I am composing for a group of percussionists where many instrument changes will occur. There is a brief manual page on how to work with instrument changes but it doesn’t remedy the mess that the full score layout becomes in galley view.
Composing while keeping track of the instrument changes is very difficult in this mode, as there is an excess of unused instrument staves in the page, plus not being able to control where the instrument changes actually occur makes it even more difficult to keep track.
Is there anything I’m missing here? Is there a better way of handling my project that I’m not aware of?
I find using the Instrument Filter and setting up appropriate presets there is very helpful in galley view.
A few times I’ve struggled to decide who should be having certain instruments.
I’ll normally just try to write into whichever instruments I need and then decide who should be playing them. This is the tricky part for me but I’m not sure there’s an easier way other than trying to decide who will play what instrument before writing, and then fiddling after that where necessary.
Is an auto-sort feature for organising instruments into players a silly idea?!!
That’s how I do it too. It’s usually just for mockups so I don’t need to be precise about the logistics of the percussion section, but this project is for real players and therefore this won’t work. Honestly, if Dorico allowed me to do this kind of stuff MANUALLY instead of automatically would be a lot handier. It ALREADY handles instrument changes automatically (and, for me at least, as a percussionist-composer, not that intuitive of a way)
You can to a certain extent control where instrument changes occur by adding notations that prevent instrument changes at suitable points, although this isn’t perfect as they can split multi-bar rests. Chord symbol regions are one such notation, with the benefit of not showing anything in the music (other than chord symbols, which may not exist and you can hide).
@GATO_ARABE another option is to have another layout just for working in, where instrument changes are not allowed but empty staves are hidden. That would show you all staves that have music in a system, including all separate percussion instruments, but hide any excess ones.
I find it’s quite necessary to decide which instruments go to which player. If you recombine instruments later, expecially if you change the way they are being displayed (5 line staff vs. single lines vs. percussion kit), you might end up having to re-enter all the dynamics.
(Is there some improvement in the next Dorico version regarding this topic?)