Clef and transposition overrides to create flexible arrangements

I apologize if this topic has been covered previously. I was unable to google myself to any relevant posts anyhow, so here we go.

I’m putting together a rudimentary Oktoberfest-arrangement that can be reduced to 7-8 unique parts. I’d like to make the arrangement flexible when it comes to ensemble composition, in essence making sure that there are no parts missing when lacking entire instrument groups (like for example when the trombone group gets distracted by a pub on the way to the gig).

The clef and transposition overrides in Dorico 3.5 makes the transpositions and such super robust, but i’m still doing some hacks to make this work. The setup is as follows:

Part 1 (melody)
Part 2 (sub-melody)
Part 3:5 (off-beat)
Part 6 (bass)
Part 7 (chords)
Part 8 (Drums)

So far i’ve had to select players for each part (e.g. part 1 = violin, part 2 = euphonium etc.). Transposition goes super smoothly (creating mirrored layouts for Bb, Eb etc.). I’ve had some hazzle with the details though. I’m naming each player to its respective part, but also have to rename the instrument to make it show up on the page (edit: in the score). Also, when the “reference” instrument is a Bb instrument, this also quite needlessly shows up in the score. Lastly, having to change the name so many places feels like a bit of hazzle.

I’ve managed to create generic parts, but might also want to create mirrored parts for named instruments (e.g. violin as the natural master part being called Clarinet in the Bb part). How can i achieve this?

I have found no way to control fitting of the mirrored part to the range of alternative instruments. Is this possible to nodify selected notes or sections (e.g. notate out-of-range ones an octave above, while keeping the rest as they are) while keeping the link to the master part?

If any of you guys have experience with this or have some additional tips and tricks in general that i haven’t thought of, it would also be most welcome. I have usually written for more comprehensive ensembles, and this is my first time making a product like this. :slight_smile:


Seeing am image could help us better understand what you have in mind, but I do know that there are a number of videos on YouTube of band arrangements published by Hal Leonard which might suggest a format you could use to set this up (although I’m not sure Dorico would have any specific tricks to make this setup automatic).

I’m pretty sure you can’t “modify selected notes or sections” as all these parts are linked together. You’d have to copy and paste the data to make a part you can modify without destroying the others.

If you’re finding that you’re getting instrument transpositions shown in staff labels when you would prefer them not to be, you have two tools at your disposal to change that: in Setup mode, you can expand the player card and then via the context menu for the instrument card you can choose Edit Names, and in there you can choose whether ot not the transposition should appear; there’s also an option on the Staves and Systems page of Layout Options that allows you to specify the default behaviour for how the transpositions should display.

Thanks for your responses guys. You have essentially solved (or shot down) my issues. :slight_smile:

That Hal Leonard approach Derrek refers to looks similar to what i am trying to achieve. If a visualization is of interest to anyone, my current setup (work in progress) looks like this:

As i said, i think that this new override system works great, and i’m looking forward to using it on more serious stuff as well!

After working with this a bit more, i have discovered a few additional challenges though:

  1. It is really hard to get a comparative overview of all the parts. I haven’t really found a way to get a “score overview” of the different transpositions (the score, of course, being based on the players and not the part layouts).
  2. Transposing a large number of parts is not easy. So far i have had to clickety-click my way through every part layout:
  3. select part
  4. left-click on layout to open the menu
  5. select override
  6. change transposition <-> visually inspect results
  7. close window
  8. repeat.
    Also, if i have forgotten to select the right part before going into the override menu, then i have to exit and do it all over again. It would have been very nice to be able to move to the next part on the list just from the override window, instead of having to go in and out all the time
  9. Checking for transposition errors has also been a real headache for the reasons above. Being able to visually eyeball the transposition settings in all the parts at the same time, would be very helpful.

If I wanted to automate the Hal Leonard type score as much as possible, I would try making one instrument the editable part for each function and then see if I could send notes to the other partner parts for the function in the full score using cues with note size set to full size, which should take care of transpositions. I would try this first before trying to fuss with changes in the layouts.