Separate parts for individual players

My orchestral piece has 2 each of Woodwinds & most Brass. For the parts I’ve been requested to have either separate Staves or separate parts for the individual players - even if they are playing in unison. But for the full score, the requirement is that the 2 payers be combined onto one stave.

AFAICT there is no straight forward way to do this. I know I can compose in the full score - and when I am done I can clone off the instrument parts into two new hidden instruments, then edit each of the two hidden parts to handle divisi situations - but that’s clumsy and error prone

Alternatively I could have a temporary full score with both sets of players, compose in the full score for both players, then create a third combined player for a final full score, and somehow merge the two players together. But that seems even more error prone.

In either approach, if I need to make changes after I have done this process, I have to make changes in two (or 3 places).

Is there an easier way to handle this request?

This is your best bet at the moment: https://www.scoringnotes.com/tips/condensing-scores-in-dorico/

Thanks Dan!

If I read this correctly, it looks like you’re recommending my second approach (compose with two players then condense) since Dorico will support that approach in a future release. Please gently nudge me in the right direction if I’m off on this. . . . :slight_smile:

It is certainly the direction that future development is leaning. I can’t say it’s my preferred method, or that could ever will be, but it does seem that the team has some plans in this regard to make it easier.

I’ve hit another road block. What if the second player is doubling on another instrument? Flute 2 doubles on Piccolo, Oboe 2 doubles on English Horn, etc

I need to see both instruments on the conductor’s score in all systems regardless of whether either the primary and/or doubling instrument is being used or not - but this is not happening.

E.g., if only the contrabassoon is used, then I do not see the bassoons. If only the bassoons are used, then I do not see the contra.

Hide Empty Staves is set to Never.

I’m not seeing any simple solution here. I can’t be the only person who has encountered this. Thoughts anyone?

The only way to do this, as far as I know, is to create a separate set of players that do not double instruments, and show those players in the full score. You’ll then need to duplicate the info in an “everything” score in Galley View from the swapping staves to the full-score staves.

Not ideal. But I didn’t know this was common in the full score. Hence why it’s not a native function, I suppose.

You’ll certainly have to use Hide Empty Staves at some point in the process because if you need your combined Oboes staff to disappear so that Oboe 1’s original staff and your Cor Anglais staff can appear, there’s no choice but to use separate staves for this.

This is why Dorico’s condensing feature will be a complete game-changer: none of this will be necessary.

Daniel -
I’m not explaining myself well. I do not want the combined Bassoon staff to disappear - and I also do not want the Contrabassoon staff to disappear either. I want both of them to always appear on the Conductor’s Score. I’ve attached a screen shot showing what I was hoping would work.
Separate Parts.png
I was hoping that I would see both the combined Bassoon staff as well as the Contrabassoon staff. I have not done an in depth analysis, but here’s what I’m seeing so far:

  1. Only Combined bassoons play - I only see the combined bassoon staff
  2. Only Contrabassoon plays - I only see the Contrabassoon staff (this is the screen shot)
  3. Both play simultaneously - now I see both staffs
  4. Neither are playing - I see the combined bassoon staff

I’m guessing that this is expected behavior, since Dorico does not know that the solo bassoon is actually two players.

Incidentally - notice the 1. by the French Horn? That indicates that even though there are two Horn players, only player 1 is playing.

Daniel -

Amending my last post - it might be OK if the Combined bassoons always appeared - and the Contra only showed up when used.

Ideally we would have the option - AND - have the option of which appeared on top - because piccolo should always be at the top - even if it is played by the 2nd (or 3rd) flute player.

That may be true according to your own style sheet, but it’s not universally true. I recall reading and being told repeatedly during my musical education (and I taught it this way myself), “The position of Piccolo in a full score is anomalous: If it is a dedicated Piccolo player who never plays anything else then it occupies the first staff in a full score, but if it doubles with Flute 2 (or 3) then it remains in that score position, below Flute 1.”

I think you’re going to go around in circles in various unsatisfactory ways pursuing this approach. You shouldn’t have your contrabassoon and basson 1/2 instruments held by the same player.

Rinaldo - It looks like we had different teachers :smiley:

It does indeed! And I don’t dispute that both procedures can be found in print.

In my own defense, I’ll say that the system I described – Piccolo remaining on a staff below Flute 1 when played as a double by Flute 2 or 3 – is prescribed in the Adler orchestration book (my other orchestration books are packed away at the moment) and followed in the twenty or so Britten full scores on my shelf. I’ve not researched further, except to note that the Mahler symphonies do it your way.

