Song structure presentation

I am about to create my own paragraph styles destined to deliver an overview of the structure of a song. I want to present very basic roots and bar lines à la…

| Am7 / / / | Fadd9 / / F/E | Dmsus4 // Dm/C | G/B / / / || repeat

Verse 1A
= Intro 2x

Verse 1B

etc. etc.

…before presenting the proper partition.

In a text editor, I would do this with the help of tabs (not TAB) or tables, the vertical lines being the bar lines and the horizontal lines being invisible, invisible narrow lines serving to keep the distance between the “music lines”.

I don’t know if the following is a question for the existing or a suggestion for further development:
Currently I can attribute chords and lyrics to a melody.
Is there a way to switch on/off independently the display of the note line and/or the chords and/or the lyrics in a way I can have lyrics displayed with the chords correctly aligned on top of them, or the chords all alone? Not knowing how lyrics and melody (and chords) are connected to each other I tend to think of them as of “lines” and would like to suggest a fourth “line category” able to display the structure as shown above. One would usually not use that kind of line together with any of the other lines, but they seem to logically belong together. Switching off any lengthy items such as lyrics and melody would allow for a concise overview of the harmonic content without any additional work other than that already invested in notating the melody and the chords.

If that’s not on the list, is there a way to have tabs like in a text editor or tables, so I can fill in a measure per field with the measures being vertically aligned (= having the same width)?

If my post is redundant, feel free to point me to the appropriate thread. It is well possible that I simply don’t know the terminology to make use of the search function.

Although I am not sure I am perfectly clear what your layout(s) would look like, this sounds as if you could use (4-measure?) flows for your “tabs” and set them not to start a new page for each flow. You could use frames/systems to force each flow to use the full width of the page, and IIRC you could assign chord to specific beats.

I’m not sure you could assign lyrics without notes to assign them to, but you might bbe able to assign a “phantom” staff of all eighth notes to which you could assign lyrics (on the eighths appropriate) and later copy and paste the lyrics onto a melody once you have written it (if the melody notes match the eighths on which you have assigned lyric syllables). You wouldn’t include the phantom staff in your printed layout.

That’s my take on what I think you’re asking. It’s a work-round, but I’m pretty sure there is currently no included way to do all the things you are looking for.
proof of (348 KB)

I think the easiest way to do this is to use a word processor with tabs, or a table set up to not show the grid lines, then export as a graphic file and import into Dorico. You would have complete control over the way things line up.

Thank you @Derrek and @musicmaven for taking your time, I really appreciate!
So I learn that it’s not possible to renounce utterly on systems – at least not now.

Still I would like to keep up my request to be able to hide the system, but to keep the lyrics with chords aligned properly on top of them – meaning: showing the chords where they used to sit above the system/the note they are attached to (is that Sibelius talk now?…). Usually that should suffice to show them above the syllable where they are supposed to sit.
It would allow to publish different versions of a songbook – one including melody, another including just lyrics and chords – without additional effort.

If then I could hide the lyrics altogether with the system and still keep the chords to present a song structure, that would be phenomenal, although the question remains how the chords should be formatted in that case and how much tweakability there should be for the user.

I agree that it would be very useful to be able to generate a lyrics+chords layout from a fully-realised piece of music, and I would expect us to produce something like this at some point in the future, though I’m not sure when. Although the end result is simple enough to imagine, figuring out how to generate that from a score and to be able to e.g. edit both the lyrics and the chord symbols and have them correctly update the full score or part layout is where the complication lies.

Since I can’t do without a system I am currently experimenting with a handclap line on which I want to notate the rhythm (of a melody). It makes sense, since depending on the source there can be weird chord changes at unusual moments, and it is the nearest I can get to the presentation used in my initial post.
I’m not at ease with it because I don’t want a handclap. I renamed it “structure”. Of course I now have a superfluous instrument called structure in the full score. Can I hide it?

