Fixed Staff Labels in scores

Hi everyone!

For my score, I created 4 Percussion players and layouts and I want them to be shown like this in the full score. But Dorico by default shows the name of the instrument, played at the time. While for other sections this is prefered, I personally don’t like this for percussion players (e.g. Hal Leonard does the same thing.)
As some of the players use several Kits and/or mallets, using pure kits named “Percussion” is not possible. Do you guys know any other solution to this?

Or do you use an other solution all the way through? How do you label your kits/instruments/layouts, when a lot of different instruments are meant to be played throughout the section?

I now have something like this:
Percussion I: Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Tambourine
Percussion II: Percussion (Kit), Xylophone
Percussion III: Percussion (Kit)
Percussion IV: Tenor Drums, Temple Blocks, Cymbals

So on the first page I read:
Percussion 1
Percussion 2
Tenor Drums

Later it’s labeled:
Percussion 2
Wood Blocks

Doesn’t this confuse a conductor, or is this only my opinion?

Another way to solve this (in concert band music) is, to create several parts labeled “mallets”, “percussion 1”, “percussion 2” where 3 to 5 players need to switch between the layouts. But as soon, as you need to mallets at the same time, Dorico does not label the staffs correctly, as this is not intended. So you need to create a score for the mallets, with all staffs labeled…

Coplicated topic. I’d be glad, to hear some of your opinion!
Thank you very much and beste regards,

Not being able to use player names as staff labels is currently a severe limitation. I have clients who have refused to use D. because of this :wink:

I usually put (1), (2) etc. before each instrument name when identical instruments are in play…


Hi! Thanks for your quick reply. That’s a nice idea, which I also saw used in scores. But by doing this, you get thi problem:

Which does not look very good either… Are you just fine with this?

In the last percussion composition I’ve made, I did exactly this. For the instrument changes, I edited them all at the end of the process in Engrave Mode. You can substitute the name for anything you want. Just remember to also do it in the parts.
I’m waiting for a more comprehensive solution for those cases of percussion instrument changes, which are quite specific for percussion, in which staff labels do not necessarily match instrument names. I agree with @fratveno that player names as staff labels, or something of the like, would be a very welcome solution.

Thank you very much, this works fine, but that’s gonna be a lot of work.
Dorico made us kind of perfectionist… :smiley:

I’d be happy, to hear about another approach. What was actually intended by the Dorico team, to do in such situations?


Once I did it by adding (1) (2) etc. to the FULL instrument names ONLY, and I then used ONLY full names for both initial and subsequent pages, and then I used SHORT names for the instrument changes.

I also had a recent project where the customer demanded that the instrument changes should be BOXED, so I had to hide the automatic changes and add them using boxed staff text…

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It will be possible in the next major version of Dorico to specify that specific players should be labeled in the margin using the player name rather than the names of instruments, which will (I hope) take care of this requirement.


Sounds great! Can’t wait for it! =)
Thank you!

I just ran into this limitation this evening. I’ve decided to do the following for a solution:

  1. change all perc instrument short names to Perc 1, Perc 2, or whatever player they belong to
  2. Use long names for instrument changes
  3. Manually delete and input the first system long names (Percussion 1, Percussion 2) in Acrobat.

Along with the option to use the Player name, I hope there will be options for displaying and formatting the instrument labels at the beginning of systems (parentheses, boxed, etc).

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There won’t be options for putting staff labels in boxes, no.

I had hoped that adding the instrument ‘Percussion’ to each player, and somehow using that as the first instrument in their staves, would work - but, to do that, a hideable dummy item would need to be input at the start of the score. This works (and also shows that I need to change the ‘Percussion’ instrument names to ‘Percussion 1’, Percussion 2’ etc., and that’s no problem). The process creates an instrument change warning, but I can suppress that by using Engrave mode and changing the text to a space - so all that’s left is the dummy item. Does it have to be a note, or is there any other item type that could then be hidden without affecting the ‘Percussion’ labels for the first system which I have caused to appear?

You can always just insert a system or frame break and select to display the staff lables.

Gareth, at this stage you might as well wait for the next version of Dorico (assuming you’re planning to update when it arrives) because telling Dorico to use the name of the player rather than the names of the instruments held by the player will be the work of mere moments.