Tenor Voice and Octave Down Treble Clef

Discussions about our next-generation scoring application, Dorico.
Post Reply
New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 4:35 pm

Tenor Voice and Octave Down Treble Clef

Post by jwelchner » Wed May 01, 2019 4:44 pm


I'm writing a piece for 4 voices, and my tenor will sometimes switch out into a bass role, and he prefers to read bass clef when doing so.

The first issue I ran into is that when I use bass clef on a tenor voice, it transposes down an octave. It's my understanding that tenor voice is treated as a transposing instrument in dorico, so I tried a work around suggested in another thread. I used a baritone voice and renamed in tenor, and carried on writing.

The second issue occurred once I tried to write for that voice in octave down treble clef. The clef itself doesn't transpose, so written notes sounded concert and an octave higher than what the tenor would read.

Will this / has this been addressed? Is it possible to make my own clef so that middle C is the second space in the staff? Thanks!


Senior Member
Posts: 1407
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:09 pm

Re: Tenor Voice and Octave Down Treble Clef

Post by benwiggy » Wed May 01, 2019 6:12 pm

This is a known issue. Ottava clefs in Dorico do not transpose: they are purely 'cosmetic'. Transposition is a property of the instrument itself, rather than the clef it uses. So Tenors are lumped in with Contrabasses: playback transposed down the octave, no matter what clef is used.

The alternative, as you've found out, is to use a Baritone or Bass singer, but then the Tenor G8 clef will playback exactly as a Soprano G8 clef....!

It is possible, though not easy, to add a custom clef to your userdefaults.xml file. You can then use another vocal instrument, like "Voice", and then use whichever clef you like. I might put up some instructions here, once I've figured out an easy way to outline the procedure.
MacMini 2018, 3GHz i5, 32Gb RAM | MacBook Pro 2014, 2.2 GHz i7 | Garritan Personal Orchestra 5
Ancient Groove Music

User avatar
Stephen Taylor
Posts: 528
Joined: Tue May 17, 2016 11:06 pm
Location: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Re: Tenor Voice and Octave Down Treble Clef

Post by Stephen Taylor » Wed May 01, 2019 6:45 pm

Another possibility is to add a Baritone part to your score, and assign it to the Tenor in Setup mode. Then you can have the tenor switch to baritone, just like oboe switching to English horn; and you can hide the "To BAR" text in Engrave mode.

(125.1 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Dorico Pro, Sibelius 7.5, Logic Pro, Max, Kyma; 2015 MacBook Pro

Post Reply

Return to “Dorico”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Daniel at Steinberg, llandini, LSalgueiro, Oboino, Vaughan Schlepp and 6 guests