Can anybody explain me the name of frame chains

Today I’ve got a question from a colleague about something that was wrong with the Master Page. We have solved the problem but I have some unclear questions:

The frame chain in the first master page was changed, I don’t know why. In my now project I have always a chain that is named : MA . The wrong project has 2 chain names: MGP and MHH.
I can’t declare the names MGP or MGG. I have set it back to MGP and it works. Can anybody explain me the name giving? It is difficult to understand.


Music frames get labeled according to two parts. The prefix “M” means it’s a music frame created on a master page. If it had been drawn directly onto the layout (thus creating a page override), it would have had the prefix “L.”

Then the second part labels frames in the order they were created. MA, MB, MC…MY, MZ, MAA. But it’s important to know that text frames are also part of this! So you have a music frame on the page, MA, and then if you have three text frames on a page, they will be -B, -C, and -D… and if you draw a new Music Frame, it will then be ME. That seems confusing because you can’t see the text frame labels, but they are there! I assume in the future Dorico will add the ability to chain text frames together, just like music frames are now.

That unique letter designation (MA, for example) indicates a Music frame chain. All music frames with that label will chain together. That’s how you would make a piano duet score. All the left pages would use one Music Frame chain (MA, for example), and all the right pages would use a different music frame chain (MG, for example). So the music would flow from MA to MA frames, and from MG to MG frames.

Your colleague must have created lots of text frames maybe. But it’s not too difficult to fix, as you’ve found. As long as the label is correct for the music frame chain.


Thanks Dan for your clean explanation.It was difficult for me what was happening. I think it is true that my colleague had made a lot of text frames. He is new in Dorico and has play around. In combination with the Layout Option - Use First Master Page set to never it was a long trip to find what is happening.

I spent about 2 days trying to figure this out. I’m enjoying the forum in that just about any problem I am having, other users have also experienced. Reading your explanation helped me to straighten out my (self created) ‘mess’ of Master pages, frame chains, and players in short order.

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You can also find an introduction to frame chains here in the manual, as well as a bit more info about the difference between music frames on master pages vs music frames drawn directly onto individual pages.