Combined Instruments on a Single Score Stave

This is a question for Daniel or one of the Dorico team.

I know that combining instruments (“Flute 1/2”) on a score stave and having resulting individual parts is a ways in the future. I would like to produce a “test score” and, if possible, have it be adaptable to this feature, when it comes along. I am guessing the proper setup would be to have separate staves for each part and not to try to enter both parts on a single stave using common stems and voices.

I know my question may be hard to answer, and I’m ready to hear that no guarantees can be made at this time. Still, I’d be interested if there is a way this score could be used when the mechanism is in place.


I don’t know anything about the teams plans, but I would be very surprised if such a feature wouldn’t let you combine existing staves. Anyways - the filtering function in Dorico is really good, so I don’t you’ll have much problems if you choose to enter them in one staff either.

As you correctly surmise, Bruce, the approach that we will take is to produce the condensation automatically, so in order to have your music in good shape for using this feature in future when it arrives, enter the music for each player on its own staff – don’t write flutes 1 and 2 on the same staff, but instead have two separate players, each holding their own flutes, and input the music onto each one separately.

Thanks, Daniel and Anders.

Any update on this? I have a score with, for example, Fl1&2 on the same line, same Dorico “player.”
Can I easily break them into 2 separate parts, but leave them together for the score (to save a staff line of score space.)
My work around is to make a separate player for Fl 1 and another for Fl2 and then copy/paste FL 1&2 into each, then go thru the laborious process of deleting the 2nd note in each part. Any easier way to do this? Thanks!

There IS a much better way : use the Layout capabilities of Dorico.
Create your combined player “Fl1 & Fl2” copying-pasting from both Fl1 and Fl2 but leave them untouched.
In Setup mode, select the “Full score” layout (right panel). You can name it as you want. On the left panel, untick Fl1 and Fl2, but make sure you leave Fl1 &Fl2 on (your combined player).
Always in the right panel, you can delete the Layout of this combined player, since you still have the parts for Fl1 and Fl2 players.
That’s it! Longer to explain than to do it!

1 Like

Marc, thanks for the explanation. When I imported music into Dorico, I already had one staff for FL1&2. Now I want to separate that into a Flute 1 and a Flute 2 part… the opposite direction of what you described. Is there an easy way to do that? (I get it…next new score, create a Fl1 staff and a Fl2 staff that I can later combine into one staff for Fl1&2.) Any suggestions for my current situation? Hoping to not have to manually delete all the second notes on each part. Thank you!

Rebecca, deleting “second notes” need not be laborious - there are filters available to you on the Edit menu, including second notes in chords and downstem voices. You could cut another step out of the equation by filtering, cutting and pasting into a fresh stave rather than copying and then deleting.

Hi there, what is the best solution for the following setup?
Fl1 + Fl2 (doubling piccolo)
As long as both players play flute, they shall be written in one stave in the full score (to save a staff line of score space). But as soon as Fl2 takes the piccolo, they shall be written in separate staves in the full score.
And if the melodies of both flutes are very different, I would like to be able to decide in which bar there shall be one or two staves written in the full score.

If there’d be some feature like the one for cues (duplicate but use as one - updating the original updates the copy in realtime), that would be useful, I guess. Otherwise the copy&paste thing might lead to forgetting to update the copied passage in the other stave. With the consequence that there would be different notes in the full score and in the parts for the same instruments. :neutral_face: This is one of the things I hoped Dorico solves. :wink:
Thanks for your help!

Schullz, anything you do at this point will constitute a workaround.

We know that the development team ARE focusing their efforts on an elegant solution that will inevitably blow the competition out of the water, but this function doesn’t exist yet - bear with them!

Thank you, Pianoleo,
I’m really looking forward to the elegant solution of this!

Hello Community,

how is the current development status for this in my opinion crucial feature of optically combining different players in one stave?
2 Flutes, 3 Trumpets, 3. Trbn/Tuba etc. in one system …
As a professional engraver, I need to have this possibility without awkward workarounds to fully switch to Dorico.

Has it priority? Shouldn`t be that hard as you have managed to get the divisi feature working that elegantly.

Here is that latest discussion, from just recently, with Daniel’s reply: Section and Solo players in orchestra scores. - #20 by dspreadbury - Dorico - Steinberg Forums

The Dorico development team take as long as it takes to do a feature “right”. The “solution” to this in Finale is messy at best, and it basically doesn’t exist in Sibelius. Trust them to get it right in Dorico, and don’t assume “it won’t be too hard”.

Great, thanks, looking forwand to see the feature, as it seems just around the corner…

It has been stated many times and by Daniel himself that implementing this feature in Dorico demands a far superior amount of work compared to any other feature. It is the real game-changer. Not only a priority, it has been at the core of Dorico’s implementation at the beginning… So my guess is that this IS really hard :wink:

I imagine one of the tricky parts is the amount of analysis Dorico will have to do on the two parts being combined. Are the two parts playing unison, so that a2 needs to be displayed? Are the two parts similar in rhythm so that a single voice can be used in the combined parts, or will a certain passage require two separate voices? Or possibly a mixture of the two within a passage? What about dynamics? Do the two parts share the same dynamics, or are they different? And how different are they? Is the hairpin in one part just a tiny bit shorter than in the other part due to edits applied by the user? If so, is it safe to assume you can ignore the small difference and call them the same? The list goes on and on… Definitely not trivial. It will definitely be a game-changer when it makes its debut.

Another consideration would be the option of when to display bar rests in a resting part, or when to just indicate with “1.” Seems pretty involved.

A side benefit of such a feature is that it may make sloppy orchestrators like me more consistent in regards to using multiple voices, and marks like “1.” and “a2” when dealing with shared staves. Dorico has already firmed up my score formatting in other ways due to its leaning towards “correct” formatting, rather than allowing the writer to do whatever they want.

The Team would also probably want to implement the ability to assign different instrument sounds to different voices on the same staff so that Flute 1 and Flute 2 could connect to different instrument sounds. Assigning different voices to different sounds slots/MIDI channels might be easier to do before combining instruments on one staff. So this is clearly not an easy feature to implement.

The “Explode and Reduce” feature is only for real copy & paste, correct?
It’s not for combined instruments on a single score stave, is it?
In my naive view this feature would be a combination of “Explode and Reduce” and the “Ossia” feature.

Thanks for your great work!