Piccolo/flute 1/flute2 issue

link to Youtube group post
So, while waiting for there to be a built-in solution to handling the piccolo doubling question, here is a request for help:

Orchestral score with 2 flutes, 2nd doubling on piccolo.

I have a staff for the piccolo, one for 1st flute, and one for 2nd flute. (this is so that the staves are in the correct order)

however, when I condense the score, where the piccolo is playing I have its staff, and a staff for the 1st flute… except first flute is condensed with 2nd flute, so it shows “flute 1/2”.

is there any way for me to HIDE that pesky “2” there? when the piccolo is playing?

possible solution? do not allow condensing for the two flute staves, and simply hide the 2nd flute staff (manual staff visibility) where I need to hide it, and show it where needed, and add condensing changes where needed?

That’s so much fiddling around for something that SHOULD be simple.

Do you mean to say that you have three Players? Picc, Fl 1 and Fl 2?

Or do you have two Players and they’re holding one or more of these three Instruments?


right now, in Dorico, there are three players.
it’s the only way to have the staves in the correct places.

but the orchestral score should indicate that there are in reality only 2 performers, one on 1st flute, and one on 2nd flute doubling on piccolo.

which is why I do NOT want “flute 2” to show in condensed systems when the piccolo is playing. Except right now Dorico is condensing and showing the piccolo staff, and a flute staff that is marked flute 1 and 2.

To the best of my knowledge, I’m not sure that Dorico is going to be able to do anything else with the Ghost Player when they’re not playing…

He/she/it has to be labelled somewhere because they are a player in the piece.

I guess this is a problem with using three Players in the place of two. Maybe there’s a way to get it work though!

so there’s no way to hide the 2nd player’s name in a condensed staff?

I’ve tried excluding the 2nd flute from condensing, which allows me to hide it with “staff visibility” (and thus removing its name from the 1st flute staff while the piccolo is playing.)

However it doesn’t then allow me later in the score to actually condense it with 1st flute where needed.

You can do a condensing change to manually condense/uncondense when needed. I’m not on a device where I can see your Facebook question, but if you having an issue with your score order, you can manually change the order to whatever you need. It’s in layout options.

As I said, if I choose to exclude the 2nd flute from condensing, which is the ONLY solution to hiding its name when it is not needed, then the 2nd flute is not available as an option in condensing changes later in the score.

Ah, I see you are wanting piccolo above flute 1 even though flute 2 is doubling. I don’t know how to do that. Sorry!

This is an issue that I think Dorico needs to find a way to address. When writing for pairs of woodwinds, the auxiliary instruments (piccolo, English horn, Eb clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabassoon) are almost always played by the 2nd player. It works great when the auxiliary instrument is a lower voice (English horn, bass clarinet, contrabassoon), but when the auxiliary instrument is higher (piccolo, Eb clarinet) it gets really awkward to do. I would love to see more flexibility offered in the staff settings for these types of situations.


Is this what you want?


In this example, I have three players: a piccolo and two flutes. In the first system, I hide the piccolo. In the second system, I reset the piccolo and hide the second flute, and have a condensing change which specifies no condensing for the flutes. In the third system, I hide the piccolo and reset the second flute, and have a condensing change which resets the condensing for the flutes.


that is what I’m am having to resort to…
but considering how well Dorico automates so much else, and how well it handles doublings on other auxiliary instruments, this one most common of all the auxiliary instruments is too problematic.

I have three orchestral scores to prepare, and while everything else is a charm in Dorico, I quake in terror at the simple fact that these three large works all have piccolo parts in them.

I agree that it would be nice if this could be done more automatically, and I’m sure the Dorico team is aware of your request. :slightly_smiling_face:

In a more general sense, I’d like to be able to assign staff order based on instruments rather than players. For the main topic of this thread, that would mean putting the piccolo at the top of the score and the second flute below the first flute, even though those two instruments are played by the same player. But I also run into some less orthodox instrument switching, where one player might play two instruments that aren’t even in the same family. When they switch from one to the other, I’d like to see the instruments show up at the appropriate place in the score versus sticking to where the player was when he/she was playing the previous instrument. Right now I have to set it up as two separate players, which means I can’t take advantage of Dorico’s ingenious automatic handling of instrument changes.

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+1 for this. We definitely need a 3rd or 2nd Flute/Piccolo solution that avoids having the Piccolo staff below the other Flute(s) when the player switches instruments. Right now I have to create a dummy Piccolo part which sits at the top and is hidden until needed.

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It is an issue. I’ve taken the approach (in Dorico) of only worrying about piccolo displayed at the top of the score when it is a stand-alone part. When it’s played by flute 2, I just add piccolo as a player to flute 2 and enter my picc. parts in galley view. I label the staff as Flute 2/Piccolo. Not ideal, but as long as it’s clear in the score that this is the case, It’s not unforgivable for piccolo not to be at the top of the score.

I won’t submit a score to my publisher/distributor with the piccolo in the wrong place (for what I believe to be correct notation). Once it’s deposited there, it’s final. And I want my scores to be as nearly perfect as they can be. Posterity.

Has there been another thread about this topic? (Not implying anything, just wondering)

Just stopped being lazy and searched.

I certainly agree

For what it’s worth (very little, I acknowledge) this is the way I was taught as correct, and what I have taught myself in orchestration classes. i.e., Piccolo goes at the top only when it is a dedicated non-doubling part, otherwise it stays below on the staff belonging to the flute (Flute 2 or 3) doubling it. But I know that there are published scores that do it the other way, and that if that is a publisher’s standard then a way must be found to satisfy it.

I seem to remember bringing it up a number of months ago. maybe as far back as a year?

I just happen to find myself in the midst of three very large projects, all involving symphony orchestra, all with piccolo parts.