Normalizing transpositions (Horn in A, E, Eb, D,...)

I have a score (Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle) that uses multiple transpositions for horns and trumpets (in A, Bb, C, D, E, Eb, and F, usually one per movement), and I would like to make it easier on our players by providing a single score in F or Bb.

My plan is to first create players that hold all of these different horns/trumpets, write the score using the “old” transpositions, then create new, additional players “Horn in F” (etc.), select all the music and copy it there. Does this sound like a good plan? Or is there a better way to achieve this?

Firstly, you only need Horn in F for the new version. Horn in Bb is never scored. Horn players just use a different set of fingerings for the Bb side of a Double Horn.

And yes, your plan of entering the music into players with the old transpositions and copying over to a Horn in F is probably the best method. Let Dorico do the Transposing.

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Thanks, I suspected as much. It would have been nice to be able to link the original score to the transposed one (like with cues or transposed/concert pitch, where an edit in one place is automatically reflected in the others, but since this is such an obscure use case, I understand that it’s necessary to copy the notes here…

Well, you could do something like that. If you want a Part Layout with just Horn in F, you could setup a Player holding multiple Horns with each Transposition. Then create a duplicate Part Layout and use the Clef and Transposition override feature to set them all to Horn in F. It will be a bit odd having Instrument Changes all to Horn in F. But, those can be hidden.


Here is a quick Project to illustrate what I was talking about.

Horns.dorico (499.0 KB)

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Thank you, this is awesome! Just another reason to love Dorico!

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I am running into a small problem: The original score uses horns “without key signature”. I have entered a few movements using these, but when I create a layout in F, the key signatures still don’t show (I suppose that’s the case because it is still using the same instrument, just transposed). I do see signposts for the hidden key signatures, but I can’t seem to unhide them. Any idea what I could do?

You need to use a different version of the horn instrument that has a key signature:

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This is not configurable per Layout. So, I don’t think it can be done. It is tied to the Instrument definition. Local Key Sigs don’t help either as that is tied to the staff and can’t be set independently per Layout.

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Are the accidentals showing correctly? If so, I wouldn’t consider it too big of a problem, Horn players today still are used to not seeing Key Signatures.


OK, and then selectively hide the key signatures in the original parts…that sounds like a good plan.

Indeed they are, I’ll ask our horn players what they prefer.