New Player Not Displayed

I know this question has been asked before, but none of the previous answers are resolving my problem.

I just added a new player – call it “Drumkit 2” – by duplicating an existing “Drumkit” player. Nothing fancy, Drumkit 2 uses the same instruments, etc. as the original Drumkit.

The problem is that none of my score layouts display Drumkit 2 staves. The player does not yet play any notes, which may be the problem, but if I can’t display teh player in Write Mode – in either Page or Gallery View – how can I add notes? Catch-22.

Layout Options > Vertical Spacing > Staff Visibility is NOT set to Hide Empty Staves for any layout. I can confirm this b/c empty staves of Drumkit 1 (and other players) are displayed normally.

In Setup Mode, Drumkit 2 is selected for the Full Score layout, as well as for other percussion-player-inclusive layouts. The original Drumkit player is selected in identical ways, and it shows up normally in those same layouts.

The manual is silent on this, but I know I’ve run into this problem before. When I’ve added a new player to a project, I’ve always had to figure out how to add notes to that player in order to see the player in the score. In the past, I’ve figured out how to solve this problem through laborious trial-and-error, but and I can’t remember now which steps I finally stumbled across that resolved the problem.

Rather than going through that same painful procedure one more time, I have to ask: Am I missing something obvious?

Is Drumkit2 assigned to any flows?


It would be very helpful to see the project in which you’ve duplicated the player and where the new player doesn’t appear. Can you attach it here?

Is the Drumkit 2 player assigned to the flow you’re looking at? If the flow originated as an imported piece of music (e.g. via MusicXML), then new players aren’t automatically assigned to it.

The 3 Setup mode panels have mutual relationships, so you can connect players to flows and layouts by selecting something in either panel, then checking/unchecking boxes in the other panels, in any combination.

In order for a player to appear in the music, it needs to be assigned both to that flow, and to the layout you’re viewing (or you can switch to another layout that it is assigned to).

You can flexibly add/remove players from layouts, but note that removing a player from a flow will delete its music; you should get a warning prompt first to remind you.

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Solved, thanks! The player hadn’t been assigned to the composition’s single flow.

Not sure why, as described by Lillie’s cited hep-file excerpt, the player wouldn’t have been added automatically to this flow by default. This was not an imported flow, but one that I created from scratch in this project – comprising the entire piece. I didn’t expect to need to manually add the player to this flow.

Does a “common tasks / quick start” reference exist? When there are unexpected steps (I don’t want to say “booby traps”) like this required to do something as simple as adding a system/player/part to a score, it would be nice to have some sort of “checklist” to make sure that users are aware of everything that needs to be done.

I see now that all these steps are indeed documented, but you have to know where to find them in the huge manual – a problem if you don’t even know those steps exist A concise statement of the information you all provided in this thread, would sure make things a lot easier. I’m sure that everybody here appreciates the fact that Dorico’s unique perspective can result in requirements & procedures that surprise users familiar with other applications.

One thing many people have initially found as a stumbling block learning Dorico is that Dorico is not other applications. Once they learn to let go of that (very tempting) view of things, they learn Dorico more quickly.

Imagine adding a player and having it immediately and automatically cause all one’s per-existing, custom work to be reformatted (which in a large piece could waste considerable time). That could be a good reason adding a new Player does not automatically insert itself into all layouts.

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In general, players are automatically added to flows. The default, everything-started-in-Dorico position is that new players get added to flows. There shouldn’t need to be a checklist, because that should work as expected.

The manual is segmented: meaning, if I’ve done my authoring job properly, everything you need to know about a particular dialog, procedure etc is on one sensibly-titled page.

You don’t need to know where it is: you can search for it. Or use the PDF index. For example, you wanted to know why a new player wasn’t appearing as expected. The solution in your case was described on the page titled “Adding players”. For anyone wanting to know about how to, or considerations relating to, adding players, this seems a not-unreasonable place to go?

