How to handle sets of pieces

Is there a standard way to create, say, an opus that consists of a collection of pieces—Op. 1, No. 1; Op. 1, No. 2, and so on—such that we can (1) create a “master” file that contains the entire opus and (2) output each piece as a separate file?

Is there a way to create one file per piece and then to define all these individual files as a single opus, and thereby outputting the entire opus as one larger score?

To add to this question, defining a set of pieces as a single file in Dorico, in which each piece is a “Flow,” can very quickly become unwieldy. For this reason it can be preferable to save each piece as a separate Dorico file.

Is there a way to define several Dorico files as a single collection such as an opus? I find that if there is one big file containing multiple “Flows” (i.e., pieces), it soon becomes almost unmanageable. On the other hand, if each piece is a separate Dorico file, it’s hard to merge the files—and even if they’re merged, there are now two files to edit if any changes are needed, so managing different versions becomes unworkable.

Is it possible to define any hierarchies in Dorico in such a way that one can work on an individual piece as a separate file, and have any changes automatically reflected in the larger collection?

I think that if you did have a master file of all your flows you would have to do your revisions in the individual piece and then reimport it’s flow into the master file.

I am pretty sure that you cannot link external files to a seperate master file where changes in one reflect in the other.

You can, of course, save piece/flow specific ‘time stamp’ information for your pieces in the project info dialogue: work number and composition year which, I believe, can be set in your works via tokens.

You can’t have it both ways: either have all the pieces in one project file, where you can manage them together and keep Layouts ‘in sync’; or keep separate files that you have to synchronise manually. The latter is how every other notation app works; the former is Dorico’s great strength.

Unwieldy how? You can easily hold all the Flows in one project, and create one Layout for the ‘anthology’, and a separate Layout for each individual piece. I have several projects where different Layouts have different combinations of Flows.

You can export all the Flows and then import groups of flows into smaller projects, if you really want.

Of course, at the turn of the last century, some publishers would create anthologies and then just print the same pages for the individual work; so you might buy a piece whose first page number was 47. :smiley:

Thanks for these helpful suggestions and explanations. So I guess the preferred way to set up collections would be to have one big Dorico file that contains, say, an entire opus, define each piece as one “Flow,” and create separate Layouts from there?

For example, Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, Op. 2 contains three sonatas, each of which has four movements. In this case there would be one Dorico file containing all three sonatas, right?

And would this big Dorico file contain 12 “Flows” then, one for each movement? Or would it contain 3 “Flows,” each of which contains 4 “sub-Flows” for the individual movements? (Sorry, “Flow” in this context is still quite nebulous to me.)

Then, from this one big Dorico file, I could output each sonata as a group of 4 “Flows” (or “sub-Flows”?) by creating one Layout per sonata.

Would this be the recommended process? Or would it still be better to have 3 separate Dorico files/project, one for each sonata? Thanks in advance for helping me learn how best to organize projects in Dorico.

If you want a title and ‘restart’ with each movement, then the easiest way is to use flows for each movement.

If you want to print the complete Opus as one document, then having them all in one project is the easiest way.

You’ll need to apply a title page Master for each new piece in the collection. Whether this is the same as the First page, or not, is up to you.

I have been working on something similar to this recently.

For the Beethoven example, I would have one file, twelve flows, and four layouts:

  1. a full, working score layout containing all flows
  2. and then three individual-sonata layouts, each containing the appropriate four movement flows for that sonata.

Just be sure you never delete the master score layout, just to make sure you do not lose note data.

You can print each layout separately depending whether you want the entire collection or just one sonata. Your major editorial decision would be how you set up page numbers.

THANK YOU, Derrek! That’s incredibly helpful.

Maybe Steinberg could consider adding such real-world examples to the manual?

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