Revisiting Stravinsky

Following the example of Stephen Taylor, who notated Stravinsky’s Sacre du printemps in Dorico (see here), I thought I would use the same composer’s less ambitious Concerto in Ré for strings, as a means of developing my Dorico technique and learning the piece more thoroughly. The work was written 75 years ago and nicely printed by Boosey and Hawkes.

I have encountered two hurdles at the beginning of the second system of the first page.

  1. I cannot discover how to start the divisi of the violas at the beginning of the second system. There is no lack of clarity in the B&H layout here.

  2. How does one achieve the notation of a dot and a line under a note at the beginning of two or more tied notes, as in the 2nd violins and basses, also at the beginning of the second system?

Many thanks for help. Pointers to the manual will suffice, as I have sought there in vain.


  1. Create a Divisi split in the bar before [2], and Dorico will handle the unison before that point.
  2. There are options in the Preference panel for individual articulations to be at the start of a tied note. Also global settings in Engraving options.

Many thanks for your help, Benwiggy. The divisi trick works; but why? The only thing I cant do is delete the text Sola and Le altre that also appears above the staves.

Could you give me further hints about problem 2, please? I cant find anything about having the line and dot simultaneously at the start of a chain of tied notes.


I found the answer to the divisi names tucked away in “Layout Options”. This information seems to be well hidden in the manual – I never found it – and the only online help file that Google is coming up with is for v.2.2.

If you’re talking about actually getting hold of that articulation, Dorico does treat it as an entirely separate articulation from either staccator or tenuto. Roll your mouse over it in the left panel and Dorico should tell you what the keyboard shortcut is on your machine (as it’s probably language-dependent).

Here it’s the pipe character.

Then in order to get it to the left end of the tie chain, either set this property:

or this Engraving Option:

In the 3.5.10 manual you can find information on divisi staff labels here: Hiding/Showing divisi change labels above staves

Many thanks, Leo!

I am bound to say that I do wonder why such tricks are necessary for achieving such common tasks. I also fear that they will not be very memorable for me. Perhaps all I shall remember in this case, and in the case of other arcane secrets that have I stumbled across by chance, is that it can be done – but how? :smiley:

The other thing I question is the necessity in the Properties Panel to click the radio buttons before being able to choose an option. I am sure that the programmers will give a good argument why they are there; but these buttons appear to the user to present a redundant step in the process of choosing an option.

It’s been much discussed. Dorico works on the basis of “global settings, manual overrides”. Set up as much of the score with the Engraving, Notation and Layout options as you can, then use individual manual adjustments where necessary.

The switch tells you that the setting in the Property panel is an override from the defaults. Otherwise, you don’t know whether it’s a manual change, or if it just matches the current options by chance.

Placement of articulations in tie chains is one of the necessary compromises that come with tied notes being treated as single durations.
It’s the flipside to the joy that is entering that tie chain in the cellos at figure 2 as 9 0 [ F Shift-Alt-Left (with the caret set to 8ths) rather than (in Sibelius, for example) 5 dot 7 = F = Enter F Enter 4 F
11 keystrokes vs 5. The savings add up!

I find one problem still with the divisi bars: the slur is not written in the lower viola part.


Looks nice. Should there be arco in Cellos m3? It seems to be missing from the Boosey engraving.

Thanks for your comments. Good point: yes, arco in bar 3, of course, and I didnt finish b. 7 yet!

There are a lot of little things to clean up if you look very carefully, and the staves are too widely separated.

Yes, that’s still one of the shortcomings of the divisi functionality. The starting point of the bottom staff slur doesn’t technically exist because it isn’t shown in the first system, therefore the end can’t be shown either. Same with gradual dynamics. I’m afraid the best “solution” is to place system breaks in such a way that the problem is avoided, but being the very start of the piece your options are rather limited.

I would have thought it’ll work fine if the divisi signpost is placed where it actually happens, the bar before 2. I might be wrong, of course.

No luck there. I tried to hack it using manual condensing of divisi, giving this result: also obviously not ideal, and now the start of the slur is missing. I’ve also had to rename the groups by hand, because solo players within a divisi will not condense at all.

hrnbouma and pianoleo,

I see nothing to criticise in the casting off of this first page of the B&H score. Thus it would appear from the above discussion that the inability to include the slur on the lower viola part is, if not a bug, at least an undesirable insect, or killer disadvantage, as one would have to end the first system two bars earlier to avoid it. :smiley:


Yes, either two bars earlier or two bars later, and I’m more than aware that that isn’t really a solution :frowning:

It can be fudged with manual staff visibility :wink:

The Divisi at the end of bar 7 is identical to the Divisi at bar 8, except it’s set to hide Section Numbers (or in this case the Solo and gli. altri labels). The Manual Staff Visibility at bar 1 hides the gli. altri stave, and the Manual Staff Visibility change at bar 8 Reset s the gli. altri stave.

It’s not ideal, obviously, but slurs over Divisi changes are a known problem with no advertised fix date, so you may as well know the workarounds.