Hide instrument change "To x"

At an instrument change, I want to hide the “To Picc.” text at the end of the previous instrument, and only have the “Piccolo” where the new instrument starts playing.
I can’t find any options to do so. The only thing in Engraving Options is the spacing to the staff. In Layout Options I have the options to remove the "To " part.

The text isn’t selectable in Engrave Mode.

Am I missing a setting somewhere, and if not: can we request such a setting for a future update?

You can, of course, ask Dorico to use Short Names for instrument changes and then change the short names in Setup Mode’s Players column to nothing. But then in Write Mode you would have to add the name of the new instrument as text each time a change occurs.

I thought about that, but then I also wouldn’t have the names left of the staff (or would have to manually re-add them on every page).

I will make a note of this. Is there a particular reason why you prefer not to give the performer maximum warning about the change of instrument?

One reason to hide this command (and I haven’t checked if this happens automatically in Dorico): if there is one bar for Glockenspiel at the beginning of a system, then a big multi rest, followed by a bar or two for Tubular Bells at the system’s end, it will be obvious that the percussion player has to change.

Especially if there is already a lot of information on the page (say, stick diagrams, boxed text, etc.), I would like to be able to hide any information which seems superfluous.

I recently wrote an arrangement with a player playing Bb and A clarinet. At some point there was a key change and an instrument change at the same spot. This meant that Dorico wrote a key change - because of the instrument change - and right after that, the actual key change. So a key change followed by another key change with no notes in between. This was a bit clumsy, and it would have been clearer to mark the instrument change a bit later. As far as I recall, I made that happen by writing a space with Shift-X in the first instrument, but it’s an example of a situation where you would want to adjust the position of the warning.

Aside from the mallet percussion case suggested earlier (which is a more general case), my specific situation was for several solo singers after each other, having a line or two, with interjections of a choir in between.
I made a section for the choir and one player with multiple “instruments” being the solos. Renaming the instrument to “Guy 1” and such made a nice overview in the score: one staff with the solos (with the instrument change nicely displaying which solo), and below that the choir and accompaniment.

It’s probably not a very ‘correct’ way of achieving what I want, having the solos as a single player with multiple “instruments” and such, but automatically having the solo names where they start (except for the first one now that I think of it) looks nice. I just don’t really want/need the “To x.” several bars earlier.

For singers / opera characters removing “To” definitely makes sense.

Dear Thijs and Romanos,
We hope that the future feature, that is supposed to “create” reductions of multiple staves to one or two, will work for opera works, in order to have multiple singers on one staff when they sing solo. I think the idea of using the “change instrument” is just a workaround, since the philosophy behind Dorico really is to “first” create players — that can handle multiple instruments… Different opera roles ARE different players ! So let’s wait for this beautiful solution to be implemented, and by the time it is done, there are good reasons for this “to instrument” to be optionally hidden, so maybe our workaround will be improved ! :slight_smile:

Marc I definitely see your point. I can think of scenarios, however, where it might be easier to conceptualize it the way I suggested. Perhaps you conceive a work as “solo” vs "ensemble. Within the solo “player” there are 4 voices who alternate. This would be an easy way to notate such changes… Although, then again, I suppose you could just create the individual parts as normal and hide empty staves. It would essentially do the same thing, it just wouldn’t allow the voices to trade off mid-system. That said, removing the “to” part would be the quickest and easiest way for Dorico to allow this functionality with essentially no fundamental reprogramming.

Dear Romanos,
What I really LOVE about Dorico, is the fact that D’s team is building a beautifully thought after program. A program that produces great results without compromising with quality or ease of programming.
Since we’ve been told that it is conceived by musicians for musicians, and that the first thing you create in this program is “the players”, it would not be fair to compromise this beautiful logic, just for a programming gain. I am quite confident that this is not the way D’s team is going to handle that issue. Yet, they know that we like to find workarounds in the meantime, and since this workaround could prove not be, in some cases, a workaround, I find no reason why they would not implement it.
What I mean is that you are right, but still, I am confident that Daniel and his team will create, in due time, a better solution. When that time comes, we will not even remember those workarounds :wink:

Indeed, I bet you’re right.

I’m seeing instrument change text without an instrument change.

I imported some largeish works for string orchestra. It’s common for say the leader of the 1st vlns to occasionally have a solo, and it’s common for this to be on a separate stave in the score. But both the solo stave and the rank and file stave to be in the same printed part.

With hiding empty staves turned on, when Dorico switches from showing both staves to showing just 1, it puts in a "to " with the instrument name. This is completely unnecessary and I’d love to delte it. If I set the instrument short names to empty it still has “To” in there.

This is a bit of a blocker for me.

I also commonly use the second (stave) for different combinations, e.g. the 2 staves may be used for

solo + others
2 soli + others
tutti divisi.

I don’t want to set up “players” for all these combinations, or I’m worried what the score will look like. In Sibelius and MuseScore I just typed in what the instruction was (e.g. who to play). Having Dorico force automatic settings on this is problematic.

Try setting ‘Prefix for instrument change labels’ to ‘Custom’ and then setting the ‘Custom prefix’ field to be empty on the Players page of Layout Options.

thanks for that, it removed it with the empty instrument names.

By the way it took me about 15 minutes to find the setting.

that’s because there are so many different settings dialogs with so many settings, and many of them are only visible when the menu changes when you go to another tab.

I think it would be a good idea to have all settings for everything always accessible and maybe close together.

For example there are Instrument change settings in “Engraving Options” as well as under “Players” in the Layout Options dialog which is only visible if you go to the setup tab.

You can open any of the “Options” dialogs at any time using the keyboard shortcuts, without leaving the mode you are working in.

Yes, once you remember the keyboard shortcuts… there are a lot of them, and I’m also working a lot in Sibelius and MuseScore.

Also, the problem now is that to suppress the instrument name in the parts, I have to set it to blank, which means it shows as blank on the stave label in the score as well…


Really need to be able to just disable the addition of the immutable text. It’s effectively putting it in where a “tutti” would normally go, but obviously I can’t label the stave as tutti in the score.

And I can’t differentiate between long and short name either, since it uses the long name if the short name is blank, so I have to set them all blank.

Does anyone know the meaning of singular vs plural in this respect? Where are these different labels even used?

OK, I found a workaround.

say you have a part with 3 staves (a player with 3 instruments).

Set the long names to space (not empty)
Set short names to something you want on the score. (can’t differentiate between 1st and subsequent systems, but at least you can get something)
Set change instrument to use long labels.

So now in the part it puts in a space (no big deal)
in the score it uses the short part names.

all the names of all the instruments need to be unique across all players, so you end up needing to use a varying number of spaces or Dorico appends a variant number to it which shows up in the score stave label.