Close score or open score

Hi, How can I choose between close score and open score, when starting a piece for SATB choir?
I’m using Dorico 3.5

To have open score one musty give separate staves to S A T & B.
In some cases one can use Condensing to combine the SA and TB lines (lyrics can still be a problem as this form of condensing has not been completed yet even in Dorico Pro 4.x).

Of course if one wants closed score all the way through, there should be a two-stave choir “instrument” one can use, ideal for notating most hymns.

Unless writing specifically in hymn style, my understanding is that separate SATB staves are the professional norm for choral works.

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There are several other reasons to use closed score. It’s fairly common to have a 3-way divisi between 2 sections (e.g. S+A trios), which in practice may require some singers to roadmap from one part to another. This is much easier to read in condensed form.

If the music is mostly homophonic, with closed score you need only one copy of the lyrics for everyone, allowing you to fit more music on a page and see the overview of the piece more easily. My pet peeve is flipping through a 17-page octavo of SATB+Piano when my entire part would fit on a single Letter page. (I have recopied parts for myself many times, which is a good way to learn the music.)

Of course if you have more than a little heterophony you’ll want separate staves. So it depends on the composition.

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Thanks for all the replies.
I originally selected ‘choral and vocal’ from the hub, where unaccompanied SATB is in open score format. Now I’ve discovered that selecting’ empty project’ instead gives access to a ‘choir’ instrument, in closed score. In Sibelius I used to be able to switch between open and closed score, so if that need arises I’ll look into condensing, which Derrek mentioned, though I’ve not used that before.
Thanks again.

I’d concur with the earlier answers: once there’s any ‘independent rhythm’, then you should use separate staves, rather than a crowded closed score with 4 different lyrics lines and dynamics.

Some other thoughts worth mentioning:

Singers hate needless changes to the staff layout. Unless you are going to save significant pages, then it’s better to have it all the same. (And don’t forget that if you’ve managed to squeeze it all onto 5 pages, then you’ve still got 3 blank pages in a booklet, which you might as well use.)

Also: one artefact from computer software is abbreviated labels on every system. If your score isn’t changing its layout frequently, then you don’t need S. A. T. B. Pno at the head of every system. If nothing else, it’s reducing the width for music on the page. Beryl the Alto is always going to sing the second line down.