Alternating staves/systems

Hi. If I want to alternate between SATB and soloist, for example for refrain and couplets, how do I make one system with 4 staffs, then the next one with only 1, then back to 4 etc?

Layout options>Vertical Spacing>Hide empty staves should work.

If you want direct control, system-by-system, of which staves are visible, you can use manual staff visibility changes:

“For example, you can activate and change the setting for individual staves, or use the options in the action bar to change the setting for all staves simultaneously.”

I think this doesn’t apply. When I hide a staff, it does it for all subsequent systems.

Just apply another reset/show change later on and they will reappear. (It’s easiest to do this in galley view, not page view)

Thanks. I did it in page view and it worked.
That should be in the instructions of this link Hiding/Showing staves from system/frame breaks

One more thing, trying to do those steps, the score become disorganized. For some reason there is only one staff and a lot of blank space on one page.

That’s because you’ve created a frame break at bar 23, rather than a system break.

Oh I see.
This (picture) is not great but it is better, thanks.

It does not appear you have left enough space for the subsequent system to fit on the left hand page. And since we cannot see the entire RH page, we cannot tell whether reducing the distance between staves on that system is possible unless you post a (cut down) Dorico file (perhaps of just those two pages) that will let us play with the problem to see what is possible with Engrave Options Vertical Spacing.

Test.dorico (1.8 MB)

Here’s the Dorico file. I changed the vertical spacing of the systems so they should fit on the same page, but for some reason it did not work.

You’ve been dragging systems around. Don’t do that! In Engrave mode, choose Engrave > Staff Spacing > Reset Layout to get back to a clean slate.

1 Like

Ok, but I did it just to test if the system would go to the previous page, but it did not.

No, it won’t. You can’t drag systems from one frame to another. Use Make Into Frame if you want to do this.

Ok, great. Thanks all for the help. Here’s the summary of the solution:

  • Library → Layout Options → Vertical Spacing → Hide empty staves

However, for more control system by system, there is this solution:

  • Create system break → double click (or select and Edit-Notations-Staff-Manual Staff Visibility) → do what you want for this and all subsequent systems.
  • Then, go to the next system, do the same and reset the change you did for this and following systems.
    PS: it might be necessary to use system break, make into frame, etc.

One more doubt related to this.
On Layout Options → Vertical Spacing → Hide empty staves, I can chose to exclude a voice from being hidden.
However, how can I exclude a group of being hidden if there is al least one staff on that group with a note?
For example: I am alternating between SATB and soloists. However, sometimes one of the SATB voices is empty. If I just choose to hide empty staves, this voice will also be hidden and the SATB part will appear as SAT or another combination. I don’t want that. If there is only one voice with notes on the SATB part, the full SATB quartet staves should be appearing.

In Pro you can use manual staff visibility to make sure a staff shows.

You could set the SATB staves to be excluded from hide empty staves, so that they will never hide even when empty, but allow the solo staff to be hidden when empty. Then you could use manual staff visibility changes to hide the SATB staves on the systems where you want only the solo voice to appear.

Well, yes, but that’s a more manual work. For a small piece that’s fine, but Dorico could have a more automatic wat of doing it.

I’m not sure how Dorico could handle this more automatically, I’m afraid.

1 Like

On solution is to make groups, and then having an option to not hide a staff inside the group if another staff has a note.