Adding ensembles to an orchestral score

A suggestion:

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!

We’re all awaiting a feature called “Condensing”: the possibility to show multiple flutes (for example) on one stave in the score but multiple staves in the parts

This is a feature that Sibelius has never implemented and Finale has never implemented well. I’m sure that when it arrives it’ll blow the competition out of the water, but what you’re looking for is a feature that doesn’t yet exist. It’s very much on the roadmap for a future version, though.

Thank you for the reply. I assumed it didn’t exist after a bit of looking in the forums and elsewhere , but I didn’t know they were considering it, hence my suggestion. I hope they succeed! I’m sure it’s going to make some of us very happy indeed.

In the meantime, there are several not-so-difficult ways to accomplish this (individual parts and a condensed score).

I will need to explore them, certainly. It’s just that one would sometimes expect some things that one sees in, say, a Mozart score, to be the norm rather than the exception. It’s a bit of wishful thinking, I guess. Thanks.