Instrument Numbering Auxiliary Instruments

Hello everybody,

I’m working on a project with a triple woodwind line-up, where in all families 2nds and 3rds double to auxiliary instruments. So e.g. Flute 2 as well as Flute 3 each also play Piccolo and Alto Flute. Dorico correctly also numbers the auxiliary instruments for instance Piccolo 1 and Piccolo 2 which makes sense when both play Piccolo at the same time. However in cases where only one switches, I end up with labels in the score sheet that are a bit odd like this:
Now of course, this is theoretically correct but not common practice. Ideally I would want to see only “Piccolo” when only one of them switches in a certain passage and only when both switch to Piccolo at the same time a numbering should be shown. Has anyone figured out a relatively hassle free method to achieve this in Dorico?


One should be able to change staff labels/abbreviations at system breaks, which may help you achieve what you desire.

Unfortunately, that only allows to switch between abbreviated/full and no Staff Labels and not individual numbering.

Dorico will only number if the instruments match exactly. If you put a space in front of the label of “Piccolo 2” then Dorico won’t number it.

The obvious downside is the Piccolos then won’t condense either, but if only Flute 3 is playing Picc in that Flow, you can at least get a “Picc.” and not “Picc. 2” label.

Dorico will not condense secondary instruments in any way so this is unavoidable. I’m aware of these workarounds which do work if the line-up remains consistent in the piece. But unfortunately later in the piece I have 2 Piccolos playing which would then need the numbering, which is actually the problem that I’m dealing with (Also with 2 Bass Clarinets and 2 Contrabassoons)

Oh yeah, I forgot Dorico won’t condense secondary instruments. In that case, you could have Flute 3 hold two different Piccolos, one with the space in front to use when they are the only Picc, and one without the space to use when both are playing at the same time. Since they won’t condense anyway, it’s just for the label.


Nice one! Thank you!

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