First page instrument/player labels and doublings - where did I go wrong?

Try as I might, I’m failing to achieve what I’m looking for on this first page of a score. My aim is to show the staves of every player participating in the piece, with any doublings added below the instrument names (those that I have done so far have been using Shift-X, which I’m not sure is the correct way for various reasons, including the fact that the text also appears in parts).

Ideally, the first twelve staves would show - in order - Piccolo (also Flute 3), Flute 1, Flute 2 (also Alto Flute), Oboe 1, Oboe 2, Cor Anglais, Clarinet 1, Clarinet 2 (also Eb Clarinet), Clarinet 3 (also Bass Clarinet), Bassoon 1, Bassoon 2, Contrabassoon (also Bassoon 3). (I’ve put the complete listing the bottom of this post.)

Having made the first page into a frame, and applied Staff Visibility settings to it, I encountered all sorts of unexpected results. For example, if I tried to show Clarinets 1, 2 and 3 on separate staves (by selecting “show” on those instruments and “hide” for Clarinets 1.2.3) I was left with no clarinet staves at all – and the same goes, mutatis mutandis, for the Bassoons. (I also see that the bassoons are listed in the order 3,1,2, which of course wouldn’t be an issue if I could separate the staves for this page.)

It seems to me that at some point I must have made some settings both in Staff Visibility and also in some of the parameters of Layout Options (and very possibly in some other places as well) which contradict each other, but by now I don’t know how to disentangle the result. I’m also aware that if there are errors in my Condensing settings, any changes made there would very likely affect the whole 100+ pages of the score, which I took a great deal of time in casting off; so, unless I can correct the first page without affecting the rest of the file, it might be better all round if I were to provide the instrumentation list - with its doublings - as a text list in the front matter, and start the score showing only the instruments that play first.

(Just to add to my perplexity, I haven’t yet cracked how to have the percussion staves listed as ‘Percussion’ on the first page only - with instrument names thereafter - though I can live with what’s there as it stands.)

I’d be most grateful if somebody could point out where I went wrong. I’m attaching the first few bars of the first flow of the score (the whole flow is too big to attach):
Gareth Glyn Symphony, 1st flow (section).dorico (1.4 MB)
However, I’m not sure that changing the settings in this excerpt behaves the same as in the full score (for example I was able to get separate clarinet staves from it, whereas I couldn’t in the full score - a clue?), so here’s the whole file as a Dropbox download just in case: Dropbox - Symffoni SGÔR, pob erwydd ar dudalen 1.dorico - Simplify your life [for some bizarre reason, Dropbox has decided to add their slogan ‘Simplify Your Life’ to their links].

For reference, here’s the full listing I’m aiming for, though I’d be happy for non-doubling players to share a staff, viz. Bassoons 1.2, Horns in F, Trumpets 2.3, though maybe not Percussion 1.2.3.

Piccolo (also Flute 3)

Flute 1

Flute 2 (also Alto Flute)

Clarinet 1

Clarinet 2 (also Eb Clarinet)

Clarinet 3 (also Bass Clarinet)

Bassoon 1

Bassoon 2

Contrabassoon (also Bassoon 3)

Natural Horn in C

4 Horns in F

Trumpet 1 in Bb (also Piccolo Trumpet)

Trumpet 2 in Bb

Trumpet 3 in Bb

Tenor Trombone 1 (also Euphonium)

Tenor Trombone 2

Bass Trombone



Percussion 1

Percussion 2

Percussion 3


Piano (also Harmonium)

Violins 1

Violins 2



Double Basses

In Layout Options>Staves and Systems, make sure that your percussion players in the menu “Show player name instead of instrument names” are deselected. To get around how the very first staff label will appear, edit the name of the first instrument to “Percussion n

Again, editing the Full Name of the first instrument is a great way to fix this. eg change Flute 2 to:

Flute 2
(also Alto Flute)

That’s valuable advice on those two points, Daniel - thanks!

Regarding your stave order:

  • You’ve got lots of the doubled instruments eg Alto Flute as separate players rather than second instruments in one player. This is not best practice.

  • If you rectify this, I would be changing the Full name of the first instrument (as described above), adding the doubled one. However, you may need to change several instrument names. For example, changing Flute 2 to Flute 2/Alto Flute (as per previous post) will automatically change the instrument numbering of the other flute instruments. You will need to change them too so that you don’t have a flute labelled just “Flute”.

  • I think you should investigate Custom Condensing Groups:

You could then group, for example, Bassoons 1 & 2 into one stave, with the Contrabassoon (Bassoon 3) in it’s own stave.

  • Also, you have Hide empty staves in Layout Options>Vertical Spacing set to All systems. Perhaps you should change this to After first system so that you can sort out the first page successfully.

I’ve attached a very messy version that I quickly fiddled around with. Be warned: it’s not perfect!!!

Gareth Glyn Symphony, 1st flow (section).dorico (1.4 MB)

I don’t know how to get around the instrument transposition labels I’m sorry

I’m indebted to you, Daniel. Regarding condensing groups, I had already set some up, but I may have got the settings wrong, so I’ll revisit that armed with your advice.

That’s wonderful, Daniel - thanks for going to the trouble! I look forward to looking at this. Gareth

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I wouldn’t look forward to it if I were you :joy:

I’m sure other people will have different/better advice.