Controlling system spacing and varying instrumentation in a part

I’m working on a set of several songs for soprano, flute & piano. The flute part for one song (one flow) has an orphan staff on the last page. What is the best way make the part for that flow into a single page?

Adjusting all the staves manually is annoying because I have to move each one individually. If I could get default tighter spacing, is that the answer?

I wondered if an alternate layout was needed, but I’m not understanding yet the connection between custom layouts and music frames.

On a related note, the first song should be played from score. Is there a way to have a “part” that has flute and soprano in the first flow, then just flute in subsequent flows? Then in the last flow, I need a tighter note spacing described above.


I would recommend either making a small adjustment to the staff size on the Page Setup page of Layout Options, or (and this is what I would do myself) slightly reducing the note spacing value for a quarter note (crotchet) from 4 spaces to e.g. 3 3/4 or 3 1/2 spaces on the Note Spacing page of Layout Options.

There are two ways to have a “part” that has flute and soprano in in the first flow, then just flute in subsequent flows.

The first way is to fiddle with layout frames on each individual page and filter out the soprano, but it’s long-winded, laborious and unnecessary.

The second way is to set up a dummy soprano (I’ve worked with a few!) and copy and paste from the real soprano stave to the dummy soprano stave, just for the first flow. You then set the dummy soprano to appear in the flute part but not in the score. The downside to this method is that if you ever have cause to change the Soprano music, you need to remember to change it in both places. The workaround is to cue rather than copy your music from one Soprano stave to the other. I’ve explained this much more fully here, for example:

I’m sure you’ll figure out how to tweak my linked example for your specific needs.

I finally got the layout that I wanted, but it didn’t seem intuitive. The key to crowding it enough to fit was Note Spacing. Thanks, Daniel. Sorry for the delay! Our Thanksgiving holiday intervened.

So the rest of my comments are just FYI. I played with the Note spacing in Layout Options, but I needed a more drastic setting for my orphan staff and I didn’t want to affect the already well-laid out other movements/flows. So, working directly in the music, I managed to get what I wanted with Note Spacing Change and some System Breaks and individual adjustments around rests. My first result was odd – I tried a Note Spacing of 3 1/2 but it wasn’t enough. But an even lower value caused there to be fewer systems on the page, so I still had the bad layout. System Break and note spacing tweaks got me to what I wanted.

Pianoleo, I will try out these scenarios later. I’ve done the cue staff thing in Sibelius for complex chamber music.