Music book layout

What is the best way of handling layout of a music book written with dorico?
I’m currently using one file with different flows for each song.
How to copy/maintain the same layout setting?
Is it better to just make the songs as individual files and use a word software for the additional things.
I’ve done a music theory book with Sibelius for a couple decades back. No flows or such those times available. Any thoughts?

If you mean “a book of music”, rather than “a book on music”, then just keep all the songs as flows in the same project. Bingo. Same layout throughout.

If you’re taking about a book that has a lot of text, with musical examples, then yes, you’ll need to use some Desktop Publishing software.

Note that Microsoft Word is not DTP software. :stuck_out_tongue: Suitable candidates include Scribus (free); Affinity Publisher (inexpensive for what you get ); Adobe InDesign (very expensive).

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If you have the money ( and knowledge): a dedicated “book program”. I assume that Dorico could do a decent job of a complete book, but I would not use Dorico myself as such.

Thank you for the reply. I go with the flows🤓 not too much text. Cover I do with the affinity.

I hope the engrave section will be developped in that way in the future, I think there’s a lot of potential !
I’m already doing a lot of educational material in Dorico cause I’m too lazy to use both Dorico and Affinity (I do have the whole suite with Publisher), but it’s true it has some limitations (my main concern for now being that when you swap flows -that I use as chapters in my educational stuff- only the music gets swapped and not the custom layout/text, so it’s extremely frustrating because it leaves no room for improvising as I write, everything needs to be carefully planned)

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I’m not familiar with your setup but I assume you mean that there is no flow/template connection. I think that will be difficult to do as flows do not necessarily start a new page and it will be problematic for Dorico to decide which template to use then. N.B. I have not workedmuch with this in Dorico, so there might be clever methods to handle it.

I think flows are good for movements, variations etc. For more complex books I think the Dorico design is wrong (and perhaps it was never intended as such). Daniel is an experience FrameMaker user and I think that FM’s “book design” has many advantages and perhaps we will see a similar solution in the future for Dorico, with a “book file” that includes “projects”. (Project will then be an incorrect name, but that is another matter.) Naturally it depends on if Dorico should be developed as a book publishing tool or not and if this is a priority at Steinberg.

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A long while back, I suggested a feature whereby Dorico could import/embed PDF. Dorico can already embed PNG in the Engrave image area. If it could embed PDF then the areas of text (or figures, graphics, SVG, etc) could be exported from ‘whatever app’ and then inserted into Dorico for the final framing. Dorico would be the last step to create the final book PDF.

The Dorico Page Template which I have imagined for this style of ‘book’ is simple, just put the flow on half (or 1/3, or 2/3) of the printed area (either at the top of the page or at the bottom). Then the Image area allows the PDF text/figure/whatever to be embedded on the other open area of the page. This works primarily because music books usually don’t have many words; they are mostly flows of music.

Of course the way it’s currently done is the exact opposite… exporting PDF from Dorico then importing into some other frame/layout program… This is not a “music-centric” approach and it forces the music to be fixed early in the typesetting/layout process, because it is more effort to modify score->re-export-> re-import → re-fit into layout, etc.

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