'Explode' question

I’m working on an SATB chart and have several sections where SA or TB sing iso-rhythmic divisi parts. I read the documentation about the ‘Explode’ option in ‘Paste Special’ and it seems like it would be a perfect way for me to play my 4-part chords into a single staff (e.g. Soprano) and then use explode to leave the top two notes in the Soprano staff and move the bottom two into the Alto staff (the the T/B equivalent).

However, I am not getting that result when I i) play the chords, ii) select the music to be Exploded and iii) copy it because I’m apparently not doing the next step – iv) ‘Select the staff/staves into which you want to explode the selected music’ – correctly. When I choose the Explode option, I get the 4-part chord in the Soprano staff exploded across all four staves of my chart. I have tried selecting the Alto staff using the ‘Select to end of flow’ option (with a note in the first bar selected), and also just selecting the bar in the Alto staff directly below the music that I want to explode. I get the same result with both approaches. I’m sure the ‘Select the staff/staves into which you want to explode the selected music’ step is easy, but clearly I’m not seeing the light. Can someone tell me what I’m missing?
Thanks – charlie

I think you’re better served with the condensing feature, rather than the explode-reduce feature (assuming you own Dorico Pro, of course). In that case, you can create a Soprano-Alto and a Tenor-Bass condensing groups, and use Condensing changes as needed.

I disagree (and I’m not the only one - see e.g. Choral divisi best practice? - #2 by dspreadbury). Condensing isn’t a good fit for choral music yet - too many rough edges e.g. where underlay isn’t identical between parts. If you need to switch between open score and short score, divisi can be useful, though it too has rough edges (e.g. vertical adjustment of lyric lines on lower divisi staves).
The main benefits of condensing are being able to show short score in one layout and separate staves in part layouts. This is rarely relevant in choral music - singers generally expect to sing from some sort of score, not from individual part layouts.

Back to the original question:

  1. Go to Write > Note Input Options and set this option to Allocate Equally (this is likely the missing step). Apply and Close.

  2. Select the music on the top staff.

  3. Copy.

  4. Select the first rest on the top staff.

  5. Shift-click the first rest on the second staff.

  6. Edit > Paste Special > Explode.

In some cases it may make more sense to cut than to copy. If the only thing present is notes and you don’t have Chord mode turned on, copying will work fine, though.

1 Like

You’re right. Now I remember trying to condense lyrics in a choral piece. I stand corrected.

Thank you!!! It works perfectly once I i) set the Note Input Options to ‘Allocate Equally’ and ii) selected rests in << both>> the source staff and the target staff.
A <> cool feature for choral writing!