Treatment of existing music when soloist is added

This got buried in an earlier thread which contained a number of different questions, and never really addressed. But I’m interested.

If I use the divisi feature to add a soloist above an existing staff, here’s expected behaviour:

(1) I create divisi in the existing staff and add a soloist.
(2) The empty soloist staff appears above the existing staff.
(3) Now I can input the soloist’s music into the new empty staff.

And here’s Dorico’s actual behaviour, at least as far as I can tell:

(1) I create divisi in the existing staff and add a soloist.
(2) The existing staff is changed into a soloist staff at the point of divisi, inheriting its existing music.
(3) A new staff appears below, empty.
(4) I must move all the music from the existing staff to the new staff below for the duration of the divisi.
(5) Now I can input soloist’s music into the vacated bars on the existing staff.

Having done this sequence, everything looks fine in the score, but there is a minor downside. Because the top staff is now sometimes a section and sometimes a soloist, selecting all the music in this staff selects a mixture of soloist’s and section’s music.

I’m curious to know whether this is a feature (or at least intended behaviour) or a bug – or whether I’m doing something wrong? Thanks in advance.

This is the intended behaviour. It is more expedient for us to always add additional staves for ossias below the original staff, rather than both above and below the original staff. This has no bad consequences in the full score, because you can’t tell which is the original staff when looking at the score or part in page view. When you are in galley view you can of course see what’s going on, and you are right that this means you cannot necessarily straightforwardly select all of the music belonging to a single divisi section in one operation as a result, but that was the trade-off we decided to make and we have no plans to change this.

OK, thanks for the quick reply. The selection problem is indeed a minor irritation, not a big deal – and I’m more than happy to work around it if there are good reasons for it. In that case, it’s a shame that galley view gives away the trick!

As a small wish for the future, I wonder if you might consider automating step 4 in my workflow example above? In other words, if I create a solo staff above an existing section staff, would it be possible for Dorico to understand this and move the existing section’s music down a line so that it “stays on” the section’s staff, rather than allowing it to “be moved to” (what has now become) the soloist’s staff? I can’t think of a use case where this step wouldn’t need to be done, so would it make sense to do it automatically?

I agree with Randy. And it would be straightforward for the user to understand where the music is going.

I don’t agree with Daniel, as I earlier commented here. As far as I can tell, it’s only in part layouts that divisi staves will cleverly display the unison before and after the divisi on the same system. In a score layout, extra divisi staves may start/end in the middle of a system. It looks weird if the ‘gli altri’ staff is the new staff, while actually a soloist is the new element on the page. In the following example the new staff in bar 2 is the continuation of the section music in bar 1 in Vn 1, while the upper staff is a soloist. Text labels deliberately omitted to increase confusion… :slight_smile:
Schermafbeelding 2018-06-14 om 23.48.31.png
Note that staff labels ‘Solo’ and ‘gli altri’ don’t appear at all. They would if the divisi started at the beginning. It requires several text objects and maybe even arrows to clarify who is playing what (you could even be tempted to think the extra staff belongs to Vn 2 at first glance), whereas a simple ‘Solo’ in the upper staff would be sufficient if it was the new staff above the Vn 1 section. I don’t understand what’s expedient in having solo staves push the original staff down instead of appearing above.
BTW: Divisi changes don’t necessarily coincide with system breaks, even when it’s often desirable.

In Layout Options > Staves and Systems, there is a checkbox for ‘Show extra staves across full system when starting or stopping’. Apparently, this setting doen’t apply to divisi staves? It doesn’t seem to have any effect on either the ‘intermittent’ staves in Full Score, or the display of preceding/following unison in part layouts. Is this correct?

The whole point of the divisi feature in Dorico is that divisi sections don’t have to change at system breaks, of course. The plan is that we will soon have automatic labels (similar to the ones that you get for instrument changes) that will appear at the point where the divisi sections change along the system.

