Request: Make possible default instrument sets

• Oct 13, 2020 - 22:44

That's not the best way to describe my request, but what I mean is: When you are transcribing a score and need to change, say soprano 1 to C trumpet 1, or to otherwise "change instrument" and there are similar changes, there is currently no way to go directly to "Orchestra" or any other category without first having to waste time in the (very limited) "Common" list. If a composer/arranger does nothing but orchestral scores, he/she would have to first go through "Common" for each instrument that is changed. If there were a box that said perhaps "make this instrumental set default" it could save that step. I realize it's not a bfd, but it is an annoyance.
Or it that can't be done, please at least expand the list of brass instruments within "common" to include C trumpet , and perhaps bass trombone and euphonium. The list of "common" brass instruments is pretty limited, and C trumpets for example aren't limited to orchestral music. Thanks.


You can search for individual instruments by using the search box at the bottom of the list you are describing. It will look through all instruments not just the common instruments.

I've seen discussions about having the instruments change dialog remember the category you last used, but I'm not finding an issue for it right now.

In reply to by mike320

I hate to disagree with someone who I respect, but In the classical brass world (which I've been in for over 50 years professionally) C trumpet is indeed common, more common in fact, and it is not unusual for trumpet players to play Bb parts on their C trumpets. I don't like to make them have to transpose, and if a piece lays better on C trumpet, I want to write it for C. Also, many sets of parts for brass ensemble and quintet come with Bb on one side of the page, C on the flip side, or separate parts in each key. In the classical world, cornet is not common. Every trumpet major in conservatories and schools of music has as part of his kit a C trumpet. For the sake of classical players, and those who write for them, I would maintain that C trumpet is very common.

In reply to by

And the C trumpet is included in the list of classical instruments for this reason. Common would be common to several genres rather than one.

There are things we, as users, can do to make the program easier for us to use. I have quite a few customizations in my palettes.

When you set up your score for a classical piece, you should open the classical list. You can even set up a custom template to include the C trumpet if you want to. If changing to a C trumpet is common for you then you should put a change to a C trumpet in a palette so you don't even need to look for it. Do an instrument change then press ctrl+shift and drag the instrument change text to a palette. You'll never have to look for the C trumpet for an instrument again.

In reply to by mike320

I'm afraid I don't see a "classical list" in the templates. There is a classical orchestra (way too many parts). The closest I would use would be brass quintet, although the template has Bb trumpets, which is fine when I want them. (The templates are in the attachment). But if I can make a template with C trumpets already there, that would be useful indeed. The particular little transcription I'm working on now wasn't started from a template- I had to change all the voices to instruments manually. Thanks again.

Attachment Size
Untitled.pdf 51.91 KB

In reply to by

OOPS, I said the it wrong. It's the Orchestra list is in the instruments dialog that comes when you create a score by selecting your instruments and the same instruments list when you change an instrument mid-staff.

To make a template, save any score into the folder that is listed in Edit->Preferences under the general tab where it says "Templates:" I suggest that the file be empty since everything you add to the file will be removed when you use it as a custom template. When you save a template there, the list you attached will have something like "Custom" added and any scores in that folder will be listed. So save the file you are going to use as a template with a meaningful name for use as a template, perhaps Brass Ensemble (C trumpet). Just like the scores you make from the default templates, you will need to name the score the first time you save it. Some other things that could be useful (these are only examples). If you change the style of something is will be retained in the score, like if you change staff text size to 12pt from the 10pt default. Also, the instruments will keep the same definitions they had when you saved the template. If you add a tenor trombone and make the clef at the start a bass clef, that will be retained, a clef later in the score will not be kept.

Don't be afraid to play with the template or ask questions if you can't get something specific to work.

Edit: I should have read both of your posts before replying. You don't need this but I'll keep it in case it helps someone else.

In reply to by mike320

Sorry to keep having problems, but I can't get this to work- I took the brass quintet template, changed the first trumpet to C, command-dragged into a new palette I named "instrument change" , the green plus was there, it went into the palette just fine. But I can't figure out how to put that instrument change into a staff. I can drag it, double, click it, etc. but nothing sticks to the any staff. I selected the instrument, double clicked (and when I do that, the dialog box opens). I figured out how to make a template (I hope I did- made a 32 bar blank with the right instruments, etc. then saved into the templates folder, and it does show up as a custom template). But I'd like to be able to do what you suggested as well, if I could get the new palatte entry (C Trumpet) to magically change the instrument on the staff. Thanks again.

In reply to by

It doesn't sound like you did it right. Did you use the Change instrument text from the text palette to change the instrument? If so, you need to cmd+shift and drag it to the palette. I don't know where the green plus came from. When you apply it, press escape when the dialog appears and you'll get the C-Trumpet for the new instrument. This is only to use for a mid staff instrument change, use the template if you are starting with a C trumpet.

In reply to by mike320

Ah, I was trying to use the wrong palette. What I managed to do was convoluted and I misunderstood what you were really suggesting. The new template is a no-brainer, at least for new scores.
Glad to know that "change instrument" from the text palette on the left (not the "add >text>instrument change menu" or shift+command+drag to palette from an instrument change dialogue box) will take you right to the instrument list and also automatically takes care of any transposition/key change. I didn't realize it was that powerful.

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