Hah! I looked up Adler and indeed there it is. However, AFAICT the Gould notation book does not make that distinction - she simply says Piccolo at the top. Maybe we should arrange a boxing match: Adler vs. Gould :laughing:

Ah, so that’s the reason I’ve been getting dizzy. :slight_smile: Anyway, this hasn’t been a completely wasted effort. I now know a bunch of things that do not work.

But yes, I agree that this is not the right approach.

Meanwhile, at the risk of hi-jacking this thread,I’d like to suggest an alternate new feature. As a background to this - and speaking as a composer here - I personally find it much easier to compose onto the conductor’s score - one stave for each woodwind regardless of how many players. For brass I also prefer one stave per instrument, although I could see the need for two horn staves if you have 4 horn players. This eliminates anywhere from 7 to 10+ staves on your score - and makes it much easier to see what’s going on.

With that in mind - and apologies if I’m telling you something you already know - there is already a system which allows you to notate on one stave and yet unambiguously tells the conductor exactly which player is handling which notes. Just to give the simplest example, if you have 2 bassoons and only player 1 is playing, you put 1. where player 1 starts playing. If player 2 is playing, you put a 2. If both player are playing in unison, you put a.2. If there are two notes, then it is assumed that player 1 plays the top note and player 2 the bottom. It gets a bit more complicated if lines cross and/or if there are rests. In a really complicated situation there may be a need to go to 2 staves, but those are exceptions.

This is described in detail in Gould’s Behind Bars in the section on Stave Sharing in Chapter 17.

The reason I bring all this up is that it would be a tremendous time saver if Dorico could use this notation to automatically generate parts from the conductor’s score. E.g., if I could say “The oboe section has three players and player 3 doubles on English Horn” - and provided I correctly notate my score -have the parts automatically generated from the conductor’s score? That would be a killer feature.

Needless to say, I don’t know if this is possible. And even as things are right now, it is still substantially easier to handle this in Dorico than the competition.

https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=154384&p=829552#p829533

Composer/arranger Tim Davies http://debreved.com/ has a great video about taking a composer’s reduced score and expanding it into an orchestral arrangement. In “Extreme Australian Orchestration” https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=8&v=HeCuJfXhS9s he uses Finale (Dorico was not available at the time), but the techniques can be adapted to Dorico with little difficulty.

There’s a Finale plug-in that does exactly this: uses the information from “1.” and “2.” and “a 2” etc. to expand one staff into two parts intelligently. It needs a look afterwards to make sure everything came out as expected, but I’ve used it to generate parts from a full score for a Broadway-adjacent situation.

That demonstrates that the concept is possible, under some circumstances, for a particular piece of software. I claim no more for it, and I’m certainly not telling anyone at Dorico anything they don’t already know about.

Dan - You already pointed me to this discussion in a previous post. Daniel is stating that Dorico’s future direction is to have you enter the players separately and then Dorico will auto-condense. My strong preference would be to have Dorico allow you to compose condensed and then auto-generate the parts. Perhaps I’m not seeing some obvious reason why this is either impossible or very difficult - but if (as Rinaldo says) Finale can already do this, then it’s at least within the realm of possibility.

Out of curiosity - I don’t know if you run into this situation at all, but if you had to choose one approach, what would your preference be - compose parts and auto-condense or compose condensed and then auto-generate parts?

Absolutely the second option, every single time. I always compose condensed and explode after. (Actually, I often don’t bother exploding these days for my own players, since it’s not automatic - they’ve gotten used to reading a combined part score. I only explode when preparing a score for someone else’s folks.) I have a feeling most arrangers start with condensed score as well, though I don’t know for sure. Copyists/engravers are probably in the other camp. I continue to hope that whatever alchemy Daniel and team are developing will apply to my particular workflow.

This bit certainly sounds intriguing:

I agree that I don’t understand why it would be uniquely difficult to achieve what you’re asking for (input as condensed), since the onus would be on the user to format it correctly with “1.” and “a 2” and so forth (just like Explode currently: if you use it incorrectly, you get the wrong result! Fine by me). But as a non-programmer myself, I get the sense that non-programmers saying “That doesn’t seem hard to do” is the coding equivalent of mansplaining. So I scrupulously avoid saying it (usually, haha). Plus, Daniel was pretty clear that they’ve mulled it over for a long time now, so the answer seems pretty definitive. And considering what the team has created so far, I’m inclined to trust them, and adjust my workflow accordingly.