Independent parts for pairs of winds (2 Fl, 2 Ob, 2 Cl, etc) to automatically appear together on single staff in score (Flutes, Oboes, Clarinets, etc)

• Dec 20, 2022 - 00:14

This feature has been elegantly implemented in Dorico (they call it Condensing). You create a working score by adding individual staves for each instrument (part). Then, for a conductor's score, you pick which instrument parts will appear together on single staff (two flutes, or horns 1 & 2, or bass trombone and tuba), and Dorico will automatically combine them together. In passages where they share the same rhythm, they will be written in a single voice, as two-part harmony; where the rhythm isn't the same, they will be written as polyphonic voices; when only one of them plays, Dorico automatically adds 1. or 2., and when both play the same note, Dorico adds a2. Dynamics are appropriately added (or removed, where the two parts overlap in the combined staff). No matter where you edit (in part view, working score view, or conductor score view), any changes are reflected everywhere.

It would be nice if MuseScore would be able to automatically generate a condensed conductor's score, where same wind instruments can be grouped together in the same staff, without having to duplicate staves and hide the relevant ones from the layout as needed. This makes it impossible to edit the piece, once the duplication was done, unless one takes special care to make each edit in multiple staves.


I believe the current approach in MuseScore is the opposite one (but also not fully fleshed out). Write condensed in master score, then extract just a single voice into a separate part.

In reply to by jeetee

Right; but that's a rather clunky work-around, and it doesn't quite work the way music is properly written (in a score). In order for it to work well (extract correct voices into correct parts), you must have two voices in the score staff all the way through the piece (rather than single voice, when rhythm is common, or 1. 2. or a2 as necessary). More importantly, when the two parts have different entrances, different rhythm and play passages solo (without the other), a lot of ghost dynamic and other markings appear in each other's parts. This is not a solution.

To be fair, even the big boys don't have this right. Finale and Sibelius require you to create additional staff for the consolidated pairs of instruments, and then copy music from your individual staves into this consolidated staff. This essentially creates two independent copies of the same music. If you need to make changes, you must do them twice: in each individual instrument, plus in the consolidated staff.

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