Triplet in Dorico among multiple staves of percussion, among other things

Forgive me if I’m just being a newbie to this, just switched to Finale.

If I make a triplet, I cannot input notes into the first note of the triplet, it just moves it over to the right. I don’t want the triplet to move over to the right, that’s why I have the first beat of the triplet selected. I cannot get my percussion to appear in a 5 line staff. I know I only have two unpitched instruments. I want a 5 line staff.

When I input notes as non-tuplets, then select among the two lines, it disregards what I have selected and just inputs the tuplets behind wherever I selected.

This is really frustrating and it’s at the point where I can’t see myself going further with this product. For larger ensemble pieces, I don’t want to view all of the possible parts I have playing, I’d much rather put “change to x” so that I don’t accidentally write two parts for one player. I also can’t figure out how to separate my clarinet 2/3 part into two separate pieces of sheet music, one playing the top line or layer one, the other playing the bottom line or layer two.

Dorico’s engraving looks great BUT I just can’t see myself learning all of this and it sucks because I want great engraving, the software is just super unintuitive and the tutorials don’t really explain anything.

To do this, if they are not already, they need to be part of a kit:

If they are already part of a kit then it is just a case of changing the percussion kit presentation type:

This isn’t possible, strictly speaking. But in Galley view, this is sort of possible by using Instrument Filters. At least you can filter the instruments you do want to see:

This is kind of the opposite workflow that many would recommend. With Dorico’s condensing function, it’s often easier to write the two parts individually and let the software combine them in the score. Nevertheless, you can copy and Explode the music onto multiple staves. Obviously this isn’t perfect though.

Welcome to the forum! Make sure to ask any questions you like here. We all do!

And also, I know it’s a tough transition to Dorico. Please hang in there - I would never go back.

The first step switching from Finale to Dorico in not to expect Dorico to act like Finale. I say this as a long-time Finale user (since the original version). Dorico is an amazingly flexible program, but one has to acquaint oneself with the concepts behind it. (Figuring out what capabilities appear in what menus or panels takes some doing before one internalizes the serious logic behind it.) Nonetheless, the relearning is worth the effort.

Daniel M has touched on the concept of Percussion Kits. When you say you would “rather put “change to x” so that I don’t accidentally write two parts for one player,” you need to specify whether one Player (a Dorico term) is holding two instruments (such as a Clarinet in Bb and one in A), which is a case of multiple Instruments being assigned to a single Player, or whether you are talking about two Players, each holding a single Bb Clarinet, which involves assigning each Instrument to a separate Player. In Finale one usually envisions the combined Clarinets as a single staff (from the score point-of-view). In Dorico (as Daniel mentions) one generally envisions the score from the Players’ point-of-view and then uses condensing to combine them for the conductor.

My workflow usually uses a Working Score layout with all separate staves (and a keyboard reduction, if appropriate) and then a separate Conductor Score with parts condensed and transposed. The ability to create multiple, even temporary non-printing, layouts is a real asset in Dorico.

And welcome to the forum, @ChrisBernhardt .

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I am just confused, as I have imported musicxml and I do not understand these players / parts thing at all. I.e. I have Horn 1-2 / 3-4 on different lines and I want horn parts 1-4, I don’t know if I can make this work but I have a really time sensitive finalzed score that I need out. These tutorials are really unclear, too, and it would really help to have more than 5 minute clips that just say “to input notes, input notes by inputting notes.” My flow in finale is SUPER fast minus engraving, which is the reason I bought dorico. I can write pages of orchestral music a day in Finale on a crunch, but this engraves better and faster.

I’m also confused with note lengths. If I have a 2/4 bar then a 4/4 bar and have a half note tied to a while not, why can’t I easily just tell it to put the piano on the start of the whole note and decresendo on the start of the half note? Can be pretty confusing to understand.

When I “explode” the music I don’t get top and bottom parts and rather it pastes

Parts 1-2
Part 1
Part 2

it seems in that order. But even that seems inconsistent. Could I possibly email you the file? I will pay for a quick up to speed tutorial / show me examples of how to do what it is I’m trying to do.

This took me a little while to get used to. Using the Dynamic Popover is the easiest (best?) way to do this:

Basically, this allows you to move the caret to any rhythmic position and enter dynamics/ornaments/playing techniques/etc that are then attached to that rhythmic position, rather than being attached to notes.

Players hold one or more Instruments, Layouts display the music that Players have (I guess this is what you would call “parts”).

My advice: Don’t try to learn a huge new program on a tight deadline. It is a big mistake. Dorico has a steep learning curve, if you haven’t gleaned that yet. If you have to get it done fast, use what you know. You will be happy you got Dorico, but not in a week!

You have to spend a lot of time with the tutorials and documentation before trying to do serious work. It’s tempting to start by importing from XML – it’s exciting to suddenly have a whole score in front of you – but that always requires some major edits, and it’s too frustrating when you don’t know how yet. Start by copying a score of interest to you, and learning the nuts & bolts. Learn the “Dorico way” for the basic things first, and you’ll find the rest of the program follows the same logic.

There are many users like the above on here who like to help with specific questions, but for a beginner such as you this piecemeal approach will end in frustration. I’ve seen it happen more than a couple of times. Give yourself a few weeks, and you’ll be producing scores and parts much more efficiently than before.

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I totally agree with @Mark_Johnson. IMHO it is essential for new Dorico users to take the time to work through some basic tutorials, especially the First Steps, even if you are an advanced user of other notation programs.



In Dorico, a Player is a person occupying a seat in the orchestra and who may hold various instruments in turn, or a Player is a section like the cello section and can divide into sub-sections if needed.

Actually, IMO importing an XML file can be a great way to learn editing in Dorico–but definitely not while on a deadline. The long-held rubric still holds: do not change software (or versions of software or OS) when on a deadline.