Concerning the ability to edit lyrics and chord symbols, I would favor a phantom melody line that appears as soon as I double click on a chord or a syllable that I want to edit. I admit this is not wysiwyg at the moment of editing, but it seems foolproof.

You should be able to exclude the ‘Structure’ instrument from the full score layout by going to Setup mode, selecting the 'Full score’ layout on the right-hand side, then deactivating the checkbox for the ‘Structure’ instrument in the Players panel on the left-hand side.

Thank you Daniel!

By the way, I was surprised to hear Joe Berkovitz talk about lanes today. Reminded me very much of my “line categories”.
Err, yes, I happened to be in Symmetrie 3, too :slight_smile:

The saxophones will haunt my nightmares…

I’m still on the same thing: Producing a structural overview of a song, using a percussion instrument renamed “structure”.
Since I can select and deselect layouts and players per part, I chose to have two parts per song, one that contains the structure and notes (= annotations), and another containing the proper score.
I have two issues with that.
Firstly I have to give two parts the same names if I want to keep a consistent look using tokens. No problems as long as I keep things tidy. But it would feel kind of safer if I could give additional names (e.g. subtitles) to parts to distinguish between similarly named ones.
Secondly, I have problems to understand the logic of the layout display: I have two parts with identical names. One contains only the instrument called “structure”, the other part contains the other instruments. The same applies to the layouts: I created a new master page set containing a specific “structure” template alongside “first” and “standard”. For the structure part, I deselected all layouts except my new specific structure layout. For the score part, I deselected the structure layout, keeping all others.

When I choose to display more than one layout (via the + button on the upper right, thus adding tabs) and select my structure part, I still have all the other layouts, although they are deselected on the right panel. Shouldn’t the tabs disappear as soon as I switch to my structure part, and reappear as soon as I choose my score part? Or am I getting something (funda)mentally wrong?

I’m totally lost, Eddo.

What do you mean by “part”? Do you mean “flow”, or “layout”, or something completely different?

As far as I’ve understood, he means flows.

You don’t have to name flows similarly, the flow names are just for your own organization; yes, their names are used as flow titles by default but you can change the info (title, subtitle, composer, etc.) for each flow in the Project Info window (“File > Project Info” – select flow to change at the top).

The tabs at the top are the same throughout Setup mode, Write mode, and Engrave mode; they are not related to any layout or flow, they are there so that you can display multiple players/parts in the same project/window you’re currently working on. However, what’s displayed inside these tabs depends on the settings in Setup mode. For example, if you have a player that only shows up in flow 1 and is unchecked for flow 2 in Setup mode, opening the player’s contents in a tab will only show flow 1; but it has no influence on the checkbox settings in Setup mode. And changing the checkbox values will not have any influence on the tabs themselves, only on what is shown as contents of the player that this tab represents.
I hope I could explain it so that it’s not too confusing.

Like others, I find Eddo’s description of the situation confusing.

My first reaction was: why not create a Player called structure which could sit at the top of the working score or be printed in its own layout and omitted from the printed “Full” score?

Sorry for being confusing. I indeed meant to write flows instead of parts (flow = Partie in the German software version). I had no time yet to digest your answers, so just a short thank you for answering and I’ll be back as soon as time permits…

I wish I knew the inside joke of this! ha ha Anyone…?

Back to learning Dorico.
Having watched Joe Barron’s hangout video on “specific frame layouts” and according to Derrek’s post I understand that instead of having two flows (one displaying the structure of the song, the other one displaying the song itself) I rather have two layouts.

Now, in the video mentioned above I’m told how I can display the beginning of various flows on one page using various frames and once in engrave mode, how to choose the desired flows from the pop-up within a frame.
However, apart from MA/LA, their numbers and the flows, there seems to be no option to choose specific bars from within a flow (?)
Is it possible to achieve this in another way?

Edit 13/5/2018: Hopefully I get a reply in a separate post that can be found here

The inside joke of this is that acoustic overstretching leads to a certain probability that there will be no more saxophones in the upcoming Dorico update. Note: No saxophones were harmed in creating this post.