Brackets and braces

Dear all, while I have read in Dorico’s Manual Operations that one stave cannot be both bracketed and braced simultaneously (page 1059), I need to group into one Player the Marimba instrument with other percussion instruments (woodblock + Tam-tam). Then, as per standard notation I would have 2 options: (1) one large bracket for the 3 instruments + one brace (marimba) to be inside the bracket (as a sub-bracket), or (2) the marimba brace outside the large bracket

I have checked layout options and engrave options without success, and the Player Group Name (at the left of the picture) is ok, but not yet fully professional look & feel.

Please, see picture below, for what I am trying to do.

Thanks for your help. Cheers. Francisco

Hi @FMX I hope I understand your wish: you have an option in Layout options to show the secondary bracket as brace for the desired layout/s. You can choose this option and then drag the primary bracket to cover all three instruments, and apply a secondary bracket to the marimba (that will then appear as brace) :

Just a thought: being the three instrument hold by one player, you considered probably the Allow Instrument Changes option as an alternative?

Hi Christian, thanks for your fast response. I had already tried that but it didn’t work. I have also checked that I have the “allow instrument changes” option activated. perhaps the issue is due that instead of having ONE player with three instruments, I have created 3 different players (one instrument each), and then grouped into one group named Percussion I (I have done the same for other percussion players playing several instruments).

I will keep on investigating. Thanks again

What did you tried, and what didn’t work?
(If you refer to the “secondary bracket shown as brace”, as you can see in my screenshot, it should work pretty well, also with one instrument per player)

Yes: instrument changes are only possible if the instruments are held by one player (what I would generally suggest to do, depending on your desired output), but as I said that has nothing to do with brackets or braces…

I wish happy further investigating :slight_smile:

Thanks Christian for your feedback. Finally I have opted to follow the logic: 1 player with many instruments, set this up as ONE player.

I am not 100% getting the output I needed, that is that at least in the first system, I would be able to show what instruments each player will use during this short music piece. For example showing Percussion I bracket with the 3 instruments of that player (Marimba, Woodblocks, Tam-tam).

I have played with all the combinations from layout options such us : show player group names, show player names instead of instrument names (in 1st system vs all systems), 5-line staff in Percussion category.

I am sending several pictures, if this helps. reviewing this might be a too much ask, so don’t worry if you haven’t the time to respond. thanks again.

picture one: current output

picture 2: layout options for Players - Percussion

third and final picture: layout options for staff labels


  1. In engrave mode, just select Wood Block and Tam-Tam (drag a box around the whole rests in the example).


  1. Click on Insert Bracket

  1. … the result


In order to show Percussion 1 with instruments grouped,

  1. Right-click Marimba and choose “Add player to new group”

  2. Right click newly added group (light grey color bar) and rename to “Percussion 1”

  3. Drag the wood block and tam-tam players to the group (re-arrange by dragging if the order gets messed up.) - or , or right-click and choose add player to Percussion 1 group.


  1. When you have grouped the percussion instruments they will look like this surrounded by the grey border:

  2. Result:
    final reslt

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Hi, thanks for your response. I had tried before the option of creating different players and then adding them to a group. and it worked specially for 1st page, but in following pages, what I need is to show the instruments the player is using (one at a time), and in this case, if in one system, the player only plays one instrument (e.g. vibraphone), in the bracket the Player Group Name is not shown (you would see vib,), which is not what I need.

perhaps I am trying to do the wrong thing in regards notation standards…

thanks anyway. Cheers