Dealing with a wrongly-allocated singer instrument

I had this issue before, when importing via MusicXML, using the ‘existing instruments if possible’ option. Dorico has interpreted the first tenor in the chorus as the character ‘Elis’, who appears in a previous flow, as a baritone-singer instrument. It therefore hasn’t created a stave for me to copy Elis’s material into (it would be called ‘Côr T.1’ in the score, and I’d rename the stave which Dorico has called ‘Côr T.’ to ‘Côr T.2’). I attempted to create a new instrument myself, with apparent success, but it wouldn’t appear in the score whatever I tried. What is the correct procedure?

UPDATE - I’ve now added another scene/flow, and another voice has been incorrectly allocated - in this case to another singer who has previously appeared. But because that singer doesn’t appear in the latest scene, I don’t know how to cut and paste between staves. Ideally I’d like to see all the staves in all the flows to do this. I’ve fiddled about with ‘staff visibility’, but without success - I can’t get it to operate project-wide.

Typically when you add players to projects, those players are automatically assigned to all flows. The exception is when you’re working with imported MusicXML (and possibly imported flows in general; I’m not sure).

Select the absent player in the left panel, then look down to the bottom panel. Are all the Flows ticked? If not, tick them. Rinse and repeat for any other players that are missing in any other flows, and that way you should get all staves showing across the whole score, at least in Galley view. Page view will depend on how Hide Empty Staves is set within Layout Options, and on any Manual Staff Visibility changes.

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This XML thing can certainly have some pretty weird effects. ‘Elis’ (see my previous post) is given material meant for various other voices - e.g. instead of creating a soprano for the soprano instrument in the original, ‘her’ part is given to Elis, hence lots of leger lines etc. I can deal with those examples. But, at one point, Elis’s allocated voice (on ‘his own’ stave) changes to a tenor, complete with tenor-voice treble clef, and I can’t think of a way to cut & paste from the result into Elis’s own stave, since the source and destination staves would be the same. Has Dorico inserted some kind of Instrument Change command (à la Sib.) somewhere which I could cancel?

I’m afraid I can’t get my head around what you’re describing. Your screenshot only shows one “Elis” player holding a single “Elis” instrument, but your most recent post describes two instruments both held by “Elis”.

As long as you’re in Galley View, you should see a minimum of one stave for each instrument held by each player. When you switch to Page View you should see a minimum of one stave per player (subject to Staff Visibility settings).

I probably would create a “manually condensed” staff for singers and copy-paste the singers’ material in there… But then you’re in charge, Dorico can no longer do the work for you.

I understand, of course, that I need to put in the work, and I’ve already done many hours of it. Indeed, it’s probably because I got so cross-eyed doing so that I was misled by what the XML import had done in one particular flow. I now know how to correct all the wrong allocations throughout the project, thanks to help on this forum topic.

I do not know if this is happening in your case, but I know that if I choose an instrument to represent a vocal soloist in Finale and then rename it for a character, when I export the file as an XML and import it into Dorico, the XML (and thus Dorico) treats the staff as the instrument assigned in Finale rather than the character’s name (since a character is not a recognizable instrument and the XML is apparently saving the instrument assigned in Finale’s leftmost column of the Score Manager).

Derrek - that would explain a great deal, certainly; but I have to say I hadn’t expected the algorithm to variously distribute the material of the baritone player/instrument among already existing soprano, contralto and tenor ones. Because of that, as part of my learning process, I’ve now created all the remaining players/instruments of the opera before importing the rest of the scenes/flows via MusicXML. As you say, there’d be no reason for the system to recognise the character names, but at least all the destination staves will be there ready for the cut & paste operations.

