Condensing Two Parts, Slurs Disappearing


I’m currently copying a score to familiarize myself with Dorico.

In the below image, the copyist chose to use a mix of a single voice, and upstem and downstem voices in the same measure across ties for 2 Fagotti [bass clef, 2 flats]:

Is it possible to achieve this in Dorico with condensing for two separate Bassoon staves?

I’ve gotten close, but the only thing is that my slurs disappear in page view in the second measure of the example:
Screenshot 2024-05-20 042542

Meanwhile, they’re still present in Galley view in the two separate parts:

Here is a project file with the issue replicated:
20240520 Condensing Issue.dorico (1.2 MB)

Any ideas?

Deleting the manual Condensing Changes gets back your slurs, but won’t give you the exact result in bar 2 that you have above. The short answer is that as at the time of writing this post, nothing will.

In terms of familiarising yourself with Dorico, and with Condensing, you should take the time to get your head round the condensing options at Notation Options > Condensing. Dorico can make automated decisions to come to one condensing presentation (e.g. unisons indicated as single noteheads on single stems with “a2” above, or multiple noteheads on a single stem, or entirely separate voices) per phrase. Phrases are automatically broken by the presence of simultanous rests in all instruments within a condensing group (e.g. both bassoons here).

You can think of Condensing Changes as a phrase break: if you insert a Condensing Change with nothing ticked apart from the relevant players in the left side, you may see different handling (multiple voices/separate voices etc.) either side of the Condensing Change, as you’ve given Dorico the opportunity to make a different choice based on the context just to the left and just to the right of the Condensing Change. If you’re putting a Condensing Change midway through a musical phrase, though, and that results in a differing distribution of voices either side of the Condensing Change, you’ll find that Dorico can’t work out where to put the slurs. In the case of the second bar of your example, modern standards are that if you’re using chords in one voice, you only need one slur, and if you’re using two voices you need two slurs. There isn’t really a good solution for something that starts as one voice and breaks into two, and Dorico won’t do it automatically (though you can force the notes, not the slurs).

The main list of Notation Options within the Condensing Change dialog uses shortened text and no images, but it is otherwise an exact replica of the detailed list found in Library > Notation Options > Condensing. You have the possibility within a Condensing Change to change the Notation Options for specific groups of instruments, anywhere in a Flow. Any changes here remain until you Reset or tweak them further at another Condensing Change, or until the end of the Flow.

Diving straight into the Manual Condensing section can feel like a shortcut to quicker results, but you’re tying Dorico’s hands behind its back: the onus is always going to be on you to put in another Condensing Change as soon as the texture of the music changes, so it’s always going to result in more work for you. And in the long term it makes much more sense to learn what the Notation Options do, set them globally (in Library > Notation Options) in such a way that they work for most of the time, and then override them locally (with Condensing Changes) as necessary.

This is consistent with pretty much everything else about notating music in Dorico. Don’t like the way it beams sets of notes together? Change the Beam Grouping Notation Options. Don’t like how much music it tries to squeeze onto a system? Change the Note Spacing (Layout) Options.


Without any condensing changes, Dorico will put all notes for the first bassoon in this phrase in an up-stem voice and all notes for the second bassoon in a down-stem voice. In engrave mode, you can select the first bassoon notes which should have their stems down and press F to flip their stems. Then select the notes underneath the notes with flipped stems and set the voice column index to zero in the properties panel:



Leo, thanks for your detailed response!

In my main project file I do have my settings set in a way that handles condensing in a way that makes sense most of the time.

The example above is a location in the source material that deviates from the general way it is handled in the score, and doesn’t necessarily fit modern conventions.

But I’m trying to copy in as an exact of away as possible, a sort of lazy urtext edition, if you will.

John, you are the ‘Workaround King’. Fantastic. The few workarounds I’ve seen you provide are going to allow me to fly. I appreciate it so much!

1 Like