Sketch reduction techniques?

I’m analyzing and adding to/arranging a multi-instrument piece with extended harmony. Typically I use one or more Sketch instruments as a staff for this type of work (single staff or grand staff) then orchestrate the music later. For this work, I figured I would paste (Reduce) multiple instruments’ musical material into one staff (or grand staff) as a Sketch then try to do a bit of cleanup for a readable Sketch.

Is it possible to eliminate duplicate notes on a staff (ie. from instrument doublings which are pasted into one staff). Is it possible to Reduce the number of voices to eliminate unused ones (I already moved notes into one voice, yet the old Voices remain) ? Is it possible to Filter notes via a pitch break point, to then cut&paste those notes into the lower of the grand staff, to then further reduce; or is there a different way to move the bass notes into the separate bass clef? etc… How is it best to clean this material up for sketch-readability?

The Reduce function is temptingly quick, but it’s dumb—it can’t make the hundreds of small, informed decisions required to make a proper, readable reduction. It’s still useful, but more in small chunks, where you can see beforehand that the end result will still make sense when smashed into a single staff. And judging from this screenshot, there may just be too much material to comfortably fit on two staves in the first place. Assuming the reduction is not meant to be played on piano (which would require another layer of decisions) it’s probably much more comfortable if you add some staves to the sketch instrument.

Scherm­afbeelding 2024-04-06 om 09.55.53

This one at least is simple: save, close and re-open the project. Any completely unused voices will be removed.


When I make orchestral reductions I always copy out the notes manually after inspecting everything vertically. It’s too much cleanup work the other way.