This interest me because I have a “dropping out” problem somewhere between the piano roll (turned into an .xml in Reaper) and Dorico. I find right now that a violin part of an orchestral score just stopped after 47 bars, leaving the remaining staff barred but without rests. On entering notes afresh in one of these bars the rests appear retrospectively in blank bars.
It isn’t the first time. Thus I have to check the piano roll against the Dorico edit and make good omissions. It can be just a note, a phrase or the rest of a part from a given point.
To diagnose it properly would mean sending that original .xml back to Reaper (or some other daw to check if the trouble lays in Reaper producing the .xml.)
If it reproduced faithfully, Dorico is having trouble parsing the .xml.
In my first project I suspected it was me letting dodgy things through the piano roll. With this latest project I took care to get everything snapping to a grid (except triplets that Reaper seems unable to handle well). However, the piano roll reveals nothing weird at the point the part cuts off…so…I don’t know.
It’s something I’ll investigate once this project is finished.
Just a bit disconcerting though as I’m new to notation software, willing to be painstaking with editing but not knowing why this is happening.

See if there is a tuplet in the XML export file where the music stops. Interpreting triplets has given Dorico XML input trouble in the past since the implementation of tuplets in some XML exports can be squirrelly.

I agree. Sextuplets are among the worst - it’s all to do with the fact that rows of .3333 recurring never add up to a whole number, apparently. What I routinely do is this: import the XML, then (unless of course it’s completely successful) make a note of where things went haywire. Go back to the original file, and delete completely the offending material (usually several bars of tuplets), having, of course, made a backup so that you can re-input manually into Dorico. Export-import the XML again, and everything except the problematic material is correctly imported, and you can then input directly into Dorico.

My experience is that one tuplet alone (among many many other tuplets, and I am talking about 7:4, 6:4,etc) can ruin the xml import. Try deleting only the first tuplet or “strange rhythmic motiv” that is at the beginning of Dorico’s errance in the xml import, and you might save you some time. If it’s not enough, delete the next. But chances are it won’t be long before you see the whole import succeed.

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I have the same experience, one triplet in the source music somehow destroys the .xml file and results in loosing all music in that system from that point onwards.
My question where is one supposed to delete a tuplet?
In the notation program - before exporting to music.xml?
My procedure quite often is: source file is a scan. I import this scan into PhotoScore and - after some corrections - save as .xml.
So far I split my source scan into parts, each one starting after a offending tuplet. I guess there must be a simpler way to get rid of the tuplets may be by editing the .xml file?)

No, there was nothing unusual in the piano roll this time. The way out now, just in case other parts go missing, I’ll cut the piano roll at a suitable point to produce a truncated .xml and hope it loads as a second flow so I can copy missing parts to the original flow. Better than re-entering parts.

Then once the project is finished I’ll send the original .xml back to the daw and see what happens. It could have been a failure in the .xml production. Reaper isn’t entirely trustworthy turning the piano roll into notation view from which the .xml is struck.

Edit: just noticed it’s dropped 7 parts 1/3 of the way through the score.

Going back to the matter of singers being put on the wrong stave by the XML import (for reasons given above - MusicXML cannot know which character is singing), I repeatedly mentioned cut & paste as a necessary action to move them to the correct one. There is, of course, no need for this operation - I’d forgotten about one of the most jump-for-joy features of Dorico, viz. move notes to the staff above/below. I just love the way it moves non-destructively through staves which have music on them to reach its destination. And even with a huge score like the one I’m working on, each tap of the key gets an instant response. A mighty time-saver.
(Edit) Hm, actually it doesn’t work as expected under certain circumstances - maybe when the notes move through tuplets on the intervening staves. What has happened more than once is that the whole material is shifted rightwards a semiquaver or so, and accordingly I need to be careful what the circumstances are before I move them. ‘Swap notes between staves’ seems to work better.


Moving through staves en passant may not be the best idea: you will lose voicings if those ‘transit’ staves don’t have them.

As you’ve noticed, using Paste > Swap is a cleaner option.

I’ll agree that Move to Staff Above/Below is a great feature – along with Duplicate to Staff Above/Below. I’ve given those two similar ‘NM’ key shortcuts, (with Shift Alt) - at the expense of some other commands I don’t use.

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