Brackets and Grouping


Moving from Finale and I’m wondering if there’s a way in Dorico to do custom bracketing. Sometimes just to be clear I’ll do unconventional bracketing, such as bracket two piano groups together. Another thing that was nice in Finale when just doing a short score was to fill in the template with blank staves unattached to an instrument, which I could then group however I wanted (ie. 3 treble staves and a bass staff grouped with a curly brace) or a piano group with 2 treble staves and a bass staff.

No matter what I do I don’t seem to be able to get the curly brace of a piano instrument to extend beyond its two staves. I’m guessing this may not be possible at the moment? Example attached


You can’t officially do what you’re asking IN Dorico, but you can put together the grouping you want in Finale, export musicxml and then import into Dorico. A three-stave piano template has been floating round this forum for months. I’m not currently in front of a computer but a cursory search will yield results, I’m sure.

It’s certainly true that you cannot influence Dorico’s bracketing/bracing particularly directly at the moment. We do plan to provide greater flexibility in this area in future.

Here is the discussion on the 3 stave piano template, and a link to download a copy.

The discussion mentions possible success creating the desired format in another program (Finale or Muse Score) and importing into Dorico via XML.

Ok cool, that’s what I thought, thanks for the redirect to the other topic

This is also about bracketing: In a musical-theater score, there are two percussion parts, either of which can switch among various instruments, but much of the time one player is playing a mallet instrument like xylophone, the other drum set (5-line staff in both cases). Is there any way to bracket them together in the score, as their parts are Percussion 1 and Percussion 2?

Unfortunately not at the moment, Rinaldo: because pitched and unpitched instruments are considered to be different families, you would currently only be able to have them bracketed together if you use e.g. the ‘Small ensemble’ bracketing type, which will bracket all of the instruments together.

Thanks for the response, Daniel. Returning to this topic after a hiatus, may I assume/hope that more flexibility is planned in this area in the future? My principal area of research and editing is theater scoring, and universal practice for musicals is to have one percussion staff per player (some shows have one percussionist, many have two), and one player may switch among drum set, timpani, mallet instruments, and whatever else. (This is also true in chamber orchestra scoring such as that of Benjamin Britten – my other passion.) I’ll hope that Dorico’s spirit of “one player who may be holding several instruments” may eventually embrace percussionists as well. But I do understand how many calls on your attention there are.

When Dorico does allow this, please can it be on the basis of ‘selected bars’ rather than an entire flow.

I think a nice way to use it would be to define those brackets/labels/grouping things in a system break properties, which would allow the user a great versatility and control on its score… just dreaming here :wink:

You can certainly assume that we have plans for greater flexibility in this area, yes.

For sure! You and your team make our dreams come true, that’s why dreaming is so important!