Dots on dotted notes can't be made invisible

• Sep 20, 2012 - 16:16

This post relates to old and still open bug reports for both 1.2 and the trunk: #12970: Overlapping multi-voice dotted notes on lines have two dots and #14113: Flipping dots changes their position. I do a lot of work in choral music, and whenever parts are unison, dotted notes end up with two dots because one of the notes is flipped.


One simple solution would be to allow the dots to be made invisible but the "v" shortcut doesn't work nor does changing the inspector "visible" flag manually. So either the dots should not flip with the note head/stem or else allow them to be made invisible.

MuseScore 2.0 GIT rev 3843057, Windows 7 32-bit.

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Also, why does making a note invisible still leave the stem visible, but the dot does become invisible? Should they not be "linked" together?

In reply to by schepers

It's very useful to be able to hide the notehead only. For example to create Kodaly notation

If you need a solution just now, you can double click the dot and move it in the notehead with the arrow keys.

Edit: In fact #14113: Flipping dots changes their position doesn't look like a bug. Select one of the dot and press X to flip it. The two dots merge and you have the behavior you want. It's not a reason to not be able to hide dots though.

Isn't is correct behavior to have two dots in such cases? I am fairly certain I've seen it that way in published scores, and in fact I seem to remember Garder Read discussing this case specifically. But maybe I am confusing it with something else.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Not in any of the choral scores I've worked on or played in the last 16 years. Any dotted note flipped down that resides on a line also has the dot flipped up. I would have to check, but this is regardless of it being overlapping with another voice note.

I didn't know that you could independantly flip the note dots. That's handy!

Whilst waiting for this to be fixed, here is a workaround that can also be used when you want to hide other things:

Complete all note entry for that stave.*

Press 'Z' to call up the symbols palette.
Drag a notehead (or other suitable shape) onto the score and position it over the offending dot.
Right-click on the notehead, choose Colour.
Set colour to Red 240 Green 240 Blue 220 and you get a patch of similar colour to the default background.

*If you don't complete your stave or you later change things this can cause problems since your little notehead patch will drift off somewhere and be very hard to find as it is camouflaged. You can find it again by placing a new notehead near where you last saw it, right-clicking on the new one and choosing to Select All Similar Elements - the hidden one will briefly appear highlighted.

Enter the second voice as non-dotted note, change the quarter break in the second voice to two quavers, and make one of the quavers in the second voice invisible.

In reply to by AlvaroBuitrago

Elaine Gould is not the only authority on music engraving, in fact some of what she proposes runs counter to existing music engraving practices developed over several centuries - using a square bracket and not a curved one for triplets is an example.

Very often a publisher's house style will contain engraving practices peculiar to itself, and these need to be taken into account when writing engraving software.

Has anyone checked to see what other engraving software does in this instance??

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

Of course, she isn't the only authority in musical notation. But is one of them. Can you cite an author who hold the opposite view?

The best option is that the program allows both options, preferably with a choice between one or the other in the document settings.

Sibelius and Finale make it in Eliane's way, but Notion and Symphony Pro (iPad) do it the opposite way.

Dotted unisson Sibelius 7.png

Dotted unisson Finale 2012.png

Dotted unisson Notion 4.png

Here is another discussións about this:…

It would be interesting to find examples of musical repertoire works and observe criteria of different publishers.

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

Whenever there is legitimate room for debate, I'm less concerned with defaults than with control. As long as there is a straightforward way to get either behavior, I'm OK. In this particular case, if there is no evidence the single-dots method is more universally preferred, what seems natural is to do two dots, and allow the user to hide one if desired. That way, it is reasonably obvious *how* to make an extra dot disappear, but less so how to make one appear that isn't already there.

BTW, are you saying Gould recommends curved brackets for tuplets despite the modern move by many publishers to square brackets over the past century or so? Or that you feel the older-style curved brackets are still preferable and that Gould should be bucking the trend and advocating for a return to the older style? In my opinion, it's bad enough we use a very similar shape for both ties and slurs; I'm not a fan of overloading this shape further, even if there is historical precedent. So in this case, even though I would agree there needs to be a way to get either, I think it pretty clear sqaure is the correct default.

Sorry. I make a big mistake here. (I have to clean my glasses)

The above example corresponds to a single stem.

The theme is double stems, and the criterion of Elaine Gould is a single dot. The example is a little further down on the same page.

Elaine Dot2.jpg

My sincere apologies for the error. But Elaine's approach is worth now? ;)

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