A separate “checklist” document would need to be written, not necessarily that easy a task given the wide variety of situations it would need to factor in and the inherently subjective nature of what is “essential” for any given user, and then perpetually maintained through future updates.

I appreciate that encountering unexpected problems can be unpleasant, but the answer isn’t always “more documentation” :slight_smile: I will however, as is my habit, make a note of some keywords you used in this thread in case they can help refine search results for future users who describe the same issue with similar terminology.

PS There is also this page early on in the Setup mode chapter, which expands a bit on the player/layout/flow relationships:



So you’re the person who authored the manual? Nice to meet you. I’m familiar with the process. In the 1980s & 90s, I ran an engineering consulting firm that, in addition to developing software, specialized in large-system documentation for clients like GE, Schlumberger, and the DOD. So I compliment you on doing such a great job on this huge, challenging project.

But I’m not talking about simply “adding more documentation.” As I’m sure you know, the value of the contents of a database, or any corpus, for that matter, is limited by its access mechanism. A quick-start-ish manual would “merely” provide a different way to access the information in the enormous reference manual.

Here’s an example of what I went through when trying to use a reference manual to troubleshoot a counterintuitive problem. I did indeed search for “adding player” in the PDF manual. The only hit in the TOC was “Adding Player Lists” on p. 1227 – no dice. The next hit was p. 33, “Project Start Area”, which linked to “Adding Players” on p. 122. The only mention of flows on that page is a single sentence stating that players are automatically added to flows. OK, I guess flows are apparently not related to my problem, right?

I then searched through a long list of p. 122 & p. 1227 links (as well as “Adding Player Group” links). At this point, I just clicked through each one until I finally gave up.

My next idea was: Why not take a step back & find an overview of player-management-related functionality? The most promising link I found was to “Players Panel” on p. 162. That page, however, steered me further in the wrong direction. The “Add Single/Section Player” paragraph didn’t mention any requirements for adding a player other than clicking an Add button. The implication was that that whatever else needed to be done would occur automatically.

I then started searching randomly through candidates like P. 170 (“Creating Layouts” and “Assigning Players to Layouts”), etc. I finally gave up and posted this thread.

In retrospect, I now see references to adding players to flows. That was something I ignored b/c it didn’t seem relevant – an example of needing to know the answer to a question in order to know which question to ask. Now that I realize that the flow/player connection needed to be manually set in my project, I can easily find that step documented. But when flying blind, trying to figure out which of Dorico’s enormous number of settings and features was the root of the problem, I didn’t dig into the player-flow relationship. TBH, manually assigning players to flows still seems redundant, given the flexibility of the program’s flow-specific, multiple-layout functionality. Why wouldn’t a player be available to all layouts in all flows automatically?

A better idea than a Quick Start guide might be a Troubleshooting appendix. Common problems could be identified by the frequency of forum postings like mine. E.g., an entry for “New Player Does Not Appear in Score” might contain a checklist citing Reference Manual sections for adding a player in Setup Mode, adding a player to a layout, adding a player to a flow, disabling “Hide Empty Staves,” etc.

Again, I’m not criticizing your efforts, which I realize represent quite an accomplishment. Your Reference Manual is a terrific piece of work, especially considering the complexity and industry-bucking perspective of the Dorico system. But I reiterate that a Reference is not a start-up/new-user tool. Usability v. learnability. A couple of concise, complementary documents could flatten Dorico’s formidable learning curve in ways that a gigantic reference document typically does not. Trying to do it all with a single manual may not be the best solution.

That’s my 2c. Bottom line for me is that my local fire has been extinguished, so I’m a happy camper. But after a couple of years of working with Dorico, learnability issues are still discouraging me from taking advantage of what look like some of the application’s most useful features.

Whilst not disagreeing with you in general, as I understand it, the Dorico team is constrained by Steinberg’s documentation guidelines. Take a look at the Cubase documentation and you will reach the same conclusion.

I understand the point you’re making, and you can trust I’ve made a note in case there is something that can be improved here. I’ve got some ideas for more cross-referencing between some topics, for example.

