Divisi on same staff

Is there way to use the divisi function, without adding staves? The Dorico manual mentions that in simple cases, you don’t need an extra staff, but it doesn’t explain how to achieve this. Of course, you can just use general text only (which is what I’ve been doing so far), but it would be tidier to do it through the divisi function, as it assures proper labelling and e.g. makes it easier to change your mind.

You can add a stave then immediately remove it, within the Divisi dialog box. This will give you the ability to rename the one remaining stave accordingly.

Cool trick, Leo ! I have to try this tomorrow

Haha, I have to admit I hadn’t thought of this. Works though.

I’m afraid I cannot picture this divisi without two staves. That sounds like something best accomplished with two voices (and I am dealing with this transcribing “Nimrod” from Elgar’s Enigma Variations into Dorico), so I am interested in what I am overlooking.

I can imagine this being an extension of the Condensing feature, i.e. you write in 2 staves in Galley view no matter what, and Dorico could then condense it onto 1 staff for the full score. As with the condensing for solo players that exists now, preferably with the fine-grained control (on a system-by-system basis) that’s been promised in a future update.

I’m not sure if I understood your question properly, Derrek, but the scenario I was after is a very simple violin 1 part, with double stops in them. Normally, if nothing is specified, these should be played as double stops by each player, so to clarify that they are in fact to be played divisi, the “div.” (followed by a “unis. later” is needed. If the music is homophonic, notes typically aren’t in separate voices it can all be done simply done on a single staff. In that scenario we’re really just talking about a bit of text (“div” and “unis.”), but it would still be nice to be able to manage this properly.

Simple, homophonic divisi can easily go on one staff, but not when there’s more complicated stuff that needs to go on the same system. For this example I made sure that the jumps from 1 to 2-staff notation and back to 1 coincided with the system breaks, but then those system breaks would need to be the same across all layouts containing this instrument, turning into quite a headache. This is the condensing-like feature I proposed above.

hrnbouma. Indeed, would be great if this all could be handled automatically. Like you say, condensing and divisi are almost the same thing, really. I don’t think Dorico would be able to handle your example if it was a condensing issue either (e.g. 2 flutes), right (toggle between 1/2 staves?)

The question, it seems to me, is whether you want each part of the divisi to have his or her own part. If one part is desired (as strings divide by players at a single desk with a single part) it would be easier to use two “parts” and have them condense but put them in a single (condensed) layout for the players to share (to produce hrnbouma’s solution).

JustusR, I’m glad you asked the question. The same issue has been nagging at me, but I hadn’t asked yet. I have, like you, a short and simple homophonic passage that looks like double stops except that it is actually divisii, and I want it on just one staff.

Pianoleo-- I’m glad to hear your solution, but I have another question connected to it. (I could just try it and see but it is probably more efficient to ask you and avoid any problems.). Can this be done “after the fact”? That is, can I enter the (apparent) double stops in the measures first and THEN do the divisi and remove a staff trick, or do I have to do the trick before entering the notes?


Is something wrong with simply writing “div.” over a single staff to indicate divisi on one staff? Clearly I’m missing something here. Just because Dorico has a feature for more complicated divisi passages, doesn’t mean one has to use it for everything.

L38: I don’t see why not. At no point in this workflow do you actually input notes on two different staves.

Derek: no, you’re not missing much. As I mentioned, I originally did it with just text. The benefit of doing as a proper dvisi are A) to ensure that you’ll have a “unis.” at the end of it (otherwise you might forget) and B) that you can change you’re mind easily whether or not to have it one and the same staff. Or, along the lines of hrbouma’s example, to actually switch between single/double stave from system to system (at some point).

When I needed div and unis markings on a single staff in a piece I am working on, I just added them to the Playing Techniques section. They don’t do anything special (for now at least), but they are available to me as playing techniques that I can assign to staves just like sul G and sul D markings (which I also created).

It would be really awesome if there was an option to do this, but condensed to one staff in the score but split in the parts.

Dear TylerE,
It’s my understanding that this kind of thing will come, when time allows… As Daniel has written many times, everything is possible in the software world, if you provide enough time and money to implement it. Let’s give the team some time (and money) to make the perfect tool come true!

I think the method I was imagining in that circumstance (section player, divisi, on one staff) was simply using multiple voices on the same staff, and funnily enough I had cause earlier today to look a bit at this part of the manual and I added a link to the task about “inputting into multiple voices” (not yet published - will be shortly!).

Where I’ve seen this done in the film music world, most of the time it’s desired that all players can see all parts, in case the composer/music team want to adjust the weighting, so it’s fine to just use different voices (or even just chords for rhythmic unison) as the parts are not going to be split out. (This often extends to including both Vln1 and Vln2 on the same part, as I’m sure many of you are familiar with.)

But yes, and it’s even mentioned in the v3 version history, that condensing for divisi staves is planned for a future version at some point :slight_smile:

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Finding this cumbersome in Dorico
Arco need not be under the staff, and there is no (automatic) “Unis.” marking. Advice?

I would suggest that if you really are only requiring divisi on a single staff, you might well be better off not using the divisi feature for the time being, and simply writing music in two voices as needed. In a future version you’ll be able to create divisi that can be displayed on a single staff in the full score and separate staves in the part by way of condensing, but condensing doesn’t currently work for section players.