Percussion grid issues

Hi there,

I’m currently working on typesetting a multi-percussion work for two players, that the composer has written out over a grid. For the most part I am able to troubleshoot and figure out engraving quirks, but I have several places in the score where Dorico doesn’t want to cooperate, nor can I figure out a workaround (as well as some strange… decisions the program makes, perhaps glitches- see below).

I’ve attached a passage which I’m currently struggling with, along with pictures of the manuscript so that you can see clearly the intended notation.

Bars 1-2 and 4-5. I am unable to separate the stems of two notes occurring on the downbeat, so that two separate voices are visibly distinguishable (as the notes on subsequent beats). If I try adding extra percussion voices Dorico changes the rhythmic value of the tom notes, as if they were part of the tuplet in the upper voices, even though they were inputted into their own staff and voice like the other tom notes as quarter notes (try changing voices and see for yourself). In both cases, I am unable to remove or hide unnecessary rests that appear either under the note or in preceding bars…

Bar 9 - I cannot make the upper voice in percussion one display a dotted quarter, when i succeed in removing the tie then the lower tom tom voice is mucked up. In either case, Dorico chooses seemingly at random which rests to suddenly hide or appear in this bar - you will see a eighth note rest is currently missing on the 3rd beat.
Bars 1-4.JPG
Bars 11-16: here I have various problems that are of a similar nature to bars 1-5 and 9, but with more rhythmic complexity and density, as well as some difficult beaming problems to solve. I hope that by solving the previous bars I will have the tools to fix these.

Bar 18-19: I think this is a bug: I wish for the nestled 7:8 tuplet to span the barline, but attempting this lead Dorico to have a mild panic and fill my page with all sorts of interesting and impossible notation. In the larger file this would sometimes lead to the program to crash, but it seems to be stable in the smaller file. See for yourself… I haven’t had any other problem with nestled tuplets spanning barlines typesetting this piece and there are quite a few! So I feel this must be a bug - still it would be great to be able to notate this as intended, spanning the barline.
Percussion example (458 KB)

Image file of the manuscript for bars 11-16
Bars 11-16.JPG
Image file for bars 11-16

I would suggest to split up the kits into more players – just for writing. E.g. one player plays piatti, woodbl, bg, sd. (kit). Another plays a five-line staff tom-toms, a third plays gc and tmt (kit). And so on … Then you can expand the brackets to bring them together again (for printing).
I tried a little, so I think this could work.

You can combine multiple players to one player’s score in setup mode, so that it will look like 2 players again.

Mateusz, I would go along with Hans-Peter’s recommendation to use multiple kits here rather than trying to have everything in a single kit held by a single player. The limitation is that you cannot cross notes between kits held by different players, but you can even create multiple kits and have them held by the same player if need be. The main issue is that each kit shown as a grid has a single set of voices, and Dorico expects to show really only two voices, one stem up and one stem down, each of them shared between different instruments in the kit. You can remove instruments from the kit and retain their music, though, so it should be reasonably risk-free to try out some alternatives.

As for the tuplet, it looks to me like the side drum, woodblock and bongo are all set to appear in the same voice in the grid, and you can’t (safely) have a 7:8 tuplet crossing between two adjacent 5:4 tuplets. I’d suggest at least making sure that the side drum is in a separate voice.

Maybe this could be of help.
I tried a page from Ferneyhough and instead of grid (which I couldn’t get to work)
I used one player but set as single-line instruments in Layout Options->Players->Percussion.
Also had to turn off Automatically resolve collisions… in Layout Options->Vertical Spacing.
Also some manual Staff spacing changes in Engrave mood. You could put some lines very close if
you remove the above “Automatically resolve collisions”
This way you can cross staff any way you like.


Bone Alphabet separate (636 KB)

Something like this:


That’s the problem with this work - in other places the entire grid is used with notes crossing all staves. That’s why the grid solution seemed to be the best way, except for the passages with multiple voices.

I played around with this a bit and it seems like something that would certainly work for the passage in question. However two issues arise with this approach:

  1. I can set the line spacing so close that it appears as if it is one staff (amusingly giving it a negative value to do so). However, all the wonderful calculations Dorico puts in so that notes and other objects don’t collide doesn’t happen here, meaning notes and beams start to overlap and do all sorts of silly things. It’s a lot of extra engraving work, but for a few systems here and there it isn’t such a big problem, which leads me to

  2. I have already put in some work formatting other parts of this work in this current grid pattern. Is there any way to, mid-piece, switch between a grid and the single line display, and then back again? As far as I can tell, the change can only be made globally :frowning:

As for the nestled tuplet, I see now why this is the only one which I had any issues with - the other nestled tuplets that cross barlines in the piece are within a tuplet that is already crossing the barline, whereas this one is crossing a barline as well as two tuplets. I think the solution is to write a single, large 2 bar tuplet so that the cross-bar nestled tuplet can display properly, and then hide the overarching tuplet in properties and place the image of the two smaller tuplets it’s made up of in its place in engraving

Yes, I know, it might not be very practical for many pages, but it’s possible.
There are some limitations in percussion that I hope will be looked at soon.
If anyone can create the Ferneyhough page as a grid, I’ll buy a beer.
I managed the three first bars.