Create staff with zero or more stavelines (easy and safe)


I did not know this was possible.
Create staff with zero or more stavelines recept.

  1. Create new empty project
  2. Add player with instrument you will not use. (for me Theremin)
  3. In Setup - Players => Edit names to … and Save as default for instrument
  4. In Windows edit …user\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Dorico 3.5\userlibrary.xml
  5. Find and edit < numStaveLines> x< numStaveLines > (x can be 0 or more)
  6. Restart dorico (don’t know if this step is needed)
  7. Create new project with theremin as player with a staff of x lines.

Kind regards,


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Johan, you indeed discovered a “hack” that’s been known to the forum for some time. Most of us are obviously hoping that the next major version of Dorico will allow us to define our own instrument parameters, however this has neither been indicated nor confirmed by the development team. In the meantime, this is the “native” (for wont of a better term) to go about it. Alternatively, you can import an XML file with instruments defined as you like from another program. This latter is ultimately a safer option for anyone who is not comfortable editing the .json files.

Hello Romanos,

I the forum I always read about a hack with instrument.xml
Never about editing userlibrary.xml
(much safer as located in the user directory and does not change core dorico files)

Kind regards, Johan