Too many players

I’ve imported a bunch of xml files (from Finale), cleaned them up (visually, anyway) and then imported the flows into a single document (9 flows).

It’s for 3 players–piano and two voices. The full score looks great but the players are a mess. There are 20 different players. In one case (flow) even each staff of the piano is a separate player.

When I imported the flows I was offered the choice to create new players or merge players where possible.

When I chose merge where possible the flows were extra messed up so I chose new players.

Short of copying and pasting into a new document is there a way to consolidate all the flows into the three players it’s meant to be? Or, did I miss a crucial step somewhere along the way?


A good lesson to check the setup of an imported file before working on the score. In this situation I would create the desired instruments anew in the same file and copy everything vertically, then delete the unwanted instruments. That way you don’t have to go recreating the bars, meters, key signatures, tempo markings, etc. The Select to End of Flow command makes this fairly quick.

Take care when copying piano music one staff at a time. Piano pedaling is stored in the top staff even though it appears below the bottom staff, so pasting can be tricky. Hopefully your voice staves are already the correct instruments, otherwise dynamics may not be positioned correctly, etc.

But if you already have the music looking how you want it and it’s not going to be edited further, maybe there’s no need to fix anything, and you can just count this a learning experience. I am curious about what appeared more messed up when you chose to merge players.

Does anyone have experience editing MusicXML directly to fix instrument assignments?

This is why you have duplicate players. Pretty straightforward, really.

Pick your “master” pianos, §1 and then go into galley mode and c&p all the data in the incorrect instruments into the desired ones, and then delete the no-longer-needed players/instruments.

§1– ideally, you should just create NEW players that don’t have all the xml baggage (like single staves being considered their own pianos; sounds like poor xml data to me) and THEN copy the music to the new parts.

If you do decide to keep some of the created instruments (players), (re)assign the same instrument in Setup mode, even if it appears to be correct. This will assign appropriate transposition, range, and other parameters correctly . Be sure to delete explicit clefs which will be imported as well (if you can click on the clefs, delete them).

The information about the piano importing as a double instrument, that happens often. It will come in as two single-staff “piano instruments.” Create a new 2-staff piano instrument, copy/paste notes from the imported one (one staff at a time) to the corresponding staves on the new piano instrument. Delete the imported one(s) after being sure all the information has been transferred correctly.

XML imports often carry a lot of extra baggage about instruments, which (so far) Dorico doesn’t know quite how to deal with - and it can create some weird issues if the info isn’t transferred into an appropriately configured instrument (as I understand it). YMMV

Thank you Mark_Johnson, Romanos401, and dwlarson for your helpful feedback.
I appreciate it.
When I tried merging the players the vocal lines were below the piano lines and often the staves were all scrunched up together. (I think scrunched is the technical term).

Thanks and cheers!

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Can you share an image of what it looked like “scrunched up”? There are various factors that contribute to how music gets put on pages, and in fact John Barron covered the most important ones (although I can’t remember if he mentioned the staff size - edit: I think he did yes) in his Discover Dorico session yesterday:

This is as simple as reordering the players. Your voice must have been underneath the piano in setup mode. Drag the voice up on top and that should sort you out.

Hi Lillie, After considering everything I had reformatted each flow setting for staff size and distance between staves and groups to match the primary flow before importing and that took care of the problems. I saved over the files and no longer have the scrunched version to show you.
Thanks. I really should go through all those helpful videos.