In praise of flows!

I’ve got to some of the writing gigs that were in my mind when I first bought Dorico.
Flows are saving me so much time. They make changes and cuts a breeze without having to keep idiot control of version history.
Flows and popovers really are a revolution in notation software.
I can’t say enough nice things about flows.

I’m really pleased to hear this, Steve. This is of course what we were aiming for!

Gotta agree. Flows can be used to sketch out and save ideas for a larger work.

I’d really like to hear more about how people are using the flows concept in actual practice.

At the moment I’m writing a group of charts for a festival set. Each flow is a song.

I used flows to transcribe several pieces for a chamber concert, each with slightly different instrumentation, and each with videos of the source performance I used for the transcriptions.

For church music, it makes things like Masses a doddle. The Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, etc are entirely separate ‘movements’, each with a title. If the page count of one flow changes, I don’t have to worry about anything being in the wrong place. I can enter the sections in reverse order, and not worry about page numbers or anything.

Same for books of songs: I can add the pieces in any order, and rearrange them, and I know that the right piece will have the right title on the right page. Inserting another song in the middle at a later date is easy.

I’m still waiting for the ability to show a ‘tacet’ in an instrumental part for players that are excluded from a flow. That would revolutionise everything.

Just a Dorico novice, but I use flows for (1) sketches that can be used in primary flows containing the actual composition, (2) book of hymns in 4-part, each as a flow, to serve as source material for arrangments, (3) alternate versions of the same piece (if I revise a piece, I can keep earlier versions in their own flow for reference).

I’ve also made a setting of choral evensong with spoken text etc. all included. Being able to work on a section without it screwing up later work is liberating.

I’ve not needed to do it yet, but I think flows might work well for ‘VERSE’, ‘CHORUS’, ‘M8’ etc. so that song structure could be easily rejigged in a session, especially knowing that the parts would be serviceable straightaway.

DaddyO, I’m a Dorico novice too… if I don’t need to use part of the program for a couple of weeks I still forget how to do stuff.

Yeah, I’ve dived into the program recently after not using it since my purchase when it first came out.

I had seen comments from some people in this forum from people who said their initial attempts to use it fizzled when they tried to set up their own Key Commands, but prospered when they finally gave in and used the default commands. That turned out to be my story.

Being the forgetful type myself, as I’m working in Dorico I’m also working on a Word document with tables of the Key Commands I need. I reworked the page size so that each page fits along the bottom of my monitor. Each page shows one table. If I put Word in Read mode at 75% zoom I can fit multiple pages across the bottom, then page right or left to see more. Working out well so far. But I need to refer to them regularly. (I have a mind like a steel collander!)

Hope things go well for you!

I have a simple workaround for showing ‘Tacet’ in parts for players unconnected to the flow.
Use case: a cantata for solo voice, strings and basso continuo. Recitative in the middle, for only voice and BC. This recitative is not assigned to the violins, so they don’t clutter the score, but the recit also doesn’t appear in their parts. Now I have an extra flow, called something like ‘Recit-tacet’, which is totally empty, but which acts as a placeholder for the recitative in the violin parts. That flow is only assigned to those not playing the actual recitative, and will show up as Tacet in the violin parts. Of course, this empty recit. is omitted from the full score and the voice and BC parts.
Additional benefit: in the silent recitative, you can leave out rehearsal marks etc., which would otherwise break the tacet multirest.

Peter Bouma from Amsterdam,
that is just a brilliant idea :bulb:!!!

Nice. Essentially a ‘negative’ of each flow, containing all the players left out. Might get a bit confusing with lots of flows all doubling up.

The other option, for the time being, is to create a duplicate document for printing the parts, in which all the players are in all the flows. Alternatively, there might be some clever things you can do with Flow Filters.

Thanks for sharing, Peter! That’s a brilliant workaround which I will definitely use!

I don’t know if there’s an updated method for this, but I just used your method for a symphony I’m engraving and it saved me. Thanks for posting!

There is now native support for (as of 2.2 if I remember correctly)