Divisi to Unison erases notes

More things. I don’t know if this is normal behavior.

When I cancel a Divisi and go Unison, the music disappears.
Screenshot 2020-06-20 at 02.07.41.png


Screenshot 2020-06-20 at 02.08.06.png

Yes, that’s expected, though understandably a bit troubling When you first experience it. When you restore unison, you’re ending the divisi… so those staves are gone. Don’t restore unison until the spot where the divisi should end.

Thanks for your answer. I am not sure I understand… So I had a Divisi label from 38 on, but I have decided I want to go back to one staff only from 38 to 59. If I select the bar rest at 38 and Restore Unison, my understanding is that whatever was in two staves, should go back to being in one. However, the music after that is gone. What should I select then? And how do I specify it should be only through 59?

I suspect something is not right to begin with, because if it were, I would have music on both the top and bottom staves, and I only have music on the bottom one.

If you add the divisi where desired, divisi notes will return if they were on a previously deleted staff. For example, if there were notes in the second staff at bar 60, and you deleted the divisi at 35 (for example) and then added it again at 58, THOSE notes at 60 would re-appear.

In divisi, the first division may be tacet while the second division plays. Although looking at your example, you might simply select those notes and use Alt-M to move them to the staff above. Then delete the divisi.

Thank you! What I need to do is to cancel that divisi that I now have from 38 to 59, because the rhythms are simple enough to be read on a single staff. I don’t need to go back to this divisi at another bar. Just cancel it, and put the music now in the second staff in a single staff. That’s when all music gets erased, and I do need that music there on one staff.

I understand that both staves should show the same music (if div A and div B are playing the same, until a change of system allows to go back to a single staff). Because that’s not the case, I think something else is going on, so yes, I’ll just copy the music to the top staff (just moving with Alt N does not respect the voices), then will cancel the div. I don’t see another way.

After that, I face another problem: when I try to add a solo violin on top of the existing unis. staff, it certainly creates an extra staff… but not an empty one where I could write my solo violin line–instead, it moves all “gli altri” music to the new staff (?!), leaving an empty staff below. So I have to move music from one staff to the other and so on. I know that some people have discussed this strange behavior already, and I wonder if there is a way to do this more naturally.

Also, I don’t know how I can tell Dorico “just create a solo violin staff above for xx bars, then back to the regular staff”. Do I have to create another unis label after the solo line for this?

Well, I’ve been checking the forum and indeed this solo staff business is a known issue that has not been addressed yet.

Trying to finish my first D score I feel I’m tripping over a stone on every step I make. The learning curve is too steep.

Regarding your first question, I still don’t think you’re precisely understanding how divisi works. The point is that when you switch to page view, Dorico will duplicate the staves as needed according to your casting off. But that has nothing to do with gallery view. It took me a little while to understand this as well, but once I did, it made perfect sense.

I don’t see the solo staff issue as a major problem. It’s certainly easy enough to quickly select the music and move it to the staff above.

If you want to add a staff for a short portion, you need to use a solo player, not a section player. “Add or remove staff” is to solo players what divisi is to section players.

Thank you. I do understand how it works. I understand galley view vs. page view and single parts. I don’t think I’m explaining myself. Hear me out, it was on my pics: I had some bars labeled divisi, with music only in the lower staff (I might have moved that music to the lower staff myself earlier after using both staves for manual condensing operations? Maybe). That did appear also in two staves in page view. When I changed that flag to unison, expecting to get all that music on one staff only, the music, which was only on the lower staff, disappeared. Granted, it is not gone, I may get it back if I divide again… but that’s irrelevant because that’s not what I was trying to do.

However, if music was put in the top staff (as I had to do, I had to move that music from the lower to the top staff), then I could change that label to unison, and I would get what I wanted: the music on one staff only.

Hence, the difference is in which staff music is, before you attempt that unison operation. It doesn’t matter if it’s in galley or page view. Since divisi in Dorico is just switching on/off an extra staff below your current staff (and adapting its content to look good in page view or parts, systems-wise, spreading the music onto both staves if the div. doesn’t fall at the beginning of a system), whenever you temporarily “close” or “switch off” that below staff (that is, go back to unis.), the music there is temporarily “closed” too. Visually, it’s gone. In all views.

