Chord symbols between piano staves, and hiding one staff

Hi folks - I regularly need to hide empty staves in a piano part, and would like some flexibility with the chord symbols. I always prefer chord symbols between the grand staff, unless one staff is hidden. For example: I would like to have a 16 bar section in my piano part where only the treble staff appears in the part and the chord symbols (for that section only) appear above it…

I tried the manual staff visibility menu and when I make changes, nothing happens. In Layout options I have clicked “allow individual staves of multi-staff instruments to be hidden”.

Is this possible? Forgive me if I’m just missing something basic, I’m new here.

Welcome to the forum!

The “between staves” setting is really “above the bottom staff”. And it’s global, so in order for all the chord symbols to show I think you will have to hide the top staff and change the bottom staff to treble clef for those passages.

Possibly you didn’t choose “Hide” next to the toggle switch? (same as a user 2 days ago). If that’s not the case, we’ll need to see a project to find out what’s happening.

This is only for automatic empty-staff hiding. Manual staff visibility can override this.

Thank you, makes sense about the bottom staff.
I did toggle and choose hide, with no results. I’m not sure what I’m missing here, your help greatly appreciated!
Hide Staff.dorico (502.7 KB)

Thanks for the file! Though I have only Dorico 4, I am able to open it. But I have not so far been able to discover why this is not working for you, when it is for me, in files I create. Can someone else have a look?

Another way to achieve this would be to give the player another 1-staff instrument in addition to the Piano. A “scratch” staff is suitable for this, since it has the treble clef and plays a piano sound. Then Dorico could automatically show only the instrument that’s playing (in both score and part), and you’d only need to make sure there are system breaks where it switches. No manual staff visibility needed for this method.

Thanks for the workaround, though I like the idea of manual staff visibility menu for this. Maybe it’s just a bug?
I’m on Dorico Pro 5, Mac Ventura 13.2.1

Unfortunately, the option to show chord symbols between the staves of a grand staff instrument ultimately takes precedence over the option to allow staves of a grand staff instrument to be hidden if empty. So you will need to show chord symbols above the top staff of the instrument if you want to be able to hide the left-hand staff, and use the Placement property for chord symbols to flip them below the right-hand staff elsewhere.

Ah! Thanks, Daniel. I had misremembered from my little adventure a couple of years ago: I had used not “manual staff visibility” but “remove staff”! And of course that does not let you go back & forth between 2 staves and 1.

You can create a 1-staff Piano instrument, then use the Add Staff Above or Add Staff Below feature. You can then have the chords appear wherever you want, and it’s easy to hide any staff, or even part of a staff, if you want.


Thanks everyone, all useful info.

@FredGUnn : I’m wondering, are there any unforeseen issues that might come up using this method as the default for piano in, say, big band scores? Will this affect how parts are generated, for example? I’m considering doing this all the time.

I think it should be ok. You’d potentially have the hassle of hiding the chords on whatever staff they weren’t needed on when using a grand staff, but obviously you’d gain the flexibility to have them appear wherever you want. I assume you’d only really want the Piano to go to a single staff at a system break, so that might appear odd in the score if the breaks don’t align. Let us know how it goes!

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many thanks.

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