When I first learned that in setup mode we would be encouraged to think of players and sections instead of instruments, I was glad. I thought it was another instance of what seems to me a deliberate correction of other programs’ defects, which the Dorico team has been able to pull off admirably an impressive number of times.
Unfortunately, I can’t call it entirely successful this time. The results, especially for larger ensembles, are, much as in other programs, contrary to traditional engraving and (more importantly) compositional practice. It is my opinion that the concept should have both a closer and a more flexible relationship with the staves in a full score.
For example: when we use the “add ensemble” button in setup mode to create an orchestral score and select, say, woodwind by threes, we get twelve staves (there are twelve players, after all) instead of the more usual eight. Even when selecting four horns we get four staves! This would make for impossibly cumbersome scores.
I know there are ways to work around this, but to me they are insufficient, inefficient and not very intuitive. What I would like is to be able to write for my three flutes with the freedom to switch at any time from one shared staff to three individual ones. It wouldn’t even be necessary (although it would be neat) for Dorico to be able to extract the separate parts from voices: let the composer be the judge of the complexity and legibility of the music and how many staves are needed for that purpose. The player will be able to perform it as written.
Of course, this is related to the fine existing feature for notating an instrument swap for a player. If the above were to be solved, it would be possible to notate the two instruments (when desirable) in the same staff of the full score too. I think it would make it so much easier to read orchestral scores both on paper and on screen…
Thank you for your time and attention. Keep up the good work!