FR or suggestions: Custom section formatting

I don’t have a hard-and-fast request on this, but here’s the situation I’m running into on this project for large wind band, and others like it. The composer is requesting programmatic elements at section starts; in this case, a mix of section header (boxed), a Carl Sagan quote, a boxed bar number for rehearsal, and a circled number corresponding to a science blurb for the student performers to read.

There are quite a few sections throughout the piece, and there are many part layouts to format. It’s challenging to be consistent with the arrangement and spacing of each element throughout. Global moving doesn’t really work.

I’m open to suggestions. One thought I had for a feature would be the ability to group these sorts of different elements in some way, provided that all elements were attached to the same rhythmic position, and apply that custom grouping to each instance. I’m not sure how that would work exactly, just thinking out loud. I do know this sort of thing occupies a huge percentage of my time on these projects, and I wonder if there’s a way the ordering of elements could be customized and applied globally.

This is a really interesting idea. I could see it working like AP, where you can arrange any elements you want, and then group them, and they suddenly become one selectable object with a dedicated frame. If you then want to edit the objects inside the group frame, you can double click to do so. Also, once objects are grouped, you can copy them around the project. It’s something I employ regularly. I would love to see something similar in Dorico.


In a way, this exists already in spirit within Dorico, as we can do it on a micro scale with the playing techniques editor. I would like to see something more fluid that didn’t require an “editor” as such, however. Just highlight the objects, group/associate/glue/whatever term the team decides, and go.

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