Feature request: Staff with one line for pitched instruments without XML hack

None has been announced.

Is there any development in changing the number of staff lined for pitched instruments?

See the replies above.

The Version History PDF document that comes with every new release (including updates) lists every new feature, capability, alteration and fix. It’s well worth reading.

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let’s precise my question: Will it come anytime soon?

If it does, I doubt Dorico will keep it a secret; the Team seldom announces specific features or their release schedule in advance.

I’ve added 0-line and 1-line non-percussion instruments to my Sketch category as below. (There are a bunch of other custom instruments added to the files as well.)

Here are the files if you want them. All the usual caveats about edited factory files apply and they will be overwritten with any updates.
instruments.xml (3.0 MB)
instrumentFamiliesDefinitions.xml (29.0 KB)
instrumentnames_en.xml (353.4 KB)


thanks a lot!

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Based on Fred’s XML files above, I’ve actually managed to create a .doricolib file with the same (or similar) information. I’ve actually created a new category of instruments, called “Custom”, rather than appending them to Sketch.

To import the file into Dorico, place it in the following location and then quit/relaunch Dorico.

Mac: /Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Dorico 4/DefaultLibraryAdditions
Win: C:\ProgramData\Steinberg\Dorico 4\DefaultLibraryAdditions\

I’m not entirely sure about the Windows location, but note this is NOT the User library. It’s the place where NotePerformer installs stuff, if that helps.

For some reason, dropping it on the hub flags an error and doesn’t work for me. I’ve validated the XML, but…

I figure that keeping this file as a separate lib file, instead of modifying the application data itself, is probably slightly better; though I haven’t thoroughly tested it, and if things do go wrong, don’t forget to remove it.

0 and 1 line staves.zip (2.9 KB)

As ever, please use at your own risk, make sure you can revert everything, etc. I await reasons from Daniel about why this might be a more terrible idea than modifying the app’s files directly.


Thanks, I’m on mac. This solution seems to be better though I still hope to find a solution which doesn’t get deleted with updates like the custom key commands in the user directory …

That’s a great idea! It definitely seems “safer” than modifying the default files and I assume won’t get overwritten with updates. At least for me, it seems to work copying it to the User location at:
C:\Users\YourNameHere\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Dorico 4\DefaultLibraryAdditions

Just to clarify - you have to create the folder named “Default Library Additions”, correct? I’m not seeing it otherwise in that directory… Thanks!

I think that’s the user data folder, rather than the Program data folder; but if it works, it works!

Can confirm that on a Mac, it will work in the user data folder, if you create a DefaultLibraryAdditions subfolder.

/Users/[yourUserName]/Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Dorico 4/DefaultLibraryAdditions

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This is brilliant! So we don’t have to mess with the application package.
And thanks for the XML file.

(@ebrooks Note there are no spaces in DefaultLibraryAdditions)

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I’ve bundled a little Read Me file with the zip file that lists the folders, and tells you what it does – so that when Dorico does have an Instrument Editor, you can safely delete it.

I’m getting very interested by the possibilities for ‘extending’ Dorico with .doricolib files – which was first done to get a ‘working’ Tenor ottava G clef, before … y’know.

Thanks Ben - and I was just going to ask you about creating the lib files. I’ve got many more custom instruments made and would love to create the full library for them too.

It already existed for me and all the VSL stuff for Dorico was already in it. Perhaps VSL created it.

One more question about it. Is it possible to have the 0-Line and 1-Line staff with a full barline (same sitze than the 5-Line staff)?

There are some Engraving Options for ‘barline protrusion’ in Barlines > Design, which you could try.

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I think Ben’s right. Changing the barlineSpan entry in the XML or doricolib file doesn’t seem to work, but changing the Engraving Option does. It would be a global change though, so may not necessarily be what you want.

@benwiggy That was interesting news to me. How did you learn about it, is it documented somewhere?