Deleting or Removing Rests

• Sep 3, 2016 - 06:12

Why make it so difficult to look things up in the handbook? I typed "delete rests" in the search box and got no relevant results... at least none that made sense. Then I tried "remve rests." Again nothing helpful.

So... How do I remove a rest on the fourth beat of the final measure in my score. FYI, the rest of that measure is a dotted half note with a fermata.

Thank you,

Charles Gambetta


What do you want to do, exactly? Have 3 beats in a 4/4 measure? That's not deleting rests, usually I'd call it creating a pickup measure, but this is at the end of a piece. Right click measure, go to measure properties, edit the number of beats.

For the record, that's a pretty weird thing to do. Every score I've seen leaves in rests at the end of the piece.

Simple: you don't delete rests.
Music is sound (a note or chord) and silence (a rest), so there's no point in deleting a rests and MuseScore actively prevents you from deleting rests in voice 1. You can delete rests in voice 2, 3 and 4, and you can make rests in any voice invisible.
If you want less beats in a ceartain measure (like a pickup measure, or the last measure of a pice to compensate for a pick up measure at ist beginning), you can shorten that measure, see If you want less beats in many or even all measures, see

Please allow this reminder of online etiquette: When it is tempting to snark at an OP's question, that normally means that the question is incompletely understood.

Consider a simple measure containing one rest and one note. Suppose you want the note to be at the beginning of the measure. As a new user, the only way I can see is to delete and re-enter the entire measure. There appears to be no way to change where the note falls within the measure. In the simple example case, it is not a problem to re-enter the whole measure, but in other cases it is.

Note that there have been multiple postings struggling with this same problem. The replies indicate that it is a design feature to preserve the correct duration of notes and rests in all measures at all times. Given that, here are possible solutions:

1) Allow selecting a rest and moving it to the end of the measure.

2) Allow selecting two adjacent notes or rests within a measure, and swapping them.

In reply to by jonwatson

Actually you can do this in 2.0.3.

Make sure you are not in Note Entry mode.
Select the note/rest that you want to move.
Enter Note Entry mode (click on the toolbar icon or press 'n')
Hold down [Shift] and move the note with the arrow keys.

The problem as I see it is that it only solves a few very limited cases. Often you want to move several notes or rests at once and the easiest way to do that is usually to Cut and Paste.

In reply to by jonwatson

To be clear: cut and paste *is* the easy way to take one or more notes (only you, not MuseScore, can possibly know how many) and move them earlier (or later) in time. So whether it is one note you want moved or 17 or 342, the solution is the same: select the notes you want to moved, cut, click the new location, paste.

In reply to by jonwatson

This things makes me crazy. With a paper i delete my rest! I should rule the notation! O use Muse Score because i cannot Lily Pond.

And they will try to convence the composer, Muse Score is the Holy Spirit of the notation.

Why is so hard to create things that on the paper are simple: for example cut out score?

They should enable us to DELETE DELETE everything. If there is a problem further, let me know with a advice. Just that.

I am doing the most simple thing: a exercise. And i cannot find how i let the measure empty for the student!

In reply to by magalhaesem@st…

If you erase a rest on paper, your measures will have too few beats in it. Most likely that isn't what you want. Normally the reason you erase a rest on paper is to replace it with a note. In MuseScore, you don't need to go to that trouble. Just enter the note directly on top of the rest. Unlike with paper, the rest goes away automatically - no need to spend time with an eraser :-)

This question is posed with great regularity on this forum. The answer is one does not delete rests (exceptions exist in order to confirm the rule). One overwrites them with notes as needed. So long as no notes are there the rest will fill the measure as per time signature. (Or else one edits the measure properties).

This particular request and the way it is worded however gives me an idea: For the query above wouldn't it be nice if some answer appeared; I am almost sure the questioner is not the first person to search the question "how to delete rests".

It might say something like a synthesis of the answers on this thread.

