Condensing isn't consistent with voices

Score is here:

When I condense the flutes, trumpets, and trombone (Horn 1-2 is on one staff, intentionally), I don’t get a consistent treatment of voices.

In Flute 1-2 bar 12, for example, it shows in one voice, but in bar 28 (and most of the rest of the piece), it shows two voices. Trumpets and trombones are similarly inconsistent. There are doubled unisons throughout, rather than consistently using “a2.”

What am I missing here? It’s possible I’ve notated something incorrectly, but I don’t think it’s likely.

Your biggest problem is that almost none of your slurs or dynamics are linked.
Where there are genuine differences (one player has two halfs tied together, while another has two half notes where the pitches differ) Dorico may take that into consideration when deciding how to condense the entire phrase, which may be several pages of music (assuming no substantial rests).

If that’s the reason, it’s a non-starter for me, as I don’t prefer to link anything. Group, yes… link, no. I do put in dynamics generally either by selecting multiple staves before using the popover, or by duplicating to staff below; so I’m pretty sure the dynamics don’t differ from one another.

I hope linking isn’t an implicit requirement for correct condensing!

I think it’s because the phrase at bar 28 includes the following two bars because there is no rest after bar 28. So it’s condensing the entire phrase.

I probably shouldn’t say this, but I’ve just found a sneaky cheat:
Take for example your Flute phrase that runs from bar 100 to bar 111.
Bars 105-106 prevent Dorico from amalgamating that whole 12 bars.
Try selecting bars 105-106, switching them to (a new) Downstem Voice 1, then filtering the Upstem Voice 1 rests and going Edit > Remove Rests.

This is undocumented behaviour…

You’re right, and I originally read the version history too quickly. It seems the calculation of voice usage takes place across a phrase, not measure by measure. I would much prefer the latter, but I can’t complain. I do look forward to the time when we can set voice management of condensing by measure.

In the meantime, I’ll try Leo’s undocumented advice.

Do I need to sign a waiver first? :sunglasses:

Be careful with my undocumented advice: Dorico’s expecting Upstem Voice 1 consistently, and I’m noticing that in sections where I try other voices, their slurs don’t show in Condensed view.

Dan, I can do you one better.

Attwood’s Turn Thy Face which is nearly chorale writing. Not a difficult piece or score, but I thought I’d make a condensed version for the accompanist.

I’ve double checked that everything is in upstem 1, no hidden objects; all signposts are showing in this screen grab (hint, there aren’t any). Easy singing with mostly same rhythms; notes only only 3rds apart, and yet only one line condenses out of the whole piece. I’m stumped. I’ve double-checked all the settings to make sure that crossing is allowed, amalgamation is allowed, you name it… The rhythms aren’t perfect matches but can readily be condensed, that’s for sure (most of the time they should even share stems).

Not bothering to post the project since this isn’t a dire need and I have a feeling many kinks will be worked out with 3.1 (I hope so anyway).

Looking at the flutes, I’m not convinced this is anything to do with grouping dynamics.

Dorico splits the music into “phrases” and independently chooses how to condense each phrase. To simplfy what it says in the release notes, phrases are separated by rests, unless some other considerations extend them over a rest.

In the first phrase you have different note values (half notes against a whole note) so the condensed part has to use two voices, and they are used for the complete 4-bar phrase.

In bars 12-13 there is nothing to stop the all the notes being in one voice.

In 28-30, again you have different note lengths.

I’m not sure about 39-42, but I think the tied whole notes will count as a single note, longer than the two whole notes in the other flute.

In bars 100 on, the unison whole notes probably make Dorico choose two voices (I’ve noticed in my own scores that “a 2” never seems to occur on whole notes for some reason). Because of the simplistic idea of a “phrase”, the condensing is all done the same way between 100 and 124 because there are no rests.

The same ideas seem to explain what happens in the trumpets and trombones.

Published orchestra scores usually avoid frequent switches between two stems and one, unlike a keyboard part where you would normally use two voices on a staff for the minimum possible number of notes.

I think the real issue here is that until there is some user control over what is a “phrase” in a future version of Dorico, some things are inevitably going to be sub-optimal - but your score is perfectly legible, even if it’s not as beautiful as it might be.

FWIW my biggest complaint about the current version is that it is over-enthusiastic about condensing parts onto single stems, with lots of “a 2” indications on isolated notes. Using two voices for the whole passage would look better IMO. In published scores, “a 2” is normally used only for unison passages that continue for several bars, not for single notes.

Romanos, I’m guessing the reason is that you have breath marks only in the Soprano in bar 44, and the Bass in bar 47.

If Dorico is paranoic about making it clear which condensed voices every mark in the score applies to (which is probably a good thing in general), there would be no way to combine two voices with and without a breath mark on the same staff.

Of course a breath mark before a rest in the Altos in bar 44 is a bit pointless for human singers, but computers are literal minded about such things.

@Rob: for orchestral condensing, I don’t feel the entire phrase has to be consistent in voicing, just the measure.

Gould is less stringent; she even offers examples where the number of voices changes in the middle of the bar. I think that quick of a change is unhelpful, but measure-by-measure could be a pretty universal delineator.

Dan I’m not defending the way it is, just trying to understand/explain it.

But too many changes are just as wrong as too few.

By golly, I’d forgotten all about those little buggers. That was it, Rob. Thanks!

(Oddly enough, I discovered, there was a phrase that condensed with a breath mark in it… while the others didn’t… hrmmmm. I know I’m not mistaken either, because I had to specifically switch to galley view to click and delete it since it was attached to a condensed part.)