Three instruments on two staves?

This feels like a very basic question, but I can’t figure it out.

I commonly put three instruments on two staves. For example, Trumpet 1 and 2 on a combined staff, and Trumpet 3 on the staff below. Same with trombones.

The setup would look like this:

  • Trumpet 1,2
  • Trumpet 3
  • Trombone 1,2
  • Trombone 3

Is there an easy solution for the staff names? I’ve checked out the new instrument name editor, but it doesn’t allow manipulation of the “1 and 2” portion.

I would really like the ability to turn off automatic instrument numbering on an as-needed basis.


Yes, this is very common with trombones.
(very common?? correct English?)

Yep, “very common” is what we’d say.

Just out of curiosity, what’s your native language?

Dan, you can add those numbers yourself in the instrument name editor. Once you’ve done this, the names won’t be identical anymore, so Dorico will no longer add numbers automatically.

How about divisi? Here is a quick version using divisi trumpets, and then re-naming the trombone staff to Tbn 1,2. There’s no bracket on the trombone staff, because there’s no divisi - I don’t know if it’s possible to add a bracket without the divisi.


This is so incredibly basic, I’m embarrassed. But also glad. Thanks.

Dan, you are right, English is not my mother tongue.
For me, these three combinations sound right:

  1. it is quite common
  2. it is common
  3. it is extremely common
    … it is ‘very common’ (to me) sounds a bit clumsy, as if the same thing is said twice without necessity - like dats more better :wink:
    mmh, the thing is we all like things being perfect in detail, not just the engraving, also the sound, rhythm, the temperament of the tuning, the language, grammar, the spelling, even the typesetting of the text, the fonts being used and so on and so on… if I use a foreign language, I wouldn’t like to spread mistakes or inaccuracies…

Actually, I would say that all four possibilities are used, and completely idiomatic. (2) is the least extreme, “very” and “extremely” are identical in effect and meaning, and “quite” is somewhere in between. Your English sounds superb to me.

Very common and extremely common are identical? Interesting! In German “extrem” is definitely stronger than “sehr”.
This forum is a good place to polish my English. I’ve learnt a lot here, particularly from Daniel’s responses. :slight_smile:

It’s worth noting that British and American English are (unsurprisingly) slightly different. And I do mean slight, but I do mean different.

“Quite common,” for example, is very much a British-ism. Americans would understand, but it would sound slightly quaint to our ears. We’d almost universally say “very common” or “really common” instead, at least in casual speech.

Another thing is the sort of phrases that are exclusively British. Daniel uses these when I’ve listened to recordings of his presentations or interviews. “In the fullness of time,” “muck it up,” “bits and bobs,” “pop 'round”…

Americans secretly (or not so secretly) enjoy British accents and phrases. Maybe a holdover from our pre-1776 days…?? :laughing:

To add further complication, if you go Edinburgh in Scotland you’ll find that “quite” means something quite different!
Basically, if I, a Londoner, say “quite common” the emphasis is on the word “quite”, and the use of the word “quite” tempers/reduces the impact of the word “common”.
If an Edinburgher (or perhaps a Laudonian: someone from Lothian, where Edinburgh is) says “quite common” then the emphasis is on the word “common”, and the use of “quite” actually accentuates “common” - i.e. “quite nice” means better than “nice”.

No, “extremely” is stronger than “very”.

I think, if one lives in a culture where understatement is quite a common :wink: part of it, the approach is different.
You want to point something out and make a strong statement, you might say ‘it is quite…’ instead of ‘it is extremely…’
Part of culture of understatement and not easy to understand if one has an opposite approach.

pianoleo, regards from Aberdeen, even further north :slight_smile: :black_flag:󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