Multiple Instruments - which is which?

I’m trying to assign multiple instruments to single player and am hitting some snags.

Problem 1
The first problem I’m hitting occurs when notes from different instruments overlap (which will happen for percussion). On the full score, it is not obvious which line is assigned to which instrument.

As the composer I know that the Crash Cymbal is the top line and the Sizzle is the second.

Is there anyway to have the instrument names separate?

Problem 2
For the player where there is no overlap, the part does not specify which is the first instrument being played. If there are only two instruments you can guess, but if there are three or more instruments, then there is no way to tell which instrument starts.

Problem 3
For the player with overlapping notes, the part does not specify which instrument is which. The board did not allow me to attach this file, I’ll try to attach after submitting.

Apologies if this was covered and answered somewhere else. I am being blocked from attaching more than three files - I’ll try to attach the dorico file after submitting

Dorico file attached (303 KB)

I was just about to ask this, as I was preparing parts for a score with natural horns (the music inputted with the appropriate instrument changes) and I was set back by this: instrument changes aren’t made visible between flows. There are cases where this would be useful, of course, but not in most cases, and it would be capital to have an option to specify the behavior employed. The simplest way would be to have staff labels show up on that layout, by going to Layout Options and editing only the layout you need (instead of all parts), but this isn’t optimal.

Didn’t John Barron show something like this near the end of the latest Discovering Dorico video?

I know that Daniel wrote that “I thought it was a good idea” to have that option. I don’t know when they will get to it, but in the meantime, Starting the first system with the abbreviated instrument is the best way I know. What John talked about in the YT video was about having the option of showing of not showing transposition labels on a per-instrument basis, but nothing about a per-flow basis.

Yes: the next update will bring with it the ability to specify this behavior case by case, as a property of a System Break. I recall Daniel saying that we will also have more control over Staff Labels, if I’m not mistaken, which might also help.

Still, the issue I’ve raised isn’t exactly solved (I would like to show instrument changes as, well, instrument changes, and not on the staff labels).

So is there any work around today? E.g., is there some trick with “whiting out” the instrument name and adding a text box at the beginning of each system.

It seems strange to me that Dorico would go to great lengths to allow multiple instruments per player but then not allow you to specify which instrument is which on the player’s score.

As me and Claude have suggested, the best way to do it right now is to make sure staff labels show up in the layout, I’m afraid.

At the risk of piling on, I am hitting a another related issue: namely that if you switch instruments between players, then the Full Score is going to change. This may or may not be a good thing. When writing for large percussion ensembles, you cannot always know ahead of time the physical layout of the instruments or which player will play which instrument. I am told that typically this decision is left up to the leader(s) of the percussion section.

In the attached pics, Percussion 1 is playing crash, sizzle, and vibraphone; while Percussion 2 is playing conga, snare, and marimba. However, if (for whatever reason) the players switch instruments, then the Page View will change around. I find this confusing.

In addition, the Page View seems very cluttered up if there is a lot of switching.

I much prefer the visuals on the Galley View.

So what would work for me is to be able to specify whether the Page View breaks out per player (and if so the score should identify the player name) OR whether the Page View breaks things out by instrument.

But if I’m the only person who finds this annoying I’ll desist from further griping :laughing:

Perhaps we should wait to see what the Team does with unpitched percussion in the upcoming update.

I stumbled across another possible solution. In the Layouts you can turn off instrument changes on a Layout by Layout Basis. So you can turn it off for the Full Score but leave it on for the Percussion Players. The Full Score now has the separate instruments - only I am now back to my first problem in that you do not know which staff corresponds to which instrument.

Unfortunately the state of unpitched percussion support in the current version of Dorico is pretty sad: I would almost go so far as to say it is almost completely unimplemented. However, this has been one of the three main areas of concerted effort for the forthcoming update, and things will be a lot more flexible when that update arrives.

There will, for example, be a simple way of combining multiple unpitched percussion instruments held by a single player into a “kit”, and you can then choose to show those instruments either on a five-line staff (in which you can specify the staff position for each instrument, what notehead it should use, etc.) or in a grid, where you can specify the distance between each individual line (and over which you will have a good deal of control, including options to label each line independently, label some of them as a group, etc.), or indeed as you can show them now, as a bunch of single instruments (but in that case, each individual line will get its own staff label).

You will also be able to create a percussion legend event on a 5-line kit staff to tell the performer the order in which the instruments are arranged on the staff, or you can create a reminder event that will show only the instruments that are to be played at that particular moment (so you can e.g. add a reminder to the first entry after a long rest, or similar).

I think you will find the new functionality very powerful and flexible when you get a chance to use it.

Hi Daniel - This is good to know. A follow up question - will you be able to easily switch percussion instruments between players ?

E.g. Let’s say ensemble ABC wants to have Percussionist 1 play the Marimba and Percussionist 2 play the Vibraphone; and then later ensemble XYZ wants to switch that around? Will everything adjust properly - so that if you swap the instrument assignments between the Players the scores will adjust accordingly?

Yes, that’s exactly the idea.

I think this is related, and I don’t think it was covered above: is there a way to suppress the “To xxx” portion of the instrument change text?

I have some percussion parts that are already too busy, so I would like to only show “Triangle” at the point the triangle part begins, without the “To Triangle” that shows at the end of the previous instrument’s notes.

Not yet (IIRC).

No, it’s not yet possible, but it will be possible in the forthcoming update.