Change solo player to section player

Hi all,

Very impressed with Dorico so far.

I’m wondering if it’s possible to change a solo player to a section player or vice versa after the players have been created? I’m working with an orchestral score imported from Sibelius via XML which has imported all the parts as solo players. I realise there’s little difference in terms of functionality at the moment but I would like to start on the right semantic footing. I also realise I could just do it by creating new players and copy/pasting but I would like to know if there’s a more elegant method. Thanks!

There isn’t a way of converting one kind of player to the other, but there is a better and more elegant method than copying and pasting: add a new player of the required type, expand the card in the Players panel in Setup mode belonging to the existing player, grab the instrument from the existing player, and drag it to the card of the new player, then delete the now empty-handed existing player.

As of now, there’s no actual difference between the two, right? It’s just a conceptual thing?

The difference between the two at the moment is limited to whether or not they can hold additional instruments; a solo player can double, while a section player cannot. But there is much more to come in this area.

I feel I don’t get this conceptual difference: I’m writing for band, so typically all of the staves are section players. If I have Alto Saxophone 1 (a section player), I cannot give them some Solo bars using a Soprano Saxophone?

I think the eventual idea is that ‘section’ refers to sections of more than one player that don’t change instruments, like the violin section in an orchestra. Then Dorico will be able to do things like genuinely split the players (for playback) in divisi passages.

I too was going to ask what the essential distinction was. If the labels were “solo player” and “Section” rather than “section player”, that might be more obvious. If that’s the intention.

A Flute player might well switch to piccolo. I guess it’s less conceivable that four 2nd Flute players might all change instruments together, though possible.

I’m particularly interested in how Dorico will provide for doubling in the parts where the score is not explicit. E.g. Flow 1 has “Violin 1, Violin 2”; Flow 2 has “Tutti Violins” on one line. (Or even colla voce parts.)

A Flute player might well switch to piccolo. I guess it’s less conceivable that four 2nd Flute players might all change instruments together

Ok, I’ve never seen a piece where all the flute players change to their piccolos. :smiley:

But I’ve seen - and written - pieces for band, where the Piccolo is notated on the same staff where the 1st (or 2nd) Flute is notated.
Now, if 1st Flute was (in Dorico’s terms) a Section Player that can’t change to Piccolo, how is this being done then?

I think the eventual idea is that ‘section’ refers to sections of more than one player that don’t change instruments

Well, in band music we have a section and the players don’t change instruments together, but one player (of them) changes instruments and the others do rest. So it’s more of a “solo passage with instrument change at the same time” type of thing.

In my mind there is no much difference between

  1. a Section Player where some bars are “solo” and therefore 1 player only (“1st Clarinet” and “solo … tutti”), and
  2. a Section Player where some bars are “solo” and include a change of instrument (“1st Flute” and “Piccolo”)

I think it may be badly named… but I’m sure that it refers to either an instrument or a section, rather than a section player. This is in line with the big orchestral libraries where there is a distinction between solo players (or 1st, 2nd, 3rd) etc. which can’t be used in multiples due to phasing issues, and sections such as ‘18 violins’.
If you have three flutes, then you’re unlikely to have them in unison throughout (or you’d just use one player), whereas a ‘section’ of 18 violins may well.
Also if that section of 18 splits, then each part is 9 or 6 players therefore should sound differently. I think that sooner or later Dorico will take account of this.

Not sure I really agree. Maybe not with 3 “players”, but it’s really common to see 2 Clarinets or 2 Oboe parts be “a2” for substantial sections of a large work.

“Really common” means whatever you want it to mean, but having woodwinds doubling for long periods is often a recipe for sour intonation, unless the rest of the orchestration is so heavy that you can’t really hear them anyway. Of course computer playback doesn’t have that problem!

Two woodwind instruments playing in unison are not much louder than one, but two playing different lines (even if only doubling at an octave) spreads the sound energy around the frequency spectrum better, and sounds subjectively louder.

I wasn’t really discussing orchestration (which I know a thing or two about), but trying to explain Dorico’s concepts of players and sections - at least as far as I understand it.

This basically becomes a discussion of terminology, whereas the point of the terms is more importantly what the capabilities of the designations are within the program.

Exactly what I’m trying to address. I think the future key-switch functionality is likely to be the most important difference. The big libraries are flexible but true divisi have to be implemented in notation programs as instrument changes at the moment. Dorico will (I think) hit this kind of thing.

There are plenty of notational issues relating to (automatically) creating parts, both for “section” and “solo” players, as well as playback.

Mostly relating to similar issues, like divisi extracting individually. I can’t think of a notational issue that isn’t easily accomplished in Finale.

Well, that depends on your definition of “easy” :wink:

IMO the best thing about Finale 2014 is that if you can remember how to use Finale version 3 (which was installed from two floppy disks, in about 1990) you already know how to use it. The worst thing about Finale 2014 is … see the previous sentence!