Explanation of pages and master pages?

Can someone point me to a clear explanation, either in writing or video, of how pages and master pages work?

I’m writing a brass quintet that has two scores in the file, one that will be printed, with C trumpet parts only, and the other which also contains the Bb trumpet parts, which will not be printed—the only reason it’s there is to be able to create the Bb trumpet parts.

In Engrave Mode, when I look at the score that includes the Bb parts, there are no visible page numbers, even though they are in the Master Page for that score. When I look at the score that doesn’t include the Bb parts, the page numbers are there, just as they appear in the Master Page.

I can’t even figure out if the Master Pages that appear when I choose the respective scores are the same master page, or separate ones, one for each version of the score.

I suspect I’m missing something basic, but I haven’t been able to find a good explanation of how multiple Master Pages can be created, how they work, and how it all fits together.

So, does anyone know where there is such an explanation? (And yes, I’ve seen the John Barron “Frames and Moving Music to Different Pages” video. It rambles somewhat and although it hints at the possibilities, it doesn’t explain how doing a particular thing produces a particular result.)

Thanks much!

Can you explain exactly why you’re running two scores for the sake of transposing parts? You know that each layout (whether part or score) can be set as transposing or concert pitch, at the tick of a box (in Layout Options), right?

Hopefully somebody else will come and along to discuss master pages - it’s a long discussion that I can’t get into just now!

If I recall correctly, Daniel said somewhere that they’re working on a set of tutorial videos about pages and master pages, so there will be some information soon, hopefully.

Dear Lew,

I am not sure I understand your problem.
To change or create masterpages, you must be in Engrave mode. You use the right bottom panel (Master Pages), press the + button and there, you create your own master page (based on an existing one, first or default, or from scratch)
To apply a masterpage to a page, you right click on the page you want to change, in the right upper panel in Engrave mode, the one with the pages listed. You select Insert Master page change and there you fill the questions (which Master Page you wish to use, only for this page or all pages until the end…)
If you click on a page of this panel, and if this page has no override (no red upper left corner) you will notice that the Master Page used is highlighted in green. I suspect there has been some override on the master page of your Bb trumpet score, or that the masterpage used has a bad {@page@} token…
Hope it helps !

Leo, as I read back what I wrote, I realized I didn’t explain it very well. Let me try to write more clearly.

In all my writing—brass quintets, concert band, orchestra—I often have staves for parts that will be printed, but that I don’t want to appear in the final printed score. However, they have to be created in some score in order that the parts will be generated.

One example: In a band piece, the Master/Large score (not to be confused with the Dorico term Master Page) will contain 3 staves for Clarinets 2 and 3; one for each individual part, which will be printed as parts but won’t appear in the Final score, and a third staff for the two parts combined, which will appear in the Large score but will never be printed as a part.

Or my current issue: in my brass quintet, the trumpet parts that will be created in the Large score will include both Bb and C versions, although only the C Trumpet staves will appear in the Final score. However, in order to generate the Bb parts, they have to actually be in a score file, just as the combined clarinet staff (above) must actually be in a score file.

In Sibelius, I would just hide the staves in the Large score that I didn’t want to appear in the Final version. However, since I’m unaware of any such possibility in Dorico, I just created two different versions of the score. The Large score contains all four trumpet parts (2 in Bb, 2 in C), solely for the purpose of creating the Bb parts. The other Final score will be the one that is printed/published, containing only the two C parts.

My problem is that in the Large score, the one containing the two extra Bb parts, I can’t get the page numbers to appear as they do in the Final score. It doesn’t matter from a practical point of view, as that score will never be printed. However, I need to understand why it isn’t working because it’s likely to come up again.

I thought I could have both scores (the Large and Final versions) work off the same Master Page for scores. That’s where the problem comes in; the page numbers—{@page@}— show up perfectly in the Final Score but not in the Larger score, both of which are theoretically attached to the same Master Page

I’ve double checked—heck, I’ve quadruply checked!—the nomenclature of the Page # token. It is definitely written as {@page@} in both scores.

So that explains why I’m pretty sure I have something screwed up in which Master Page my Large score is using, and that’s why I’m asking where I can find a full explanation of how the Pages and Master Pages work together.

Marc, thanks for your quick tutorial—I’ll go back and look at it again. I do of course realize that all this has to happen in Engrave Mode. I think maybe the part I hadn’t understood was how to make sure a given Master page is applied to a given Page. I hope that will clear the whole thing up for me.

Either way, thanks to all for taking the time to write. This forum is invaluable, both because the Dorico team is always so quick to reply (do you guys EVER sleep?!) and because the other users are so generous with your time and experience.

(PS Does anyone know what happened to the Thank You button in the forum?)

Thought it might help to show screenshots of how they’re set up—see below.

Note that in both the Large and Final score views (both in Engrave mode) the Page# frames appear. The problem is that there’s nothing in them in the Large score view.

I also attached pics of the actual Master Page Editor setups for both Final and Large scores.


Oops - meant to also show the Large score pic.

The Thank You button went away with the update to the new forum look. That happened a few months ago.

I, too, miss the thank you button.


Dear Lew,
I think that your problem is with understanding the workflow:
you don’t have to create those extra 2 staves at all.
after you finish your score, you can easily configure their transposition at the parts, while retaining them at concert pitch at the full score.
and while you’ve already written them in the full score, you can easily tick them away, as your previous workflow of hiding in sibelius.

When you say “Large Score” and “Finale Score,” am I right to assume these are not separate files but that Finale Score is simply a layout of the Large Score?

You should definitely try this method:

  • Create a new part layout called Trumpet in C
  • Select the new layout, and activate ‘Trumpet in Bb’ in the left hand panel
  • Go to Layout options (cmd+shift+L) -> Players -> Untick ‘Transposing layout’.

This will give you both a C and a Bb version of the same part without having to think about them in the score. Any edit made in Write mode, in either part or score, will apply to both versions.

The page number thing indeed looks strange, but it’s hard to tell without seeing the file. If you don’t want to post it here, you can send it to one of the team members with a link to this thread.

These are good ways to work since your alternative trumpet part is “in C” - but not so good if you want to produce a score written for natural horns in say E flat, and also include a part for the standard horn transposition in F (not C!).

Rob - luckily, this is planned for the future :smiley:


Of course I have faith that “everything” is planned for the future somewhere in Dorico.

But my local pub always has a sign behind the bar saying “free beer tomorrow.” I’ve been waiting about 30 years already - maybe I missed the day when it actually happened :wink:

Thanks, Rob and Anders, you made me laugh with your last posts :wink:

This reminds me of a sign in a New York print shop I once visited.

Copies made while you wait
–and wait–and wait.

My favorite print shop sign showed the proprietor rolling on the floor in laughter, with the caption, “You want it when?!”

Regarding your answers, thank you. I think I have it now. And it’s my fault it got over-complicated. I made the classic mistake of asking Why isn’t what I want to do working? when I should have been asking Here’s what I need, how do I do it?

Thanks for figuring that out for me.


We used to have a longer version of that on the wall in the print room at work. An irate “customer” was shouting “Of course I want it finshed by yesterday. If I had wanted it today, I would have given it to you tomorrow!”

little poster in a local pub:

We have an agreement with the bank: they won’t sell beer and we don’t lend money

As we got in Israel-
“smoking is allowed every other day, but not today”