Full Score vs Custom Full Score

I’ve created an identical Custom score to serve as the “Real Full Score” for a large opera project, so that I can also have the piano reduction in the same master file, with those piano staves not present in the “Real Full Score”.

Is there a better or safer way to do this?

Is there any down side to doing this? Any problems later-on at (when doing parts for example, or other)?

Many thanks!

As far as I know, this is the right way !

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Or just create another full score and re-name it, so your full score Layout Properties will all be carried over. You can have as many full scores as you want.

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Incidentally, if you’ve done a lot of work and don’t want a new instrument to be added to a full score layout, which would temporarily mess up the formatting…

Add that player using Shift-P but don’t assign an instrument to it. Then with “Empty-handed player” selected, un-check the layout on the right. Then you can add an instrument to that player. Handy trick, thanks to Lillie (IIRC).


This is one of the wonders of Dorico’s flexibility with layouts. For opera scores, I have the standard full score which I usually only use for entering notes, then I have a score with a piano reduction (for the singers), and then a pianist-conductor’s score (in landscape format with no margins for use on an iPad). With other scoring programs I needed at least two files to accomplish this.


Great info here, many thanks!

Just to be safe, I’ve scrapped my custom layout, and copied the original Full Score to be used as the main layout, but not showing the Piano there.

That is a clever trick! Fortunately, with Dorico I’m seldom afraid of its messing up the formatting. I still can’t believe all the years I’ve spent holding my breath during certain formatting operations, expecting (and often getting) a mess.


My more recent opera arrangements include piano and it’s extremely handy being able to have two piano parts, one as an orchestral player and one for the piano reduction, and simply to exclude one or the other in the different score layouts.

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