Adding a musical example affects formatting

I having a lot of trouble adding a musical example to a footnote in a piano solo.

I added a new flow, selected it to add a new player (called sketch treble clef) to change the grand staff of the new flow to a single staff. In doing so, I was surprised to see the first and last flows were also highlighted which threw off the formatting for the entire 58 page piece. Then I realized that it had added the new player to those two flows at well, (why it did this entirely on its own and why it didn’t add them to the rest of the flows is a great mystery to me)… So I deselected the extra player from those two flows which seemed to return the original formatting. Great!

Except that now Flow 17, which had the most difficult formatting issues, is now a mess. Somehow adding the new player has affected the formatting in this one flow (and who know how many others more subtly?) And now what happens if I add another new flow? More formatting issues?

All for a four note footnote. (I had tried this a couple of weeks ago and somehow lost the contents of an entire flow.)

I can imagine how this sort of thing could have vast carry-over effects.

If one only needs a single staff with four notes for a footnote…

  • Could one add a separate instrument first and create a flow using just that instrument to generate the notes for the footnote?
  • Could one extract a graphic slice from a separate Dorico file altogether to use in the footnote?

Those are the first things to cross my mind?

Here is a really old description of one way to create a musical footnote. Perhaps you already saw this.

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Thanks, Derrek. I had seen that video and could use the method to add my footnote if the footnote used a grand staff. But since I want a single staff, I have to add a new player (I think).

Your two suggestions sound interesting.

So adding the player first, then the flow might not affect formatting?

The graphic slice from another Dorico file, sounds very interesting. It’s exactly what I have always done in Finale. Separate files that I import as PDFs. Works great and doesn’t encumber the main file with extra baggage. So one can can actually do something like that in Dorico?

If none of this works, I will import everything as a PDF into into Affinity Publisher and place footnotes that way. But I really wanted to avoid that.

I tried adding the new player first and immediately Flow 17 lost its formatting, exactly as before. Something happens when that new player staff is added to the first and last flow and then one has to uncheck those two flow cards.

I don’t understand why adding a player is activating the check marks for any of the flows and why only for the first and last flows. If it didn’t do that, I don’t think there would be a problem.

Isn’t there a way to add a player and not have it apply to any of the flows until one tells it to?

A trick is to add a player but don’t assign them an instrument. Then deselect the flows, then add an instrument.


Thanks so much, dan_kreider. The trick worked, but you have to know another trick. (Edit. Sorry Dan, you told me that. Somehow I missed it in my enthusiasm to try your first trick.) After you select the empty-handed player to convert it into, in my case, a sketch treble clef, Dorico again selects the first and last flows on its own and one winds up with the same formatting issues. One has to deselect the first and last flows and then add the instrument. Now the formatting is preserved. There was no way to deselect those two flows doing it the way I first described.

Could some kind soul please explain why Dorico is selecting these two flow cards on its own and making a simple process into a nightmare?

If you import a flow (or an entire other project) one of the options is Create All New Players. If you select that, it will be imported into a new flow and none of the other players or flows should be affected at all, as they won’t be added to the new flow.

Thanks, FredGUnn. So one could create footnotes as flows in another Dorico file and then import them all into Dorico as new flows with the option Create All New Players. That might be safer.

In the future, I will add a single staff footnote “player” to all editing projects at the beginning, so I won’t run into this again, I hope.

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Depending on the type of score one is entering, that sounds like a really inspired solution.

Thanks, Derrek, and for your suggestions. The Graphic Slices also sounds promising but don’t know if the quality of an imported graphic would be as good as staying entirely within Dorico.

If you use an SVG graphic that you export from another project using the graphic slices functionality, the SVG will be reproduced perfectly, indistinguishable from music entered directly into that project.

Thank you, Daniel. I tried the SVG Graphic Slice option, and it seems to be the best option for me for footnote examples.

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