The Silver Clef Instrument Sequencing Numbering Chart

The Instrument Sequencing Chart

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This chart was constructed over a period of two years, between 2004 and 2005, with the collaboration of more than a dozen contributors in the C-M (Community Music) group.

The chart provides a solution to naming individual instrument part filenames such that they sort into proper score order when looking in a directory or an archive of those parts.

If anyone has produced individual instrument parts in Finale or Sibelius, then examined the default filenames produced by these programs, they have probably already seen what a mess it is to try to find an individual instrument’s part. For example, would the first alto sax part be found under “F” or “A” or “S” … or something totally different?

In any case, the parts most people produce from music engraving programs are named such that when you search for a part later, the parts are NOT in score order.

This sequencing chart solves that problem.



Using this chart will provide you with a consistent system for naming individual instrument parts, so they always sort in proper score order.


This chart was developed specifically for CONCERT Bands. With many different instrumentations for concert band, you should expand this chart to suit your needs.



If you expand this chart to suit additional needs, it would work best if you would select numbers for additional instruments that cause them to sort in proper score order.


This chart is copyright © 2005 by Silver Clef Music. You are free to use, duplicate, and modify it for your own use. It is not to be sold for any reason without permission.

INSTRUCTIONS – How To Use The Chart

Here is one method for using these numbers that has proven to be very successful. You are, of course, free to develop your own naming convention, or modify this to suit you own needs.

Each individual instrument part is contained in its own file. The name for that file consists of four parts.

Part 1 – The Tune Title

This will be the same for all files. If you are arranging Sousa’s “Washington Post March” the first segment of the file name could be “WashingtonPost.”

Part 2 – The Sequencing Number

This is the number off of the subject sequencing chart. If you are naming the compressed score for our sample tune, the first and second segments of the file name would look like this: “WashingtonPost 001”

Part 3 – The Cleartext Instrument Name

We include this part so normal humans can read it and see exactly which instrument this part is for. Continuing our example above, the filename with the first three segments would now read “WashingtonPost 001 Compressed Score”

If you were naming the Piccolo part, the filename would now read “WashingtonPost 101 Piccolo”

Part 4 – The File Extension

Simply add the appropriate extension for the file type. Usually, this will be “.pdf” for PDF type files. Continuing our examples from the previous part, the two filenames used as examples would now be complete as

WashingtonPost 001 CompressedScore.pdf
WashingtonPost 101 Piccolo.pdf

for consistency, ALWAYS use lowercase letters for the file extension.

Naming your files properly is one of the most important things you can do if you ever hope to find them again in the distant future. Don’t be lazy about filenames. Take your time and do it right, do it carefully, and do it with attention to detail. Be careful of uppercase vs. lowercase, and be careful and consistent about adding spaces and dashes in file names. The key to all this is to BE CONSISTENT throughout an entire set of parts for one tune.

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And as always, please let us know if you have any suggestions.