a few questions on Elements


I am working on setting up music on Elements, but am not sure if they can be accommodated, so sorry for these questions.

Firstly I wanted to know the limits of different parts in Elements, and wherever I looked it said - no more than 12 players: I was wondering about this, as some instruments - notably some keyboard players - use two staves, while in general only one is used. I tried this out, setting up a project with the unlikley combination of 12 piano soloists (shades of the Los Angeles Olympics, where there were many pianists !). I was able to set up this number, but there were problems when I tried to enternotes, especially either above or below the staves, owing to space problems.

Is it still possible to do this by having a larger page - say, A3 ? Does Elements have this possibility ? The point is that 12 players can indeed need 24 staves, and this would probably be a problem with Pro, but condensing could possibly simplify the problem by combining staves - I think.

I then looked at what I was actually trying to do: if I use only some of the staves, and having entered a theme on, say, violin 1, could I hear it while entering the Violin 2 part from my MIDI keyboard ? Could I go further, hearing all the parts I had entered Vl1, Vl2, possibly Cello - while entering the viola part ? Is this possible on Elements or Pro ? I know it is a bit like using the software like a multi track unit like Transam Portostudio, but is would give more flexibility ?

Lastly, I was wondering about soloists changing instruments. If I wanted to change a clarinet to a saxophone, it could be easy, as I believe that they are both Bb transposing instruments. I would also think it would be possible as they are both in the same instrumental group, especially if I was using elements and was a bit tight on spare staves, but what about an extreme possibility - a piccolo player who was able to play the tuba, or a bassoonist switching to a viola.? Not only would these need to alter key signature, but would need to move to another group, possibly reformatting the entire piece. Can dorico cope with this oddity, or should I go an lie down in a darkened room ?

Elements has access to Layout Options, where, within Page Setup, you can adjust page size or indeed space size (which governs how big the staves and everything on them are).

If you use the record button, in the top right corner, you can indeed record into the Viola stave while hearing the existing Vl1, Vl2 and Cello staves.

Elements is perfectly happy to deal with a single player holding both a piccolo and a tuba, and will automatically switch between them (and their clefs and transpositions) as you add notes to their staves.

Thank you !

Yes, the limit of 12 players is definitely “players” rather than instruments or staves - a single solo player can hold multiple instruments. Just note that all instruments held by a single player are included in their part layout - you can’t select individual instruments to show in different layouts, except by giving them to separate players. For cases of doubling, that’s obviously fine as Dorico automatically handles instrument changes in part layouts.

Thank you Lillie Harris - does that mean that different instruments (piccolo to Tuba, for example) will not work in Dorico, as they would be in different instrumentall groups (woodwind and brass) and so would need the space for stave movements. It is not such a problem for clarinet to saxaphone, as both are counted as woodwind. Bassoon to viola ? It would be an interesting challenge for all to transfer back to piano at the end, as they could be at the start - I will have a go if it is OK.

Just to answer one more question Bill posed (indirectly), although the Piccolo player could successfully switch to Tuba, the staff position would not change from the position of the original Piccolo staff.

As usual, I always recommend those considering Dorico to download the Pro demo to see the difference between Pro and Elements and SE, which one can open from the Pro demo by holding down the ALT or CTRL keys (in WIndows ) while waiting for the Dorico splash screen.

Players can double any instruments, there’s no restriction on instrument family. If an instrument change from a single-staff instrument (like viola) to a grand staff instrument (like piano) happens in the middle of a system, the staves are vertically centered relative to each other - meaning in this example, the piano staves would appear slightly above and below where the viola staff was, as if the viola staff were about to run through the middle of them. Give it a go and you’ll see what I mean.