For reference though, here are the results for searching on the online webhelp for “adding player”. The most relevant topic is the top result.

You could also go to the index under “players > adding” or “inputting > players”.

If you search the static PDF for “adding player”, it will come up too. (Just make sure you’ve got a recent download of the PDF, as the documentation for the current version gets updated regularly; the last update was yesterday.)

For onboarding new users, we have a dedicated First Steps guide that complements the manual; there are also other resources available.

Thanks, Lillie! I generally use Adobe Reader b/c it’s so familiar, but this experience – and your comments – suggest that I should instead consider the Web-based alternative in the future.

And, as I have in the past, I want to praise this forum as being one of the most effective support options I’ve seen (at least in the music-software industry). You guys are great!

Use whatever makes sense to you, but a couple of tips to take away:

  • Make sure you regularly check for updates to your locally-saved PDF copy, as the manual is regularly updated

  • In the PDF, supplement straight searching for exact text matches with following concepts in the index; it’s pretty comprehensive, if I may say so

  • The online webhelp benefits from additional metadata that doesn’t appear in the text itself, but allows keywords and alternative phrases that real users have used to come up in search results

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@ Lillie_Harris

Thanks for the tips. You’re right – in retrospect, searching through the index would have been more effective than searching through the Table of Contents.

However, I’m steill having little success today when searching for a resolution to a new problem. I’d like my score to display one measure per page. However, every once in a while Dorico without warning splits a bar by placing the last beat or two on a second page. After poring through the Layout Menu and changing various “Casting Off” options, I still haven’t figured out how to display a 180-measure piece on 180 pages.

If I could figure out how to attach a screen shot to forum messages, I’d start a new thread that includes an image depicting what I’m seeing.

Either drag your screenshot onto this message box, or use the upload icon…


If there are more entries than will fit in a system, Dorico won’t overstuff it unless you force it with “Make Into System” (a shortcut for setting a system break that waits for the next).

The first thing I’d try is reduce the note spacing rule by a little bit. That is likely to let you fit enough entries on a line. If not, try reducing the staff size. As a last resort, you can force any amount of music into a system, but that runs the risk of collisions.

Thanks for saving me from starting a new thread.

My score is several hundred measures long, and less than a half-dozen measures are split across two pages. So I guess I could do this manually.

The alternative is to split the offending measures down the middle, so that half of a measure appears on each of two adjacent pages. That would probably be easier to read than squeezing most of the measure’s notes on one page, and forcing just the last fraction of a beat to the next.

I’m not sure why a “Make into System” function would accomplish what I’m looking to do. Maybe it’s a terminology issue. I never heard the term “system”, not in school nor in texts, until I re-entered the world of scoring software a few years ago. I’d thought that a system would be equivalent to the representaiton of a Dorico “player’s” entire part from the start to the finish of a score. E.g., a 100-bar quintet score would have 5 100-measure-long “systems.” Yet your comments about the “Make Into System” option seems to imply that this function affects the horizontal layout of a set of staves.

So I’m still a little confused. If I’m misunderstanding the term, that might explain why I’m having trouble finding the Dorico setting needed to resolve my problem.

A system is a group of bars showing all instruments on a single line. At the end of the line, the music continues on the next system. So… bars 6-10 are one system and 11-13 another.

In Engrave mode, if you select a note and create a system break the notes following the break are placed on the next line and form a new system. If there is insufficient room, it will be placed on the next page.


Thanks for your response. I played around with Dorico functions like “Extend Selection to Start (or End) of System” and found that your explanation was right on.

However, I also heard from a colleague who I consider the most knowledgeable person I’ve ever known when it comes to music theory & score notation. His definition of “system” disagrees with that of Dorico’s, in that he states that a system extends through the entire duration of a piece – from the first through the last bar – not merely through bars that are displayed on a single printed page. He also cited several convincing references that supported that definition.

This discrepancy may explain why I was having so much trouble reconciling what I found online with the way Dorico worked.

Thanks for you help.

What would your colleague call these (very common) marks other than system dividers?