Even though many notation apps are quite good at many defaults, bracketing tend to be a hit and miss and something you should keep an eye out for.

In general it’s good practice to bracket each section like this:

  • Woodwinds
  • Brass
  • Percussion
  • Strings

If there are multiple staves for each instrumental family – e.g. two or three staves for flutes, oboes, clarinets and bassoons – you can bracket in two ways:

  • bracket the entire woodwinds and draw sub-brackets for each instrumental family
  • bracket each family separately as demonstrated here:

In either case there are these points to keep in mind:

  • Timpani is not bracketed – it’s located between brass and the rest of the percussion
  • Braces are old practice as sub-brackets and only used for harp, marimba, organ, piano and any other instrument where one player reads several staves.

Otherwise bracket away 🙂