TTBB Merge into one Grand Staff please help

Hello there, I have a Barbershop TTBB composition I am working on. Anyway, when I am finished, using the standard template Dorico provided for me, it will end up being very long. Is there a way I can merge the 4 parts into one Grand Staff to fit on fewer pages? Sorry if the answer is simple, I am new to music composition software as a whole so all I know is what was in the introduction videos and maybe some other small things I figured out. Thank you for any help!

This is the template I am using*

Welcome to the forum! Yes, despite the setup of the template, Barbershop is indeed normally written in “condensed” score on 2 staves. The method for condensing the notes is fairly simple:

  • Select the entire Lead line (click the first bar and Edit > Select To End Of Flow)
  • Edit > Filter > Notes and Chords; and Copy
  • Select the first entry in the top Tenor line and
    Edit > Paste Special > Paste Into Voice > New Down-Stem Voice
  • Do the same with the Bass line, onto the Baritone staff

However – In checking the wording of the menu commands and trying it on a file, I have discovered a serious error in the template: The Lead (2nd) staff is sounding at written pitch, despite having the 8va treble clef. So before you copy the notes in the Lead line, transpose them down an octave. Then they’ll paste into the 1st staff correctly.

Hopefully most of the lyrics are in homophony. Any solo lyrics in the Lead, you’ll want to move up from the 2nd staff (and any solo lyrics in the Tenor line flip to above the staff). Once you’ve got everything copied onto the 1st and 3rd staves, you can delete the 2nd and 4th in Setup. Let me know if you want more help!

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Thank you very much! @Mark_Johnson

Probably easier just to create a new layout that omits the extra staves and print from that layout. Then, if you ever need the additional staves (for revising or the like) they are still there.

Of course condensing is an option, but I think Mark is right to suggest switching the voice of the Lead, combining it with the tenor, and replicating the process with the Bass and Baritone given the experience level Strauss has explained and the still quirky way condensing handles lyrics.

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Alternatively, add the “choir reduction” or “choral reduction” instrument to another player: this has a pair of treble and bass clef staves, braced together, but without barlines joining the two staves to allow for lyrics.

You could then use the Reduce function to copy material from your existing four staves down onto the choral reduction staves.

That way, like Derrek was suggesting, you could have a variety of layouts: one with separate staves, one with reduced staves. You can include/exclude players from layouts freely, without removing their music from the project. More info below.

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Thank you, good idea!

Very much appreciated feedback. Thank you!