Instrument names in staff labels

Staff labels use the instrument names set for each instrument, and instruments with the same instrument names are automatically numbered. Staff labels can show full or short instrument names.

On the Staves and Systems page in Setup > Layout Options, you can choose whether you want to show full, short, or no instrument names in staff labels in each layout independently.

  • Full staff labels use full instrument names.

  • Abbreviated staff labels use short instrument names.

  • None shows no staff labels.

You can change the full and short instrument names for each instrument in the Edit Instrument Names dialog in Setup mode.


Changing instrument names does not change the name shown at the top of each part layout, as that uses the layout name. You can change the layout name in Setup mode.

It is usual to number instruments when there are multiple players holding the same type of instrument. For example, if there are four horn players in an orchestra, they are usually called Horn 1, Horn 2, Horn 3, and Horn 4.

In Dorico Pro, instruments are automatically numbered. This also applies to players holding multiple instruments. 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.