In reply to by azumbrunn

The real (second or third) question in this topic isn't about "erasing rests";
question is: "to get some empty measures or blank areas, in a written score; without notes or rests.
What to use for: "fill in the blanks" tests.
Which format?: Printer output and/or PDF.

*1: The same result can be obtained by making the notes in selected measures (or areas, or single notes) invisible. So the issue isn't related to the "erasing rests".

Suggestion: a "How to" entry. Title: "Removing or Deleting Rests".
(subtopics can be linked to the relevant part of the handbook/manual)
* to get some blank areas in written score.
* for last measure. (starting with a pickup measure)
* swapping notes with rests.
* deleting unnecessary measures (usually, in the end of score).

I understand the point made over and over again that you don’t delete rests in a bar because the total note values in a bar must equal those prescribed by the time signature. However, there is a situation, which I am in at the moment, where it is necessary to get rid of the rests because they are in addition to the correct total note values. This arose as follows: I scanned a page of music into a music recognition programme and then saved it as an xml file. Unfortunately, as is normally the case with these programmes, some mistakes were made. In particular, two bars were given rests for half the bar values, because the programme didn’t recognise a bar that in the original was split across two lines and treated them as two separate bars. I opened the xml file with Musescore amd managed to join the two bars quite easily. Unfortunately the superfluous rests were not removed. How can I remove the superfluous rests?

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

OK, I’ve joined two bars of 12/8 time. The bar now has the correct total note values plus the same values again in rests, so the rests are superfluous. I can think of four possible solutions that might be possible in a score-writing programme:

  1. Delete the rests.
  2. Apply an edit which rescans each bar to check whether the total note values conform to the time signature.
  3. Remove the time signature and add it back again in the hope that the rests will disappear.
  4. Remove the time signature altogether because there is no law in any country that I am aware of that it is compulsory to have a time signature at all if you don’t want one and then delete the rests (how?!).

Are any of these solutions possible in Musescore? If not, what do composers do who write music without time signatures and then wish to delete rests they have inserted erroneously?

In reply to by VoixHumaine

I would assume the rests are at the end of the measure. To fix this, change the actual duration of the measure (right click the measure, chose measure properties) to match what needs to be left in the measure. If the rests are at the beginning of the measure, then you need to move the valid notes to the beginning of the measure since changing the actual duration of the measure will always affect the beats at the end of the measure. Once this is done, you can leave the two defective measures as is (if they still have a line break between them) or you can merge the two measures using
edit->measure->Join selected measures.

In reply to by VoixHumaine

The problem with that is that the rest is actually still there. When you play it you will still get the silence from the rest. This is probably not what you want. One flaw with MuseScore is that you can position items off the page, but they are still in the score. If you select the measure, right click a rest and chose "All similar items in range selection" and press ctrl-r the rest will return to where it originally was.

In reply to by VoixHumaine

Definitely don't drag them off the page. Not only will they still playback but they will also affect spacing and may mess up formatting in other pages, since "off the page" really is likely to mean "onto another page" at some point.

As mentioned, we can help better if you attach your score so we're can see what is going in. but based on your description, my guess is that the scanninprogram incorrectly created measures with too many beats. You can fix that directly by right clicking the measure and adjusting the actual duration there.

In reply to by VoixHumaine

You're a genius! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I teach harmony, and create assignments with just the soprano or the bass line, and need a blank staff for the other voices WITHOUT rests. Yours is the best and simplest solution to my problem. THANK YOU!!

I am having this very same problem. I am editing a song that's in 2/4. I imported it and it shows a dotted quarter with an eighth note after it and then an eighth rest making it 5/8. I can't seem to delete the rest and I had to change it from 2/4 to 3/4 and then back to 2/4. Problem is that it deleted the notes and words associated with the song. I noted that on Voice 1 and 2, all seemed well, so I'm not sure what's going on, but I bet someone can figure it out.

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