Advanced Staff Control

Hello Folks,

I am just switching from Finale to Dorico, and these several questions I haven’t found an answer by researching. Please be so kind to let me know if I missed anything or you know what the solution is.

Situation I:
In a symphonic score, there are 4 horns. Each two share a staff. Is it possible to make the staff name look like in the picture?
Corni.jpg
I know it is not that necessary, I love the efficiency of the staff name style, since you don’t have to spell the instrument name repeatedly.

Situation II:

In the same piece, in one system, I have all horns play unison, in which case I want four horns to share the first staff and hide the second staff. How do I apply a temporary change of staff name for only one system (without affecting the other systems in the flow) like below?
Corni 2.jpg
Situation III:

In string section, I have occasional solo instruments and divisi that need additional staffs. How could I insert staffs in the middle of a flow and only for several specific systems? (that means, when solo and divisi end, I only need one for section)

More advanced question, is it possible to add a staff in the middle of a system just like in the picture?


In addition:

Once we have done all of above, how do we make parts that including these passages.

Thanks for help. I assume since these are very basic stuff for contemporary orchestral compositions, perhaps they can be more easily achieved in Dorico which seem to have the newest technology.

As far as I know,
•Situation I : the sharing or automatic reduction engine is not yet available, and that kind of labelling is not available yet, but we’ve been told it was planned
•Situation II : you can change the labels after a system break. So insert a system break, click on the flag and fill the right options in the properties panel
•Situation III : you will need to enable the option at the bottom of Layout options (cmd-shift-L), Vertical spacing, Hide empty staves. Add the players you will need in Setup mode and make sure you input System breaks in a clever way, so that those extra staves appear only when needed.

To make those parts, I would suggest creating new players (that you will not include in the Full score layout), where you will copy paste all the useful material from the full score to create the parts. Granted, you will need to do that at the very end of the project, because once copied, nothing is linked between those parts and the full score. All of this is already well-known by the dev team and they have serious plans to make it really clever and automatic in due time — think about the handling of cues or percussions in a 5 line staff. It’s urgent to be patient :wink:

Hi, mdbyyc!

Welcome to Dorico - coming from Finale myself, I feel your pain :wink:

Generally speaking, you write a single staff for each player (Corno 1, Corno 2,…) and combine them later. There is no automated way of doing this yet, but I put together a detailed description of it here: https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=725845#p725845

To your questions:

Situation II + III
You generate staves for all the combinations you need, and let Dorico hide the empty ones. So where you need Corni 1+2/3+4, you fill the 1+2 and 3+4 staves, and where you need Corni 1+2+3+4 you fill the 1+2+3+4 staff.
In addition
Like I said, it’s actually the other way round: You start with the single player staves and copy together at the end. :slight_smile:

Thank you MarcLarcher and Estigy. That’s very helpful. I have tried to hide staff. Here is one problem I cannot solve. I don’t see where I can manually control whether a staff should be hidden. So the issue is in the first page where I need to hide all the divisi and soli staffs, but to display one for each section even if they are empty. The hide empty staff function just hides everything empty regardless if I want it to be hidden.

Any insights for this?

You can add some shift-x spaces on the staves that you want to see. It will prevent Dorico from hiding them

Very smart! thank you so much!

Just know that using the shift-x space method also will cause multi measure rests to break in the parts, so maybe you will have to go the way of one file for the score and one for the parts. Coming from Finale that’s kind of makes us feel at home, no? :slight_smile:

BTW, one thing I discovered. Another way of showing an empty stave on the first system in the score is to add a clef change in the first measure of the staff you want to show. Sometimes this might be better than using the text method.

Good idea, LAE :slight_smile:
By the way, since the players used for parts won’t be the same as those used in the full score, the problem here about multi measure rests should not happen (see first posts)

That’s true, so no need to create a second score. Thanks for reminding me.

Yeah, very helpful. I am glad I don’t need different files for score and parts. That was the initial reason I am switching to Dorico. It is always painful to do orchestral parts in Finale, and I have always to spend an additional week to create parts once I am done with the score.

I think the last problem I need to solve before I start an orchestral project in Dorico is still about the staff name for string divisi. Let me know what you think.

As you know Dorico assigns a label per staff, so when you use four staffs for the first violins, there is no way to show the hierarchy of which staff belongs to which section except spelling out the instrument name everywhere. As a result, first violin divisi staffs are visually messed up with second violins, etc. That would be something unclear and uncomfortable for a conductor preparing a performance.


I used to do in Finale in this way, but I don’t see anywhere I can add additional brackets and give names to brackets in Dorico:

So, I would just like to have some idea of how you folks are handling this situation in Dorico.

I don’t think there are any elegant solutions for this kind of divisi writing in Dorico as things stand, but divisi support will be included in the next release.

Well, Daniel, this is very good news !!! Thanks for all the high quality brains you all put inside Dorico !