Dynamics after condensing are in the wrong place

I condensed two clarinets. The 2nd clarinet is above the 1rst. When they are on separate staves the dynamic is fine, but after condensing the dynamics of the 2nd clar. goes on top of the stave and the 1rst goes below. I do not want to swap the content between the two. Please refer to the screenshots. Is there anything that can be done?

Just found a solution - I swapped the dynamics in a not condensed state, so that the dynamic of clar. 1 is with clar. 2, and vice versa. When I then condense it is just right.

What do the parts look like then (if that is important)?

If the parts are so different, including widely diverging dynamics, maybe it’s better to not condense this passage at all? Swapping the dynamics in the score will also change them in the parts, which is not what I’d recommend.


If the instruments on a condensed staff have different dynamics, then in order to make sure that is clearly conveyed to the reader, Dorico will show dynamics for the up-stem voice above the staff, and dynamics for the down-stem voice below the staff.

I wouldn’t recommend changing the underlying musical information to produce a different condensing result, if that changes the meaning of what you’ve written. And as Derrek points out, this would result in incorrect parts.

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I guess this problem (bug?) really has nothing to do with dynamics but with condensing crossing notes:
Dorico put the notes of Cl. 1 in the up-stem voice where it is higher - and in the next bar it put the notes of Cl. 2 in the up-stem voice because it is higher. This should not be the case, because from the condensed score alone one can’t see that it really is Cl. 1 that is going below Cl. 2 in bar number 2.

Maybe there is some condensing option @ulfmanumusik can set to prevent this confusion to be created this way?

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Ah yes, I hadn’t taken that in – normally I’d expect that even if Cl 2 had notes above Cl 1, it would still appear with down-stems.

If you want to share the project (or a cut-down duplicate version that still demonstrates the issue) @ulfmanumusik then someone might be able to say a bit more about what’s going on.


It will be good to get to the bottom of this malfunction, but on the other hand I agree with Peter, condensing this passage makes it unnecessarily difficult to read.

Yes, you´re right, I haven´t considered that. Thank you.

This is the project. I have not re-changed the dynamic parts as to where they belong. Dropbox - Flying in an Evening Sky copy 06.01.42.dorico - Simplify your life

(relevant section starting at b 134)

Your Clarinet 2 part is higher than Clarinet 1 for quite a lot of this phrase. I’m surprised it condensed onto one staff at all by default, to be honest, especially as inserting a condensing change at the start of that system and just ticking the clarinets to include them in the change (and not touching anything else) prompts Dorico to recalculate the result, and put them on separate staves.

For a phrase like this, where the two instruments have distinctly different rhythms and the 2nd part is consistently above the 1st, perhaps that’s the clearest end result anyway? You’re not overly tight on vertical space, as you’re using quite a small staff size.

Couple of side notes:

  • Your project says it was last saved in Dorico 5.0 – Dorico 5.1 is now available, which is a free update to the Dorico 5 cycle. You might want to update! Especially as although the pitches were still overlapping when I opened your project here, the dynamics seemed to be correct-er (Cl 1 above the staff for the whole phrase, Cl 2 below; although not aligning with the notes and their stem directions, which isn’t ideal). More info here Dorico 5.1 released, with new Iconica Sketch sounds – Dorico

  • You have a lot of dynamic phrases like pp where the p< is not grouped with the mf>p is a separate group, resulting in phrases that aren’t aligned in a row. If you group entire dynamic phrases together (which may require you to unlink them from other staves first), you’ll get neater-looking dynamics.

  • Also be careful of overly-long gradual dynamics: like the crescendos for Fl 1 and Cl 1 in b134: if you select just that cresc, you’ll see its extension line goes beyond the downbeat of b135

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Thank you @Lillie_Harris ! I have thought along the same line - to simply not condense the clarinets. Dorico does that, anyway, at one point, with no apparent reason. And I do not have an overly crowded space. So, yes, the easiest fix. For the other tips - thanks, again. I´ll check them out!