I’ve made a flow for 6 horn-in-F parts, added as sections at different stages. So now on the full score I have a bracket joining the first 3 staves, no bracket on the 4th staff, and a bracket joining the last 2. This bracketting has no functional significance to the piece I’m working on, but I don’t see a way of removing the brackets or at least having all 6 staves under 1 bracket. Is this possible without having to copy the score into a new flow?

Thanks for any help.


what happens if you add 6 more horns [in F], copy and paste from your existing players and delete those afterwards?

In setup mode, select all six horn players and click the “add group” icon. It is in the lower left corner, the fourth icon from the left that has a vertical bracket and 3 horizontal lines. That should group them all together and bracket them together as a result.

The Group trick didn’t have any effect for me. So, finally, I created a new Flow for the 6 parts, all under the same bracket, and then copied the music into them from the old Flow – a bit tedius, but it worked. Thanks of the help.

It would be nice if brackets could be edited, say in Engrave.


Apart from creating a group in Setup Mode, there’s also the possibility to change the ensemble type in Engraving Options > Brackets and Braces. Maybe this will give you the desired result.

I suspect, Norm, that the instruments were somehow not alike, and therefore Dorico won’t bracket them together. If you e.g. imported them from MusicXML or chose different transpositions etc. then that might explain why they apparently had the same name but different behaviours.

Are there any known predictable ways in which the XML import problem happens? I just imported a score (for smallish musical-theater orchestra) via XML. Most of it imported brilliantly – bravo to all concerned – but the brass staves remained stubbornly separate: Horn by itself, two Trumpets with a primary-level bracket as if they were a whole family, and Trombone by itself. I kept examining, even changing, the type of instrument for each, and they all seemed to be correct, but nothing ever changed. (Well, I also needed to change from Horn without key signature to with, and that needed more than one try but it eventually worked.)

The only way I found to rectify it was to create four new staves for the needed brass instruments at the bottom of the score (they automatically bracketed as desired), copy the music onto them, then delete the old ones and move up the new ones. I’m just wondering if there are steps I can take in advance to try to forestall this situation, or does it happen unpredictably?

Without seeing the MusicXML file itself it is impossible for me to say what might be going wrong. Could you zip it up and attach it here so I can take a look?

Sure, here it is. As I said, it wasn’t hard to repair the Dorico file, but maybe this will tell someone something useful.
And So Will You (Spialek) (8.09 KB)

At first glance I can’t instantly solve the mystery of the horn, but I can solve the mystery of the trumpets: it looks like this was set up as a single instrument with two staves (e.g. using the ‘Extra Staff Above/Below’ buttons in Sibelius’s Instruments dialog) in the originating program, and Dorico takes the MusicXML literally (because how else can it take it?) and so imports the trumpet instrument as a single instrument with two staves, as the file instructs it to do so.

Thank you Daniel. In fact, that one oddity (I don’t normally do instrumental groups that way in Sibelius, and can’t remember why I did it in this case a year ago) explains everything.

I have now corrected it in my original score, specifying two distinct trumpets, and then re-exported it to Dorico via XML. This time the bracketing was perfect and the Horn even had a key signature, which is how I wrote it.

Small (silly) choices can have unexpected consequences! Thanks again.

I just imported an XML in which I had no brackets at all, and it created a bracket for the top 3 instruments of a woodwind quintet. (see attachment) Is it possible to change it to bracket all 5 instruments, or unbracket them?
Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 18.36.14.png

Sure, if you go to the Brackets and Braces page of Engraving Options and set ‘Bracketing approach’ to ‘Small ensemble’ you’ll get what you’re looking for.

Thanks a lot, Daniel!