Condensing: anomalies or finger trouble?

I have tried to follow the instructions in the section of the pdf manual called Enabling/Disabling Condensing (p. 603/4) and have achieved what look like anomalies.

In this screenshot, I would draw attention to the oboe and bassoon staves. The bassoons are as I expect (with the exception of the superfluous labels in b.47, which I assume I can remove), but the oboes are represented by two separate voices until the middle of b.47. Why are they not in one voice like the bassoons from beat 3 of bar 44?

This case is even more perplexing: Horns 1/2 are not condensed. This is just after a change of key and 17 bars rest. This is, I hope, easily explained finger trouble: there are parts for 1. Horn (Es) & 1. Horn (E) and for 2. Horn (Es) & 2. Horn (E) In the full score, the first and second horns are condensed up to the bar 57 (the beginning of the illustration, where there is a change from 3/4 to Alla breve); but at their change of key the condensing stops.

I hope this is an error caused by a setting I have got wrong.

Any ideas, please?


First off, because condensing is very context-sensitive you’ll generally get solid answers more quickly if you’re able to share the project file itself.

A quick second point: the Page formatting chapter is structured with a list of “greatest hits” tasks at the start of the chapter, with more in-depth info, reference, and related but more niche tasks towards the end. The meat and potatoes of information about condensing is in the latter category, starting from here. (This follows the general manual style of a page/topic whose title is just a noun or concept being the place where you’ll find more prose-y information.)

The reason the oboes are in separate voices is because (as mentioned here), Dorico considers each phrase separately for condensing, and a phrase is “anything between rests”. At the start of that phrase, Oboe 2 plays while Oboe 1 is resting, then they play in rhythmic unison but with no rest break for Oboe 2. Therefore, that entire phrase is treated as a single phrase, and they’re not in rhythmic unison for the whole thing. Therefore again, 2-voice condensing result. Same for oboes and bassoons in the last 2 bars of your first screenshot.

You can add a condensing change where they start playing in rhythmic unison and include the Oboes in that change (no need to do anything else, just tick their checkbox) which tells Dorico to start a new phrase there, and recalculate.

Horns not condensing: can’t say for sure just from the picture, would need to look into the project file to investigate. (Edit: after rereading a bit of your post, am I right in thinking these instruments are held by players doubling 2 different horns each? i.e. each single player is holding 2 horn instruments? in which case, this is known: only the first instrument held by a player can be condensed.)

Finally, in response to an earlier thread of yours: the instrument names in staff labels aren’t consolidated because you’ve edited the instrument names manually. If you want to show only one instrument name but both instrument numbers on condensed staves, I suggest you investigate the default options available in Engraving Options > Staff Labels, and if a configuration there would be satisfactory, set those as required and reset your instrument names.

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Thank you for your response to these vexing problems, Lillie.

I will explore these options.

Thank you: I had not found that part of the manual. Is this a permanent feature of Condensing, or will it be possible “in the fullness of time” to condense instruments like horns that change their transposition during the piece? (R. Strauss does this all the time!). Horns (and trumpets) are, of course, a special case, though “changing crooks virtually” does not require an actual change of instrument today; but does it mean in the case of, say, two Flute players who double on Piccolo can only be condensed when playing Flute?

I did that because it seemed to me that the manual implicitly tells the user to edit instrument names during the setup process.

I will investigate this. In the present project, I need staves with solo instruments to read, e.g, 1. Horn and 2. Horn (which in German mean 1st Horn and 2nd Horn, respectively), and 1. 2. Horn when condensed, in each case with the key on the second line, and with the abbreviation Hr., rather than Hn. Can the user make these changes to a condensed score?

Again, many thanks for taking an interest in the hurdles I am facing.



The manual simply describes how you can do this, if you want or need to do this. The topic that describes the procedure for doing this is in the Setup mode chapter because that is the mode in which you can do it.

You can find more information about staff labels in the Staff labels chapter in the Notation reference.