What would be the best way to create a choir score in this way?

So, I am currently trying to make a choir arrangement.
What I need is to have the top two staves be a reduced choir. However, I need the bracket to be this “[” and not this “{”. Also, I intend for the top staff to have the name


while the bottom staff to have


What is the best way to implement that?

  1. Add a Section Player. Set it to Singers > Voice.

  1. Go into Write mode. Right-click on the first rest and go to Staff > Change Divisi.

  1. Add a Section Division then select the “1” and “2” divisions at the top, in turn, typing Soprano Enter Alto into the bottom text box etc. Then hide the Group Name as shown at the bottom.

  1. Hit OK.

  1. Finally, go to Layout Options, untick this option.

  1. Hit Apply and Close. Job done.

(edit: 7. add a bass clef to the tenor/bass stave by invoking the Shift-C clef popover and typing f into it.)


Pianoleo, you win all the things.

Thanks… this is super helpful for future reference for me!

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Actually, come to think of it, rather than hiding the staff labels globally in Layout Options, you can select them in Engrave mode, flick the “Custom text” switch in the properties panel and type a single space into the box. That might be necessary if (for example) you were scoring something for choir and orchestra, where wind players have instrument changes.


Nice touch…

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André, the vast majority of my engraving/arranging work is pretty simple stuff, so switching wasn’t a difficult decision. I freely admit that I only managed to remain bilingual for a very brief period - having committed to Dorico, I’ve completely forgotten how to use Sibelius. I posted the following on Facebook a couple of weeks back, and I stand by every word:

"I’ve just spent over an hour tidying up a four page SATB arrangement that some complete idiot originally typed into Sibelius. It’s basically all inaccurate lyric hyphens, ties misused as slurs, slurs that aren’t actually attached to anything, just positioned; dynamics that are actually plain text styled like dynamics.

I could have done this job much quicker 18 months ago, when I was barely anywhere with Dorico and used Sibelius every day, but I wouldn’t have needed to do it at all if it had originally been done in Dorico - Dorico makes it very easy to do this stuff right, and you have to try really hard to do this stuff wrong :grinning:"

Very nice tutorial. It could be edited as an official one and shared by Steinberg :wink:

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Thank you for your responses, I still have Dorico 1, so the way described above still doesn’t work. I will get Dorico 2 around Tomorrow, though.

Elwin, you may also find this earlier thread helpful.

Leo, can you explain the reason for the Divisi? Why not just 2 Voice players grouped together?

I used this divisi method to create a piano grand staff as done in old publications where the bar lines aren’t connecting the staves, a bracket is used instead of a brace and the movement name is centered as staff label. I would not know how to do this otherwise. Only downside is that the dynamics are placed above the staves, so I use properties to place them Below:
Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 21.51.35.jpg
Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 21.47.43.png

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Craig, I think in Dorico 2.0 the possibility of creatingline breaks in staff labels on regular staffs didn’t exist. Though it does now exist in 2.1, this didn’t occur to me yesterday!

Yeah, 2.1 added some nice flexibility there.

Coming back to this (as it’s now relevant in a live project I’m working on)
Is the flexibility really here?

What I can get using a regular Choir (reduction) instrument is this:

but what I want is:

Am I missing something, or is my workaround above exactly the way to do what the OP wanted?

Does the attached work for what you want?
SATB.zip (289 KB)

D’oh. Of course it does. But I guess it’s one workaround (grouping together a Soprano stave and a Bass stave, then renaming them SA and TB) vs. another workaround (using a single voice then adding a divisi, then renaming the individual divisi staves SA and TB). I mistakenly assumed that you meant that there was now a native way of doing this, which I don’t think there is.

Six of one and half a dozen of the other :wink:

Yeah, my setup is just a step shorter. :wink:

Thank you! Is it possible to make the labels shorter this way? All my systems are now named fully, without abbreviation, even though I have choosen abbreviation in the layout options. Best regards Helge

This is a very old thread, and Dorico has added significant numbers of features since then. Notably, Dorico can make changes to the style and ‘reach’ of individual brackets/braces, which is a much easier answer to the original question than the ‘workaround’ with Divisi.

Just create one instrument for Sopranos and Altos, labelled accordingly; and another for the Tenors and Basses (NB: use a ‘Bass’ Player, not a Tenor), and join them with the style of bracket that you want.