FR: System objects above specific players/groups

I would love the option to be able to specify system object positions with more flexibility. Case in point: the opera I’m currently engraving, with the following score order:

  • Voices
  • Woodwinds (5 pl.)
  • Brass (5 pl.)
  • Percussion (2 pl., both on pitched as well as unpitched instruments)
  • Harp
  • Guitar
  • Accordion

The last 3 instruments here function as a kind of string section, and consequently I would like to have system objects appear above the harp. With the current setup this is impossible to achieve consistently, as for some reason it’s classified as “pitched percussion” and sometimes a marimba appears in the percussion section. I’ve resorted to checking “Keyboards” and dragging everything up from the accordion staff. In a 340-page score…
Surely others can think of further examples as well of mixed-instrument grouping and unorthodox score orders where Dorico’s current system is too rigid.

Don’t get me wrong, I know why the current, semantic, intelligent system is in place. But please, would it be possible to add a (possibly semi-hidden) layout option to ditch this intelligence and just put system objects above a specific player (or player group), regardless of instrument types or bracketing?


Or, for bonus points: the ability to specify a position between two players, with the guarantee that the system objects always show up in that spot even if those specific staves are hidden.

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Regarding your problem at hand (independent from the feature request), it might be feasible (especially since we are only talking about three instruments) to hack the user library file to contain three custom instruments that trick Dorico into thinking they are “strings”, while keeping more or less all of the remaining original properties (including playback). Caveat – it might prove impossible to have a camouflage harp that also keeps its connection to Dorico’s dedicated harp features; and since this whole problem hinges on the harp specifically, this might prove an insurmountable hurdle, after all.

If you are interested in looking further down that road but are unsure how to begin, let me know.

I am also having this issue. I am working on a very large marching band score and need to have the system objects displayed above the Drum Line—as well as the Front Ensembles. Right now I get it above the front ensembles, but for whatever reason I cannot also get it above the Drum Line. Am I doing something wrong or is this just a limitation of the current system as described above? (I’ve attached a file in case someone can figure it out).
System Object Example Score.dorico (1.8 MB)