SATB Template, Tenor Playback

This is my first attempt to enter Choral music. I selected the SATB with Piano template. Soprano, Alto, Bass all work fine, but the Tenor part by default shows with a Treble clef. Since I am transcribing a hymn, I want the Tenor part to show the Bass Clef. In an attempt to fix things I select the Bass Clef and make the change. The trouble is, playback of each note sounds an octave lower than notated. I tried changing the Player to Choir. That fixed the playback but made the Tenor part display on a Grand Staff.

So is my only solution to abandon my preferred format of separate SATB staves and use a single Choir staff with voices for each part?

Does this thread help? https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=141437#p760760

Thanks, pianoloe.

I saw that and one other thread before I posted, but after reading them I found myself more confused than when I started. I’m hoping to gain some clarity as well as to understand my options. And hopefully there are other people who could benefit from that as well.

No. Your first idea was good. You need to change the instrument instead of the clef. Rather than changing it to choir, change it to bass or bariton and rename it to get a bass clef staff named tenor.

To check I understand:

  • You would like four staves, one for each part: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass
  • But you would like the clefs to be (respectively) treble, treble, bass, bass?

If so, this is a rather unorthodox requirement. I won’t say I’ve never seen it, but it’s not standard. Normally, tenors read treble clef transposed an octave down in ‘open score’ (that is, when all four parts are written out on their own staves). This is what Dorico offers by default, and how the Tenor instrument is defined. Only when the music is written in ‘short score’ (with SA sharing one staff and TB sharing the other) would the tenors read bass clef, because they share a staff with the basses.

(I mention this not to try and “correct” you – of course you can format your music however you want – but just to explain why what Dorico provides by default doesn’t match what you want.)

To achieve what you want, the easiest method would probably be to start a new score and then create four instruments, Soprano, Alto, Baritone and Bass. (Or start with the SATB+piano template but delete the Tenor and add a Baritone.) That will give you the clefs you want in the right order. You can rename the Baritone line as TENOR in Setup mode using the instructions here: https://steinberg.help/dorico/v1/en/dorico/topics/setup_mode/setup_mode_players_edit_instrument_names_dialog_r.html

Perhaps DaddyO could show us an image of what he wants to see. If one uses a hymn condensed form on two staves, separating the tenor and bass voices is not yet possible in Dorico, so I do not understand the problem although it must exist for DaddyO to be asking about it.

Also be aware that there is an Expression Map to Transpose One Octave Up, or one can adjust the playback of the voice in the HALion player to transpose an octave.

You have understood me correctly. From my background I was not aware this was unorthodox. Thanks for educating me so that I understand better why Dorico does it the way it does.

To achieve what you want, the easiest method would probably be to start a new score and then create four instruments, Soprano, Alto, Baritone and Bass. (Or start with the SATB+piano template but delete the Tenor and add a Baritone.) That will give you the clefs you want in the right order. You can rename the Baritone line as TENOR in Setup mode using the instructions here: > https://steinberg.help/dorico/v1/en/dorico/topics/setup_mode/setup_mode_players_edit_instrument_names_dialog_r.html

Thanks, that sounds like a good approach.

In my church choral background, which was admittedly some years ago, we would often just use a hymn book with the four parts written Soprano/Alto on the Treble clef of a Grand Staff and the Tenor/Bass on the Bass cleff. What I’m doing is preliminary composition not intended to be performed live, so I guess I’d like to see it the way that I’m used to seeing it. Hope that explains it. Thanks for your reply.

Or I could just get with the program and use the Tenor clef in what seems to be the normal way!

Dorico has a “Choir (Reduction)” instrument that does exactly what you’re describing - it’s a grand staff instrument where the barlines between the two staves are not joined. Maybe try this.

Hmm… I saw that, but had no idea what it was. Still, what was looking for was separate staves, in a sense a choir reduction exploded. For me it was just a matter of familiarity. I’ll have to mess around with all this and see which suits me best.

Again, thanks all of you for your help.