Project-wide brackets/barlines and labels for custom player groups?

I’ve read this post and various documentation pages but can’t figure out how to do what I want or if it’s possible:

I have a score for which I’ve set up 2 customized player groups (because the piece is for 2 ensembles playing together from separate locations, and each group is comprised of mixed instruments that do not fit any of the ensemble types in the Layout Options Brackets and Braces section).

I would like each group to have a bracket and joined barlines. I’ve done the following:

  1. Set up the 2 groups as Player Groups
  2. Removed all custom bracket changes I’d inserted before manually
  3. In Engraving Options, Player Group labels section, I set it to “Show bracket” and “Superimpose on bracket”

I do not see the player group labels, and the groups are not joined by brackets.

When I go to Layout Options for this score layout, selecting “No Brackets” results in no brackets at all (not what I want). Selecting “Small Ensemble” sets brackets in the normative classical music score order, disregarding the groups I’ve created (not what I want).

How can I get the brackets (and joined vertical barlines) to automatically join each of the groups I’ve made, throughout all flows, and also be labelled with the group names?


Michael, welcome to the forum. The fastest way for us to help is to see a Dorico example of your score, perhaps only the first few measures. Could you post such a Dorico file here.

I realize you will have to build up your Discourse Trust Level before the forum will allow some posting, but that should not take too long for you to establish.

Hi Derrek. Thank you for the quick reply. Here’s a score that has the player groups (there are actually 3) and a couple flows with a measure or so in each one.
test-dessen.dorico (2.7 MB)

Here is what I get playing around with your example. I checked Show Groups in Layout > Staves and Systems and added Bracketing and sub-Brackets manually, although one cannot have a (piano) brace as a sub-bracket (which I hope Dorico adds in the future) and I am not crazy about the bar lines going through all the (non-vocal) different instrument groups in the bracketed sections.
test-dessenAltered.dorico (2.7 MB)

I hope this gets you closer to your goal.


Thank you very much, Derrek.

That solves my player names problem (my error not finding that checkbox).

On the question of brackets/barlines, though, am I correct to understand that there is not currently a way to automatically have Dorico create brackets/barlines project-wide for the custom player groups I’ve created? I do understand how to add custom brackets/barlines but I thought there must be a way to do that project-wide based on the groups instead of having to manually do it for each flow and each custom group I create.

Thanks again.


You could try setting the Ensemble type option on the Brackets and Braces page of Layout Options to Small ensemble, which will join all the players in each group with common brackets (with the exception of the braced staves of the piano, which will always get their own primary brace instead of being joined by a bracket).

1 Like

Thank you, Daniel. That gets pretty close to what I want, other than the piano as you mention, and also the fact that the bar lines don’t automatically join for a vocalist within a player group. I realize those two things are probably set that way due to engraving conventions, but personally I’d find it useful to have the flexibility.

Those are minor issues though, and overall I’m very grateful for this excellent software, and the helpful support forum. Thanks again,