Some thoughts about instruments.xml and ease of engraving
When I asked some engravers to input orchestral scores, I found there are some limitations in the current instrument definition strategy, so want to discuss here. I wanted to transcribe some Richard Strauss scores into braille, and you know, there are lots of instrument changes in late-romantic scores. Also, sometimes the horns use treble clef, transposed a 5th lower; but sometimes there's a bass clef, transposed a 4th higher. There are cases where horns, trumpets and timpani don't have key signatures. Sometimes a bass clarinet may use a bass clef without octave down transposition, etc. So, I think in the future development:
1. Is it possible to include a definition for second clef transposition, so that we can use a single instrument rather than a self-defined instrument change to apply different transpositions caused by the clef change? The engravers did lots of work to invent such kind of things, and there are quite a lot of changes even when there're only horn in F staves.
2. Is it possible to suppress key signature for individual instruments rather than applying open key by dragging it to the corresponding staves? Sibelius has built-in horn, trumpet and timpani without key.
3. So, if there are multiple such instruments, can we use the description field in the instruments.xml instead of the long names? Then if we see Horn in F (no key), Timpani (no key), the long names will still be Horn in F and Timpani, no need to change names if not needed.
4. If possible, can we implement a dialog to create and edit instruments instead of first making a change then edit the properties? This will ease both instrument creation and software development, and we can store the newly-defined instruments in a customed xml file, either for self use or sharing online to expand the instrument library, bringing convenience for other engravers.