Begin Frame Chain in middle of Flow

Is it possible to have a frame chain begin in the middle of a flow?

I know I can make an extra frame that starts the frame chain and have a frame break with wait for next frame break checked and then move that frame off the edge of the page, but is there a more elegant way to do this?

No, unfortunately you can’t specify a “start bar number” for a music frame. You could instead create a separate flow just containing the music you want to show.

What’s the situation that you want to create – perhaps there are other ways of achieving your desired end result?

Basically there is a section in my piece where every musician in the orchestra has a similar melody, but the idea is that the conductor chooses one musician at random to start playing and every other musician enters a few seconds after one of their neighbors starts playing. In the parts, each player would just see their specific version of the melody along with some text directions, but in the score I wanted to show the addition of parts graphically - by having each part be in a separate music frame and having the music frames be staggered across the page so that it looks kind of like a cut away score with each part displaced and not rhythmically aligned.

This is surrounded on either side by more standard fully notated synchronized music, so I was hoping to have the standard page layout with one master frame chain, then have a couple pages with a bunch of unaligned music frame chains showing the addition of parts, and then return to the master frame chain in the following pages except having skipped that section in the master frame chain, as it was notated using the other music frames.
I didn’t want to do this section as a separate flow since it’s sort of an interlude in continuous music (it’s not like a separate movement), but perhaps that is the best solution. It would be nice if we could arbitrarily select where a music frame could begin - would also help when I need to display small example passages from the score in introductory notes without having to copy those passages to a separate flow.

Honestly, it sounds like you need to make graphic snippets and import them as floating graphics at that spot, or even do this in a pdf editor. You could also create tons of individual flows with only the lick for each individual instrument in it, and then put a bunch of music frames all over the page filtered for each flow/part.

Could you not create for example 2 master pages, one with the „main flow“ containing the surrounding music, and another with the other flows you want to separate and offset?

Then you could just add 2 master page changes: one to go to the aleatoric part, and one back to the ordered part.

Or did I misunderstand your request?

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That works, and is probably the solution I’ll go with, but it’s inconvenient for making the parts because this switch between graphic/aleatoric and normal material happens several times, and I want the measure numbering to continue through each time (the aleatoric sections are notated in the parts as a single open bar with the individual instrument’s melody). If I made each aleatoric section its own flow, I’d have to then go manually inserting them into the correct spot in the main flow in every instrumental part and rearrange the measure numbers in the main flow so that it accounts for the aleatoric bars, and it feels like it would be much simpler if I could just have the aleatoric sections be part of the main flow so that I wouldn’t have to do much editing to the parts.

I feel you. Sadly, support for cut-out scores (which probably would’ve at least made your request easier to accomplish with workarounds) will not happen in Dorico 4.