Staff Labels above option?

I am creating a piano vocal score for a pretty lengthy opera. It would be nice if I could have full staff labels on the initial system, no staff labels on the remaining systems BUT have staff labels appear above vocals when they sing. As it is now, the only staff in that remains constant in the system is the piano, with the vocals appearing when they sing. However, I do not know who is supposed to be singing without the staff label. While I could do the abbreviated version, it still takes up too much space. It would be nicer if they could show up above (preferably boxed). Is this possible? Otherwise I have a tedious task of entering the names of character for every page.

Pretty sure this isn’t possible automatically, although it would be a helpful feature. You could try a workaround with instrument changes by creating one player for each vocal staff you’d need, create instrument definitions for the individual roles, and then “give” each player every character and utilize as needed, but that would be incredibly messy and imo not worth it.

Adding the character names manually doesn’t take too long. Just define a paragraph style for it with the formatting you want and then assign a keyboard shortcut to create that paragraph style.

ah, clever!

There are many options, some are manual/local, some global/(semi)-automatic. (You can also use some of this methods or combine them, experimenting):

  • rename the Piano instrument and delete the full and abbreviate name (and then rename the player to “Piano” so that the layout is correctly named), activate the abbreviated or none staff labels in Layout options/Staves and systems/Staff labels to show abbreviated names or no names (the piano will not appear because it has nothing in its name: you need to manually insert it with staff attached text where desired

  • use the properties of system or frame brakes, where you can decide if and how the staff labels appear for that break (the piano will never appear because we deleted it’s name) (*)

  • decrease the distance between the staff label and systemic barline in Engraving options/Staff labels/Horizontal position

  • Increase the left page margin (globally) in layout options/Page Setup

  • If you then choose to not using staff labels at all and choose to name every entrance: create a paragraph style with boxed text and desired panning, to be applied to the manual inserted staff labels (as poopies+X text), at the necessary places. You can then paste them where you need with select and alt+click.


In some scores you can find staff labels above or inbetween staves. Here one example from Sibelius 7. Symphony: