OT: There is no going back now

I don’t think (someone correct me if I’m wrong here) that Dorico by default takes page turns into consideration when creating the parts.

I believe there’s a “look for page turns” function somewhere, but I’ve never used it. I like to at least feel that I’m doing SOME of the work! LOL
Besides I have a sort of format that I like to follow for page turns, using blank pages where necessary, and large text blocks with “turn page” in the middle.

No idea to be honest but my impression was that the created page turns are in general better than chance. If they aren’t I would gladly put in a feature request that Dorico indeed looks for empty bars to factor into consideration for creating page turns. Frankly, it’s the sort of thing I’d be happy to not have to do any work at all in if that were possible – I want Dorico to deal with layout so I can get on with writing music! Naturally we’re all different, though.

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No, there’s no such function in Dorico at present.

ah, I must have been confusing it with the “look for cues” function.

I’d like to share another positive story, even though the conclusion will be old news for roughly everyone here.
Presently, I am one of the judges for an orchestral arranging competition. It’s free to enter, judged anonymously and open to all, with many amateur/not-yet-professional entrants, even some teenagers. Orchestral forces: 2222 2asx 2210 2perc & strings. First prize: €1500.
Having received the definitive list of entries yesterday, engraving-wise the scores fall into 3 distinct categories:

  • The pragmatic approach: keeping all instruments on their own staff. Individual winds are free to be independent, which allows for interesting orchestration. Making parts will also be relatively straightforward. It makes for some densely crowded pages though.
  • Trying to do a condensed score by hand, with greatly varying levels of effort. Some entrants are clearly aware how it should work and add a lot of solo, a2 and the like, but still fail to be unambiguous in their markings by a considerable margin. Some scores have no annotations whatsoever, just single staves that sometimes contain one, sometimes two notes. On occasion, more than two. Of course, because independent lines are a technical hassle to engrave when you’re working directly in condensed staves, most of these arrangements clearly don’t bother. The pairs of winds & brass are practically always in (rhythmic) unison, and the orchestration is a lot duller because of it. Also, if one of them would get selected as a finalist, making parts for the live performance (next month) will be an unpleasant amount of extra work, if they’d even manage it.
  • The single entry that was made in Dorico, with what looks like factory-default condensing settings. Nicely independent woodwind & brass lines, condensed in perfectly clear and unambiguous fashion :grin:

In conclusion, I think the Condensing feature is inestimably useful not only to power users & experienced orchestrators, but very much also for these kinds of non-professionals, by removing a massive, engraving-shaped barrier to their understanding of the orchestra.


And some VERY good news, I just found out 2 minutes ago that my 4th symphony (just finished in Dorico!) will be premiered end of November, 2023.


Big congratulations, sir! Please keep us posted, I’m eager to hear the performance! (Hopefully there will be video as well.)

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Thank you for sharing this information. This agrees with my own impression: a huge gain in practicality for the production of orchestral parts (or any other big ensemble, obviously). It involves a bit of investment in initially learning (and being willing to learn) how Dorico works, but the benefit is huge. If I were still teaching orchestration (I retired in 2019), this is something I’d be emphasizing to my students.

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What orchestra is doing the premiere?

It’s a regional, though professional, orchestra called La Sinfonia de Lanaudière.


the 2nd symphony, your Sinfonia Canadensis contains some quite striking tone painting – I first listened to it some months ago but refreshed my memory last night. I wonder if there’s a mock-up of your War Symphony? As someone who wrote a war trilogy, I’m wondering how you deal with a more emotional or perhaps one could say idealistic concept.

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the war symphony was a difficult piece for me, and I’m not really sure I succeeded in achieving my desired goals. it was very well received when performed (though relatively poorly performed, since it was an amateur group, and I MAY have written a TINY bit above their technical capabilities.)

It’s a work I’ve debated removing from my catalogue, although it quite honestly contains some of my favourite thematic material.

The adagio movement was originally based upon a poem by Edna St-Vincent Millay, but there were too many questions regarding copyright to which I could find no absolute answers. So I ended up rewriting the music to fit a poem by Walt Whitman. I then used excerpts from another poem in the last movement as interjections by the soprano soloist.

Living in a French area, it also makes it more difficult for me to get performances of music with English text. Let’s say there’s a very delicate political line that one must tread here.

Had it been up to me, the final movement would have been a choral movement. but budgets were what they were.


yes, obviously L’Assomption is a French-speaking town. Interesting to hear of all the technical difficulties in getting the war symphony realised as you’d planned! I guess there’s no way of hearing it then in that case?

@Michel_Edward - Congratulations!


hehehe, it’s actually much more than L’Assomption (is that where it says I’m situated? I’m actually further than that, in a tinier town… village really! rural farming community).

The entire province of Québec is french-speaking majority.

Let me see if I can get a temporary recording and score up on Dropbox for you.
I have the “live” premiere recording, but there is so much wrong with it that I’m VERY leery to release that recording into the world.
I’ll see if I have the recording I had done with F***** at the time.

The “War Symphony” was actually premiered in Seattle, WA., having been commissioned by the conductor of a community orchestra there.

no, L’Assomption is where the orchestra is based according to the website. Of course I’m aware that Quebec province is all formally French speaking (although I think Montreal is rather mixed?). Thanks for the messages about the work – I’ll have a look at that tomorrow.

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ahhh, ok, yes, their offices are in l’Assomption since just before the pandemic hit. I’d forgotten.

their duties cover a large swatch of the entire Lanaudière region. they perform in l’Assomption for the formal “classical” concerts, then also do tours to smaller towns in the region, lots of concerts in churches. They took one of my pieces (“Hymne” piece dedicated to victims of a massacre in Ukraine) on a tour one summer and must have played it at least 8 times.

Octava? They are local to me. :). I haven’t heard them yet but Bonnie and I probably will this season.

Congrats, BTW,


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Yes Octava.
The conductor is a very close friend of mine.
Quality of the orchestra is a mixed bag. It partially depends on the repertoire they’re doing.
They can be VERY very good at one concert, and, well to be fair, “less good” at another.

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