Different piano 4-hands layouts in one file

I’m setting up a template for a series of piano 4-hands arrangements and I was wondering if it’s possible to have different layouts within the same project. Some pieces benefit from having a layout with primo and secondo above each other, whereas some would be easier to read with primo and secondo on facing pages and I’d like to be able to switch between the two types of layout. I’ve created a Master Pages with primo and secondo on facing pages, but as soon as I create a new MP with primo and secondo combined, it ignores the first MP. I’ve even tried making Full Score Master Pages with the parts separated and Part Master Pages with the parts combined but this doesn’t seem to work, either. Am I doing something wrong or is what I’m trying to do impossible?

Have you separated these groups of master pages into different master page sets?

I have two master page sets, the full score one which has the divisi parts and the part one which has the parts combined. As soon as I switch from the full score MP to the part MP and back, the divisi layout gets lost.

Each layout can only use pages from one master page set. Are you saying you want a single layout to alternate between primo secondo facing pages and regular score?

I want to be able to have two layouts possible, one regular score and one with primo secondo facing pages. Whenever I create a new MP and switch to it, the MP changes after page 1 get removed.

What have you done to your first master page? I’m not in front of a computer but I could probably figure it out from a screenshot of the First master page.

You make it sound as though I’ve violated my first MP! :wink:
I’ve done pretty much what Anthony Hughes explains in his ‘How to Format Music for Piano Duet’ video, but I can attach a screen shot, if you think that’d help.

My suspicion is that you’ve done something on the First master page that makes it impossible for Dorico to use it. Attach a screenshot :wink:

Here it is. It works fine until I create a new MP and select it.

There’s nothing wrong with that screenshot. What about the master page that you’re created - the one that’s messing this one up?

When doing custom layouts like this, Dorico loses the first/default page distinction.So, you have to manually insert a Master Page Change on your first pages to the First MP.

If I understand correctly, this setting actually fixes that: https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=161385&p=864269&hilit=first+default+master#p864297

I don’t think it would in this case since you need the first 2 pages to use "First’. i.e. First Secondo and First Primo.

Increasing either the distance between systems, or between staves (or even both) to space the music out more might do the trick.

I don’t think it’s possible. Unless I’m missing something, I’ll just have to make two 4-hands files and decide which to use before entering the music. The layout with the parts combined sees the second page ‘normally’, whereas the layout with the parts on facing pages actually has two first master pages as the first page spread with unlinked music frames and a MP change for the second page (actually page 3 - see screenshot). Switching between MPs removes the page overrides on page 3, making it a default MP, so when I return to the divided layout, page 2 (renamed page 3) is completely blank because the music frame is still unlinked to the first.


I am not sure if I understand your request completely. But I have files where I see the primo and secondo on there own pages and a full score where they are above each other on the same pages. Is this what you are after?

Yes, that’s exactly what I’m after. How did you set it up?

Here is a template if this is what you are after.

Hope it helps.
Template 4-händig.dorico.zip (324 KB)

Thank you! That’s pretty much what I’d made, as well. The problem is that once you change from one MP set to another and back, you have to redo all the page overrides. At the moment, I don’t think there’s any way around this, so I’m opting for two files, one as a Gesamtpartitur and the other as a default full score.

Maybe a silly question but why do you want to change MP sets?