divisi in Dorico 2_general toughts and questions

Hello, I’ve updated Dorico 1 to Dorico 2 and the most useful feature for me is divisi. I really appreciate, what Dorico team did. Because I use a lot of divisi, I decided to make a topic, wherein I will be posting, when I will have a problem or suggestion for the next developement of this feature. So…

Sugestion: it would be very handy to have possibility to save (like a presset) different divisi configuration. Now I have to create divisi configuration every time I am changing it. And I am changing it a lot. And I have to again create my own labels, create amount of divisions and everything.

See the attached file:

How can I set the staff spacing option in that way, that staffs are evenly distributed in whole frame space, from the top to the bottom? Now there is a big space in the middle.

Re your suggestion, you know you can alt-click any divisi signpost to any other location, right?

I knew, that I can move it, but I didn’t know, that I can copy it. Thank you, this is very useful information.
But still the presets would be more handy, because otherwise I have to find the proper signpost in the score. And with the preset feature I could define the presets for all my future scores.

I am also very excited about Dorico 2 and its new divisi feature, it’s a big leap forward. Kudos to the Dorico team.

A few remarks and ideas:

– I think it would be nice if the signpost that marks a change back to tutti would display as ‘Tutti’ instead of the generic ‘Divisi’, as it actually cancels a current divisi.

– For (left margin) staff labels, Dorico makes a distinction between full and abbreviated names, which you can specify for each player. In a divisi specification you can only enter one variety. Do we not need both?

  • In both score and parts, a divisi (and the end of it) is generally indicated with a textual instruction, like ‘div. a 3’, ‘2 Soli’, ‘la metà’, ‘1. Pult’, ‘gli altri’, etc. etc., and of course ‘Tutti’. Or, for that matter, occasionally, an explicit ‘non div.’. In the current implementation, after adding a divisi, we have to remember to also add ‘non-intelligent’ text objects to the appropriate staves. I think the dialogue window for specifying the divisi should also contain text box(es) to specify the in-staff divisi instruction for each staff, or alternatively, one for all staves (e.g. ‘div.’ written between the two staves). This instruction should be part of the divisi object, so that it lives and moves along with the divisi signpost.

– Typographically, a divisi instruction resembles a textual playing technique like ‘pizz.’ or ‘con sord.’, and in practice, it is often put into one text object, like ‘tutti arco’. Maybe Dorico could handle that automatically where applicable.

– Divisi very often occurs within one staff. We can simply input two voices and add ‘div.’ staff text, like we’ve always done, but it would be nice if even in a one-staff divisi, the passage would technically be a real divisi, i.e. with a signpost marking it, and being terminated with a ‘tutti’ signpost containing the ‘tutti’ instruction. For the musicians the practical execution of a div. instruction is identical whether notated on one staff or two.

– It is already possible to mark a one-staff divisi, although it has no technical or typographical consequences AFAIK. Add a divisi, add a section, and then delete the newly added section. You now have a signpost marking the start of a 1-staff divisi. It’s not very useful as yet, but if Dorico would be expanded with connected divisi instructions as described above, it would start to make sense.

– One special type of divisi is ‘div. arco/pizz.’ where the playing technique may be the only thing different. Even when notated as a single voice on one staff, you should hear both sounds in playback.

– An advanced feature would be if a one-staff divisi could be converted into a multiple-staff divisi when the notation gets too complicated. Or the other way round: to reduce it to one staff if the music turns out to be simple enough. This is very similar to the “holy grail” of the ‘flauti a 2’ feature, which Dorico eventually will make many of us very happy with. This applies to the ‘div. arco/pizz.’ as well, especially if notated as one voice only.

I have a lot of divisi in my string orchestra. I would like to prepare parts for the players. So my plan is to prepare for each section more than one layout. E.g. in Violin I there are 6 players and I need 3 different layouts, one for each two players:

  1. Violin I (1,2)
  2. Violin I (3,4)
  3. Violin I (5,6)

Dorico by default is preparing one layout for one player/section. And I can only combine players/sections, but I don’t know how to split divisi sections into more than one layout. Is it possible to do it?

You cannot split divisi sections into different layouts, I’m afraid. I think using three Violin 1 players each with two divisi sections is probably the way to go for the time being, assuming the staff labelling in the score will look OK for your needs.

Thank you for response. So, this is my suggestion for future developement. There are scores, where composers needs more layouts than orchestra sections and it will be perfect to take full advantage of Dorico divisi feature.

I would like to create separate brackets for each violin section, when I use divisi.
See the example:

How can I do it?

My two suggestions are:

  1. Dorico doesn’t justify the spacing of divisi staves. I have an SATB score with an SSAATTBB section, and I get huge gaps between the voices and tiny gaps between the divisi parts.
  2. I’d like the “1, 2” section labels to be only on the first system with the divisi. Currently, I have to have the number on all systems or none.

Ben, re your number 2, just Alt-(lick (copy) your Divisi signpost to the start of the next system. Then double-click the duplicate and tell it not to show the 1,2.

My divisi begins at the start of a new flow, so I don’t get a divisi signpost. I just have new Full Staff Labels, with 1, 2 (which I want). Then I get 1 2 on every following page, which I don’t want. (It’s a major new section of the piece with expanded vocal forces and no strings. The original scoring returns later.)
Maybe divisi isn’t the best way to do, it but it seemed like something to try.

Fine. So add a divisi to the start of the next page and set it up so that exactly the same staves show, but with staff labels turned off.

edit: If you don’t have a divisi signpost at the start, it’s probably because you have View > Signposts > Divisi turned off. Turn it on!

Screenshot for clarity.

Ah! Thank you. Sorry, I misunderstood “signposts”. Yes, I can copy the Divisi “flags” :wink: to the next system and then get rid of the numbers!


I haven’t seen this on the forum yet: if I have divisi with three players, the instrument label forces the system to the right. I don’t see a way to fix this, except for using Layout Options: Staves and Systems to disable “Show group names” or “Show section names”. But I would like to have both the group name (C Tpt) and section names (I, II, III). I could just type them in as text, but it would be great if it that wasn’t necessary.

Note Spacing lets me drag the system to the right, but I can’t drag it any farther to the left. Any ideas?

Have you tried adjusting the minimum distances on the Staff Labels page of Engraving Options?

Thanks! I just tried it, and while it does help a little with the C Tpt label, the other labels (especially F Hn) run into their brackets.

Dorico has very nice feature, that if on the same page you have a couple of tutti bars and then multi staff “divisi”, Dorico duplicates melody “tutti” to the second staff of “divisi”, before the divisi signpost.
It’s very handy… UNLESS you are combining multiple staff divisi and one staff divisi.
See the example:
Galley view:

Page view:

I have 4 viole. In some bars I want to notate them on one staff, then I want to notate them on 2 staffs. Dorico duplicates tutti part and it seems, that players should play the chords, but I want them to play single note. So I have to manually delete two bottom notes on upper staff and two upper notes on bottom staff.

I am using a lot of divisi in different combination, and in many situations it’s really hard to check every page, if this kind circumstances appeared, especially, if the number of bars in the system have changed; in this situation I have to check the whole score again.

Fix your system breaks and frame breaks before you start fiddling with divisi, I think.

What do you mean by saying “fix your system breaks and frame breaks”?

I am in compositional (not engraving) process, so content of frames and systems is changing constantly and dynamically, thanks to Dorico algorithms, depending on what part of my piece I am currently composing. I don’t know what can I fix.

In that case, maybe leave organising divisi until you’ve finished with the compositional process. Either that or at least save this tidying up step until you’ve finished writing the piece.