How to quickly reorder and rename individual players (within same instrument family)?

I was writing a piece for a tuned percussion ensemble today, which ended up including 4 marimbas – each with 1 staff. I wanted to visually represent the marimbas in a logical tonal high-low fashion (like SATB) with the lowest one using a bass clef.

Things were going well until after writing for awhile, I realized some of the individual voices were crossing. In other words, it’s as if I had written it like: S-T-A-B. Not a huge deal but I did want to reorder the sonorities correctly, so I went to the setup tab and re-ordered them that way. However I then noticed the names were numerically out of order: (Marimba 1, Marimba 3, Marimba 2, Marimba 4). In order to fix this I renamed them in the setup tab, and while they appeared in correct order in my score, the names were still numerically out of order, if that makes sense -

Screenshot 2024-01-04 at 7.05.50 PM

(Why don’t name adjustments in the setup tab reflect in the actual score?)

So what I ended up doing was reverted everything back to the way it was, and then used the “Paste Special > Swap” command with two players fully selected. Two of the ones in question had different clefs so I had to change clefs after that to fix the registers.

However it’s all a lot of steps for just re-ordering players. Is there a faster and better way? Thanks!

Swap the notes between A and T staves?

I think player numbering is fixed during setup. Once a player is created they retain their number even if you change the order.

As mentioned this is what I did in the end, but I am looking for a quicker solution in the future which won’t require potential clef adjustment. If swapping is the best option no big deal, but figured I would see if simply re-ordering in setup could do it without needing to do that.

Even easier would be to reduce all the staves down to one, then explode back out to 4.

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The only thing I can come up with is to

  • first re-order the instruments in the way that you want in Setup,

  • the designate the topmost as “Soloist”

  • and then remove that designation.

Personally, I’m swapping staff contents a lot so that’s an easier path for me. Btw, in my example, the score order is set to “None” at bottom left corner but I don’t know if that has an impact.

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Ok I’ll play around with that and the other ideas mentioned here. But who knows, swapping still might be the best for me too. Thank you!

Doesn’t Setup > Renumber Instruments fix this?


It should – that’s what we added it for.


Ah ok, cool, that seems to be what I was looking for, just didn’t know about it until now.

Only funny thing about it, is to me logically it should do it both in the setup view and in the score. Seems it will renumber only in the score, which while that was technically what I was looking for, the names in setup rename the old way - meaning Marimba 3 in setup says Marimba 2 in the score. You can imagine how this could create confusion down the line especially if working with other people or a larger score. Seems I would have to manually rename everything in the setup player by player. Perhaps this could be fixed in a future update so it’s consistent.

Did you actually rename the instrument, or did you rename the player? The two are separate, though by default the player name will keep track of the instrument name(s) and update accordingly.
If you manually rename the player, though, that link is broken, because Dorico assumes that you really wanted to manually rename the player, which can’t be the same thing as renaming the instrument as one player may hold multiple instruments.

It’s the instrument name that’s shown on the score, by default, but there are Layout Options to show player names on the score, selectively.

This is one area of Dorico that’s very flexible, and that flexibility is really helpful in some situations, but it’s perhaps confusing for a newcomer.

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Well in this case, because all I needed was to re-arrange the players (and therefore renumber them), no, I didn’t rename anything. I simply re-ordered them how I would like them to display, and then selected Setup > Renumber Instruments.

To be fair I’m not a newcomer either, just haven’t dealt with this specifically until recently :slight_smile:

I’m just going by your original post, in which you explained you renamed “them”.

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Correct, I had attempted that, but when I didn’t love the result I thought I hit undo to restore their original state.

Seems like maybe I was wrong, or the link was broken after all, because I tested an empty project, created several players and re-ordered them, and Renumber Instruments indeed works in both score and setup. So I guess that was it then. Thanks for pointing that out, now I know how to do this in the future!

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