How Do I Make A Condensed Snare/Bass Part?

I am looking to write a piece for Concert Band and I want snare drum and bass drum to be on one staff in my condensed score. What I am looking to do is write each part out on a separate staff and have them condensed into one. I guess my real question would be thing, how do I edit the normal snare drum and bass drum to look like a five line staff instead of one? I ask this because I cannot condense a custom kit for some reason. Again I am trying to write the parts all on their own staves and have them condense for the conductor score.

Edit: The picture below is photoshop of what I want to do. For the uncondensed I don’t mind if it’s one line or five.

Welcome to the forum @Hrxcky – is perhaps the answer here Dorico’s percussion kit functionality? You can add any combination of unpitched percussion instruments to a kit, and show them on single lines in some layouts, and on a five-line staff if other layouts, should the mood take you to do so.

From what I can tell I can make a five line staff for percussion, but say I have one five line staff for snare and one for bass, can I then condense them into one? The problem I’m having is that when I make a five line staff for snare and bass, it doesn’t show up in the custom condensing menu. I would really like to have the snare and bass be different parts and then have them condensed into one for the conductor score. Is that possible?

There’s no such thing as condensing for unpitched percussion, because unpitched percussion is natively implemented in such way that the user can decide whether it should be displayed on 1-line staves (i.e. uncondensed), on a grid, or on a 5-line-staff (condensed?)
The first thing you need to do to get this power in your hands is create a kit for your percussion player, fill it with the instruments you need, configure it exactly as you need. Then, in Layout options, you choose which layout will show the kit as 1 line staff instruments, grid or 5-line-staff… This is where the percussion “condensing” takes place.
Actually, I see @Lillie_Harris had already answered that and better than me. Follow that kit route :wink:

Are you saying that I have to write out both snare and bass on one 5-line-staff?

  1. Make a kit with both snare and bass
  2. Put them in the correct place
  3. Write them out on the staff?

I’ll be honest that is very disappointing. It’s really simple what I want. Two separate parts ( snare and bass) that can condense into one 5-line-staff. I really don’t understand why it can’t be as simple as

  1. Changing the number of lines per staff on unpitched percussion
  2. Setting which note the unpitched percussion falls under
  3. Condensing two parts into one


  1. Make a custom kit with snare
  2. Make a custom kit with bass
  3. Condense the custom kits.

It shouldn’t be this difficult to do.

You can waste time and fight the tool… Or learn how it works. Create a kit with both snare and bass drum, choose whether you want them as 1-line-staff, grid or 5-line-staff appearance, input your music in your preferred appearance and display it as you wish on a layout basis.
Note that you can also start without a kit and import the instruments into an empty kit. This won’t change anything so feel free to use the workflow order you prefer…

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Yes, Dorico absolutely supports the kind of notation you want here, and very easily, but you have to approach it the way Dorico expects it to. Both of your instruments need to be held by the same player, and part of the same kit. You can then choose on a per-layout basis whether the kit should be shown as separate single-line instruments, or together on a five-line staff.

Look I’m new to Dorico coming from Musescore. I may come off as a little bit of a nuisance, but what you are describing is not exactly what I want. I really wish to have two different parts of unpitched percussion that can be condensed into one 5-line-staff. I’ll try to be as clear as possible. I want a snare and bass drum part, on the part sheet there will just one line for each. For the conductor however I wish for there to be a condensed version of that where snare and bass are together on a 5-line-staff. I am wanting to write snare and bass separately and then have them condense together for conductor score. After everyone’s responses it seems that this would be possible. As I am learning the program it seems to be more based on what is correct rather than giving freedom to do what one wants. I maybe just saying nonsense, or misinterpreting your comments as well everyone else’s, but it really seems like what I am looking for is not possible. I probably could find a way to make it look like I want it, but for ease of use I don’t think I will get what I need. I won’t fight it anymore and will just write my snare and bass in one 5-line-staff, instead of having condensed. Thanks for the help anyway.

What you are looking for is possible in Dorico:

This is a very friendly, helpful, and understanding forum on the whole – you should find that if you need help, you’ll receive it. If something someone has said doesn’t make sense, just ask them to clarify – it’s almost certainly a matter of translation between users with more/less experience in different softwares.


What seems to be causing the problem is that @Hrxcky wants the Snare player only to see the snare line and the Bass Drum player only to see the Bass Drum line. I tried to see if one could manually hide the unwanted instrument in a layout, but the manually hide is an all or nothing proposition for a Percussion Kit.

I do not think this arrangement is possible in Dorico today unless Hrxcky duplicates the Percussion kit used for the conductor as two separate players for purposes of isolating them in the part layouts.

Could cues work for this isolation? Apparently not unless one could get the cue notes onto the instrument line.
percussionProblem.dorico (494.3 KB)

Ah, I hadn’t picked up on that.

Manual staff visibility in the two percussion part layouts could be a possibility, but I’m not sure whether that would work for kits.

Manual staff visibility would not let me hide only one item in the kit. (Bummer, even if Hrxcky’s goal is unusual.)