Performance notes: best way?

Good afternoon,
I want to add a page explaining some special techniques used in my work (e. g., guitar harmonics, strokes on the different parts of the instrument…) and I was wondering which is the best way to write the performance notes (including an example and an explanation of every single technique used in the work): creating a new flow? Inserting music frames?

Thank you very much.

I’d be tempted to export vector graphic Slices – PDFs ideally – of the technique examples, and then create the page in a DTP package, like Scribus, Affinity Publisher, InDesign, etc…

Dorico’s “DTP” abilities are a bit limited – there’s no way to ‘anchor’ a graphic to a particular point in a text flow, for instance; nor wrap text around a graphic.

I usually do all my ‘prelims’ in DTP software, and then combine the PDFs from the two apps together.

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I tend to do this sort of stuff in Dorico: using extra flows if necessary to highlight specific notations, then removing those explanatory flows from the page template frame chain (which is usually the one called MA) so they don’t also appear at the end of each layout, only where you draw them in.

I would recommend doing it as a page template rather than page overrides, as this makes it easier to re-use in other layouts, re-apply if for some reason you want to move it to another page, and keeps it “saved” so if you ever remove page overrides, your layout is still retained somewhere. You can also transfer page templates between projects, if you end up using similar pages that just need minor adaption for each project.


Would it be possible to break down this way of working (creating extra flow in order to add performance notes) for a not-very-advanced Dorico user? I’m trying to add performance notes but if I add a new flow, Dorico won’t let me get rid of the music system that’s automatically created. Thanks in advance.

In Setup mode, you can exclude these additional flows from players and/or layouts. The connection between players, flows and layouts is a three-way system, and it is quite powerful. It’s really useful to familiarise yourself with this concept.
You could have a dedicated player and/or flow(s) for performance notes only. Simply uncheck them from the Full Score layout, or from the main frame chain of any Page Template, and only use them for special music frames in preface pages, or maybe create graphic slices with them (as @benwiggy suggested). There are actually a lot of possible solutions, but, admittedly, they require some insight into how a project is organised in Dorico.