Single Line Staff for Pitched Instruments

Is there a way to create a single line staff for a pitched instrument? I have a section of music that is only key click sounds for wind instruments, and the original score changes from a 5-line to a 1-line staff. Is there a way to do this in Dorico?

I’d say you have to give a second instrument which is a single line staff instrument to the player…?

(A downside to this will be that in the score the next page after the switch will label the staff with the second instrument “key clicks” instead of “Clarinet 1”, a point that others have already brought up but did not get too much positive response from the team if I remember correctly.)

In Setup Mode, you can set the name of the additional percussion instrument (say, faux snare drum) to anything you like, e.g. ‘Clar. 1 clicks’ or even just ‘Clarinet 1’. Maybe you wouldn’t want to see the explicit instrument change (the single-line staff is a giveaway), but there are tricks to hide that: e.g. in the properties panel (in Engrave Mode) you can set the custom text of the instrument change to a single space, or you might change it to ‘key clicks’. This won’t show in the staff label on the next system.

That’s right: If you name your “click instrument” the same as the primary instrument, staff labels will not change in the score. :slight_smile:

To make things even better, you could write the clapping rhythm in only one instrument and transfer it to the others via Cues.

Thanks everyone. I ended up creating an unpitched percussion single line instrument for each pitched instrument. I renamed the percussion instruments to the same as the pitched instrument only with a period at the end or Dorico thought it was an instrument 1 and 2 situation. I changed the text where the new instrument name came up in the score to “key clicking”, and it all looks good. Here is a sample so you can see it:
Key Clicking Score.JPG
I haven’t cleaned anything up in Engrave mode yet, but you can see that it works.

Thanks again.

Yeah, looks great :slight_smile:

I would like to change the pitches inside the single line staff (using it for aprox. pitch or pitch direction)
Is something like in the attachment possible with Dorico and if yes how?


There are some MusicXML files floating around that, when opened in Dorico, can give you a pitched single-line stave. Or for that matter, if you have Finale in front of you (I’m assuming that screenshot is yours) then you can export a single-line pitched stave from Finale and it’ll work fine in Dorico. Then I guess to get the switches from five line to single line and back, you’d have the single-line “instrument” and then a five line instrument or kit held by the same player.

There’s no way or constructing a single-line pitched stave within Dorico natively.

You can also just add a space at the end of the name to trick Dorico into not adding “1” or “2” to the name.

Better method is to group them turn off automatic numbering.


unfortunately I can’t figure out which tag to change how in the XML to get a single line staff. I can’t use the import from finale because I have to modify an already existing score in Dorico.
So, what is the tag name to change a 5 line staff to a single line staff?

In my experience you cannot import a single-line pitched staff into an existing Dorico project; the MusicXML file must be opened, not imported.

Could one import the XML file with a single-line staff into a separate (temporary?) Dorico project and then either copy the original music into the temporary Dorico file or else export the flow from the temporary project and import it into a new flow in the original project?

One could import the original music into the temporary file, yes. One cannot (or at least I cannot) export the flow from the temporary project and import it into a new flow in the original project - this results in a regular five-line stave.

Bummer (at least for the second option). :frowning:

Indeed. I spent about an hour manually copying Master Pages and font settings from one project to another, last week, in order to be able to use a 0-line staff in the next volume of a teaching method I’m working on. Now that I won’t have to remove staff lines from the PDF I figure it’s an hour well spent.

Lucky Dorico saves one so much time over other programs in other aspects of the program.

Perhaps a more expedient option for this particular project (at least as far as relative “pitched” key slaps are concerned) is to put the descending figure into the regular 5-line staff and then just change the noteheads to X’s?

Add “staff-details” after the clef definition.

	<clef number="1">

Thanks, that worked fine.
Only all the quarter tones of my document of all the other instruments already scored didn’t got imported properly with the xml file. It seems Dorico doesn’t export or import it the same way. Is there a way to copy a single line staff from one document into another?