Best approach to score vs. parts for strings

If this has been answered elsewhere, I would greatly appreciate a link. I have searched and not found anything.

In a full score layout, the strings use single stems when there is a divisi on one staff with identical rhythms. The individual layout needs to use up and down stems. What is the best way to enter notes into the score to be able to have these two different stemmings?

Provided you’re using Dorico Pro 3.5, then you can do this using divisi, and then enabling condensing for that divisi writing in the full score.

Thank you for your quick reply! However, I’m still not able to figure out what to do! I’ve got two brief orchestral violin clips here. The first one is how it should appear in the full score layout, the second is how it should appear in the Violin part layout. How do I enter notes, either working from the part backwards to the full score, or forwards from the full score to the part layout so that the stemming changes according to standard notational convention. The Divisi option works for multiple staves, but this is just one staff. It is not that hard to change the part layout, but then the full score changes as well.


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Thank you!

Generally Dorico works best if one works from score to parts.

By convention, if you want a string part to be divisi, it should show as divisi in both the score and the parts. Your first example would normally be interpreted as simply asking the players to play double-stops.

If you want to indicate divisi without using the Dorico divisi method, you can just use different voices (one up-stem and down-stem) and add some text for div. and unis. Of course that could get messy if your divided parts cross.

I suggest you watch How to Work With Divisi in Dorico Pro | Getting Started with Dorico 2 - YouTube
(it is still relevant to Dorico 3.5)

I would just put the div. indication above the two half notes concerned and not worry about the stems.

For long notes, this is OK in general, but for faster passages it’s often better to split staves, especially if players are supposed to sight-read their part.

Thank you all for your insights and answers. In my first example, I accidentally omitted the “div.” and “unis.” indications that would have made it clear. The main issue for me is that in the full score, single-stave divisis that share a common rhythm are single-stemmed, but part layouts need to have separate stems. This is for compactness of the full score and clarity of the part. Gould confirms this. I just can’t figure out a way to make that work!

  1. Create a Divisi that has a separate stave for each division.
  2. Enter the notes in the least space-saving way - one player/division per stave.
  3. Turn on Condensing (from Layout Options > Staves and Systems or from the Edit menu).
  4. If the music doesn’t slim down to a smaller number of staves, ensure that the Condensing settings within Layout Options are set to condense divisi.
  5. Use Notation Options > Condensing for global (flow-specific) control over the way divisi is handled.
  6. Use Condensing Changes (from the Engrave menu) to tweak locally.
    Note that at the bottom there are entirely manual settings. These are best used as a last resort - the settings further up the dialog, which override the same settings in Notstion Options - can normally be persuaded to give the result you want. The main downside to the Manual Condensing options is that as soon as the texture changes, you’ll need another Condensing Change with different settings.

Note also that Layout Options are layout specific, as are Condensing Changes, so you can condense differently in the parts to the score.

Thank you, pianoleo. I’m making some progress!!