I have a mixture of questions regarding best practices for divisi labeling. I personally hate the idea of feature requests, but I must admit I have included one here.
So, when entering simple string divisi à 2, it’s pretty common to be labeled with a centered divisi label as below. Older music usually places this staff label inside the staves, but it’s more common today to have it outside the staves.
I can replicate this by making a two-part section divisi (without names/numbers) and giving it the group name “div.”. As is common in an instrumental part, I have staff labels turned off, so for this particular divisi I set the Show Group Name to “Show”. And voilá.
However, I realized that this combination of settings will show “div.” on every system which the divisi applies if it is spread across multiple systems. Upon looking for a good way to deal with this, in general I observed there are less conveniences afforded toward Group names versus Section names.
In Layout Options>Staves and Systems, all three Divisi labels options only work with Section names. So while it’s very easy to achieve the following, which has text for each staff…
…if I want text that is centered and applies to the first system only, I have to have a more heavy-handed approach: after searching the forum, it seems like people have suggested copying the divisi flag, pasting it immediately after and changing the settings so that the Group label is subsequently hidden. I can certainly get away with this in a pinch, but it seems an unnecessary duplication of work.
So, on to the question. Is there a better way of having a centered divisi label that I’ve not found? In many ways I understand I’m kind of abusing the Group name to get what I want, but I’m unaware of another way. One might suggest I make use of Section names rather than Group names, and in some situations this would work fine, but sometimes it doesn’t—in the example above, if I name each section “div.” it’s not clear that it’s the entire section which is divisi, rather than each individual line—wouldn’t want them to divide the double stops. And while I could number the divisions (and this is Dorico’s default when adding a divisi), I must say outside of contemporary music it’s highly unusual to number simple string divisi.
For the future, it would be great if the divisi label options in Layout Options>Staves and Systems either had the same options available separately for Group names or if those same options worked for both Section names & Group names. Probably the former would be more useful and flexible.