Changing Staff size reassigns instruments?

I’ve defined a custom percussion kit, built from two Note Performer percussion maps. It works well when the kit is displayed on a seven-line staff.

But when I change the instrument definition to be displayed on a five-line staff, several of the instruments in the kit change their sounds to those of different instruments.

The offending instruments have the same names (such as “Floor tom (High)”) because the two NP percussion maps use the same names to identify different instrument sounds.

So I initially thought that Dorico was associating every instrument in the kit with a single NP map when I changed the # of staff lines. However, checking the player in Play Mode, I find that each instrument in the kit is associated by Dorico with the correct NP percussion map.

Has anybody seen anything like this before? A Dorico bug? Or user error?

I defined a custom percussion kit that uses instrument sounds collected from two NotePerformer percussion maps.

It works fine when I display the part on a grid or 7-linestaff, or in single-line mode.

BUT – when I change the staff to 5 lines, several pairs of the instruments start playing the same sound.

I’m guessing that, when I change the # of lines, Dorico remaps all instruments to a single NP percussion map. That’s because that each pair of instruments that suddenly start playing the same sound consists of one instrument from each of the NP percussion maps; and because those two instruments have the same name in the Dorico percussion kit.

But what’s even more confusing is that, when I check Play Mode, Dorico still lists all the instruments in the kit as being associated with the correct NP map, as I’d originally defined it

Anybody ever encounter this before? Software bug or user error?

PS – And before you ask, the reason why pairs of instruments share the same name in the percussion kit is because NP uses the same names to define different instruments in the two maps. For example, both NP maps contain an instrument named “Floor Tom (High)”. But the “FT(H)” in the first map is a different sound than the identically named “FT(H)” in the second map. So I don’t see any other way to include both those high-tom sounds in the same percussion kit.

Hi @cundare,

There’s no need to create a second thread about the same topic.

I don’t know enough about your conundrum but I can only guess that an example project would help diagnose the problem.


Changing the presentation type via Layout Options shouldn’t do anything at all to playback. Try creating two layouts, and in one layout set the presentation type to Grid and set the other to Five-line staff. Open both layouts at the same time with Window > Horizontal Split (say). Play back in either layout: the play back will be identical.

I obviously had no intent to create two topics. The Dorico Forum UI seemed to go crazy when I tried to enter the first message and that thread disappeared, so the fact that it’s now visible it’s a surprise . As you might know, I’m not allowed to delete the duplicate thread, or I would have done so this morning.

The good news is that, apparently, it will be automatically deleted in 6 days if a moderator does not do so before then.

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I figured out what Dorico is doing and this could well be a software bug worth reporting.

In my project, a player holds only a percussion kit that combines subsets of instruments from two NotePerformer percussion maps. Some pairs of instruments in the kit contain two distinct instruments, one from each map, that are given the same name by Dorico’s instrument picker. See my “Floor Tom” example above.

All instruments sound correctly when presented in the score as a seven-line staff, grid, or single-line.

BUT when I change the # of staff lines from 7 to 5, Dorico reassigns the entire kit to a single NP map and MIDI channel. All references to the other NP percussion map are lost.

This behavior is repeatable.

I circumvented the problem by manually resetting the reassigned instruments, one by one, to the correct percussion map & MIDI channel.

Dan, I can send you a copy of the project in a private message if you like.

Update: Just for the heck of it, I tried changing the 5-line staff back to 7 lines. When I did, the same thing happened: Dorico remapped all instruments to the “NP Orchestral Percussion” map, and all referencese to the “NP Drum Kit” map were lost.

Can you be more specific about what you mean when you say you change the number of staff lines from 5 to 7 or vice versa? Do you actually mean that you are changing the option for the percussion kit presentation type on the Players page of Layout Options, or something else?

I’m changing them in the dialog that appears when I choose Library / Instruments. For that specific layout for that specific player.

At the time that I make this change, the percussion kit is already displaying as a staff (per the Edit Percussion Kit dialog accessed from that player’s card in Setup Mode).

So the score changes from a 7-line-staff representation of the percussion kit to a 5-line staff.

You shouldn’t edit an existing percussion kit in your project via Library > Instruments. Instead, use the Edit Percussion Kit dialog that you will find in the Players panel in Setup mode: expand the player card for the player holding the kit, and click the menu in the green card corresponding to the kit itself to open its context menu, and choose Edit Percussion Kit from there.

How does one change a 7-line staff to a 5-line staff in the Edit Percussion Kit dialog?

You can’t, in fact, but if you want to show the kit on seven lines, I would recommend you use the grid presentation type: if you want the seven lines to be one space apart, you can do that in the Grid tab of the Edit Percussion Kit dialog.


I don’t think we’re communicating. Sorry. Here’s what’s going on:

I initially represented this player with a seven-line staff because the original kit contained so many instruments. I eventually reduced the total # of percussion instruments to the point where everything could fit neatly on a 5-line staff, using common conventions for organizing percussion on a staff.

This piece is already using five-line staves to represent other percussion players, so I was also hoping keep everything consistent.

I’ve now circumvented the problem in this project by re-entering the player’s Setup data from scratch after converting the player’s 7-line staff to 5 lines in Library/Instruments. Neither of us, I think, has found another way to do that conversion.

I think I’ve verified that there’s a bug in Dorico that causes it to lose a player’s percussion-map assignments when the # of lines in that player’s staff is changed, when the player holds instruments culled from more than one percussion map. I don’t know if this also happens in other scenarios.

At this point, at least IMHO, if there’s no way to change the # of lines in a percussion player’s staff without causing this problem, then I’d ask you to report this as a bug to the Dorico maintenance team.

I guess that’s all I’m trying to say at this point.