Percussion Staff Collision

Hi all,

How can I split these two instruments into two different staves? It’s one player, two instruments, and this is one of a couple times this happens in the score. sometimes, however, only when note values specifically overlap does it split staves, but I want this to be shown clearly without collisions like here. Thanks!

As a percussionist might I make a suggestion?
You could remove the “To” text from all of these, keep the whole thing in treble clef, and mark the temple blocks with X note heads. It would be much cleaner, and the musician wouldn’t need to track multiple staves bouncing back and forth on each other in quick succession.

Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to your actual question. Maybe an oassia staff?


Thank you for the suggestion! I’ve only just begun the engraving process, not even finished writing completely, but I will make sure to de-clutter with the “to” markings.

Interesting suggestion for the X-noteheads, I think I may go that route. The ossia staff was going to be my next best bet, however, I like your idea more considering the blocks would likely be mounted on or around the marimba. Thanks!

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If a player with 2 instruments has both playing at the same time, then they will appear on separate staves. So, if you add a dummy marimba note (supress playback, hide stem and notehead and remove rests) at the same time as a temple block note, the staves should split? I’ve not tried this, but it might be a workaround.

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You should be able to disable the instruments change in Layout options > Players?
Or use the grid view instead of single line staff.

Yeah, the “to” marking is great when there’s a bunch of rests, so it gives the performer a heads up well in advance of the next passage. Like, you’d hate to be sitting at the marimba, counting rests, and then suddenly realize you needed to move to the Temple Blocks when you flip the page! So “To Temple Blocks” is what you want when there’s a gap, while just “Temple Blocks” when the change is immediate.

Additionally, when the notation itself is clear (like the use of x noteheads on lines specifically) you can sometimes get away with only writing out the instrument change once. For example, I’ve frequently seen sus cymbal as x notes on the first ledger line above the staff. Mark it the first time, and then from then on, I know x notes on the first ledger line are always sus cymbal. Makes for a much cleaner part (though you might want to still mark it in the score).

That’s usually when dealing with multiple non-pitched instruments though, I can’t recall an example off hand where I was jumping rapidly between pitched and non-pitched instruments like your passage. Safest would be to keep the text notes, of course, though that’s more crowded. You could also gain more space if you skip the boxes.

You could also input another notation that prevents an instrument change just in this system, if you don’t want to disable instrument changes throughout this layout: a chord symbol region does this, with the added benefit of adding no notational information that you need to hide at all (provided there aren’t chord symbols within the region in the first place, although you can hide those quite easily afterwards too).