Extended divisi staff

I’m going to enter a piece where in the 1st movement, the 1st violin is divisi throughout, on two staves, but unison in the 2nd.

Any easy way to do this without mucking around with custom part layouts and flows?

I think if you don’t want to work with flows (especially for a separate movement) you are trying to work against, rather than with, the program. From some of the tutorials and demos, working with flows does exactly what you want.

I’m not saying don’t use flows, I’m saying actually have the program understand this is “Violin 1, Divisi” in the first flow, and that there are two staves, instead of just creating 2 violin players and hiding one of them in the second flow.

The program doesn’t currently support divisi, TylerE. It will be part of the more thoroughgoing features we are working on for managing scores for large ensembles effectively.

Supporting divisi, the necessity of having separate lines for wind instruments of the same sort and then ganging them up for unison or double note presentation on a single staff should have been a priority for your development of this program in the first place. While it’s great that you can handle nested tuplets of the Fernyhough variety, what is the point if you can’t help us with basic stuff in orchestra score layout, which includes the very important issue of putting as few staves on the page as one can by means of ganging up multiple players of the same instrument on a staff wherever that might seem practical. As you said in your presentation yesterday, music is messy, and you promised that Dorico addresses that. Therefore you need to make good on that promise and figure out a way that, in an orchestral score, the left hand page might have Flutes 1 & 2 combined on a single staff, but then on the right hand might, of contrapuntal or other necessity have them separated. You joked about what professional engravers obsess about, and certainly that issue of how a single opening of a score (left hand vs. right hand page) is something that we obsess about, and rightly so.

Xaptke, this has been a priority for our development of the program in the first place. A huge amount of groundwork has already gone into that functionality. That it’s not present in the very first version of the software is no evidence whatsoever that we don’t understand the issue or don’t think it’s important. I know to the outside world it might seem like four years would be plenty of time to catch up with mature software with decades of development investment behind them, but I’m sorry to say that it’s not. And in any case it appears that catching up with those other programs isn’t sufficient either, we’ve also got to overtake them, and we have to do it on day 1.

Well, in fact we have overtaken the other programs in a whole host of important ways, but we haven’t completely cracked this particular nut just yet. Give us some time, and we will.

For what it’s worth – and I’m not a programmer, so forgive my naivete – what I would like to see is the ability to “launch” auxiliary staves that would be anchored to the instrument in question, setting the start point and being able to end it when I need to. These staves should also be able to carry identifying names, perhaps a menu could pop up of the main staff for that instrument (e.g. Violin I) also showing all the auxiliary staves created (e.g. Violin I solo 1, Violin I solo 2, Violin I 2a meta, and so forth). Once in page layout (Engrave mode), one should be given the option as to what to do in the event that the “launched” auxiliary staff begins halfway through a given system – i.e. have the option to copy the music from the main staff onto the auxiliary (that is, before the solo or divisi section begins), to input rests, or to present the appearance of the auxiliary staff in cut-out score fashion. I would think that such a system would then translate well to part extraction, automatically giving you the appropriate number of multiple staves for divisi passages.

I understand that this is a thorny problem and all programs thus far have required sometimes elaborate work-arounds, such as creating, for example, multiple lines for the same instrument family: Fl. 1, Fl. 2, Fl. 3, Fl. 1& 2, Fl. 2 & 3, Fl. 1, 2, 3, inputting on which lines you wish to see in the final optimized score and parts. I can’t tell yet if Dorico permits this, but Sibelius did, and I had a work-around for SCORE that involved elaborate macros, but worked pretty well.