Staff short names again

• Jul 8, 2022 - 20:05

I have a score which frequently flips between SATB and SSATB. When it is in 5 voices I want the short names to be S1, S2 and A,T,B. When in 4 voices, I want S, A, T and B. I can't seem to make this work.


Ok I get it, eventually. Thanks. Maybe it should be mentioned in the manual that in this kind of example you need an additional voice as has been suggested in the conversation here.

In reply to by Ali Wood

Your question was about staff names. You can make the staff names whatever you want and change them by adding a mid-staff instrument change where the only thing you change is the instrument name. That should have nothing at all to do with the number or type of voices. It is just changing a label while the music itself stays the same. Or perhaps I misunderstand the problem you are describing.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Here's what I want

Bars 1-5 Sopranos 1 and Sopranos 2 sing different melodies; staffs labelled "S1" and "S2"
Bars 6-10 Sopranos 1 and 2 sing the same melody; one staff labelled "S."
Bars 11-15 we want to show the same scheme as bars 1-5.
Simple as that.
What I just achieved (with the aid of a 3rd voice called "S") was at Jojo's suggestion, but it does seem burdensome.
[When I say "Voice" I mean part, it's just that the most appropriate one to use from the supplied list is "Voice"]

In reply to by Ali Wood

Why not this?

Top stave labelled "S1/S2"

Bars 1-5: voice 1 (stems up) = soprano 1 tune, voice 2 (stems down) soprano 2 tune.

Bar 6: instrument change, long and short names = "S"

Bars 6-10: Single voice (voice 1) combined sopranos tune

Bar 11: instrument change long and short names = "S1/S2"

Bars 11-15 as bars 1-5.

I suggest changing both long and short names as I think, but can't at present check, that the long name is displayed on the first new system after the instrument change, with the short name used thereafter until another instrument change. Perhaps you can experiment and check that behaviour.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Thanks, but sorry, no, Steve, I think that is becoming too complicated. Sopranos never combine onto single stave when the parts are different. It's just as I've said.
1-5 S1 and S2
6-10 S1 and S2 combined into one S
11-15 S1 and S2 again
For those reading this thread who are familiar with choral music, this arrangement is ever so common, not only with the sopranos, but with altos, tenors and basses.

In reply to by Ali Wood

So the problem is not about staff short names but about allocating separate soprano parts to separate staves and hiding those staves when empty.

You need to have 3 soprano staves one for the "all together" labelled "S", one for Soprano 1 labelled "S1" and one for Soprano 2 labelled "S2". Enter the "all together" notes in the "all together" staff, and the individual soprano parts in their respective staves. Then set "Hide when Empty" to "Always" in the Staff properties for all three soprano staves. If you leave that as "Auto" you wil hide empty staves in the other alto, tenor and bass parts as well.

When you make a soprano part you will need to add all three soprano staves (or instruments as Musescore will refer to them) to a single part and again use "Hide when empty" = "Always" for all three staves.

In reply to by SteveBlower

I understand the principle of the three staves and especially the hiding of the staves - I use that in many of my scores. I was hoping that Musescore might have a simpler solution; MS sometimes seems to go round the houses in terms of achieving simple goals.
As you summarised earlier, "You can make the staff names whatever you want and change them by adding a mid-staff instrument change where the only thing you change is the instrument name. .... It is just changing a label while the music itself stays the same."
So which way would you advise?
Having the staff short names editable just by overtyping them would be so simple.

In reply to by Ali Wood

You don't need an extra staff. Just add an instrument change as suggested in the very first reply. Now when you go to Staff/Properties starting from any measure in that section of the score, you can set the staff name for just that section.

Instrument names are editable by double-clicking them, which automatically brings up the Staff/Part Properties. And as explained above, that change will affect only the current instrument change. So it all works perfectly and simply.

In reply to by SteveBlower

I have now experimented and got to make your suggestion work, Steve, despite my discomfort at having to have an additional soprano part. So thanks.
BTW I didn't quite understand your last sentence about adding three soprano instruments to a single part? All I have done is added 3 soprano instruments to my list of parts.

In reply to by Ali Wood

If you want a part to give to sopranos that only has their music both unis and divisi, but not ATB you would make that part with all three of your soprano staves (instruments). The empty sections of each would be hidden and thus in the unis sections only the single "all together" stave will show up and in the divisi sections only the S1 and S2 staves will show up.

When I get to my PC I will try to create an example.

Risk digressing here, but when Bass parts B1 and B2 are combined into one B the playback assumes both parts singing and the volume is doubled. Hardly surprising, you say. But this has totally disrupted the score - 90% of which is B combined. The basses now drown out all the other parts. I don't know how to get this right save setting the real dynamics as hidden (eg pp) and putting dummy dynamics visible (eg mp ).
Before I did all this, there was no problem as B1 and B2 shared the same stave.
Also, the Mixer is confusing as it doesn't seem to acknowledge the presence of the split bass parts. If I did as Steve's method, having 3 bass parts, B, B1 and B2, I could set the volume of B to be more than B1 and B2 but certainly not 'double'.

In reply to by Ali Wood

You can disable playback of notes in the Inspector. The mixer also allows you to mute individual voices (see the checkboxes on the top portion of the mixer), or simply reduce volume of that track. You can also add the "T/B" text from the palette to automatically assign voices 1 & 2 to separate sub-channels in the mxier so you have independent volume control over them.

If you need further assistance, please attach your score and give precise steps to reproduce the problem, Then we can understand and assist better

....The volume levels seem to be a problem on the uploaded score at rather than the native file. Which is a bummer, as that is what people listen to on-line.

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