Instrument numbering

It is customary to number instruments when there is more than one in a piece so that they can be easily identified, such as Horn 1 and Horn 2. Dorico Elements automatically numbers instruments where there are multiple instruments of the same type in the same project.

For example, if there is only one flute in a project, it is called Flute, but if there are three flutes, they are automatically called Flute 1, Flute 2, and Flute 3.

Figure 1. One violin with no number
Figure 2. Adding a second violin automatically generates numbers for both violins

Instrument numbering applies to individual instruments, rather than players. For example, if an ensemble contains two flute players and a piccolo player, but the second flute is also holding a piccolo, then the instruments are numbered in the following way:

  • Flute 1

  • Flute 2 & Piccolo 1

  • Piccolo 2


You can move individual instruments to different players if you want to change which numbered instruments are held by each player. For example, if you want the second flute to double second piccolo rather than first piccolo, you can swap the piccolo instruments between the players.

Dorico Elements automatically generates instrument numbers for players if the following criteria are met:

  • The project contains multiple instruments with identical instrument names.

  • The instruments have the same transposition.

  • The players holding them are the same type, either single or section.

  • The players are in the same group.

For example, if you have two flutes in your project, but one flute is a section player and the other flute is a single player, they are not numbered automatically. Similarly, if the two flutes are in different player groups, they are not numbered automatically.


Instruments held by players designated as soloists are not automatically numbered.