How to Work with Pedal Lines in Dorico

🎬  This article is a transcription of one of the excellent tutorial videos posted to the official Dorico YouTube channel.

Presented here in written form with the kind permission of its creator, Anthony Hughes, this tutorial is titled “How to Work with Pedal Lines in Dorico”…

Hi, I’m Anthony Hughes, and in this video I’ll be showing you how to work with the new pedal lines features introduced in Dorico 1.1.

Dorico now has the most comprehensive support for piano pedal lines of any scoring software, and it’s easy to input and control sustain, una corda and sostenuto pedal lines.

Pedal lines are found in the Playing Techniques panel in Write mode, in the Keyboard section. Simply click on one of the pedal line buttons in the top row of the palette, and then click and drag out the line in your desired position in the score.

Dorico will automatically take care of any pedal lines that overlap, nesting them as necessary.

To input pedal lines using the keyboard, simply select the range of notes to which the pedal line should apply, then type Shift+P to open the Playing Techniques popover. Enter ped for a sustain pedal… sost for a sostenuto pedal… or unacorda for the una corda pedal.

You can also use the popover to create pedal lines during step input, and when you reach the point at which the line should stop, open the popover again and type [asterisk] to end a sustain pedal, [s asterisk] to end a sostenuto pedal or [u asterisk] to end an una corda.

You can move a pedal line by clicking and dragging it to a new rhythmic position, or by holding down Alt and using the left and right arrow keys.

You change the start or end position by clicking and dragging on the circular handles at each end of the line. You can also hold down Shift and Alt and use the left and right arrow keys to lengthen or shorten pedal lines.

The second row of buttons in the Keyboard palette allow you to add retakes and changes of level to an existing pedal line.

To add a retake, ensure that nothing is selected, click the retake button,

then click on the pedal line at the rhythmic position at which you want the retake to be created. Or you can select a note then click the retake button.

You can also add retakes with the keyboard, by opening the Playing Techniques popover at the relevant rhythmic position and entering the caret symbol, which is often found by pressing Shift+6.

The buttons to the right of the retake button allow you to change the level of a pedal line to one-quarter depressed, half-depressed, three-quarters depressed, and fully depressed.

Simply choose the relevant button in the palette and then click into your existing pedal line.

Pedal lines can be displayed in a number of different ways and you can set your preferred defaults in Engraving Options.

Choose between all of the common designs for the different pedal lines, and then refine any of the numerous positioning options to suit your tastes.

And of course it’s always possible to make changes to a specific pedal line by using the properties panel.

For example, I’m in Write mode and when I select this pedal line I now have access to these properties. I’m going to switch the first one on here for Continuation type and then change it from Line to Sign at end, another common way of drawing pedal lines.


Or I can just choose None to display only the Ped sign without any continuation line. And if I enable this next property Sign appearance you will notice that I can change that to Ped. Text, but I can also switch on this Text property and set the text to whatever I wish.

In Engrave mode there are even more properties available for fine tuning the graphical appearance and position of pedal lines,

and of course I can drag the handles on the line itself to position it exactly where I would like.

If I select this retake, I am now able to toggle it to a change of level and then set the end and start values of the level change

and you can see how I am able to build up some really complex pedalling.

If you’ve found this video helpful, please subscribe to our Dorico channel today to see many more videos like this one.

I’m Anthony Hughes, thanks for watching.


Wie man in Dorico mit Pedalangaben arbeitet | Neue Funktionen in Dorico 1.1

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