The option for ‘Show extra staves across full system when starting or stopping’ is for staves added via Edit > Staff > Add Staff Above/Below – it doesn’t affect ossias or divisis.

Sorry I missed the existing thread when starting this one.

Unless I’m missing something, the clever behaviour works for me in full score too – unison is automatically displayed before and after the divisi. The only strangeness is the fact that the section’s music gets inherited by the new solo line.

It seems that the divisi function is properly useful for the paradigm case where a section is divided into multiple parts. In this case, the default behaviour is right. (It’s fair enough for Dorico to put the existing music in the top staff, since it has to go somewhere.) But it doesn’t work correctly for the case where the ‘divisi’ in fact represents a soloist breaking off from (or being added to) the main ensemble, because of the problems already discussed in this thread and elsewhere: the existing music ends up in the wrong place and must be moved manually, the bracketing is wrong, passage selections select a mixture of music, instrument labelling doesn’t yet work as expected, etc.

BUT, as someone suggested in another thread, there is a better solution that eliminates these problems: adding an ossia passage for the soloist at scale factor 1.0. The only downside here is that playback doesn’t work!

From the Dorico 2 documentation (esp. the Version History and the John Barron hangout video), I also get the impression that the unison feature is supposed to work everywhere. I wonder what’s the difference, divisi-wise, between randywombat’s Minimal Motet and my Simplistic Serenade. I started with a fresh, empty Dorico 2 project, nothing imported, just added a string ensemble to experiment with the new features. Why do the extra divisi staves start in the middle of the system in my score, but not in the parts, and not in Randy’s score? Is there another setting hidden somewhere? Did I manage to store the wrong defaults again? :blush:

[edit:] I think it would be nice if one could choose between both styles of divisi handling for each layout (i.e. either systemwide with unison additions, or popping up/ending mid-system). Apparently, both behaviours are available already…

You’ll need to attach your project if you want us to tell you what’s going on with it.

Daniel, this was my divisi test file. (1.54 MB)
It has one more issue, not mentioned yet, but probably related: as you can see I also created a double bass divisi that behaves strangely. The staff label in front of the system is lowered correctly (centered between DB staves), but the ensemble bracket doesn’t extend beyond the upper DB staff. And the right barline at the end of de DB divisi is missing.
Thanks for investigating.

Just to update you that we’re looking into this.

Good evening, I am relatively new with Dorico 2.2 but I still have the same problem, and I am unable to find a solution.
In this screenshots is what happens (to me).
1- The C scale to the Violins section
2- The panel where I added a solo instrument (intended Violino solo)
3- What the score shows: Solista above the tutti ok, but the music in 1/8 is given to “altri” or Tutti" where is intended for the soloist
4- The same as 4 but in the violins part.

I see that all is reversed, and caused me troubles in a orchestral piece where I have to insert some solos (violin, viola cello)

Can anything help me to solve this problem?
Thank you very much!

(Mac Mojave, Dorico 2.2)

Welcome to the forum, walterth. Unfortunately your screenshot doesn’t appear to have been attached properly: could you please try again?

Thank you Daniel. Sorry, I hope that now is possible to see the screenshots.

second screenshot

third screenshot

Ciao Walterth!
Have you tried the Paste Special > Swap new function? I have the feeling it could solve your problem in one go…

Ciao / Hi Marc
Thank you for your advice, it works. The only thing that I still not intended is why Dorico reversed the creation of a solo within a section (in my case a string section) and obliges to perform all this steps.
I allow myself to post step by step the procedure with relative images:
1 creation of the solo part: you notice that it was created below de violins 1 section
2 before the utilization of the “swap” function
3 after the “swap” function
4 after the restore unison function: you notice that the staff still remains after the solo
5 after the “delete staff” function: the staff disappears

NB: Viola’s and cello’s solos have been resolved with the “ossia” function, changing the staff dimension.

Thank you very much!

second file

third file