Instruments for reed doubling

I’m orchestrating for a musical theatre pit. I have a woodwind player who is doubling (Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax).

How should I handle the instruments in Setup? Should I have one player and assign all three instruments to that player, or should I have one player with just one instrument … say, the flute … then write everything in Concert C and transpose the Clarinet and Sax sections after the fact in the Reed layout? Or should I have three players – one Flute, one Clarinet, one Sax – and combine them into one Reed book / layout (one staff) later?

New to Dorico, so talk to me like I’m an 8-year-old! :smiley:

The hope the Dorico Team has is that you would use one player “holding” three instruments. That is why they designed the setup the way they did.

You could even rename the Layout for that player “Reed 1” so it would show in the upper left corner of the part.

Thanks, Derrek. Seems intuitive, and I did that originally, but started having doubts.

I’m assuming that I can write everything in concert C and then impose transposition at the end? Also, what’s the procedure to signal to Dorico that I’m changing instruments? I’m familiar with the Instrument Changes box in Layout Options, but I can’t find any documentation / explanation.

When you input your music in write mode, galley view, all three instrument staves are available. Input the music on your right staves, and when in page view, Dorico will handle the instrument change according to the options from Layout options :wink:

Thanks, Marc. Fantastic that you’re willing to help folks out on this forum. (Especially newbies like me!) Two final questions:

(1) Will Dorico autmatically consolidate the three staves into one, for the Reed 1 part?

(2) How do I input the instrument directives ( “To Flute”, “Flute”) into the part? I see the options in the Layout Options box, but can’t find anything about how to actually drop the instructions into the layout.

Again, thanks to you, and to Derrek, for your help.

  1. Yes
  2. Also automatic

Thanks, pianoleo. Much appreciated.

Just curious: If I’m writing for, say, the Flute, and unknowingly / accidentally input some notes for Clarinet in the same bar numbers, how does Dorico react to that conflict?

Also, most human doublers require at least a 2-bar rest to change instruments. Does Dorico have any similar requirements, to facilitate the labeling of, say, “To Flute” and “Flute”?

If you have notes in two instruments simultaneously, then page view will show both staves (and you only have to pray you have a four-handed player with incredible embouchure control).

If you have Dorico–or the trial version–you really should do a bit of experimenting on a test file to see how it works. It’s pretty amazing.

Dorico doesn’t enforce a particular distance between instrument changes: provided the music doesn’t actually overlap, it will allow the instrument change, but it will suppress one of the warning labels when there’s insufficient rhythmic space to show both of them. For practical purposes, however, this doesn’t matter, as you would normally leave sufficient time for your players to put down one instrument and pick up the other.