Subflows?

Dear users and developers,

While arranging the Swan Lake of Tchaikovsky, I missed the feature “Hide Cautionary Time Signatures” and “Hide Cautionary Key Signatures”.
How about it if Dorico allows subflows within flows? It would be great for the following cases:

  • Variations of a movement in sonatas, symphonies or suites.
  • Multiple short pieces in a movement.
  • Customised Coda
    etc.

Best,

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All these can (just about) be handled already. Set up different layouts with different flow filters.

Hello,
What I am suggesting is that each flow can have its children. If Dorico provides it, we do not need setting up different layouts with different flow filters. It will be more convenient.

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I don’t disagree, except I can imagine the development work required would be substantial and the consequent computational overhead might cause your CPU to grind to a halt.

I’m just observing that what you want cant be achieved today!

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This actually is a rather interesting idea. On the face of it it seems unnecessary, but the more I ponder the concept I can see it’s uses; if they were grouped together this way, you could move chunks of flows around together, for instance.

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+1
I deal a lot with collections of different pieces. Some only have one movement and some have two or more movements. Subflows would be great for this, if I could assign different flow headers for a group with subflows. Also an ability, to transpose all subflows in a group together, would be very time saving for me.

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This idea has been discussed before, e.g. here, here and here, and I absolutely endorse it.

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In Dorico Pro one can already design multiple Flow Headers in the Master Pages section and assign them in Engrave Mode.

Certainly, but you can have only one Flow Heading Change per page, and it will affect all flow headings on it. And they are page-attached, of course, so when the flow ordering changes you’re S.O.L.

I’m currently in the final stages of engraving an opera with two acts, each containing a number of scenes. Certainly I’ll manage, but sub-flows and hierarchical flow headers would be most welcome for a project like this.

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@Derrek, you are right, that everything is possible already, but for me Dorico looses all it’s magic with bigger publications, because every change in the order of flows is a lot of work, because flow header changes and flows are not connected and in all three bigger publications I published so far with Dorico, at the end there were only a few pages left, which didn’t have a red triangle, because I often need different flow headings on the same page.
I really would appreciate, if Dorico would become more flexible in this regard.

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Like the “arranger” feature one sees in many DAWs.

I am finalizing my opera in 24 scenes. In setup, I manually entered the scene names in the score for each voice and instrument. The libretto writer just changed the names of the scenes. I do not relish manually changing 24 x (voices+instruments) scene titles. Can I convert each scene name to a token and propagate that to (voice+instruments)?

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Welcome to the forum @charlie2! Your layouts should be set up to use tokens for flow titles already - here’s a diagram that shows the key information shown in layouts by default and where that information comes from.

How did you enter the scene names manually - directly on each page? or by renaming the flows (either in the bottom panel in Setup mode or in the Project Info dialog)? There is a little bit of nuance between those two places that’s described here.

If you did enter names directly onto pages in the layout (by double-clicking and editing the text in text frames), that should still be relatively quick to resolve - make sure Project Info has all the correct information for titles, then remove overrides on all the pages in all the layouts where you added titles directly there. That should reset them back to following the master page, and showing the updated titles in Project Info. However, it will remove any other manual changes you made to those pages too.

Hello Lillie Harris. Thanks for the quick reply. I did enter scene names directly onto pages in the layout (by double-clicking and editing the text in text frames) I attach the score to 24 Hours in 48 Minutes, written in one flow because performance is live sync with a 3d sound track.The track source flashes the scene name on a video screen visible to the performers. Each of the 24 scenes is named by hour and title. I have to change the 24 titles, but not the hours. Now that you have more information, please kindly suggest the best workflow. thanks, Charlie PS we are in rehearsal for the premier 20, 21 August.

24m in 48h-Score 1.5-7.15.2021.pdf (2.42 MB)

Hello Charlie, I can’t tell all the details just from the PDF (as the project file would contain information like where you have overrides etc) but I would always recommend using Dorico’s intended workflow for adding flow titles as I described above. It will always (or at the very least, almost always) be the quickest and most efficient method, because you enter the title once and it automatically appears and is updated everywhere the corresponding token is used. Manual overrides are only linked to that specific page, and don’t “move with the music”.

If your scenes are separate, you could definitely have them as separate flows - if your concern is the gap between flows in playback, you can change that to 0 seconds. The benefit of having each scene as a separate flow is each flow has its own name, making it easier to refer to them.

I would also suggest playing around with your page size, margins, and staff size - based on the ensemble size, you might be able to fit 2 systems per page using a smaller staff size, and that would result in the staves not being quite so spread out vertically and fewer pages overall. Of course, you may well just not have reached that stage yet, but that’s another reason to avoid page-specific overrides before you’ve finished getting the layout sorted out as overrides “lock you in”.

(Additionally, in b186 you’ve written “trem” - do you mean you want this notation? Dorico supports all kinds of notations but if you can’t find one, either ask or search online and you should find instructions of where to go.)

Hello Lillie Harris. Thanks for the quick reply. I did enter scene names directly onto pages in the layout (by double-clicking and editing the text in text frames) I attach the score to 24 Hours in 48 Minutes, written in one flow because performance is live sync with a 3d sound track.The track source flashes the scene name on a video screen visible to the performers. Each of the 24 scenes is named by hour and title. I have to change the 24 titles, but not the hours. Now that you have more information, please kindly suggest the best workflow. thanks, Charlie PS we are in rehearsal for the premier 20, 21 August. Is there plans for: 1. a find & replace function? 2. scene list with tokens for each?

24m in 48h-Score 1.5-7.15.2021.pdf (2.42 MB)

Hi @charlie2 - please reread my last reply to you. I cannot see all the information required from a PDF only. You would need to share the project file itself (or a version of it showing just an extract if you don’t want to share the whole thing) for anyone to give you more specific advice.

