Ohio River Suite

Hey, All
I am so grateful to the Dorico team for what they have given us to create with (after being with Finale for what seems like forever). I created a lot of music with Finale, so I’m not knocking it; but since finding Dorico (and Noteperformer which works much better in Dorico than Finale, imo) I have found it much easier and intuitive to create. Dorico does not impede, but enhances the process. This work is the largest single work I’ve ever done- so far. It was created using only Noteperformer’s sounds. It’s a suite for concert band. I lived in Kentucky along the Ohio for 22 years. This work is an attempt to depict the Ohio and things associated with it. The 1st movement is “From the Allegheny to the Monongahela”; the2 nd describes the Tow boats and Showboats that once travelled on it, and the 3rd, “At the Yellowbanks”, uses tunes associated with the Ohio River and Kentucky. I don’t want to imagine how much work this would have been to create in Finale. Thanks, again Dorico team! :wink:https://on.soundcloud.com/NywBt
OHIO RIVER SUITE-Transposed Score.pdf (1.7 MB)
I composed this in Dorico 3.5 (when I 1st discovered Dorico and bought it with a Finale crossgrade discount). For comparison, here is the 1st movement played with the latest version of Dorico using NPPE, Synchron Prime, Iconica Sketch Euphonium and Noteperformer’s saxophones and solo contrabass. https://on.soundcloud.com/hex41


I’ve never had the privilege of visiting your neck of the woods, but even so, the piece evokes a mighty river winding it’s majestic way through the great state of Ohio. Thoroughly enjoyable. Well done!

PS It makes a great back drop to the rip roaring Flashman novel (George MacDonald Fraser) where he’s on the run up the Mississippi, chased by desperadoes. Set in the 1800s. He even meets the future President Lincoln!

Cool. Thanks! I didn’t post it for any accolades; I think all of us Doricans can benefit from hearing/seeing the works if others. I’ll try and post the score. It’s pretty big. There are so many of us who write in different genres- Church (liturgical and non), theater, jazz, aleatoric, etc. I think seeing what others are doing ( I don’t believe any of us on the forum would ‘steal’ anyone else’s work) and how Dorico helps them do it would be a great learning resource as well as provide new ideas/approaches for our own creative endeavors. Thanks again, though for your compliment. I’m glad that what I hoped to convey in the work came through🙂 I hope you and others may be willing to share as well. Afew, like Dan K, Michel an konradh and a couple of others already have. What a treat!


I live in Tucson, AZ now. 68 and sunny in January :smile: Where I( lived in KY is cold with snow.

Great work!

My I ask why you did not condense the score? It would be so much better readable…

I my give that a look. I do realize that condensing is often used- especially in band scores. I’m reluctant to admit this, but, as this was the first large work I ever did in Dorico (in 3.5), I wasn’t aware that condensing was available​:smirk: The score is 11’ x 17." I always found it preferable, when I used to conduct, to look at say, the 2nd Trumpet staff than to pick a note out of a cluster of 3 or 4 trumpet parts. I’m not a fan of condensed scores except for study; but that’s just my preference, although I can see how/why some would prefer condensed scores. Here is the 1st Movement condensed. I appreciate your suggestion. I may make both full and condensed versions of my scores available for my concert band works. Dorico makes it SO easy to do :blush:
Ohio River Suite Mvt. 1.pdf (371.3 KB)

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I think you are missing a (small) point: One advantage of condensing is that you need less staves on the page - thus giving you the chance of resizing everything. If I see it correctly, your condensed score has about the same individual staff height as the uncondensed score, but with more whitespace between staves. The next step would be to make everything bigger so you can read everything better :slight_smile:

But maybe this is only a German/Austrian thing: Since A4 is a bit smaller than your 11" x 17" page, we need every millimeter we can get :wink:


You have made me re-think things. To be honest, when I first wrote the suite (in 3.5), I didn’t know condensing was available. Since then, I guess Ive just never thought about it. I will now, though. I can see advantages to it. I’ll need to work with it more. In the condensed score I posted, I didn’t tweak any elements of the score; I just selected ‘condensing’ and got that result. Condensing is quite easy and worth getting to understand better. Thanks!

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Here is another attempt at condensing my 1st movement score. Why do all three trumpets condense up until m12, then in m13 the 3rd trumpet has a separate staff? It happens elsewhere, too. Is this common when condensing? I see no reason why the trumpets should do that. Full Score-Ohio River Suite Mvt. 1 Condensed.pdf (381.1 KB)



Condensing is a rather complex area. One would need to see your .dorico file to explain. Otherwise it would be pure guess-work. There are lots of threads on condensing in this forum - and they all burn down to the point that one would need to see the project file itself.

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Thanks. I’ll explore it more😉

@laughreyg don’t be afraid, you can make a copy of your .dorico project, cut it down to the few relevant bars and upload it directly here:

When condensing looks weird or does unexpected stuff, investigating the reason for it often turns up to be a great proof-reading tool. When things do differ slightly between staves, Dorico will not combine them so these details (may they be intentional or not) won’t get lost.

The text “Harmon mute stem in” at rehersal mark “B” is at slightly different positions, with the one for trumpet 3 being slighly to the left of the one for 1 and 2. This might be the reason for Dorico’s decision to put trumpt 3 on a separate staff.
Also have a look at bar 4 after letter B: The dynamic sign “mp” is at a different spot.
Same thing for trombones around letter “D”, the dynamic signs differ quite a lot.

Like i said, when things do differ, Dorico will do everything it can to show the difference, as they might be completely intentional.
In the music I write, which is more on the non-complex side, more often than not investigating those weird condensing results reveals differences that were completely unintentional and should be corrected.

(Btw, is the single quarter rest in bar 7, alto saxophone correct? Looks to me as if the whole melody there would be played by quite a lot of people, with only the AS1 missing a note…)


Thank you SO much for taking time to help me here. I will check the things you mentioned to look for. I’m grateful🙂