More Drumline Woes

I am attempting to import a musicxml file that was exported from Sibelius. It always imports the tenor drums as multiple lines like this, which is incredibly frustrating because I can not change it to one line without completely wrecking the formatting of the notes. Is this something I can change before I import so it doesn’t automatically split it in to multiple lines? Or is this something that needs to be fixed? I’ve often been critical of the way Dorico handles percussion in general, as it’s been incompatible with nearly everything I use to write percussion. It’s made great strides in the past few years which I greatly appreciate it, but I still run in to annoyances such as this.

It would be far easier to understand what you are facing if we could see the staff-lines with the tenor drums present, or better yet, a small excerpt of the Dorico file that demonstrates the problem.

It looks like the tenor drums have been imported as a percussion kit, and is appearing with the grid presentation in this layout.

You could keep the kit but show them on a five-line staff, for example.

What’s your ideal end result for the tenor drums? How do you ultimately want them to end up looking?

This is what it looks like now.

This is what it looks like after doing exactly what you suggested (no change).

This is what it should look like.

How do I stop it from importing as a Percussion Kit, or rather, can I cleanly change it from a Percussion Kit to a regular lined instrument? As when you add a player, and click “Marching Tenors”. I can’t simply copy and paste it to a new instrument, because all of the drums and lines would be wrong and I would have to go through beat by beat and change it.

Here is the musicxml: (278.9 KB)

When you changed the presentation type, did you definitely have the layout you’re currently viewing selected in the list on the right? Those options are per-layout.

You can edit how the instruments within the kit are distributed across the five-line staff, when it’s used, in the Edit Percussion Kit dialog.

My apologies, I didn’t have Full Score selected, so I didn’t see the change. Got that. However, it did what I feared and all of the drums are scrambled and on incorrect lines, not to mention some are just missing.

Those kinds of massive MusicXML files are a bit unwieldy to work with in terms of troubleshooting. If you have the original Sibelius file, can you export just the tenor line as a MusicXML file, and zip that up and attach it here?

You can change the lines the drums appear on by going into the Kit editor and adjusting the percussion mapping there. You may have to add the missing notes manually unless we can figure out why they are missing.

Of course, Daniel. Here you go. (33.7 KB)

The amount of work that it will take to do all of that will honestly drive me to continue using Sibelius, unfortunately. So you can see why I’d love to find another solution.

I love Dorico, but they tried to “reinvent the wheel” when it came to percussion and it makes it incredibly incompatible with everything.

Changing your percussion layout once in the Kit editor is so much work?

It appears one of your drums did not have an equivalent in Dorico to map to. You need to find out which drum that is and change the input map to take account of it.

Sweeping through the entire score and digging for missing notes is a lot of work. I would have to sit there with both Sibelius and Dorico open, going beat by beat, making sure everything is correct. Would you want to do that? Also the kit editor doesn’t line up with how many drums an actual set of tenors has. It’s split in to 9, instead of 5, and I have to figure out which ones are actually assigned notes by deleting each one.

So, yes.

It’s 5 staff lines and 4 ledger lines, two on each side. They are differently colored to be easily identifiable.
You just need to put the right drum onto the right line, or in between. That takes seconds.
On the way you might maybe see why the approach of Dorico to drums and drum kits is revolutionary (IMO).
It treats the different instruments as what they really are: individual and separate instruments, and not a dot on a music/staff with a weird notehead.

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As a percussionist, I can see why that works for drum sets and rack set ups, but does not apply to a set of tenors which is one unit, and a fixed amount of drums. When you add a new “Marching Tenors” as a player in the score, everything works perfect and behaves as it should.

The issue at hand is that there is no way to tell Dorico what to import the instruments as from the xml, and when you try to convert it to how you want after the fact, it scrambles it and causes even more headaches.

I will try what you suggested and see if that helps smooth the process. But either way, there’s room for improvement with how all of this is handled.