Managing different Percussion with many flows

What is the best practice when it comes to managing percussion across different flows? The issue I’m having is sometimes its best to group say Triangle and cymbals together in one flow, but another flow I’ll want triangle and bongos together, or imagine any number of combinations you could have standard percussion grouped and on different lines of the staff depending on what its grouped with.

I can’t just reuse the same existing percussion staves and adjust them to fit the new flow because (I think) it’ll affect and destroy the work and pairings in a previous flow I made it for.

There has to be a better way than to perhaps create dozens of percussion instruments with different kits to accommodate all the combinations one might go through and assign them each to a different flow. Any tips?

If you don’t want/need to use the automatic instrument change function (i.e. having one player holding X percussion instruments), you could have each instrument held by a separate player, and then combine those players into flows/layouts as needed?

I feel like that wouldn’t be ideal and defeats the purpose of Percussion kits. More often I have more than 3 different percussion instruments, it would be unrealistic (and expense) to have 5 different percussion players when some instruments can be easily combined and played by one player. But not every flow, even if they are using the same instruments, will be a good fit together to be played by one player.

Splitting every percussion instrument I will need for the entire piece and having them all as separate parts instead of combined with switching would not be a great solution.

It depends whether or not you need “kits”, or whether you’re using lots of separate instruments.

Having percussion be assembled into a kit means you can have e.g. it be a 5-line staff in the score but on separate lines in the part.

A part layout can contain any number of players, so you could still have even 10-15 separate percussion players in one layout; with hide empty staves enabled, you’ll only ever see staves with notes in a given system.

A lot of this is hypothetical and will depend on the circumstance: if you want to share some or all of your project, people here might be able to offer more specific advice.

Oh that sounds great actually! So kits are only really for drum sets then? I assumed I needed to use kits for what I’m trying to do.

And we can have different layouts for each flow? Because then it would be a matter of creating a new layout for each flow that contains the different mixes (so perc 1 for flow 1 would be different than perc 1 for flow 2)

What happens when two parts overlap on the same music? Will that be split out into 2 lines or could it be condensed into 1? I assume I could create a condensing rule to condense these parts if needed. Not sure if percussionists prefer this on one line or separate

Here’s some information about how players, layouts, and flows relate to each other:

How to get the right solution for your specific project, will depend on what you want, what performance materials you need, etc. There are quite a lot of variables :slight_smile:

It might be that you need different sets of players for different flows, depending on how complicated the differences between the flows are. If you don’t want instruments to be numbered, put players in separate groups.

If two instruments with non-overlapping music are held by the same player and instrument changes are allowed, you’ll see the music on the same staff/in the same “row” with instrument change labels.

If two instruments held by the same player have overlapping music, you’ll see two staves. If the instruments are held by different players, you’ll see two staves. Likewise if two players have non-overlapping music but both have notes in the same system, you’ll see two staves. Also depends on whether empty staves are hidden or shown.

(The answer to a lot of this is “it depends on your needs in a particular project”.)