Massive Feature Request

I usually make little or “silly” requests, but today I’d like to make a massive one! I just won an international composers competition last week and despite winning by an overwhelming majority I lost points because of the legibility (or lack thereof) which I made in Dorico!!! What you may say??? Well it’s not Dorico’s fault as much as it is a problem of era. The score itself was huge and contained a full orchestra, with many percussion instruments, a choir and several synths. Naturally a put it on A3 paper with the assumption that it would be printed. Surprisingly it was not and most of the judges tried to follow it on a tablet or their laptops. I explained that I wrote on a desktop with a large monitor on portrait mode, although it was still hard to see…

In the old days, when I wrote by hand, what I would have done for a score this big is put most section instruments on one or two staves, so all woodwinds in a treble and bass clef, trumpets & trombones together, etc. And separate them (like a divisi) only when they have complex lines, for example like the woodwinds have on the last bar in the above example.

So considering that Dorico already does Divisi and you can also construct Percussion Kits, would it be possible in the future to unite these features in order to create combined sections of instruments? So for example like at the moment we have Add Solo Player, Add Section Player we could also have Add Custom section where we could add instruments that then get automatically labelled and can get broken onto divisi when necessary?

this would also be super useful for reducing scores to be printed on A4/Letter.

This is condensing, which has been discussed by the team in detail and is very much in process.

Good suggestion, and congratulations on your competition win!

Judging a full score (A3) on a tablet is simply irresponsible and unprofessional. The judges ought to have their heads examined.

Wow…I’m with Derek. I read music from an iPad every day, but there’s a time and place…

I second Derrek and Steve… And Dan is right, condensing is a much awaited feature of v3, that will probably change (a part of) the industry :wink:

I wonder what they would have done if you gave them a REALLY big orchestra score.

Like 20 woodwind, 20 brass, 4 timpanists, about 10 other percussionists, 4 harps, piano, organ, 32-part chorus, and strings divisi into 24 parts.

That comes to around 60 staves “condensed.”

Congrats on the win! I know it’s a major PITA, but there isn’t really anything stopping you from doing a condensed score now. In fact, I imagine it’s quite a bit easier in Dorico as you can more easily pick and choose which staves appear in the score compared to other programs. It’s time consuming obviously but Paste Special - Paste Into Voice, Reduce, and Explode should all help accomplish this without too much trouble.

I have one client for whom I’ve probably engraved 50 scores for full orchestra (in Finale), and I always gave the conductors a condensed score. Not as condensed as you are suggesting, but as an example here’s a setup with 23 individual brass and woodwind parts condensed down to 11 staves for the score:

It is a pain to do and takes hours with the condensing and adding “1.”, “a2”, and other needed markings, but it certainly is doable now. If your win includes a performance, you could certainly condense the Cls., Hns., and Tpts. on the page you posted, to make things more clear for the conductor. I’m not belittling the amount of work it takes, and I have no idea of the length of your piece, but you could condense things for a conductor’s score now. Just my $0.02.

Thank you everyone for your comments! Yes condensing, I don’t why I didn’t just say that… Duh! To address your comments:

  • Very happy to hear this is something that’s already in (at least) the minds of the developers!

  • Agreed with why would anybody read a score that big on a laptop or tablet, I personally can’t even stand the big computer monitor.

  • Thank you Fred, yes I am aware and would know how to do it in the current version, but since the competition required a playback I couldn’t be bothered

  • The competition was very informal and amongst fellow composers, no performance is planned and consequently a nicer score not required.

Be well!

Ah! I found it… Couldn’t find it through the forum’s search, but Google took me to Scoring Notes, which in turn took to me to a completely unrelated slurs post where Daniel says it:

Dorico 3 is going to be incredible! I already have some insider info on playback… I’m a bit old to be saying this but… I can’t wait for it!!! Eeeeeh!

… depends on the tablet

Mmmmmmmh…! An A3 size tablet… Grrrrlll… Drool!

I find a full-size iPad Pro handles moderately large scores pretty well, at least for young eyes.

I’m hoping that, by the time I’m getting old, the technology will have outpaced my eyesight.

Ah, yes.

Those young whippersnappers with their young eyes.

Enjoy 'em while you can, my friend.


Yeah, but music gets much easier to play when you can’t see half of the little details in the score :laughing: