How might I accomplish this in Dorico?

There’s a feature I’m familiar with in PreSonus Notion. I wonder if there’s some way to do something similar in Dorico.

When developing concepts, I find it’s easier if I can use a single staff for vocal and spoken lyrics.

In Notion, when writing pieces for a musical, I sometimes intersperse spoken lyrics with sung lyrics. In most cases, the spoken lyrics would be performed by the same player as the person who does the singing. (Singer is speaking or singing, but not at the same time.)

Notion lets me switch instruments mid-staff, then switch back again, later in the staff, etc. For instance, sung lyrics might be mocked up with a woodwind instrument, or sometimes piano, if I want greater range flexibility. I generally use snare hits to represent the spoken lyrics.

Are there any straightforward ways I might accomplish something similar, in Dorico? My approach needn’t be exactly like what I’m describing.

You could either use different voices for those 2 performing styles, including making the spoken lyrics a slash voice, and enabling independent voice playback – that lets you use a different sound for each voice.

Or, give one player 2 instruments, and just input notes on either stave accordingly. Dorico handles instrument changes automatically if the instruments don’t have overlapping notes.

After experimenting a bit, I now understand how instrument changes work: ultimately a new staff is created for the second instrument. If I want to maintain the underlying vocal melody notes, ultimately to be re-used for future instruments I add to the score, I suppress playback of the notes I’ve supplanted with unpitched percussion.

I’m confused about independent voice playback. When a second voice is entered, for a second instrument, (with independent voice playback enabled,) what ‘tells’ Dorico which instrument to use for the second voice?

I think by default Dorico sets up another channel of the same sound, according to the instrument and the playback template in place. You can change the sound loaded into that channel manually, if you like.