Groups of instruments/players (suggestion).

Groups of Players…
I’d like to make a suggestion, for some further version, not very urgent, but it would spare a lot
of time in making orchestral scores. And think it could be done based on Doricos player/instrument concept.
I don’t know if the existing “groups” - up to now mainly giving them an extra bracket - can be extended to do this, or if it needs an additional structure…

Imagine the following setup: 3 flute players, one of them changes to piccolo from time to time.
You would have to setup 3 individual players. This 3 players play individual voices most of the time, but some times they may play unisono as a group, or there is only one of them playing. You can’t give this music to a section player:

  • you need a separate voice layout printed out for each indivdual player
  • one of them changes instrument
  • 3 players “divisi” would not allow individual volume and other playback settings

So you get 3 staves for flute players, which consume a lot of vertical space in the score …

But: why not define a “player group” and assign the 3 flute player to it.
Then Dorico would do for me the following wonderful things when doing the score layout:

  • leave everything as is it in write mode, so I don’t need to write different voices in write mode, way more clear.
  • in engrave mode it would put together the 3 flutes in an intelligent way:
  1. show all 3 flutes in one stave (except the 3. player holds the piccolo -> 2 staves)
  2. if only one player has something to play, add a “I.”, “II.” oder “III.” (or “1.”, “2.”, “3.”, property setting)
  3. if two or three players play unisono, add a “ad 2”, “ad 3”.
  4. if the two or three players play different voices, show their notes as voices, fist player voice 1, second player voice 2 etc. There would be needed a property to determine the max. number of voices to be combined…

This is by the way a thing you see frequently in study scores. Eg. 4 horns in 2 staves, 3 trombones in 1 stave, etc. This is not “divisi”!

Of course, this excludes in a way “divisi” and the use of voices (disabled?) in the single instruments , which are to be combined in this way. So if I’d add a section player, I should not be able to add this player to such “player group”. Maybe the idea is also incompatible with lyrics.

If Dorico would do this by algorithm, it would spare a lot of peopla a really big amount of time, and
add a feature I badly missed in Sibelius, where I had to do this by hand and where I had to put the instruments as voices in one stave, so how to print out the voice for “Flute I”?. I don’t know if Finale could do this… may be it would be another unique feature of Dorico.

I hope some like this idea…

Thanks for the idea. This situation is certainly a common one and we have already spent a huge amount of time considering the best ways for Dorico to handle this.