I strongly recommend not adding titles directly on pages, as I have already said. Remove all your manual overrides from all pages. Rename flows in the ways described in the links I shared above: either in the Flows panel in Setup mode, or in the Project Info dialog. If you do that, no search and replace is necessary: updating information in Project Info causes all corresponding tokens everywhere in the project to update and show the current, correct information.

I can’t think of a reason for not splitting these scenes into separate flows, so I suggest you do that. If you don’t want a double barline at the end of each flow, change that. If you don’t want a gap between flows in playback, change that. I don’t know how you want to divide information for “scene title” and “hour” for showing in headers etc, but you can utilise any of the fields in Project Info and add the relevant tokens to flow headings / the running header in the Default master page.

Your score is over 400 pages long - please reread the suggestions I made to you in my last reply about reducing the staff size so you can fit 2 systems per page, this will massively reduce the page count and make it much easier to use.

As for a scene list, you can create this yourself using tokens in a text frame, formatted however you like. If you want the scene list to appear in multiple layouts, create a custom master page that you can then add to all relevant layouts - with again the benefit of any changes you make to the master page automatically getting updated in all layouts at once, rather than manually changing them all individually.

Finally, please don’t copy and paste messages with minor edits/additions - perhaps this was an automatic error from your email provider, but if so be aware of that - it makes it look like you haven’t read my previous reply, which I did put some time and thought into to try to help you, and that makes me a bit sad. If you want help, please make it clear what you’re asking for. I’m happy to help, but my time is limited.

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Thank you kindly for your time and your advice . Please do not be sad about it being ignored. I have read your words carefully. I must have missed the instructions about reducing staff size. Please resend.

My Dorico score is attached. I am new to Dorico, at age 79 missing skills and understandings.

Our master is on Cubase. It has our 3d soundscapes and rhythm track of layered ticks and tocks. It runs throughout the show.
Our ensemble is 2 sopranos, violin, viola, F Horn, tuba, guitar/soundscapes/conductor, perrcussion/liveFoley.
The players read their Dorico parts or scores. The Cubase track sends measure numbers, rehearsal letters and scene names in real time
to a video screen to coordinate the performance. The integration with the single Cubase source is the basis for a single flow score.
Given normal procedure in software with token like performanace, I mistakenly thought the scenes could be applied as tokens in the single flow score.

Please kindly explain how flows can be extracted and sequenced for your 24 flow plan, copying each scene from the master score and create a flow per scene. I do not find a way in score or midi list to chose in and out points by bar number or time code for extracting the scenes. Capturing these large units with the hand or marque tool is less precise.

RE Your plan for 24 scene list tokens for the 24 scenes: "create this yourself using tokens in a text frame, formatted however you like”
Would each scene be named by a token like {@flow2title@} or as {@flow2subtitle@} in the flow 2 setup page?

thank you for your patience,

2021-07-18 22-24-40_24m in 48h-Score 1.5-7.15.2021.dorico (3.74 MB)

In Write mode. Select a barline (eg. bar 142, rehearsal mark B). Then from the top menu select writesplit flow. Repeat for each place you want to split a flow. (Hint: it is quicker to start at the end of your file and work back to the beginning!)

Go to Project Info (ctrl-i) - you will see all your flows listed. Give each a title. The default layouts will show your flow titles automatically (no need to mess around with {@flowxxxx@} tokens!)

Here’s your project where I’ve made some page formatting changes and started splitting the flows, starting from the end and working back towards the front, exactly the same as @Janus was recommending. If you open Project Info, you’ll see I’ve started adding scene titles (or at least, what I assumed to be scene titles) in the relevant fields, but the middle flows I haven’t done this for so you can try it out and learn the procedure. You can copy the text from the text objects at the start of the scene, then paste into the relevant field.

morrow_24_hours_48_mins_LH.dorico (1.9 MB)

Some tweaks I made in this project in addition to splitting flows, starting from the end -

  • Reduced staff size and page margins in the full score layout. Some systems still overlap on some pages, due to excess vertical pressure from very low notes - leftover keyswitches.
  • Reduced the minimum gaps between dynamics / text objects and the staff - in Engrave > Engaving Options > Dynamics and Text. This positions text and dynamics a bit closer to the staff by default, also reducing vertical pressure.
  • Reset the graphical offsets from where you’ve moved text objects manually - I can’t recommend enough that you don’t do this until you’ve completely finalised your layout. The objects will still be considered when calculating staff spacing etc from their original position, not offset position, and it can disguise the underlying issue - for instance, the reason some of your scene title text objects were so far from the staff was they had a carriage return inside them, so they included the space for a whole other line of text.
  • Where parts (like the guitar) have a long note and quavers on top simultaneously, I’ve started putting the held note in a down-stem voice. It looks much neater than lots of ties and doesn’t need as much horizontal space.
  • Applied the Silence playback template - as this is quite a large project, if you don’t need sounds all the time, this can make it run a bit quicker and reduces its file size for sharing.
  • Grouped a few dynamics - grouped dynamics are automatically aligned, which looks a lot neater.

Tokens cannot refer to positions within flows, only separate flows. Once you’ve finished splitting the first flow at each scene change, resulting in every scene being a separate flow, you can then create a master page with yes tokens like you describe - if you want to show the title, use the flow title token. If you want to show the subtitle, use the flow subtitle token. It ultimately depends on what information you want to show, and what field in Project Info you’ve added that information into.

Lastly, hopefully you won’t need text objects showing the scene name once you’ve split them into flows, but if you do - create a paragraph style for any consistent text formatting you need. This saves you having to format every text object manually, and means if you change your mind (about the font family, font size, line spacing etc) you only have to edit the paragraph style, and all places where it’s used get updated too.