Multiple versions of one tune in different keys

Hi everyone,

I’m still new at Dorico and I’m wondering what is the best solution for storing a piece in different keys. For leadsheets it’s pretty common to have multiple versions of the same tune (one in C major, one in Eb, one in G) depending on the singer or the different instruments.

Of course I could just save different projects (All of me ©.dorico, All of me (Eb).dorico etc.) but is there are more elegant solution like duplicating a player including the whole content and then transposing? Or is there an option to create different layouts of the same player with a different transposition?

Thanks for any help!

Cheers, Lukas

Duplicate the player, then right-click the instrument held by the duplicate player and click Change Instrument.

You can copy part layout formatting from one layout to another, but individual tweaks in Engrave mode can’t be automatically transferred from one layout to another.

The other option is to duplicate the flow and transpose the flow. There’s definitely no need to create multiple dorico files. Flow 1 = in C, Flow 2 = in Eb, etc. The problem is formatting won’t be identical between them unless you’re using global settings to control each layout. Then again, Dorico is so good, and you can go so deep with the global settings, that it should be very easy to get the same result on each page by default.

Thanks for your fast answers!

I see there are way better options than creating multiple dorico files. I like both the flow solution and the duplicate player solution.

I still think that both options are kind of a workaround as the whole notations has to be duplicated. So if I want to change chords or parts of the melody I have to do this in both flows or in both players (the latter might be a bit easier to “synchronize”). But I hoped that there is a solution to do the transposition based on the same note data just resulting in a different layout.

Thanks again!


But I guess this means that in this case I can only choose the transpositions that are offered by the different instrument presets (Bb trumpet etc.)? So I can’t take the same instrument and give it a different transposition (including different key signature at the beginning)?


I don’t necessarily think that Dorico is to blame here. Most of the time, when you ask for a Tpt. in Bb and give it music in any key, that’s all the trumpet is expected to be playing. The idea of providing the same music to a player in multiple keys seems to be an arranger, rather than Dorico issue. While both the options might be workarounds, they seem both rather easy and intuitive. What you lose is the dynamic link between them, and perhaps this is where Dorico’s “weakness” (if you can call it that) lies. Perhaps in the future they will allow duplicate flows to be linked to the original to accommodate scenarios like these. I regularly work with hymns and I’ll have a version of the hymn in G and Ab, for example, where the second flow is a duplication of the first and then transposed. This seems a very easy and reasonable workflow to me. I guess the real key (no pun intended) is to make sure the arrangement is finalized before duplicating and transposing.

Yes I agree - for the case that these are really two different versions of a tune. But if it’s just the same version but you want to print it in C, Bb, Eb (trumpet/tenor sax/alto sax etc.) I think there should be an easier option to provide these transpositions without duplicating the music.

IIRC the Development Team is looking at this issue.

Adding my voice here, would be really helpful.

Yes. having a single “master” lead sheet / player that can be printed in say, C, Bb, Eb layouts is what I’m looking for.
If I tweak a note / chord symbol in the “master” I’d like it to be reflected in the transposing layouts.
However, if I were to have to duplicate a player, then subsequent tweaks would, need to be duplicated too.

I’m pretty sure I recall Anthony Hughes set some layout transposition settings in one of his videos but … yes, I just checked. It’s in
“Part Preparation Improvements | New Features in Dorico 3.5“ (May 2020) but Layout Clef and Transposition Options don’t seem to be available in Elements 3.5.10 as, in the video Anthony has an Engraving mode tab, and I son’s have the option at all.

Would Steinberg consider including Layout Clef and Transposition Options in Elements?

It is a bit of a disappointment that I can’t do this in Elements as I can’t justify buying Dorico Pro.

I’m writing parts for a small group and classes where I want the same workshop material flows to be read by guitar, trumpet, Bb sax, Eb sax, and piano. The amount of workshop material soon builds up and making sure everybody has the latest tweaks is a bit error prone if I have to duplicate and re-duplicate all the parts every class / rehearsal.


Edit, I’m sorry, just realize you are on elements and that is only a pro option.

Thanks for the feedback, Iain. Wherever we draw the line on which features should be included in which variant will inconvenience some group of users. We’ll definitely think about whether this is something we could add to Elements in the future.

In the meantime, there will, I hope, before the end of the calendar year be a good opportunity for Elements users to upgrade to Pro at a reduced price, so it might be worth keeping your eyes open for that.