Limits on differences between score and parts

I would like to know what things can be notated differently in score and parts. For instance, while this is in the score:

Can I use this common space-saving abbreviation in the part?
Or can I only have differences in the case of objects that can be changed in the Preferences Panel?

Many thanks!

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There’s no easy or automatic way of “consolidating notes” like this, apart from using separate players with manually-entered different notation.

Many thanks, Lillie!

This feature would be very useful, as it is a frequently used means of making parts shorter without making them any less legible. In fact, a review of those things that can be notated differently in parts versus scores would be helpful to those who make orchestral parts.



I agree. Also (I’ve requested before) the ability to have bar repeats show in parts, but not in score.

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That is exactly what I described some months ago in a thread about Rhythmic compression:wink::pray:


The ability to apply bar repeats locally in a part only vs globally in both score and part would be really great!

These abbreviations could be somewhat analogous to the possibility to have differences in transposition, clefs, enharmonic spelling etc., between score and parts. The notation is entirely equivalent, only a shorter alternative. Actually, the term ‘(measured) tremolo’ is misplaced in this context. It’s shorthand for a regular rhythm, not a long note with some special effect.

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Thanks for your support so far. But to return to the opening request of my thread:

This would be useful, not because I intend to start a petition to change the rules in every case, but simply so that I dont waste time trying to find out how to achieve what cannot be done. (In this sense a list of things that cannot be done would be equally useful!)


As a general rule, things that have a related Layout Option or are local/global properties can be different between score/parts. Likewise for per-player settings, like for chord symbols and diagrams.

Searching the manual for the phrase “in each layout independently” will bring up a good number of results.

A first step should be to make tremolos more semantic, by actually expanding and contracting into its representative values, instead of just affecting playback. There would need to be something done to make Dorico differentiate in its brain the difference between measured 3-slash tremolos and unmeasured 3-slash tremolos , but that seems not insurmountable.

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Ages ago, I wrote elsewhere in this forum that it is helpful for the parts and score to use the same notation, so that there is no potential confusion between conductor and player when discussing the notes in rehearsal; and this is generally true (e.g. transposing v. non-transposing); but, in addition to the short note abbreviation mentioned earlier, I have found one other exception, and that is the clef used by the bassoon. (It may also apply to other instruments, including trombone.)

Sometimes, when two bassoons share the same stave in the score, it is necessary to use the tenor clef because the first part is high. Even when the second part is a 12th below, this also has to be in tenor clef. But there is no need to use the tenor clef in the part given to the second bassoon, when the notes concerned fall in the middle of the bass clef.

In such a case, there would be no confusion between conductor and player when discussing the notes in rehearsal.

I think it would, therefore, be useful if the Properties panel could be used to make a local change of clef without changing the pitch of the following notes.


This is already possible, isn’t it? The condensed stave automatically uses the clef of the first instrument in the condensing group, and ignores the clef of the second (and subsequent) instruments.

You are correct, Leo! Many thanks! This has removed another headache for my current score! :smiley:

For extra credit (not that you need it!), what is the best work-around for condensing two horns that change transposition twice during the piece? :grin:


Um. Er.

4 players:
Player 1 holds Horn in J 1
Player 2 holds Horn in J 2
Player 3 holds Horn in K 1
Player 4 holds Horn in K 2

Condense Horns in J together
Condense Horns in K together

Part layouts:
Delete the two automatic Horn in K (Player 3 and Player 4) parts
Assign the Horn 1 in K instrument to the Horn 1 in J layout
Assign the Horn 2 in K instrument to the Horn 2 in J layout.
Overtype the part layout names (in Setup mode, not on the page!).
Fudge the instrument changes by ensuring they fall at system breaks (in parts and score) and type the instrument changes as dumb text.
Oh, and set Vertical Spacing > Hidden Staves Layout Options to hide empty staves in both the remaining part layouts, and remember to state (either as dumb text or staff label) which instrument is playing first.

(I’m assuming the two horn players switch instruments simultaneously. If they don’t, I can’t think of a good solution.)

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That looks complicated enough to be possible, and I dont think the method had crossed my mind. I will get back to you one way or the other! I agree that it would be unreasonable if the horns changed crooks at different times, but not an impossible request from an ingenious composer of Beethoven’s period. After all, the job, accompanied by spit emptying, has to be done when there is a sufficent rest period!

By the way, when do you get your own work done?

Thanks and best wishes,


I take it the advantage over having each of the two horn players hold one of each key instrument is that condensing is (presently) limited to condensing the only each player’s primary instrument and that when that limitation lifts the solution may be different?

I’m assuming that if that restriction were lifted the solution would be:
Player 1 holds two horns in different keys.
Player 2 holds two horns in different keys.
Possibly set some stuff in Layout Options > Players > Condensing > Custom Condensing Groups.
Edit > Condensing [tick]

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LImiting it to only two different transposition with only one change would be extremely restrictive. Richard Strauss changed transpositions during his works more often than he changed his socks, and there may be other composers from that period that did the same.


Well I just came up to do another hour, about two hours ago, and it’s 1.28am. Hopefully that answers the question :wink:

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See also the thread about an example for the snare drum (tambour) part in Ravel’s Boléro. It shows how 340 bars are meaningfully condensed on a single page of 7 staves instead of 7 pages.
But I admit: it’s a trick :slight_smile: .