[Trunk] Disallow removal of staves

• May 22, 2011 - 20:46
S4 - Minor
won't fix

In Instrument, you are permitted to delete staves of your selected instruments, but it would involve some work if you later decided you wanted one of these.

If you don't want a stave to show, just make it invisible.

Using MuseScore 2.0 Nightly Build (4303) - Mac 10.4.11.


Are you saying it shouldn't be possible to delete staves? I cannot imagine any possible reason to disallow that. Even if making it invisible worked (doesn't it leave empty space? maybe that's changed in 2.0), I'd still want to be able to actually delete staves. For instance, if I start with one template, then want to delete some staves to create an arrangement for a similar but smaller ensemble. Or to delete one instrument and replace it with another. I do that sort of thing all the time. Maybe I'm misunderstanding?

Could you have it that the template takes visibility into account instead?

The visibility function has problems at the moment, but it could be promising soon :).

I'm not saying there would not be times when an invisible staff makes sense; I'm just saying there are also times when deleting a staff makes sense. This seems so obvious to me that I feel I must be missing something about why you are suggesting it, or misunderstanding what you are suggesting. Do you also suggest eliminating the option delete, say, dynamics, since those can also be hidden?

If you delete a staff, it could be hard (?) to re-add it, without having to create a new instrument and copy one existing stave's content over.

Oh, you mean if you inadvertently delete a staff that actually had important information in it? I guess I might suggest a confirmation dialog when deleting non-empty staves to guard against that, but it should still be possible. After all, MuseScore allows - just as it should - you to delete non-empty measures, too, and that could also result in loss of work if you do it by mistake. MuseScore can't be in the business of disallowing you from deleting things when you actually want to.

Say you created a piano score, but you only needed the treble clef, so you delete the bass clef stave and then enter all the notes in the treble clef.

After doing that, you decide you want a bass clef - it won't be possible, as you have deleted it. So you may have to copy all of the notes in the treble clef and then paste them into a new instrument featuring both staves, so you can begin your work on the bass clef.

Oh, you mean deleting just one of the two staves within a two-staff instrument? I thought you meant staves shouldn't be deletable *at all* - so I couldn't start writing a score for a quintet then delete one of the instruments to make it a quartet score. That's why I was so flabbergasted a your suggestion!

I could live with a restriction on deleting individual staves of a two-staff instrument if hiding worked *perfectly* - by which I mean, if the behavior was absolutely 100% indistinguishable from deleting. Because I still say, if I *want* to delete a staff, I should be able to. Why take away a perfectly useful feature just because it's possible someone might accidentally shoot themselves in the foot with it? Also, instead of disallowing the deletion on the grounds that you can't add the staff back but instead have to create a new instrument, why not simply request the ability to add a staff to an existing instrument?

I am meaning the staves shouldn't be deletable :).

The example was highlighting why deleting them could later create a problem. If you only need one stave, then just make the unused one invisible. It's currently problematic in 2.0 nightly build, but that will hopefully be fixed. Like Reload, we could retain the ability to delete them until issues in visibility are fixed.

However, incase I'm wrong:

Does adding staffs to an instrument's default set (piano = 2 staves) happen (not two same instruments: one grand stave and another treble clef - like what's attached)? If so, perhaps you should be able to delete them. I think adding staffs (you can in MuseScore) seems a bit convoluted otherwise, and would rather it was down to visibility.

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I *still* can't tell what you mean. If I start with a score for, say, string quartet: - four instruments (violin1, violin2, viola, cello) each with one staff - are you actually saying it should be impossible to delete the cello staff so I can instead write a score for string trio, and that I should settle for simply hiding the cello staff? That is what is boggling my mind. That would be like saying, you shouldn't be able to delete measures, you should just settle for hiding them. That just makes no sense to me. Just because it's possible someone might accidentally delete measures they didn't mean to, we certainly don't disallow deleting measures - sometimes you actually *want* to delete measures. Similarly, sometimes I actually *want* to delete staves. I can't believe anyone would seriously say I shouldn't be able to delete a staff if I want to!

I don't know if you can currently add a staff to an instrument, but as I said previously, that does sound like a nice feature to add.

I also don't know what you mean about adding staves being convoluted, *unless* you are talking about the special case of adding a staff to an existing instrument. Because adding staff by adding an instrument is as easy as could be.

I can see your analogy, but I feel this is different. Regarding the string quartet, I would now propose you can remove instruments, just not staves of a multi-stave instrument?

It's not necessary (hence marked minor), though I just think it could help towards achieving a better working environment in the software (saving time/effort in the future).

You can place additional staffs to an instrument in MuseScore (don't know if that's for the sake of restoring a deleted stave), but I don't know if composers have ever placed additional staffs in the one instrument - has anyone seen that?

