Two woodwind on one stave in full score


Only my second post, I think. I’ve had Dorico since June but, due to the pressures of work have stuck with Sibelius over the last few months just because my workflow is quicker.

So, now, I have many spare hours per week (!) and want to start learning Dorico properly - I’m starting by taking an old full score of a song accompanied by live orchestra and entering everything in, so I get the feel of drums, guitars etc as well as orchestral instruments.

I’m rather confused by the “players” thing. Basically, how do I have two flute players on one stave on the score - do I set it up as two players, or a section, etc.? I’ll want to flow easily between them playing in two parts (one tails up and one tails down), and in unison (using ONE set of tails rather than two).

Hope this makes sense, and thanks.


Hi Dan.

Use two separate solo players, then either write in Galley View (where you’ll see separate staves) or in Page View but with Edit > Condensing unticked. Then when you’re done, tick Edit > Condensing.

The basic principle is that you have to write everything in full, then Dorico works out how best to represent it on a single stave.

There are extensive Notation Options for Condensing, and you can also change them locally in Engrave mode by inserting a Condensing Change and setting parameters within the Condensing Change dialog. That’s Engrave > Condensing Change.

Mr. Pianoleo is an expert. So I hesitate to comment. :slight_smile: and listen to others.

There isn’t just one way of working though, depending on which instrument it is and what is in the score. For short divisi, you many want to use a second voice on the same stave - it’s slightly more work in one sense, but then it isn’t a whole separate stave you are writing. And it reflects the way that a violin section would work out among themselves how they wanted to handle divisi, by stands or whatever.

Along those lines, my understanding is that the idea of players should follow what is actually happening. If its two flute players , then its good to write it that way. If its a section then…

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Thanks for these suggestions. Would you use solo player or section player to add this stave though?


It depends on what end result you want.

Divisi (on a section player), or two voices on a single stave (either a solo player or a section player) makes sense if you want to print one part for all (e.g.) flautists to play from.

Separate solo players that condense is the solution if you want one printed part for your Flute 1 player, another printer part for your Flute 2 player etc.

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a good rule of thumb is just to think about the reality:
Flutists in an Orchestra are Solo Players (one player per part), violins are sections (multiple players per part).
All in all, it makes sense to keep it like that first (because of divisi, condensing, multiple instruments can be only held by a solo player etc etc.)

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I agree with what @klafkid said. In an orchestra, wind instruments are single players, strings are organized in sections (many players to a single part). This distinction is at the heart of Dorico setup, which makes exactly that distinction when you create staves. They’re handled fundamentally differently, unlike previous software.

When you write each wind player on a separate staff, it’ll create what seems an unwieldy layout, with way more staves than you’d actually want on a page. This is why @pianoleo advised writing in Galley (scrolling) View. Once you are done with input, then (in Notation Options) specify which pairs of staves you want to Condense into one. (Or you can specify that last bit earlier, of course.) But in any case, looking at the two-instruments-on-one-staff view comes after you’ve completed note entry. Then Dorico will do the combining intelligently, though you may want to fine-tune some details in Engraving Mode.

FWIW, if you’d prefer to avoid too much score-unwieldiness while entering notes or editing, you could make temporary layouts which include only certain groups of instruments, kind of akin to ‘staff groups’ in Finale. Smaller layouts result in faster, more responsive performance.