Now I know that. Always have your source music on the top staff when you request unisons (=when you switch off the lower divisi staff). Since D won’t automatically bring or “condense” whatever music is in the lower staff with the music in the top staff (I guess taking for granted that if you are requesting a unison is because the music on both staves is the same), when you do a unison that lower staff music will be gone. Or hidden, if you will.

And conversely, because it’s an on/off switch, if I depart from one “manually condensed” staff with two voices in up/down stems (as I did), and request a divisi so that the parts look less cluttered, D will just add an empty extra staff below, but music will remain in the top staff. The lower voice in the top staff won’t be automatically exploded onto the below staff, to form the divisi. I have to do that manually, filtering voices and chord notes, etc. Of course, if after doing this I wanted to go back to unison, or move the latter say a few bars earlier, as I “switch off” the lower staff the painfully “exploded” music in it won’t magically be “unexploded” back onto the top staff: it will be switched off/hidden/gone.

By the way, if D has to put some “unison” music on a divisi staff to complete a system, before starting a single staff on the next system, and this music happens to have two voices (it’s normal to have two voices on a single staff if they have the same rhythms), those voices won’t be separated/exploded either into the two staves: both of them will show the two voices, which looks strange. And because both staves are linked, I can not edit them separately to spread the voices into the two. All I can do is keep moving the unison flag to the right until I make the unison start on a fresh system (looking at the part).

This is my experience so far. Perhaps I am missing another hidden command that would make my life easier.

Hi pluton.
I have the feeling that you pretty nailed how divisi works. It might be not intuitive, but it actually does what it’s supposed to do.

And conversely, because it’s an on/off switch, if I depart from one “manually condensed” staff with two voices in up/down stems (as I did), and request a divisi so that the parts look less cluttered, D will just add an empty extra staff below, but music will remain in the top staff. The lower voice in the top staff won’t be automatically exploded onto the below staff, to form the divisi. I have to do that manually, filtering voices and chord notes, etc. Of course, if after doing this I wanted to go back to unison, or move the latter say a few bars earlier, as I “switch off” the lower staff the painfully “exploded” music in it won’t magically be “unexploded” back onto the top staff: it will be switched off/hidden/gone.

If you want to condense divisi staves… use the condensing feature. If you need to restore unison, make sure the music is on the top staff, the « active » staff for unison.

I wanted to add something that might help you understand why this is so complex, when using divisi to two staves: it’s perfectly possible to do divisi to 3, 4 or more staves. There would be no way for Dorico to know what it is supposed to do if you don’t help. That’s the feeling I have. Hope it helps!

Thank you. I understand that condensing is a visual feature, rather than functional. It allows for un uncluttered, better-looking score, but it doesn’t really affect the handling of details for parts. In a string part, deciding whether to show two staves or just one with up/down stems is more of a micro-managing task, making decisions based on readability almost by the bar or groups of bars, and the only way I found to do this is to use the divisi/unis toggle–but still:

-When I go from a two-voice single staff to divisi at a certain bar, I have to manually transfer the lower voice from the top staff to the added (=toggled on) lower staff. Can’t even use the explode function for this.

-If I want to go from divisi (two staves with music in them) to unis for whatever reason, I have to manually “condense” back the music from those staves into the “active” top staff, or else this will show only its own music. Condensing won’t help here either.

That is my understanding. Perhaps there is a way to make things more automatic, but I haven’t found it. I understand your reasoning behind D having to be prepared to deal not only with 2-staves divisi, but with more too. But perhaps the possibility to explode/condense music voice-wise by the bar between at least single bars/two bars in a divisi context, would make working towards clear parts an easier task? Just thinking out loud. Again, perhaps I’m wrong and there is a way.

As Marc said: if you want divisi on one staff (visually), still write it on two and then use the condensing feature to reduce them to one. Only write them in one staff to begin with, if you want it to be played non-div.

I don’t know why condensing shouldn’t help here, that’s what it is designed for.

In general, the approach with dorico is the following:

  • in entering music, if the music is played by another player/another group, then write it in a separate staff. This means for solo players: create new players (which is very intuitive). For section players like string, it means that it should be written in divisi, because physically there will be a division in who plays which note.
  • the visuals output are just that: the visual output. It only represents the concept of the bullet point before in a certain way. Doing it like that, one has all the possibilities: it can be condensed, or shown separately. The decision can easily be changed later, as it is only the visual and never the meaning of the division, which will be affected. No copying of music from one staff to another needed - ever.

