Instrument label eccentricities

While Dorico offers us so much control over so many details of notation, we are still very much constrained when it comes to Instrument Labels.

I am working on an opera project that requires a vocal score.

First off, I don’t need an abbreviation of “Pno” at all … ever. But when I went in Setup mode to edit the abbreviated form to [nothing] (i.e. I just erased the text) then I found that the full name “Piano” was inserted instead.

Next – it would be really nice if we could opt to have the instrument name for certain lines, in this case, for characters in an opera vocal score, placed on the left side immediately above the clef. Many vocal scores are done in this way in order to free up the left margin.

Other eccentricities I have encountered in creating a mere 30 or so pages of an opera score:

While I have opted in Layout and Engraving Preferences that “condensed” instruments be labeled “Tpt 1,2” all on a single line, for whatever reason, on some pages the 1 and 2 are stacked – and only for the Trumpets for some reason – and then on others they are given as 1,2. A weird bug, to be sure.

Next issue: my score calls for two tubas. The two parts both call for the same kind of tuba (Contrabass Tuba), but when the two lines are condensed, I get two labels stacked on top of each other: Tuba 1 and Tuba 2, rather than a single label “Tuba 1, 2.” Is it possible that Dorico is exerting editorial control here and doesn’t recognize the possibility that one might actually choose to write for more than one tuba? [Messiaen writes for 3 tubas in St. Francois, as if one needs justification;]

Use a space.

I’ve fudged this in the past, by treating my singers as a single section player that divides. It’s entirely possible to have a Divisi change that shows only a single stave, and you can tell it to put the divisi label above the start of the stave rather than preceding it.

This is a choice, not a bug. Set the option to ignore stem allocation (I can’t remember where it is: see Changing number stacking in condensed staff labels)

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