Dorico 2.0 - Two instruments sharing one staff?

Hi Daniel:

I’ve been eagerly going through the features in the new version. THANKS for all the great work and for this major upgrade.

One thing I’ve been strongly hoping for is the ability to have Dorico deftly handle scores in which two players share a staff (2 flutes or 2 horns, for example). I’ve used Dorico for the published version of a couple of my chamber pieces (already distributed by Presser), but am holding off on the band and orchestra pieces until it is possible to have staff-sharing on the score, while still allowing individual parts to be printed for flute 1 and 2.

We saw that start to emerge in the wonderful percussion improvements in 1.2.

I’ve spent a couple hours in the manual and with the new version, but have not found whether/how this is possible yet. Am I missing it, or is it not something that has been integrated into the program yet?

Thanks again!


It’s not there yet. The divisi features do pretty much exactly the opposite of what you’re asking for.

Shoot! Yes - I saw the divisi and it made me hopeful.

I have three pieces to get in print before Midwest Band Clinic this year. I was holding off until 2.0 in the hopes of this feature. Looks like I’ll have to decide whether to live with separate staves, or do it the agonizing old way in Finale.

Many thanks for the quick response! Saved me a few more hours of searching for the feature.

I’ll keep all my fingers crossed that this one is high on the list for upcoming incremental updates.

Just an aside: If you’re doing it in Finale for now, I hope you’re aware of the TGTools plug-in that speeds up the process? (Smart Explosion of multi-part staves)

Daniel, is this planned for Dorico 2 cycle?

No, I’m afraid not, because it’s an enormous amount of work. But we are equal to the challenge and I am confident that we will certainly achieve it in a future version.

Although there is still some problems with stemming, using the Reduce function to combine two separate parts onto a third staff makes the work-around somewhat easier in Dorico 2.


So, how can we do now ? :
I have 4 horns on 2 separates staves.
Should I write 4 staves ? it’s nice for the separate parts, but not really for the conductor.
Or save 2 Projets ? One for the conductor (1.dorico) and another to work on the separates parts (2.dorico) ?
I am stuck by the situation… 2 flutes, 2oboes, 2clarinets, 2 bassons, 2 trumpets, 4horns,…
I think about end my project on Finale this time^^, but maybe you have a solution :slight_smile:

Thanks for all your work!

Hi, Lorganiste.
You can still have them all in the same project. Just make 4 staves for the parts and 2 staves for the conductor, and hide the 4 staves in a special “Conductor’s Layout”.

I personally do it in separate staves first, one for each part, then have a an extra one for printing purposes where I plop it (copy/paste tools) all on the same stave in four passes as independent voices.

My condensed version(s) gets pointed to an empty or muted instrument in the play tab…so it does not play back anything at all. Note, I might have more than one condensed version for various types of scores and parts…again, they get pointed to a ‘dummy/soundless’ instrument in the play tab.

In page properties I filter out the four independent ‘play-back’ staves, which are actually pointing to valid instruments in the play tab.

At this point, when in page mode, the ‘playback staves’ are hidden, but they’ll still make sounds when I play the score. If I need to continue working on these playback staves, I simply go to Galley Mode, where I can still see them and work with them.

Hi Brian,
I like the way you do it.
Is there any better way to do this in the current version (3.1)?

There’s a native Condensing feature in 3.1.

Take a look at this video and this one too.

Thanks @pianoleo and thanks Daniel for the links.

I have flute 2 and piccolo sharing a staff in a band work. In my score, Dorico has handled the player hand-offs beautifully except for one instance where the system starts off piccolo for 2 measures and then rests for 2 measures, followed by 1 measure of flute 2. Where the piccolo ends and the first measure of rest meet, the staff is not a straight line. Instead, two staves are created and they are not merging as one. I do not have any music playing during the rests on either instrument so I don’t understand why the staff isn’t continuing seamlessly where the switch occurs.

Also, is there a way to rename or delete the “To instrument name” text field and the instrument name “Fl.2” upon entrance? This would be especially helpful with percussion instruments where I would prefer to have the instrument in a rectangular box at the first entrance. Even the ability to move the text in engrave mode would be helpful.

Thank you!

Welcome to the forum, Jenya. The problem you’re seeing with the disjointed staff is caused by a bug (that we’ve still not quite pinned down) concerning vertical staff spacing adjustments. To sort it out, in Engrave mode, select something on that page (e.g. a note or similar) and do Engrave > Staff Spacing > Reset Selected Frame. That should fix it, though you’ll also then need to re-do any manual adjustments you’d made to that frame.

You can’t hide instrument change labels completely by default; the relevant options are on the Players page of Layout Options, and you can also hide individual items by way of the Properties panel after selecting the labels in Engrave mode.

Thank you! Resetting the frame worked.

I was able to make changes in the Lay-out options for instrument changes; however, I don’t see how to hide the words completely in the properties panel. For now, is the only option to hide the prefix? And is there a way to add a rectangle to instrument names - such as for percussion entrances?

Thank you!

You can hide the prefix, and then change the text of the instrument change to just a space character to hide the whole label.

Thank you!