Clarinet in both Bb and A

I’m engraving a classical score in which the composer has specified two clarinetists who both start with a Bb clarinet, but later switch to an A clarinet.

I’m pretty sure I know the answer but wanted to double-check before I dive into this: is the correct Dorico approach to set up the clarinet player, then place both a Bb and an A clarinet part into that player, so that Dorico can manage the switch? (Much like flute 3 sometimes switches to piccolo.)

(Side note: since I’m not seeing any obvious reason the long-dead composer may have chosen to have those players switch, I’m considering simplifying this and writing the whole part in the more common Bb clarinet, and would welcome opinions on this, however, I still need my question above answered because it’s much easier and less error-prone if I input things from the manuscript into an A clarinet part, then can adjust later.)

Yes, ‘real-world’ players swapping instruments is exactly why Dorico’s Players have instruments they can swap.

You’ll need to use Galley View to enter the notes, which will show both instruments all the time; whereas Page View will only show one staff with “To Cl. in A” instructions as needed.


Information about instrument changes here:


Be warned however that Condensing only works for the first instrument any player is holding, so you’ll need some workarounds if you want the pair of A-clarinets to condense in the score as well. This is a known limitation of the software which definitely needs fixing at some point in the future.

1 Like