Problems with how Dorico transcribes full score to part layouts

The score is at concert pitch aside from a few players transposed an octave up or down. I expected the parts to reflect what’s in the score….but a few don’t, having transposed the music weirdly.
When editing names in Setup, I chose “Show Transcription / Never” for all instruments.
Working from an imported midi file I transposed some instruments using “Write/Transpose”, the piccolo down an octave, contrabass clarinet and double basses up an octave. (Dorico transposed the bass trombone up an octave for me even though I didn’t ask it to, but fine.)

However, the Contrabass Clarinet has been transposed up a maj 9th from the notation in the score. The double basses transposed an octave and a 9th (what’s that, a 17th?).

Point is, I can’t ‘correct’ the parts as the transposition is passed back to the score pushing the score notation the same interval away from what I want it to show. E.g. if I transpose the Clarinet part an octave down, it’ll push the score notes a 9th below where they are now.

Strangely, the piccolo part was unaffected.

I appreciate that eventual parts will be transposed conventionally per instrument but I’m running into trouble already.

Many thanks if anyone can suggest a set of actions to restore the parts to what they should be.

I’d need to see the project itself to be able to say why you’ve ended up with a mess, but my guess is that you’ve chosen the wrong kind of contrabass clarinet for your purposes: Dorico provides three variants. You may find that the simplest thing to do is go to Setup mode, expand the card for the player holding the contrabass clarinet, and use Change Instrument in the instrument’s context menu to choose one of the other variants (they vary in how they handle the large transposition of the instrument between sounding and written pitch).

If you find you have requirements that go beyond the presets, you can create a layout-specific clef and transposition override to achieve any transposition you want. Start in the Operation Manual here:

Hiding an instrument’s transposition in its instrument name doesn’t prevent Dorico continuing to use its “logged” transposition information in transposed pitch part layouts.

Layouts in concert pitch display the pitches you hear. Layouts in transposed pitch display the pitches that instrument must play, in order to produce the desired sounding pitch.

The transposition involved between concert/transposed pitches depends on the instrument; Dorico knows on a per-instrument basis what interval to transpose their notes by, regardless of whether that transposition is shown in staff labels.

As Daniel said, if you make sure that the instruments used in your project are correct, and the notes in the score are correct for the pitches you want to hear ultimately (barring the traditional outliers of e.g. piccolo/double bass which are always notated an octave out of their sounding pitch), then your part layouts should show the correct notes for the instrument to play. (Files that originated as imports do sometimes “pick” the wrong version of instruments, so it’s worth going through and changing them, to make sure you’ve got the right one in your project.)

Thank you – much appreciated. I’ll take a copy of the project so that I can mess around with it until I get a solution. I don’t know if it’ll be the end of the problems as I’d like a score at concert pitch (with certain octave transpositions to make it more readable) while the parts are properly transposed (e.g. Horns a 5th up). It looks like I’ll have to make two copies of the project, one in which the full score bears the correct transpositions and the other left at concert pitch as a standalone full score. That’s fine and thank you for pointing these things out.
All the same it comes as a surprise that Dorico doesn’t allow a straight opt-out of any alterations in parts taken from the full score.

You don’t need to duplicate the project: you could use clef and/or transposition overrides for specific instruments in one score layout but not another, say.

You can also only show clefs in concert pitch scores and not in transposing layouts, if you want to manage the notated pitches of certain sections that way.

Your first step should still be making sure that the instruments are correct first, as generally Dorico does this beautifully and accurately.

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