Split stems for altered unisons

Split stems can be used in chords containing altered unisons. They show the main body of the chord as usual, but with a stem branch coming off the main stem that connects noteheads in altered unisons to the chord.

Figure: Split stem chord

Split stems are also known as cherry stalks or trees. This is the default presentation of altered unisons in Dorico Pro.

You can choose to show altered unisons with split stems or with single stems in each flow independently on the Accidentals page in Write > Notation Options.


If a chord contains notes a second interval apart and one of those notes has an altered unison, it is always shown with a split stem, regardless of your setting. This is to ensure clarity in clusters.