I would say anything that can be added should be deletable, and vice versa. Right now you can delete a staff of a multi-staff instrument, but not add it back as far as I can tell in 1.0, and I agree that this is wrong. Looks like 2.0 adds this ability, so as far as I am concerned, thing are perfect as they are in this respect, and any change would be for the worse. At most, a confirm dialog for staff deletion within a multi-staff part.

Other than just restoring a deleted staff, reasons to add more staves for a single instrument might include as a way of doing an ossia (showing an alternate way of notating/playing a given passage above or below the main staff) or to notate a particularly trick divisi (a single violin 1 part in an orchestra that temporarily divides the section in two and for whatever reason is more clearly notated with two staves than with two voices on a single staff).

Regarding the Ossia, it's something that was requested (different to a full-blown stave): #6544: Ossia

Sorry - I don't really know about divisi :). How would you create one in MS (just generally)?

I probably wouldn't bother with the warning about deleting staves.

Thanks Marc.

Normally, an orchestra has a dozen or so people all playing the Violin 1 part in unison. Every once in a while, a composer might wish to split the Violin 1 section in two - half playing one part, half playing another. Usually this can be done using two voices on a single staff. But it could happen that you need a second staff for one passage. I'd do this by adding a second staff to the Violin 1 part, which would be empty most of the time, but I'd use it when I needed it. Then I'd turn on the Hide Empty Staves option so the second staff on the Vioiin 1 part was hidden except on the systems when I needed it. This part doesn't actually work in MuseScore - it wouldn't hide the second staff because it's in the same instrument. But that's how I'd *want* it to work.

I see - thanks.

What if there was a special templated instrument with the two staffs, or perhaps better - enabling a divisi mode (launches both, or perhaps more staffs)?

I like the "divisi mode" idea; I'd use it for lead sheets too. Seems more natural than how things are currently done, where you always have the second staff but it is hidden most of the time. But it's probably a pretty big change.

You can add instruments in 1.0 to a multi staff instrument. Create->Instruments select a a staff and hit "Add Above" or "Add Below". In 2.0 there is only "Add Staff".

It is a big change, yes.

Another reason I have for not adding staves or being able to delete them, is to keep things looking proper with regards to music rules - if you don't actually get additional staves (with exception to divisi)?

Werner, what do you think about 'divisi mode'?

In a piano score it is normal to have two three of four staves as needed (for one piano). Maybe this is also true for other instruments. Sometimes you can see alternate versions in a separate (sometimes smaller) staff. So it seems natural to me to have a add/remove staff function for instruments.
There is no good concept for ossias now. A divisi mode looks too special to me and will also be hard to implement. I would prefer a more generic solution. What about a function to make staves visible/unvisible at arbitrary positions?

Could you show an example of the 2+ stave piano and alternate versions? The latter seems something like an ossia.

A function to make staves visible at arbitrary positions could be good (with customisation, etc) - are you referring to this as being a substitute for ossias?

A function to make staves visibile/invisible at arbitrary positions is already possible isn't it? Style > Edit General Style > Hide empty staves. To address the Marc Sabatella's concern in comment #13 above, all he needs to do is add a separate violin instrument instead of adding a staff to an existing violin instrument. (The staves of a single instrument are intentionally not hidden because of piano in an orchestra for example).

A warning about deleting a staff isn't necessary since you can use Edit > Undo to recover an accidental deletion.

Chen Lung: it is easy to get a staff back if you need it later on for the situation you described in comment #6 above. Just use the "Add Above" or "Add Below" as described by Werner in comment #16 above.

Are there any other issues not being addressed?

Can we mark the original report as "won't fix"?

David - yes, adding a second instrument is how I've been doing this because Hide Empty Staves doesn't hide staves within a multistaff instrument. Not a big deal, but I really would prefer an option here to control whether hide empty staves works on individual staves within an instrument. Actually, even better would be an per-instrument control on whether it's sub-staves are hidden by the hide empty staves command.

But as for the general idea of making staves visible at arbitrary positions, the problem with hide empty staves is that it is all or nothing. In an orchestra score, I might want most empty staves *not* hidden (so the oboes don't disappear when not playing, for example), but want the second staff for the Violin 1 part to only be visible when needed. Right now, the workaround would be to put something in the otherwise empty oboe staves to prevent them from being hidden. Works, but not as elegant from a user perspective as a way to turn on "hide empty staves" on a more selective basis.

So again, an instrument- or staff- specific option to control whether that particular instrument/staff is affected by hide empty staves would be great.

I note that Finale does provide exactly this option, not that I've ever really thought through what it would be used for.

I think the function to make staves visible/invisible at arbitrary positions was for mid-way in a system (like an ossia ).

Yes, it is easy to get it back a staff back.

I'm keen to see a piano (or other instrument) score with more than 2 staves per instrument, before deciding about the issue.