Tempo mark on multiple staves?

In an orchestra score, is it possible to have a tempo mark (or rehearsal mark, etc.) appear both above Flute 1 and Violin 1?

I’ve been searching threads, documentation, the interface etc. and can’t find it - but I think it exists. Thanks for any help!


Thanks a million!

Here is an interesting conundrum - per Derrek’s suggestion, in the score attached (Song to the Moon from Rusalka), I have asked for the tempo to appear above the strings; but the tempo appears both above the harp and the strings. Does Dorico consider the harp a string instrument in this case?

The tempo should appear only at the top and above the Violin I staff, but I don’t know if Dorico will allow that.

Yes, a harp is a stringed instrument…

but the term “Strings” doesn’t imply every stringed instrument…

For the purposes of the system object positions defined in Layout Options, a harp is indeed considered to be part of the ‘Strings’ family.

I’m open to suggestions as to which other family you would prefer to see the harp included in!

Maybe for these purposes harp can be called a Keyboard? So the dialog could say “Keyboards and Harp” (see Derrek’s screenshot above). Or, the dialog can say “Fretted Instruments and Harp” instead of just “Fretted Instruments”. But harps appear below celesta/piano in most scores I’ve seen (just checked Ravel, Strauss and Boulez).

I had a quick look through some published scores and found examples where tempo text is printed above the harp but not the bowed strings, and examples where it’s printed above the bowed strings and not the harp. But I couldn’t find an example where it was printed above both, as in Stephen’s screenshot above.

Important topic, thanks to everyone. My preference would be to have the harp as its own category so that I could turn it on/off independently. But moreover, I’ve recently worked with a score where the the publisher (Schott) had the tempo indication above ALL instruments in the score – something not yet possible with Dorico. It would be a nice if we would have all possible options for ultimate flexibility to select any and all instruments for tempo indications and, sometimes on a system by system basis when a strange exception is warranted in a reduced score for example.

Finale, for one, puts the harp in the Plucked Strings category, together with guitars etc. Familiy relationship isn’t the point here, but rather which group the instrument belongs to in a musical score. One of the major publishers I’ve worked for, always referred to all the guys populating the land between the tuba and 1st violins as the MISC group… Given the enourmous variety of possible scenarios in this group, perhaps all the instruments potentially living there could have the option to switch system objects on and off on an individual basis…

Under no circumstances does it make sense to group the harp together with the string section, in the score or otherwise.

As have been said, separating plucked strings from bowed strings is a pretty sensible solution, but I agree that tempo and other system objects should be applicable to any group or separate staves (at least those of the plucked strings and percussion varieties), with the ability to override these settings on a system-by-system basis.

Wow, I must admit your answer comes as a bit of a shock, Daniel. i have never seen a published orchestral score in which the Harp was presented as part of the string section. And I have only once seen an orchestra’s personnel list group the harpist with the strings, and that was for an obscure and rather small orchestra in a rural location.

Anthony Donato (the ‘Gould’ of his day) always said that the Harp was a section unto itself, but that if it couldn’t be treated in that way should be treated as part of Keyboards, or if there were no keyboards then even as part of percussion, though always below anything else, other than vocal or concerto-soloist staves, that came in above the string section. But he never hinted that it might be placed IN the strings group. The subject never even came up as a possibility.

Kent Kennan, ditto.

If I were creating a full score for full orchestra including harp, I would want the Tempo indications and rehearsal marks to appear only in two places: 1. At the top of the score, that is above Flute 1 or Piccolo, and 2. immediately above the bowed strings, and NOT above the harp.

I know I’m rather an old fart with my mind stuck in the past, but I can’t IMAGINE seeing a score in which Tempi and Rehearsal marks were right above the Harp staves! That would give the harp an importance far beyond its real value in a score.

Here’s one - Eulenberg’s score of Tchaik R&J: http://imslp.org/wiki/Romeo_and_Juliet_(overture-fantasia)_(Tchaikovsky,_Pyotr)

One (relevant?) situation I found when I created a theater band score with a piano reduction placed below the vocal parts in the full score for convenience. I told Dorico I wanted the System Objects to show above the top staff and the Keyboard.

  • In Full Score layout (and Piano/Vocal, of course) System Object showed only above the rehearsal piano, not the keyboard in the band.
  • In the Conductor’s layout (which omitted the rehearsal piano) System Objects showed above the top staff and above the band keyboard part as intended.

This wasn’t a problem, since no layout intended for publication included both keyboards, but it was a notable idiosyncrasy.

I for one (for whatever it’s worth) would recommend treating the harp as a separate category.

Heh, you shock easily, Len! I simply stated the current state of things without any judgement. At the moment, the harp is listed both as a pitched percussion instrument (which is not ideal because of course you don’t generally strike your harp, unless it’s been very naughty, and even then that’s frowned upon these days), and as a stringed instrument. For the purposes of the system object positions in Layout Options, at the moment the strings family wins out.

The simplest thing I can do in the immediate term (i.e. potentially before the next minor update) is remove harp from the strings family, so that it’s in only the pitched percussion family. Then the harp would only show system objects like tempos and rehearsal marks if it were the topmost pitched percussion instrument in a succession of different instruments. As you can see from Stephen’s screenshot, what Dorico does is look for the first instrument in a given family in the score order, and if that family is chosen in Layout Options, puts the system object there. In Stephen’s score, you have harp (treated as a member of the strings family) after brass and before voice, then of course you have actual strings following voice, so you get the system objects in both places.

That sounds like a good short term solution.

Daniel said:

The simplest thing I can do in the immediate term (i.e. potentially before the next minor update) is remove harp from the strings family, so that it’s in only the pitched percussion family.

My preferred solution would be to have Harp as a separate section all its own. If that’s not possible or feasible, then your idea above would be fine for me. Thanks.