Adding extra staves

Dorico Pro Help

Dorico Pro
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You can add extra staves both above and below instruments that belong to single players, and show them for both limited sections or for the entire flow. For example, some complex piano music requires three staves rather than two to display the music clearly.

  • If you want to add extra staves to notate a divisi passage or to show an alternative interpretation, you can use the dedicated divisi and ossia staff features instead.

  • You can add as many staves above/below instruments as you like, but only one at a time. You must also select an item on one of the original staves of the instrument to add additional staves, not on any existing extra staves you have added.

  • You can only add extra staves to instruments held by single players. You cannot add extra staves to instruments that belong to section players or percussion kits.

  • Extra staves prevent instruments from condensing in the systems where extra staves exist.


  1. In Write mode, select an item on one of the instrument’s original staves and at the rhythmic position where you want to add an extra staff.
  2. Add an extra staff in one of the following ways:
    • Choose Edit > Notations > Staff > Add Staff Above.

    • Choose Edit > Notations > Staff > Add Staff Below.


    You can also choose these options from the context menu.

  3. Optional: Repeat steps 1 and 2 as many times as you like.


An extra full-sized staff is added either above or below the selected staff, starting at the earliest rhythmic position you selected and lasting until the end of the flow. A signpost appears at its start position, indicating the number of staves that have been added.


By default, extra staves do not extend to the start/end of systems, meaning they start/stop in the middle of systems.

If you want extra staves to extend to the start/end of systems automatically regardless of their rhythmic start/end positions, you can show extra staves across whole systems in each layout independently.


Piano with an extra staff added above the top staff in the second bar