SATB fun

I’m writing a piece for orchestra and choir. I’m facing challenges with the choir. In the condensing section, I add a custom set to include the S & A and then another for the T & B. The S & A works fine. The T&B condense into a treble clef. So I un-condensed them and changed the Tenor clef to a standard bass clef which put the tenor part an octave higher, above the staff. However, it sounded correct. So I transposed the part down an octave so it looked right but then it sounded an octave too low. So I gave up on that approach.

Then I added a choir part to my setup, hoping to follow the directions in one of the threads; but it doesn’t show up in my score. (Neither Galley nor Page views).

Now I’m really confused.

Anybody have any advice?

Worse comes to worse, I’d like to print the vocal part as four staves; i.e., one chart with all four vocal parts. I can’t figure out how to do that. Please help.

Yeah, that’s the old controversy about octavating tenors. By default, a tenor singer is considered an octavating instrument, like a double bass, notated on a non-transposing treble clef, mostly adorned with a 8 below which doesn’t do anything in terms of transposition. That was the approach in Sibelius, and it was also the approach in Dorico for a long time. Nowadays, however, you can choose to use tenors that sing at pitch (i.e. non-transposing), notated on a treble-8 clef that actually transposes.

Schermafbeelding 2021-12-08 om 16.43.25

Whether the treble-8 clef transposes or not, is a Notation Option:

That way, tenors are easier to handle in condensing, synchronising with doubling parts etc.

  1. 3.5 contains a known limitation where choral condensing is concerned. (ie- it doesn’t work properly and they are going to fix it.) In the meantime, you have to fake it.

  2. if you really want to use the condensing feature as things currently stand, change the actual tenor instrument to baritone or something else that is non-transposing and rename it and then you won’t deal with the octave shifting

  3. it sounds like you’ve added a choir reduction player to the file but not to the layout that you are currently viewing. If it is missing, that means that you need to actually assign the player to that layout, OR you already have “hide empty staves” turned on and since there is nothing in the brand new part, it is being hidden by default. (If it’s not in galley view, it sounds like you need to add it to the layout though.)

  4. most of us who are concerned with choral parts are faking it by using a number of different means. There are a few optional approaches:

    • Use choir reduction wherever possible (this literally means that in galley view, you write S/A/T/B up until the point at which they need to combine staves, and then switch to the choir reduction instrument at that point, do the condensing by hand using multiple stems if necessary, and then using the hide empty staves feature to only show which parts have music in them. You will then need to insert manual system breaks to make it all look pretty. Easy, just takes a bit of time.

    • Start with single male / female voices and immediately create a divisi change and manipulate the situation via these divisi changes

    • if arrows aren’t needed, then create the usual SATB parts, and then also create SA & TB parts (the 5th and 6th voice parts that are then renamed to indicate SA & TB) and then switch to these additional parts whenever voices can be combined. This approach is perhaps the most flexible and essentially means you are doing part of the process of condensing by hand.

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Ok. That sounds like a pretty complicated workaround. I’ll get right to it. Thanks for all the help!

I appreciate the tip. Thank you.

How do I print out a chart that contains more than one instrument? I.e., 4 vocal parts. Sorry but I couldn’t find that info.

Setup mode: Select one of the voices in the list of layouts (right side), then add the other three voices by checking them in the players’ list (left side). Then delete these three voices from the layout list because you won’t need them any more.

I wouldn’t bother deleting anything. Just create a new layout and add the players you want to that.

Thanks so much for that. Now, let’s say that verse 1 is in unison. How do I hide 3 staves?

If they’re empty, see here. If they’re not empty, see here.

For an introduction to the relationship between players, layouts, and flows, see here.

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Thank you!