, you can also specify the duration before the pitch instead, which is the default note input behavior in Dorico Pro.

  • These steps describe selecting rhythm dots, articulations, and accidentals not in the prevailing key signature before inputting notes. However, you can also select them after inputting notes. If you change this setting, you must perform steps 7 and 8 before steps 4 to 6.

  • When inputting notes on tablature using pitch before duration, you must select note durations by clicking them in the Notes panel.

  • You do not have to input rests between notes, as Dorico Pro automatically shows implicit rests of the appropriate duration between the notes you input. Similarly, you do not have to input ties, as Dorico Pro shows notes as tie chains if necessary.

  • You can also input notations alongside notes without deactivating note input.

Prerequisite

  • You have chosen the appropriate input pitch setting.

  • You have chosen the appropriate note-based notation input setting.

  • You have connected any MIDI devices you want to use for note input.

  • If you want to select note durations using the Notes panel, the left zone is shown.

  • 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.

  • If your music requires a key signature, you have input that key signature.

Procedure

  1. In Write mode, 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.

      Note

      You can also press Return; however, if you select a notation, such as a dynamic, pressing Return opens the corresponding popover instead of starting note input.

    • Select a note or rest on the staff where you want to input notes and click Start Note Input in the Notes toolbox.

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

  2. Activate Pitch Before Duration in any of the following ways:
    • Press K.

    • In the Notes toolbox, click Pitch Before Duration .

  3. Optional: If you want to input notes onto multiple staves at once, extend the caret to those staves.
  4. Optional: If you want to input a pitch whose accidental is not in the prevailing key signature, select the appropriate accidental.
  5. Optional: Select any required articulations.
  6. Optional: Select any required rhythm dots.
  7. Select a pitch in any of the following ways:
    • Press the corresponding letters on your computer keyboard.

      Tip

      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/Opt as well as the letter for the note; for example, Shift-Alt/Opt-A.

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

      When inputting notes using pitch before duration, you can press these key commands multiple times to select higher/lower octaves.

    • 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.

    • In the Keyboard, Fretboard, or Drum Pads panel, play the notes you want.

    • Play the notes on a MIDI keyboard.

    Once you have selected a pitch, a shadow note of the corresponding pitch appears at the caret position. You can release the pitch after selecting it.

  8. Select a note duration and input the note in any of the following ways:
    • Press the number on your computer keyboard that corresponds to the duration you want.

      For example, press 6 for quarter notes (crotchets). Press smaller numbers for smaller durations, such as 5 for eighth notes (quavers) and 4 for 16th notes (semiquavers). Press larger numbers for larger durations, such as 7 for half notes (minims).

    • In the Notes panel, click the duration you want.

      Note

      When inputting notes on tablature, you must click durations in the Notes panel.

    • In the Keyboard, Fretboard, or Drum Pads panel toolbar, click the duration you want.

  9. Optional: Advance the caret by the currently selected note duration without inputting notes in any of the following ways:
    • Press Space.

    • In the Keyboard, Fretboard, or Drum Pads panel toolbar, click Advance Caret Advance Caret button.

    Tip

    You can also move the caret in different ways and by different increments.

  10. Stop note input in any of the following ways:
    • Press Esc or Return.

    • In the Notes toolbox, click Start Note Input Start Note Input button.

Result

Notes are input with the selected duration at the caret position or where you click and are played back as you input them by default. Their pitch follows the prevailing key signature. For example, if you press F in G major, an F is input automatically.

If you selected rhythm dots or articulations, notes continue to be input with them until you deactivate them. However, accidentals not in the prevailing key signature are only added to the first note you input after selecting them.

Dorico Pro notates and beams notes appropriately according to their duration, the prevailing time signature, and their position in the bar. This includes showing notes as tie chains if required.

If you advance the caret without inputting notes, Dorico Pro fills the gaps between notes with implicit rests of the appropriate duration.

If you input notes on notation staves belonging to fretted instruments, Dorico Pro automatically allocates these notes to the strings on which they can be played closest to the nut. Because this calculation is done for each note separately, multiple notes can be allocated to the same string. Similarly, when you input chords on tablature using pitch before duration with a MIDI keyboard, all notes in the chord are allocated to the same string. In such cases, the notes are shown next to each other on tablature and are colored green. You can then select them individually and make your own string allocation.

Tip
  • You can switch between using pitch before duration and duration before pitch note input at any time by pressing K or clicking Pitch Before Duration . For example, duration before pitch can be easier when inputting a sequence of notes with the same duration.

  • You can change the default beam, note, and rest grouping settings for each flow independently in Notation Options. You can also specify custom beat groupings within individual time signatures.

  • You can change whether note input uses pitch before duration or duration before pitch by default on the Note Input and Editing page in Preferences.

After Completing This Task

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

You can also show brackets on noteheads individually.