Different staff labels for different layouts?

I know this may sound like a strange request, but I wish the team would consider implementing the possibility of naming instruments in a per-layout basis. Let me explain the situation.

I’m working on a piano concerto, so first I created a two-piano layout, where I wrote the solo part plus an additional part for an accompanist, which I now have to orchestrate. This layout will become the study score for the performer so, following tradition, I named the staves as “Piano I” and “Piano II” and removed the abbreviations so that Dorico would only show the numbers on the abbreviated labels, which also saves horizontal space.

However, now that I have started the orchestration, I’ve encountered a problem. The full score should use the labels “Piano” and “Pno.”, not “Piano I” and “I”, but if I change that, I will also change the labels on the layout with the two pianos, which I would like to keep as it is.

I could make a copy of the file with a different name and change the labels there, but that goes against the whole idea of ​​having different layouts in a single file. In addition, if I make any changes, I have to remember to make them in both files. I don’t want to do a proofreading job after I finish the orchestration.

I could also add a third piano and copy all the music there and include that instrument in the orchestral score instead of the original, but I would also have to remember to make changes to both instruments.

For the moment, I had to resort to labeling the solo part as Piano (abbreviated as Pno.) and the accompanist part as “Orch. Red.” (i.e. orchestral reduction, abbreviated as O.R.). Not a bad solution but definitely not what I would prefer.

Any ideas?


I believe you could add a divisi, which would allow you to add a custom label (the instrument would need to be a section player).

It’s a workaround, admittedly. I recall Daniel saying recently that they are considering adding a feature for a staff label change that can be inserted anywhere, giving the ability to override the existing labels.

Edit: this. Staff labels, divisi, System breaks - Dorico - Steinberg Forums

Rather than two layouts, you could just change the names before final print/export for each version.

I would just name the two pianos Piano Solo (or just Piano) and Accompaniment. Presumably your accompaniment will not appear in the Conductor Score at all once you finish orchestrating.

Thanks Dan!

Nice to know divisi labels can be customized but I don’t see how that workaround could be implemented in my case. If I make the piano a section instrument and use the divisi feature to add two additional staves, I would have to be able to hide two staves in one layout and the other two in the other layout, but that’s not possible since the staves would not be empty. Besides, that also means that any changes made in one layout would not reflect on the other.

I hope you’re right about the new feature.

Thanks Steve!

Yes, I thought of that too but there’s a problem. “Pno.” occupies more horizontal space than “I” and, believe or not, making that change messes up with all the formatting in the score. In fact, in order to use that label (Pno.) I had to reduce the left margin a bit.

Yes, that’s more or less what I ended up doing but I would prefer to have different labels, simply because there are different standards for each layout and I would like to stick to those standards, if possible.

No, I believe you can fake a divisi change. Just relabel the staff, and don’t add a second staff.

Oh! I see! Hmmmm… could be. I’ll have to experiment. Thanks!