Custom condensing groups

Hi there, i was wondering if there is some way to limit the amount of instruments to two per stave when condensing the score in Dorico. I always end up with a single stave for 3 trumpets or 3 horns and 1 isolated horn and it both looks bad and isn’t really conventional practice to condense like this.

Can you help me?

Thank you!

You can set custom condensing groups in Layout Options > Players > Condensing.

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Great! You’re a life saver and thank you for such a prompt reply!

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Actually, sorry i just have one more question regarding this topic. Is there a way to edit the voices after it’s been Condensed? My flute parts have automatically split into separate voices, even though it would make more sense to have them in the same voice, stemmed together.

I’m not sure I can explain this quickly, but I’ll have a go:

Dorico makes one automated decision per phrase, where a phrase is defined as the stuff between rests. Depending on the writing, this can mean that a phrase - and a single condensing decision - can last for a single note or multiple pages.

You can tell Dorico to start a new phrase anywhere you like, by inserting a Condensing Change from the Engrave menu: you need to flick the switch(es) for the relevant player(s), but you don’t necessarily need to change any of the other parameters in the dialog.

Dorico’s general approach to condensing can be influenced, at the flow level, from Notation Options > Condensing. Each of the settings in that dialog can be locally overridden from the Condensing Change dialog, as often as you like.

edit: I suppose for clarity I should add that the pictures in Notation Options > Condensing are crucial, as are the little textual explanations underneath some of the options. Many of these options are dependent on each other, so bear in mind that if you can’t work out why some option down at the bottom of the dialog isn’t working, it may be because something in a completely different bit of the dialog is set in a way that’s incompatible with the music you’re throwing at Dorico.

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Thank you for your reply.

That all makes sense to me now and it was very clear. However, I’m still unsure how to work around this specific issue. I tried a condensing change in the bar I needed changing and set it to amalgamate. I thought that this would change the notes to be in the same voice, as they are in rhythmic unison, but still, only some remain amalgamated.

Here is an image to better show you what the issue is:

Do you see in the second stave (which is the flute part mentioned earlier) how some notes join stems/voice and some don’t.

That’s very odd. If you turn on Voice Colors from the view menu (in Galley/uncondensed mode), does that show anything weird?

No, when i turn that on, they are all the same colour

Can you cut the project down to just the Flute staves and delete everything but e.g. those first 21 bars, then upload here? It’s impossible to know quite what’s going on from your screenshot (and I’ve just checked - here’s what I get from a new project with factory Notation Options):

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Sure: SymphonicWindsDoricoForumTest.dorico (643.2 KB)

This was a bit of a head-scratcher. It comes down to beaming.

I’m not sure whether this started life as a MusicXML import. If it did, I highly recommend that, for next time, you go to Preferences > MusicXML Import and turn pretty much everything off. That won’t help retrospectively, though.

Select bar 12 to bar 73 in Galley View, right click and go Beaming > Reset Beaming.
If you switch to page view or Engrave mode you’ll see that this has fixed the stems.
If this project is native to Dorico, my guess is that you’ve performed some sort of wholesale beam splitting in Flute 1, then a slightly different form of beat splitting in Flute 2. For condensing to work correctly, you need to do the beam splitting consistently (or not at all).

To get the beaming back to the way you had it before, you have a couple of options.

  1. The global option: go to Notation Options > Beam Grouping and set this option:

I don’t know whether this will negatively affect other music elsewhere in the score.
If so,

  1. The local option: select both flute staves from bar 12 to bar 73, right-click > Beaming > Make Unbeamed, then select both flute staves, just bar 34, right-click > Beaming > Reset Beaming.

The result should look like this: