Making the Instrument Name vary across flows ('Alto solo' vs. 'Alto')

I’m importing into Dorico an old project, partially created years ago in Lilypond, partially in MuseScore. It’s a multimovement cantata mass setting. Using Frescobaldi’s experimental features I exported the Lilypond part to XML and performed a similar operation in MuseScore. I ended up with a separate XML file for each movement; I imported all of them in turn into my Dorico project using the ‘merge instruments if possible’ option. This, I have to say, worked out VERY WELL – my congratulations to the team, I’m sure there were horrible hurdles along the way!

However, there are a few issues I need to tackle. One of them is that, after the import, the vocal parts are identified as ‘X’ no matter whether the given movement is for ‘X solo’ or for the choral X. Say, ‘Domine Deus, Agnus Dei’, is for Alto solo, but the staff is labelled ‘Alto’, since the first imported movement had been the choral ‘Kyrie’, which included just the ‘Alto’. Not to clutter the project too much, I’d like for the Players list to include just the choral Alto ‘instrument’, but I’d like its name in the ‘Domine Deus’ flow to display as ‘Alto solo’. How can I achieve that?

My ideas:

  1. Leave the ‘Alto’ label as is, insert a ‘solo’ text marking at the beginning of that staff in the ‘Domine Deus’ flow. Advantage: easy! Disadvantage: might be slightly less informative at first glance.
  2. Add a new player, ‘Alto Solo’, and make it a part of only those flows which feature the Alto Solo voice. Advantage: this will allow me to render the score exactly as I want. Disadvantage: this adds another part Dorico will need to ‘think about’, which is not really needed.

Am I missing some other natural option? Thank you very much in advance for any suggestions!

You can have as many players as you need in a layout! Providing Alto solo and Alto do not play simultaneously, this should seem rather transparent in a layout with both players…

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If you use section players, you have the option of adding a Divisi, which gives you the possibility to continue showing a single staff but with a staff label of your choosing (e.g. Alto Solo).

See Flow title position - #4 by pianoleo for a somewhat elderly primer on how to do that.


To be honest, I’d say that the vast majority of choral scores I’ve seen mark solo passages with a ‘Solo’ text instruction above the first entry (i.e. after any initial bars’ rest). It’s certainly well understood and informative.

‘Solo’ is only placed in the Staff Label to distinguish, say, one or more solo voices above the main choir’s staves.

But indeed, you should never be afraid of adding an extra Player!

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Thank you, guys, I will consider these options :slight_smile: