Theme and variations

Which is the recommended layout for “Theme and variations”?

  1. One flow with a system break for each variation?
  2. Several flows (for the theme and for each variation) with staff indent and staff labels displayed at each variation?

If I input it as #2, can I get Dorico to format it as it looks like #1 or must I then merge flows into one? If the latter, how do I merge flows into one single flow in a project?


I would think that depends on the way the variations are structured and on the personal preference of the composer (and engraver).

The only way to merge flows at present is to copy/paste all the flows into one flow.

One argument for using flows for Theme and Variations: the header at the top of the page can automatically show which variation you’re on, based on the current flow.

I understand that cautionary time signatures cannot be hidden within a piece and that variations are typically(?) not engraved with cautionary time signatures (if a time signature change is made) so that would mean that flows are the only option, but then I cannot get rid of the indent and the staff labels (since I need it on the very first system).

Are there any set rules on how a Theme and variations “should” look?

Why can’t you? If you put a system break, you can click on the sign post and then decide whether or not you want full, abbreviated, or no staff labels.

I don’t quite understand. Could you please show me?


Many thanks!

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Here’s a good source to imitate: