How to indicate initial instrument for doublers?

My situation: a Player (in the Dorico sense) assigned both flute 3 and piccolo.

In one movement the player starts with piccolo. (i.e. the first notes encountered, in Galley View, appear in the piccolo staff.) But in Page view there’s no initial mention of piccolo specifically. Since the name of the part is “Flute 3 & Piccolo”, a human being would incorrectly assume they start with flute rather than piccolo, and become confused when they later encounter “to flute”.

Shouldn’t the proper starting instrument be indicated automatically? Is this a bug?

What I personally do is select that doubler’s layout, type shift-ctr-L to get the layout options, select “Staves and Systems” and set “Staff labels on first system” to “Abbreviated”.

I appreciate the tip, and will do that if it solves the problem.

But right now I just want to understand what should be happening. How does Dorico handle this situation by default? I’m operating under the premise that Dorico automatically handles instrumental switching between doublers %100 of the time, and want to know if that’s not true.

I do believe this has been brought up before. And currently, the issue you have is standard for the program at the moment. I think the best way to solve it, it to use the text tool (Shift + X) to add the name.

I believe this is on the list of things for the future. My memory is not good, so maybe I am remembering things incorrectly.


So assuming you’re correct, it is indeed a bug or design flaw that needs to be compensated for manually. Thanks!

It’s certainly not a bug, because Dorico is not designed to produce such a label, but I agree that a label should appear in part layouts at the start of the layout.

Maybe multi-instrument players could inherit the percussion legend functionality…?

Daniel, I’d argue that it is a missing expected functionality, and in that sense analogous to a bug. Dorico purports to handle instrumental changes for us. (One of the best features of galley mode is that we can focus on writing music and not plotting out all the signals for the doublers.) But if we’re told to not worry about marking up instrument changes, then we should be able to do exactly that without special exceptions.

I basically agree with that, but I assume the logic isn’t (yet) carried over between flows because flows can be used for other things than movements as well …

I would respectfully disagree…

A bug is something that is “supposed” to do something, but doesn’t (i.e., flat out not working, or worse causes a crash). Missing functionality is missing functionality.

I agree this might be missing functionality. Perhaps an oversight. But certainly isn’t a bug.


I see this functionality has been added now.
It is in layout options => Instrument Changes => Show instrument change label at start of flow.

there seems to be a little bug though… the layout-> propagate part formatting function does not honor this checkbox when copying from one layout to another.

That’s not a bug. Propagate Properties applies to Properties - that’s things in the bottom panel - not Layout Options.

then what is this checkbox on the bottom for then ?

Apologies - I misread your post - you are of course correct.

It’s not a bug, it’s just not included in those layout options that are propagated (not every layout option is included). However, I’ll make a note of this to think about adding it in future.