🎬 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 Voices in Dorico”…
Hi, I’m Anthony Hughes. I’m going to show you how to enter music in different voices here in Dorico, the new music notation software from Steinberg.
Now when you are in Note Input you may have noticed this little note that’s part of the caret.
Well, that’s showing you the nominal stem direction of the active voice you are inputting music into at that moment.
When you need to add music to a new voice, then simply press Shift+V
and you’ll see that this little plus sign appears to indicate you are adding a new voice and the stem direction is now showing as down.
Now I can go ahead and enter some more notes and they are entered in the second voice here, with the stems of the ﬁrst voice now automatically pointing upwards.
Now I have two voices that I choose between I can cycle between them by pressing the key command V on its own.
If I ﬁnd that I need a third voice, I can press Shift+V
and before I add any notes I can cycle between a second new up-stem voice or a second new down-stem voice.
There is no limit to the number of voices I can add and Dorico will do a great job laying them out sensibly in the music.
If you have some rests in the middle of a voice that you don’t want Dorico to show, then you can select the last note before the rests start,
come down to the Properties panel and enable this property ‘Ends voice’
at which point you can choose to end the voice immediately
or to let Dorico pad out the rest of the bar with the appropriate rests.
Sometimes, as you add additional voices to your music, you may ﬁnd that Dorico is automatically padding out the bar with rests that you don’t want to see. It’s easy to control this. Firstly, you can identify which voice notes and rests belong to by opening the View menu and selecting Note Colours then Voice Colours.
We see here in green that the rests are in the same voice as this low G.
I don’t need to see the voice colours any longer, so I can press Ctrl+Z to undo (that’s Cmd+Z on Mac).
So I’ll select the G
and open the Properties panel by clicking on this long button on the status bar— or by using the key command Ctrl+8, that’s Cmd+8 on Mac.
To prevent the quarter note rest at the beginning of the bar from drawing I simply switch on this ‘Starts voice’ property and the rest disappears. Because this note is also the last note in the voice I can switch on the next property, to set ‘Ends voice’ and that removes any subsequent rests in that particular voice.
Editor’s note: Since Anthony made the video tutorial covering how to work with voices in Dorico, there have been several improvements to the software in this area. It is now even easier to manipulate voices in Dorico. Make a selection, right-click and choose an item from the the Voices contextual sub-menu.
From here, you can perform edits such as changing the nominal stem direction of a voice, or moving the selected notes to a new or existing voice.
When moving notes to an existing voice, enabling chord mode from the Notes toolbox will merge those notes with any music already at that rhythmic position.
There are other tricks available too: easily swap the contents of two voices,
or just swap the order of notes in voices where small intervals are triggering a horizontal offset.
It is also now possible to remove unnecessary rests in voices by making a selection and choosing Edit > Remove Rests from the main menu.
Be aware that this command will remove all selected rests, so ensure that you filter your selection to include only the voices that you would like to be removed. The ‘Starts voice’ and ‘Ends voice’ properties outlined above are both still valid, and work as they did previously.
I hope this has been helpful to you. Please subscribe to the Dorico Youtube channel to see more videos like this. I’m Anthony Hughes, thanks for watching.