Cutaway scores


I inquired last year about cutaway scores. Apparently Dorico is interested in developing this, but as far as I know it’s not an option yet - one has to work around the current system. Have there been any developments on this?



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It appears you last enquired about 12 weeks ago, here.

There have been no Dorico updates whatsoever in the past 12 weeks. To the best of my knowledge, there have been no hints that the next major version of Dorico will address cutaway scores.

How do cutaway scores relate (if they do) to the add a staff above/below feature?

Until it’s implemented, no idea!
It strikes me that the Add Staff Above/Below (and I suppose also the ossia functionality) might overlap with cutaway scores, but both of those are kind of add-ons to regular staves, e.g. you can’t have a couple of bars of Violin ossia without a full violin stave showing above/below.

Well I meant more why couldn’t they be used for the same purpose? Basically I don’t know much about cutaway scores and when they’re used and so forth, other than a little web searching, but it seems like a feature that’s awfully similiar AFAIK.

There’s a load of other stuff that doesn’t already exist in Dorico (or at least not in a clear semantic category), though, like having a couple of bars of five-line staff followed by a single thick black line to the end of the system, maybe with another bar of something in a box.

Taken in isolation, each of these things may be possible to hack together from different bits of existing Dorico functionality, but that’s not the way the development team like to do things.

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Yes - I did. I obviously need more patience.

I managed to create a cutaway of sorts, but what I really need to do is have two or more independent sections, with different tempi and meter, that can sit beside each other in the score. Maybe I have to do some old manual copy and paste work…

Thanks for your responses.


I’m guessing a layout with loads of music frames each pointing to their own flow
exporting bits and bobs to a graphical editor like affinity publisher is your best bet in the meantime.


Yes - I should explore the music frames more.

Maybe an example of how different a graphic score can look like within the same piece!
(Jeux venetiens by Lutosławski, I am currently studying it)

In the First movement, you basically need separate music frames.
In the other pictures, it might be “as easy as” starting an instrument later (and heaving dotted barlines), but as complicated as needing to restate systems without any staff line between them but also with no additional label (basically a random
amount of emptiness) and additional complicated arrow structures.

Now, this is all in one piece by one (fairly self consistent!) composer.
Imagine the possibilities of implementation needs between different works of different composers!


While I wont make any friends for stating this: I find these pictures reviling. Sadly, the music sounds exactly as chaotic as the score looks. (I confess I’m a traditionalist through and through: architecture, music, liturgy, art, sculpture, you name it. I’m clearly not the target audience lol. Good thing too.)

But, more to the point of the thread, @klafkid is right. What a tremendous undertaking it will be for the team to sort all this out. Yikes.


This is very close to what I’m trying to do.

Romanos401 - I am a fan of Lutosławski. He’s not so out of the European tradition…It’s not so easy to innovate with an orchestra, and he managed it whilst maintaining a really amazing aesthetic. Maybe it just takes some time.


I would like to be able to implement this style, which is now about 70 years old. I dont know who invented it, but think War Requiem (“…And half the seed of Europe…”) and late Stravinsky. (I am a fan of Lutoslawski’s music too!)



Oh I surely would love to. In fact, I see it as somewhat of a necessity in the music I create (or anticipate on creating).
But for now I am stuck with affinity.

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Æsthetic is one word for it! Lol.

@Romanos — I imagine that all of us in these forums have strong opinions about music, including composers whom we dislike. But in the middle of a friendly conversation about the engineering work that might go into realizing cutaway scores, I can’t understand why you feel that it’s worth your time to “laugh out loud” in the face of someone else’s art and the other participants in this discussion who love it. The fact that you are reviled by Lutoławski’s music doesn’t give you the right to insult other people who don’t share your values.

In my opinion, both life and music are better when you do have friends.


Fair enough; you’re right that this is not the forum to discuss musical aesthetics. And I do apologize if anyone is offended.


I didn’t bother trying to get this exactly, but you can get pretty close in Dorico. Step 1 is hacking your instruments.xml file to create an instrument with a 0-line staff. Add it to any player that will be cut away at some point and treat it like a double. Place hidden notes as needed to force the “instrument” changes wherever you want. Initial barlines are just added as Playing Techniques. Instrument names are Shift-X text. Music Symbols/G clef (small) needs to be set to the same clef as the regular G clef and then sized as enlarging the smaller one makes the optical difference of the smaller design fairly obvious. I used two graphical elements here to hide the names and lines at the beginning of the system, shown in pink, as I couldn’t think of a way around that.

Barlines with the lines tool will be a bit of a pain, and I got lazy. If it was possible to do Mensurstrich notation with dashed barlines that might help facilitate things, but it doesn’t seem like Dorico can do that. “Barlines” are just dashed with a dash length of 0.


My best results have been born of Dorico slices and Affinity Designer. Of course, I sacrifice playback. In real life what do parts look like from a cut-away score?

As far as I remember, Lutoslawski-style parts look normal, with multirests, cues and the like. It is only the scores that have what one might call implied empty measures.


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