drum kit is always the grid choice

when I setup an empty drum kit with non-pitched percussion and choose 5-line staff instead of grid at the top, then choose apply, it shows up in the score as a grid in the score. must be a small step that I am missing.

I think the tabs you refer to in the ‘Edit percussion map’ dialog are only for accessing different options - not setting the behavior. To get what you want, you need to go to Layout options → Players → Percussion.

of course. thanks much/so obvious when you know the answer. works great.

And remember that you can change each layout to reflect what you want to see. For instance, if viewing a Full score layout, choose Layout Options, Players, then scroll down to Percussion. There you can choose 5 line staff, Grid, or Single line Instruments for just that Layout.

in an orchestral score (not a lot of room on the page (even in tabloid size) to have much room for a percussion player with many different instruments. say, the player has 30 instruments and may use many different combinations of these instruments. don’t use kits but use the galley mode and select the combination of instruments as needed?

I just completed a commission for a brass quintet + one percussionist playing snare drum, tambourine, triangle, ratchet, and wood block. I didn’t make them a kit, I just did what you suggested: gave the player a single one-line staff, input the notes on the appropriate staff in Galley view, and let Dorico handle the Change Instruments settings.

It worked like a charm!