Choral/section divisi

Hey folks,

I think I’m a little confused about the best way to write choral divisi -

What I want is for the opening of a piece to be unison voices (with some appropriate markings indicating when men and women sing)

Then at a later point the unison line needs to spread out into choral short score, with SA on one stave and TB on the other.

Then further on I’d like this to spread out into full score with divisi sopranos each with their own stave

then finally all back to unison at the end.

In an old (nameless) model, I’d have separate instruments for the unison line, the short score, and the choral score, and just hide whatever I’m not using.

I’m just wondering if there’s a better way to do this with Dorico’s player-instrument model? I notice in the tutorial videos automatic arrow symbols for choral divisi is mentioned, but I can’t work out how to create the division from choral short score (unless this isn’t yet a feature?)

Many thanks in advance


The short answer is no, there’s not a one-shot solution for this. It’s related to what’s called “condensing,” which is coming at some point.

Divisi works for splitting sopranos, but not for condensing (SATB on one staff). If you were working in a score that was consistently open (4 staves), you could use divisi when a section split.

Currently you’ll need to have similar workflow to F*****, somewhat. Here’s how I do it (there may be better ways):

  • one staff for singers, a section player
  • don’t show instrument labels on staff (layout Options)
  • use italicized staff text to show what singers are on what staff
  • add/remove staff as needed
  • you’ll need to modify your system breaks to reflect the score.
  • sometimes I do exactly what I did in Finale: use 4 staves and “hide empty staves” as needed.

There has been much talk about the condensing feature being added in the future, and we are all quite excited at the prospect!