One thing I know for sure, when dealing with divisi, is that :
• I always work in galley view
• I am *extremely * careful with the staff label at the left of the window, so that I know on which staff I am working. And be careful when restore unison. Because sometimes the way it is displayed in galley view can be confusing (but again, if there are more than two staves divisi, there’s no way to have an easy way to please everyone in every case). My 2 cents.

I too work in galley view.

I think the problem for me was in origin: it seems that the only way to avoid problems later is to always write string parts in two staves: begin always with a divisi label in bar 1, and either write on the top staff, or spread a second voice onto the lower staff when needed. Then I can go ahead and “restore unison” on those parts where music appears only in the top staff.

Writing from the beginning on one staff only, with sometimes two voices in different stems–not good. Whatever I don’t write on a second staff now, I will have to bring/copy to a second staff later, if I want to use the divisi function.

Yes, it seems that the approach with D is to always write things in separate staves, so that tools like condensing or divisi can be used later.

Sorry, I still don’t see what condensing can do to my parts, which is my main concern. Once I have a bar in divisi, with different music on both staves, that I want to bring back to a single staff in stem up/down voices… can “condensing” blend all music back to the top staff? Is there a 3.5 manual or detailed video that explains that, that I can check?

I don’t want to be wasting your time.

Check the Dorico YouTube channel:
https://youtu.be/FDa3FCHKFF8

There should be more, but condensing should exactly what you need.

You can condense a part layout as well as the full score, and of course you can condense them differently, if you want.

It might save time in the long run if you step back from the “real” project you are working on, start a new project from the string orchestra template and just “play around” with the options. If you get into a mess, you aren’t trying to recover the “real music” - just delete the project and start again.

Just skimming through your posts, maybe you have missed the fact that Dorico will automatically copy the notes from a unisoni passage onto divisi staves, if the “logical” place for the divisi to start or end is in the middle of a system.

The strategy I would use for a new project in 3.5, where you have both divisi and condensing for section players, would be to create all the “divisi” music on individual divisi staves, and then condense the score and the players’ parts as you want. You shouldn’t ever need to “copy music onto a second divisi staff” yourself to get the layout you want.

I’ve seen that before. At 1:05 he says “of course the part remains intact when condensing is enabled in the full score”.

Condensing is not affecting the parts. It’s a score thing, isn’t it?

Once I have a bar in divisi, with different music on both staves, that I want to bring back to a single staff in stem up/down voices… can “condensing” blend all music back to the top staff?

That above is what I need. Next time I won’t screw up and will write everything in two staves from the start (although importing MIDI tracks as XML is gonna make that difficult). As of now though, I am spending a lot of time copying music back and forth.

Anthony was referring to Condensing being a layout-specific option, and therefore only affects the layout, that you want to be condensed. As Rob said, it can be a part as well, but usually is done in the score of course. He proceeds with: “… giving you the freedom to prepare your full score and parts exactly as required”.

As Rob said, I think you should just try out divisi in maybe another project.
Condensing itself works as it does with solo players.

Here are some important hints:

  • only the first divisi in a system will be shown. Meaning: if in a system you first have a divisi à 2, and then later in the same system you change to divisi à3, for the whole system there will be two staffs. In the next system, of course 3 staffs appeare.
  • if the divisi goes from unison to divis in mid-system, the music will be shown in two staffs throughout, but will be copied on both staffs during the unison passage.
  • in galley view, staffs always appear on the bottom, meaning that (for example with section soloists), the upper most line is not necessarily always referring to the same group of players.

Here you can find more info:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y00zTgKHjzI
and here the manual:
https://steinberg.help/dorico_pro/v3/en/dorico/topics/notation_reference/notation_reference_divisi_c.html?hl=divisi

Thank you all for your answers.

I have understood that the only way to make this work is by starting out with separate staves for each line. Do not attempt to “pre-condense” things manually.

Now that I am already in the mess though, could you tell me step by step how to proceed to do this below to get it right on the part? Just for those few bars.

I have a few bars labelled divisi, with different music on both staves, that I want to bring back to a single staff in stem up/down voices… can “condensing” blend all music back to one top staff?
Screenshot 2020-06-22 at 15.17.19.png

And the opposite, can you tell me step by step how to separate this into the two divisi staves?:

Here I haven’t inserted the Divisi label yet.
Screenshot 2020-06-22 at 02.13.26.png
Here I have, so the two staves are deployed.
Screenshot 2020-06-22 at 15.05.57.png