Divisi soloist appears in wrong place

I’m writing for choir. I have a soprano section and want to break off a soprano soloist for a few bars. I select the bar and choose Change Divisi, and use the dialogue box to add a soloist above the line. So Dorico creates a new solo staff above the main section staff, and adds divisi arrows and everything, which looks great.

Except… it hasn’t actually added a new staff ABOVE the sopranos. It’s added a new staff BELOW the sopranos, named it ‘gli altri’, then renamed the original soprano line to ‘Solo’. This is not what I asked it to do. Superficially it looks the same, but it’s semantically different and it has some weird consequences.

One such consequence: when I later end the solo passage with Restore Unison, there is no way to continue to enter notes in the main section staff. Any notes I try to enter are invisible, presumably because they are in fact being entered in a staff that Dorico has magicked away and pretended it hasn’t. If I want to continue to have visible music, I have to enter notes in the solo staff, which is incorrect. I don’t want the soloist to keep singing and the section to stop; I want the inverse, the soloist rejoins the section.

Video clip of the undesirable behaviour: Imgur: The magic of the Internet

Another problem is that I can’t enter (e.g.) a run of quavers in the main section anywhere near where unison is restored, because those quavers would have to cross into the solo section or else disappear from view. Nor can I have the soloist hold a long note at the end of her passage while the main section continues. And so on.

I know I could add a system break at the exact point of restoring unison to conceal Dorico’s jiggery-pokery, but that is not desirable here, partly because it would be mid-bar and partly because it would distort the spacing of a short solo passage. This makes me think I am doing something wrong in how I’m creating the divisi in the first place. Can anyone help?

Thanks in advance!

This is how divisi works, although I do understand why you (or any of us) might prefer it to be different. The topmost staff belonging to a player is its “primary” staff, and additional staves are added in relation to that.

It is also sometimes necessary to find a compromise between where the divisi starts/ends in Dorico itself vs where musically it starts/ends, due to some of the difficulties around notes/notations overlapping divisi changes. There were some substantial improvements in this area in Dorico 5, though.

Ahhh, ok.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of the idea of moving the start or end of the divisi to accommodate what I need. I can move it to the right to coincide with the next more natural system break, and then fake it in the intervening bars.

Thanks for the advice (and good to know I am not missing something conceptually!).

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