Custom Staff Labelling

I am working on a project and need to use Staff Labels between staves for similar instruments. However, I am running into difficulties with the Horns as I need it to read 1.2 on the upper stave and 3.4 on the lower stave, rather than just 1 and 2.

A similar situation presents itself for the Trombones which need to read 1.2 on the upper stave and 3 on the lower.

They are all currently set up as solo instruments in order to facilitate the labels between staves, but without compromising the Violins I and II which need to remain separate.

Any help would be much appreciated, thanks.

It looks like your trumpets are condenced, while your Horns and Trombones aren’t. If you want 1.2. and 3.4. then you need 4 Horns, and turn on condencing for them.

Thanks a lot. I have used the auto-condensing in the past, but I find that it is not completely reliable: missing rests etc, and not flexible enough for my needs.

I wonder if there is a workaround for my issue?

There’s manual condensing exactly for this. Change to Engrave mode > select a bar you want to modify the aspects of condensing > condensing change (press j for jump bar and type condensing change to find it) > pops up a window where you can modify the logic.
Edit: You can change the default options of the automatic condensing in notation options primarily, and engraving options too.

Thanks for your response, but for this project I really can’t use the auto-condensing as I don’t want to jeopardise the layout or have things jump about by changing staves. I really just want to change the staff labels.

You could try it out on a copy of the file.

Your main reasonable options here are, as I see it:

  1. Use a single player for each instrument, and use Dorico’s condensing feature. I know you’ve said you have thus far found this unreliable, but perhaps a bit more familiarity with the feature and the options available would yield better results.

  2. Use a single player per desired staff, and either make your peace with the automatic numbering, or rename instruments to include numbers manually (like Horn 1.2) and lose the ability to have a single instrument name shown between 2+ staves (because Dorico can only consolidate instrument names that are identical, and if one is “Horn 1.2” and the other is “Horn 3.4”, they’re no longer fully identical names).

  3. Use a section player for each staff / labelled “group”, and use divisi to spread that player out onto more staves and to control the labelling of each staff that belongs to the “group”. The caveat here being this method makes it harder to create fully independent parts: as a part layout shows all the music belonging to the selected player(s). You could use manual condensing to hide the Horn 3.4 staff in the Horn 1.2 part, for example, but this would still show Horns 1-2 on the same staff in that part.

If you want fully separate parts (like Horn 1, Horn 2, etc only showing that instrument’s music) and simultaneously show those players on a smaller number of staves than they would normally use in the score, then condensing is almost certainly your best bet. If you have your strings as section players and most other instruments as single players, you can control their condensing separately (ie condense woodwind/brass but don’t condense strings).

Please feel free to post example projects or snippets here on the forum if you want advice or suggestions on how to achieve better condensing results.

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