Feature Request for classical percussion

one thing that would be really nice, is for percussion in a classical score to be placed on a “grid” (as is already possible) but to have the number of lines vary per system.

(if this is already achievable, let me know how! I haven’t been able to do anything remotely usable with a grid layout)

for example, have all the un-pitched percussion in a single grid staff, with each instrument assigned its own line within that grid, but then have the score vary the number of lines to include only lines with active instruments.

as a real-life example, I have a score with a single percussionist, who at one point rapidly shifts back and forth between snare drum and woodblock, some of the rhythms actually share stems and beams between the two instruments.
then a page further, only the snare is playing, then later on only a suspended cymbal.

it would be nice in my score to have two close lines for the snare and woodblock where they are playing, then a single line for when the snare is alone, and a single line for when only the suspended cymbal plays.

I was literally just browsing a boosey & hawks pocket score of Copland’s Lincoln Portrait and the percussion lines were variable depending on active instruments.

I don’t recall if I’ve ever noticed it before. Is this a common way to engrave percussion?

This is an interesting idea. Dorico can already do this if you’re using the “individual instruments” presentation type for your percussion kit, because then every instrument is its own single-line staff and can automatically be hidden when empty, but it can’t do it when using the grid presentation type.

I have done things like this, by simply setting up seperate kits/instruments. It’s not exactly dynamic, and thus needs a bit of planning out, but in general works fine.

this is what I’ve been doing for now, but the vertical spacing can become odd, and it affects other staves.

for example, I have two systems on one page at one point, but it’s a relatively loose spacing, and because snare and woodblock are on independent one-line staves Dorico gives them a BIT too much vertical looseless. Which is frustrating because the percussion part at that moment involves a single player playing both snare and woodblock simultaneously, meaning there are cross-staff beams. And they tend to be too far apart to look really “neat”.

it would be nicer if Dorico took into consideration spacing with other instruments, distributing empty space a bit more proportionately there, rather than between my two percussion lines.