2 of 3 staves empty but showing

Dear all,

I am formatting individual parts of an orchestral piece for printing. In one of the percussion parts I am getting one system with three staves (see attachment) although two of them are completely empty. How can I change this? In the rest of the part, instrument changes work perfectly and there is always just one staff showing.

Warm wishes!

Can you cut down the project to just the troublesome area, e.g. just export the percussion layout and then delete all of the music apart from this passage, and then attach it here?

How do I export just one layout?

You can do it via File > Export > Flows.

Thank you! I just did that but I don’t think it’s useful to upload it because miraculously in this new file there’s always just one staff showing - just as I want it.

In that case, try doing File > Save As to make a copy of your project, then delete all flows apart from this one, and delete all instruments apart from the affected percussionist, and see if that still reproduces the problem. If it does, upload that project.

Okay, just did tht but the problem disappears. :sweat_smile:

Well, you’ll need to upload the complete project, then, I guess, and be sure to provide specific information about exactly where in the project the problem is occurring (which page of which layout).

This is just a shot in the dark, but is that “accelerando…” a tempo marking or a custom line/text?

Sorry for the late response! Here is the entire project:

The problem is in the part of “percussionist 2” starting at bar 346.

I think it is a tempo marking.

Unfortunately the reasoning behind the extra staves is beyond me, but it looks like it’s something to do with the multi-bar rests between bars 357-367 (if you add system breaks in various places, you can narrow it down to those bars only appearing with 3 staves). Edit - shortening the oboe cue as Leo suggests does indeed seem to work.

On a side note, and apologies in advance for the tangent - I couldn’t help but notice you’re doing a lot of your page formatting using local page overrides rather than editing the underlying master pages or creating custom master pages, e.g. for the title page in the score and p1 insert for the parts. I really would recommend doing that as much as possible, as it “saves” your pages more safely than as local page overrides and in the case of the parts, might save you drawing in the graphics frame on every page 1! (here you’d just need to load the relevant image into the Default Part master page for it to appear everywhere) You can still of course override that master page in each layout, e.g. to tweak the size of the graphics frame, but it means that if you ever need to reset pages, they get reset to a fuller baseline, as it were.

You don’t have to use the same master page set for portrait and landscape parts, if you want those to be different.

You can now also export/import master page sets between projects, which means if you have a preferred title page template, you can reuse it in multiple projects (and if most of the detail comes from tokens, it might not even require local editing in each project either).

Here’s your project with a couple of tweaks in that area, including applying the relevant paragraph styles to different bits of text with their formatting coming from the Paragraph Styles dialog (although I probably don’t have the exact font you were using, so if you wanted to work from this project you’d want to change that for the Title paragraph style). Condensing player labels are a bit further to the left by default, so they don’t contribute to vertical stacks so much.

I also made tempo mark and rehearsal mark font styles absolute, so they’re larger in the score. Ditto score bar numbers. And adjusted staff spacing (reducing minimum gaps between staves in the score to give Dorico more flexibility in allocating space for staves with extra info; reducing system gaps in some parts to make more staves fit automatically on pages without distortions that come when the page is calculated as overfull).

To hide flow headings in single-flow projects, see here. You can see I’ve added the subtitle token to the First master page in the parts instead of using the flow heading for this.

5 Resilience Concert Band TEM_LH.dorico (2.1 MB)

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Get rid of the first bar of the Oboe cue at the top of the next system so that the two staves don’t overlap, and you’ll find that Dorico hides the previous empty staves.

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@pianoleo I believe Felix was asking about the previous system, where there are 3 staves shown, two of which are empty, rather than the last system with the oboe cue.

But as an aside, just because I’m happy with the changes - in the more recent iPad manual, this topic has been overhauled so that the conditions under which Dorico produces automatic instrument changes are bullet-pointed.

Exactly. If the next music has two staves with overlapping music, Dorico doesn’t know which staves to show on the previous system. Try it.


My goodness, indeed! Very well spotted. I’d fiddled about with giving other instruments the cue but not shortening it.


You two are incredible. :joy: Thank you so much for all the above. I don’t have time right now to understand and apply everything but it looks like a lot of help for this project and the future. Thank you both so much!

Hi Lillie,
I’ve been looking into everything that’s been said on this thread and it has been very useful. I just don’t understand this sentence and if it concernes something I want to change… I condensed the two bassoon parts. Each staff now shows something like this:
bsn. 1
bsn 2
Why is there a dot between in bsn. 1 but not in bsn 2? How can I make it look more like the saxophones which are also condensed but for some reason labeled differently. (The screenshot is how it looks for the saxophones and I would like it to be the same for the bassoons.)Saxophones Condensed

They are probably like that in the Edit Names section of the instruments in Setup mode.

Also in Edit Names, if you have both Bassoons set to Show transposition: Never, it might change the appearance of the condensed label. You might also want to check that all versions of the names are the same, including the plural names.

If I remember correctly there’s a convention that if the last letter of the abbreviation is the same as the last letter of the full word, no dot is required.

If the Bsn 1 and Bsn 2 names have been manually edited then they’ll show stacked, as they’re different. They need to be manually edited so that they’re identical (e.g. both Bsn or both Bsn.), or both reset to defaults, and then they’ll appear like the Tenor Saxes.

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