Divisi - weird behavioir

Hello forum,

I am a happy Finale switcher and greatly enjoy Dorico so far.

One thing I stumbled upon keeps me puzzled though.

I created a two-part divisi for a trumpet section.
Then I copied music to both parts in which appear unison lines and harmonized notes.
Looking at both parts I see that Dorico gets confused with the accidentals.
Some notes get cautionary accidentals when not needed others that do need accidentals are left without.
Even when I copy noted that have accidentals from part 1 to part 2, they dont show up in the second part. Weird right?
Did I find a bug or is there something I am missing?
Thanks for the help.


Welcome to the forum, Marc. Unfortunately there are some complications with calculating the correct accidental state in divisi staves. In simple terms, the issue is that when a new divisi section appears, it’s not always entirely clear what it should consider to be its starting state. If it’s coming from unison, then it’s clear enough that it would ideally assume the state of the music immediately before the division, but it’s less clear-cut if the sections are changing, i.e. or if you are currently divided in two and add a third division: where does the new third section take its state from?

As it happens there are technical difficulties in assuming the accidental state from an arbitrary position on a new staff anyway, so what tends to happen is that in non-unison cases, each new staff essentially gets a brand new accidental state, so Dorico can’t produce cautionary accidentals in the first bar of a new divisi section, because as far as it is concerned there is no previous bar for it to read from.

We would certainly like to improve this in future, but it’s quite a tricky situation. (Similar issues exist with condensing, and they are similarly intractible.)

Dear Daniel,

I really appreciate you taking the time to explain this.
And what I get from it, is that because of technical problems, the divisi-feature is not reliably producing an output that I can hand out to musicians.
In my case accidentals were not showing where they should have. When I click on the note I hear the correct pitch so also playback is not a reliable verification of correct inputed notes! There is also no re-spell notes function that could automatically reset the accidentals
I find it quite hard to understand why the divisi feature is released when it is practically not working?
I would have to manually revisit all notes in a divisi-staff and make sure it notated correctly. Which in a large piece is very time-consuming.

Look at this screenshot.

I created a divisi. Then copied the notes from the first staff to the second and octave transposed them down.
You can see that the result is completely unreliable accidentals. I hand this to musicians and it will sound “wrong” and make me look terrible stupid.

I need to see the project itself (or at least just a cut-down part of it that reproduces the problem) rather than just a picture. It looks like something else is going on here.

Regarding this, If I copy some music from one stave to another, which are different instruments, how can I preserve the show/hide accidental proprieties? The copy / paste operation seems to not taking this option in consideration…or maybe I miss something.
Thank you

Copying “hide accidentals” is potentially dangerous, because a different note earlier in the bar can make the notation look wrong for a human. This might happen even if the original music only hid a cautionary accidental.

yes, but I am doing a project which is rather complicated…writing a symphony from the manuscript and it has all sort of precautions accidentals which has to be preserved everywhere (since is the composer’s wish). So I need this feature, since Dorico is not considering all his precautions as needed.

yusayit, you should find that these properties are retained when you copy and paste anyway. Can you attach a little snippet of your project that demonstrates this going wrong?

It was actually for different register, I forget to specify.
FX if I copy from violin to cello, then I have to switch the registers, the cautionary accidentals are lost. Is there any way to preserve them?

Ah, no, you can’t do that I’m afraid. When the notes are repitched, the properties become reset.

Use the Transpose dialog - there’s a tickbox for retaining the accidental visibility property. I realise this is longwinded, but you can at least set a keyboard shortcut to open the dialog.

You’re quite right, Leo, I’d forgotten that!

Can I make a script to do this transposition stuff automatically? I have to use it quite a lot, and is a bit time-consuming,

No, the Transpose dialog can’t easily be scripted, I’m afraid.