Solo Players and Divisi (and Section Players)

The rather arbitrary distinction Dorico makes between Section and Solo players is…painful.

Solo players can condense. (Awesome!)

Section players can use divisi.

But you can’t do both in the same part… looking at a score now where there are wind solos in a few sections… how am I supposed to engrave this? The rest of the “section” (1st Oboe in this case) has a counter melody going on during the solo, so I can’t just fake it with text…I really do need 2 staves)

It’s been stated elsewhere that this is almost certainly not a permanent restriction. The issue is divisi and how to handle it, which apparently is complicated from programming point of view. Personally, I’m glad we at least have condensing in its current form, rather than waiting for them to figure out the other bit first.

Can you say a bit more about the nature of the score you’re looking at? If you’re working on e.g. a concert band score and you’ve got a soloist coming out of a massed section, then a section player is the correct kind of player to use. It doesn’t make sense that you could have a solo passage coming out of a solo player, as there’s only supposed to be one player for that instrument anyway. If the issue is that you want to use condensing for your section of oboes but still be able to pull out a divisi, then you’re right that at present you cannot otherwise condense that section player with other section players, but we anticipate making it possible to condense section players in a future update.

Your second case is exactly it. I really do hope this restriction gets taken care of. For a long time this felt like a distinction without a difference, and now it’s that, but with a bit of bondage and discipline on top.

No, it’s not that: the distinction is not arbitrary, and it makes sense. You can’t create divisi for a solo player because there’s only one human being there, and they cannot be divided. You might be able to make the argument that a whole section of instrumentalists could be doubling, e.g. if you want to notate (say) body percussion as a separate instrument for a string section, but in practice this happens exceedingly rarely.

This is where I take issue… if we’re replicating common practice, for instance, orchestral wind parts are condensed…yet in a modern full size orchestra there will often be more than one player actually playing the given part.