Question about working with voices

I’m working with a project that was imported via an XML file. On one grand staff is a vocal track with complex harmonies. The parts jump high and low, so it’s understandable that Dorico made “educated” guesses about which notes should go on which staff. But in order to keep the number of voices on the upper and lower staves consistent, I’m frequently needing to move notes from the bass staff to the treble staff, or vice versa.

The problem is that I can’t seem to reliably move the notes between “voices.”

In the attached screenshot, I need to move the top two green notes (in the red box) up to the treble clef. But I can’t find a command that reliably does this.

  • If I choose Edit > Voices > Change Voice > Up-stem Voice 1, the notes stay on the lower staff. (I think I understand why—because each staff has its own voices, even if it’s a grand staff. If we could somehow tell Dorico to treat the grand staff as one staff, in terms of the voices, that could be one way to solve this problem.)

  • If I choose Edit > Cross Staff > Cross to Staff Above, the notes are placed on the treble staff—but they’re colored purple and placed into a new voice. And after doing so, I still can’t find a way to move those notes to the blue voice on the treble staff.

My workaround, so far, has been to simply reenter the notes on the upper staff, then delete them on the lower, but that’s untenable. Surely there’s a better solution… How do I transfer notes from the green voice on the bass staff to the blue voice on the treble staff?

Changing voices.png

The easiest way to do this is to select the chord(s) you want to split and to use the Edit > Filter > Notes in Chords to split off the top notes.

Great tip! I really appreciate the detailed reply. Thanks!

The command you’re looking for is in the Edit > Paste Special menu, called “Move to Staff Above”. Shortcut Alt+N. Select the top notes as Derrek did and click the shortcut, or use the menu. Repeat for the new top notes.

There’s a family of shortcuts around N and M to do with moving and duplicating notes to the next staff up or down. “Duplicate to the Staff Above” is also in the Edit > Paste Special menu. N on its own is “Cross to Staff Above” and is in the Edit > Cross Staff menu. This will take the notes to the staff above, but leave the stems joined to the original notes so that, in a sense, they still belong to the lower staff.

Hope this helps.

Fantastic! Thank you.