Using separate files for parts

Hello everyone!

I was wondering how much is worth using different files to edit the general score and the parts. I know that Dorico is theoretically designed to have everything in the same file. I am a fairly new user (only two months with Dorico) and I am used to extract parts like in Finale.

Despite the options offered by Dorico to do local and global changes, I have not succeeded with enough independence yet and I am not very sure how much it is possible.

Is Dorico really fully prepared to keep parts and general score independently enough in a professional context with sometimes very complex scores with unusual demandings? Is it worth delving into it and consuming time until finding ways or tricks to get it? What is your experience?

In general it should certainly be possible to generate correct full score and instrumental parts from the same project without requiring you to use separate files.

Just yesterday, Hugo Bouma shared his experience that problems with divisi can cause him to have to use separate projects for score and parts, but this should only come into play with very challenging and complex situations.

And we certainly want to know what limitations exist that might cause you to need separate projects for score and parts, as it is absolutely our intention that we should find solutions for those limitations or problems.

For me personally, the only issue here has been with font sizes, particularly rehearsal marks and the various tempo fonts. It would be great if these could be specified differently for parts and score layouts like System text can for example. To be fair, it’s pretty easy to switch to local and scale them up in the score (if using staff-relative), but it would be great to have a setting for this and not have to worry about it.


Now I wouldn’t call the situation described in that thread as “very challenging and complex” on the scale of, say, a Richard Strauss score. It’s just that with the way divisi works currently, it’s often easier and quicker for me to split the files so I can make everything look right without worrying that I’m gonna break something in another layout. Divisi isn’t the only cause for this, either—often when you have to break the musical semantics to fix a graphical problem it’s easier to not have to juggle these semantics in two or more different layouts. Repeat bars are also often an isue, when you want the score to have everything written out (as Gould and others recommend) but you can save multiple pages in a part (often percussion) by judicious use of the % symbol.

I just finished a Richard Strauss score and was able to keep everything in one file, but I had to jump through numerous hoops, especially in the string parts where often I had to hide staves that contained music (in the score and parts) as well as judiciously planning line breaks.

One problem I ran into: if you need to hide the top staff of a divisi that contains music it causes all sorts of unexpected spacing problems, often compressing multiple bars into a small amount of space. This can be somewhat alleviated by manually spacing the notes, but I would try to avoid this situation if possible.

Another issue is the bug (sorry, Daniel, but this really is a bug) where divisi staves sometimes show extraneous naturals or, worse, omit essential sharps/flats. Again this can be remedied but requires careful proofing, since score and parts may exhibit different behaviors.

Finale has had Linked Parts since 2007, allowing you to create parts and score in the same document; though in fairness, there are many limitations for which extracting is the ‘workaround’.

But yes, I would say: produce parts and score in the same project file, until such time as you run into a problem (in the layout phase, rather than the note entry stage), then duplicate the file and carry on.

+1 ; rehearsal marks (parts) rehearsal marks (score) the same for immediate tempo, gradual tempo, metronome Music font, metronome music text font .

Would be great to do everything in One file.

I know its been mentioned before, but I really do need bar repeats (in parts), but written out (in score).