Chord symbols above and in-between staves

I’ve prepared a musical theater rehearsal score in Dorico. It’s just piano and character voices – nearly 300 pages – and it looks absolutely fantastic.

Our new music director (upon first glance of the score) has requested that I place the chord symbols “in between” the staves of the piano when using a grand staff, and above the staff when using only one staff for the piano (i.e. - chords over slashes). Currently, the chord symbols are always ‘above’ the piano staff. (Personally, I don’t want to change a thing – but I’m trying to accommodate.)

I’ve found Dorico has a global option for displaying chords for grand staff instruments ‘in between’ the staves. However, invoking this option forces the piano in my score to appear as a grand-staff globally even when a single staff is preferred. In other words, this option is adding 40 pages of empty bass clef to my score, and this is something neither of us want.

Is there a practical way in Dorico to offer this music director what he’s asking for? I’m not going to manually reposition all the chords in Engrave Mode or split the piano part between two instruments to accommodate his request. I have my limits. Any suggestions? Should I tell him, “not gonna happen.”

You should tell him “not gonna happen”. It’s either or.

I suppose using two different players/instruments, a one-staff and two-stave piano, and arranging to swap them at system breaks and hide empty staves would be too complicated in a 300-page score…

(…which leads me to nod knowingly at Leo’s suggestion.)

…you’d also need to go through and work out which chord symbols to hide in each stave, which is kinda slow.

I’m with PianoLeo on this one. Not gonna happen. It’s an unconventional request and not worth the effort.

I know this is off-topic, but the same music director has asked for all 'pedal lines 'to be removed as well. I can easily filter and delete pedaling from the score, but that would be tragic because the pedaling effects playback, and represent a ton of work that I wouldn’t be able to get back. Is there a way to hide pedal lines, without deleting them? I know I could create a duplicate piano part with no pedaling, but again, it seems like more trouble than it’s worth. Ideas?

You could create another piano part and copy the original music there using the filter to omit the pedal lines.
Needless to say, you would not need to show this piano part in the full score, just in the scores you need.

I think I’d Select All, Filter Pedal Lines and then Custom Scale them to 1%.

Not at my computer, but what would happen if you manually removed the bottom staff when needed?

Also, is it possible to scale pedals down to 1 after filtering?

I see Leo beat me to it!

Claude’s half correct but half wrong (sorry Claude!).

If you remove the top stave then the bottom stave correctly shows chord symbols above (as in bars 4-6 here).
If you remove the bottom stave then no chord symbols are shown (as in bars 11-12).

This is viable, I think, albeit slow.

Brilliant! Thanks, that solves one headache.

Thanks. So this is best ‘future’ solution for this situation. Enter slashes exclusively into the bass clef of the piano part, rather than the treble clef. I could almost go through the whole score and option-M all my slashes to bass clef. Might take a half hour. If I do it, he’ll probably change his mind and say he liked it better before.

Regarding Pedal Lines…I would respectfully request that the Dorico team add a HIDE property for pedal lines. Many of us composers who are writing with Dorico, add pedaling to the piano parts to make them sound more realistic, after all, pedaling is often implicit in piano music, but in many, many cases, it is not included in the score…The pianist just adds it as they see fit. It would therefore be extremely useful to Hide pedal lines and add a signpost, or simply allow it to appear feint when ‘View Signposts’ is ON, and for it to disappear when ‘View Signposts’ is OFF, even though technically there wouldn’t be a signpost. Leo’s workaround of scaling down to 1% is good in the meantime, but Hiding or obscuring would be much more elegant IMHO. Having loads of pedal lines can easily clutter the score unnecessarily.

You can hide pedal lines. Select them all, and set the properties accordingly to hide both the initial mark and the line glyph.

It’s admittedly not the same native functionality as “hide,” but it works for me to get playback with no clutter.

Thanks Dan! Okay, so I guess there is a solution, it just manifests itself in a different way from how I was thinking it could. The shortest way to achieve the desired effect I have found is to simply select the Pedal Mark and just change the following properties in WRITE mode: Change ‘Continuation Type’ to None and ‘Sign Appearance’ to Hook. You do get a signpost and you can still edit the start and end points of the pedal mark. This would have been the best way for ‘billscores’ in his original question at the start of this thread, to hide all the pedal marks for his music director: Select All, Filter: pedal marks and apply these two property settings. Interestingly, although the sustain pedal is normally Midi CC64, there is no representation of the sustain pedal in the CC64 lane in PLAY mode. Maybe this will come later.

Precisely. Or even (slightly) faster: Select the first pedal mark in the flow, then use Select More (Ctrl/Cmd-Shift-A) to select them all.

This is why this software is so aggravating to use. Actually musicians have needs and this development team tells them tough s#!t, that’s not how we think it should work.

The development team have done no such thing. In fact, I seem to remember asking them if they’d consider adding an option that would always put chord symbols at the top of the system, regardless of which staves were showing, and they implemented it within a couple of versions.

If you ask nicely, you might persuade them to do something for you…

That’s insulting to a team that is incredibly responsive. And just plain incorrect.

FWIW, I’ve wanted this for a long time too. I thought there was a thread about this where Daniel said it was difficult to do because of how Dorico stores the chord info in the top staff rather than in the instrument, but I’m not finding it now. In any case this functionality is really needed even if it’s a bit of an effort to implement.

(Even if he’s being a bit brusque, Bob did publish a pretty great 400+ page book using Dorico. I’m the world’s worst bass player, but I’ve been trying to shed out of it a bit.)

Why future? Select all, Filter Slash regions, option-M should do it, doesn’t it?
…just found it does not work, no idea why. But cut and paste (cmd+x, cmd+v) does, you just need to find your first slash region’s position.