Aleatoric piece and music frames idea

I am starting the biggest part of my piece and I would like use specific aleatoric technique.
See the example:

One section of the ensemble will have stantard parts. They will be conducted. The second section (quite big) will have many short aleatoric structures, which will apper for the conductor’s gesture. Every aleatoric structure will have it’s own approximate tempo.
I have plan to make additional flow just to notate all this aleatoric structures, and then use music frames. Before I started, it seemed to be very easy, that’s why I told somewhere, that this is one of the most powerfull features of Dorico. I can’t imagine to do it e.g. in Finale.
But I’ve just started and I’ve already some problems with it.

  1. When I am making music frames, they are to short horisontally to display properties, like “frame chain”, “frame order”, “filter by player”, etc. I can’t put it in right position immediately, but I have to make wide frame and then shorten it. It seems to be not important problem, but imagine, that I will have sometimes 1-12 music frames – next to each other from left to righ, very short horisontally, but very long verticaly – in one page. It’s really time-consuming to create it. It will be good, if I could see this properties no matter how big is the frame. It should zoom in/out together with frame (or zooming the screen).

  2. I thought, that it’s very easy to make many frames in short time, but the computer needs relatively long time to create frame in big score and then, when I am changing to proper frame chain, to load again different flow. It will be good, if I could do all properties before Dorico will display the notes. To have button “display content”. It will save the CPU power.

  3. Is it a way to tell Dorico which frame chain it should display by default in music frame? Now I have to manually change every aleatoric structure to this “aleatoric flow”

  4. Because this aleatoric structures appears between the other – standard - parts (in the middle of the page), I have to manually move down some staves and make gap between top staves nad bottom staves to input the aleatoric structures. And if I will compose one more standard part (e.g. add new melody to one of the instruments), I have to do it again. That’s ok, but… I can’t apply “copy staff spacing” to other Pages, just because Dorico do it only, when on page there are same amount of systems. Of course because I have this second, aleatoric, layer, I can’t have the same amount of systems. But I have only one main system in every page and I want to have the same Staff spacing. How to avoid doing it manually in every page? I want to tell Dorico, that this “copy Staff spacing” refers only to my main frame chain.

  5. This idea assumes, that in fact I am composing two different paralell pieces. I am using different flow for aleatoric structures, but put it on a same page, as my “obbligato” section. Thats why it is good to have possibility to define separately the parameters, which are now in general layout options, especially: “vertical spacing” and “staves and system”. I have to have flexibility with e.g. staff labels, casting off, hide empty staves, etc. Now I have to e.g. manually change size in every staff and I am still wondering what to do with staff labels in this aleatoric part

  6. It would be good to have “show border”, like in text frames.

And that’s just beginning of my work. I don’t know what kind of problems I will have to face in the future.
I am still wondering, if the way of using music frames will be the best for my idea. This will be really big score. Maybe I will have to create hundreds of short aleatoric structures, that’s why I mentioned about the time the computer need to have to create one music frame. If you will think, that I have to do it 200 times, it’s really time consuming.
Is it good idea to start working like this? I am a little bit afraid, because if I will start and spend a lot of hours, it would be pity to realise, that it is dead-end street

One more example to point 5. It just have come to my mind. I am composing the music directly in Dorico, I don’t use handwriting. So this is very hard to switch the flow every time I want to compose aleatoric structure and put it in main score. But there is a way to write „obbligato” and aleatoric sections in the same time, on one page. I could create music frame for aleatoric part with empty bars and in Page view, in Write mode, I can input both sections and see both in the same time (in Galley view there aren’t music frames). But… the only problem is, that I have to turn off „hide empty staves”. But this option belongs to „layout options” and it’s global. So I can’t have it turn on in my main frame chain and turn off in aleatoric structures.

Thanks for this feedback, which we will definitely consider for future development.

Thank you for your feedback too. It’s really great, that you care about user needs.


when I saw your example I had a short glance of this piece in front of my eyes :wink:

One more thing about the music frames. I found a serious problem using them in my idea of aleatoric piece.
When I create new material and create new bars in previous pages, everything is in the right place in the master chain, because I am using „lock the frame”. But it’s not applicable for my second frame chain, which I use for aleatoric parts. So, the music frames of my second chain are stick to the particular page number, the material from master chain moves to next page and my score looks terrible.

Is it a way to glue music frames from second frame chain to the particular bars of the first, master, frame chain?

Or is it a way to tell Dorico to not change the pages in particular flow? Something like „lock the flow”. E.g. I could create new flow for each bars, where I have aleatoric music and I want to lock all graphical elements on that pages. And if I change anything in previous flow, Dorico won’t change my aleatoric flow.

Edit. Apart of it, I noticed, that my manual staff spacing in master chain came back to the automatic properties. If you look at my example from first post, the staffs of „Vl 1,2” and „Samp.” parts went up, near to „drtt.” staff.

For your second frame chain can you not set Frame Breaks at the start of each frame, with the property set to “wait for next frame break”?

Could you explain it? Where can I find property “wait for next frame break”?
For now I can’t imagine, how could it work.

Having referred to your original example I’m not sure how useful my suggestion was. The “wait for next” property is set from the bottom panel in Engrave mode, and it ensures that the content of one frame remains the content of one frame.

However if you need to shift pages around in the master frame chain then this probably doesn’t solve your problem - sorry!

Indeed, the problem is, that music from master chain is moving to the next page, but the music from second frame chain remains in old page. I need ability to “lock the page” (with all graphical elements), or to somehow glue frames from second chain to frame from master chain. Or at least to have something like „lock the flow”, by which I mean, that if I input the music in flow 1., the pages in flow 2 remains unaffected.

I suspect your best option is to get the rest of the piece fixed first, and then worry about this last.

It could be good idea, but I am using Dorico as a composition tool, not only to engrave extisting music. And this is the biggest problem. I need to have possibility to print and see the score in any stage of the compositional process.

I totally agree, but this isn’t really advisable even with just a regular master frame chain. See here where I grumbled and it was discussed at length: How do I remove a page in the middle of a score? - Dorico - Steinberg Forums