Fermatas prevent hiding of staves

• Feb 27, 2019 - 21:20
Reported version
P1 - High
S3 - Major


In any kind of multi staff work, if you add one fermata, you add a fermata to every single staff of that measure. MS3 unhides staves with fermatas, which means that any fermata added to a work renders 'hide empty staves' a rather pointless option and wastes lots of trees and ink.


Rite of Spring is a little nutty on the 'number of staves' side, but Stravinsky is hardly the only composer that calls for such an army of instruments that one cannot fit it all on one page without staff hiding or very vigorous staff merging.

There is no workaround for this that I know of, but while this is a problem in MS3, it was not in MS2.3.2


Priority P0 - Critical

Hi! Not sure if you missed the discussion in the forum, but workaround is make the fermata invisible in the score, visible in the parts.

It's an easy fix, we should agree on a list of what elements attached to otherwise empty bars should and should not mark it not empty. Text (aside from system text) was added to the "non-empty" list deliberately a few years ago by user request. Are there other markings like fermatas that people would normally add to every staff and thus not need to see if the staff is otherwise empty? Mike mentioned breaths / pauses, but those already work as expected.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Workaround No Yes

Hello! I suppose I did miss it. I quite often use staff text to write cues in otherwise empty staves, as you can see, so I'm not sure how that would work out. Why did a user request text to not hide staves? If we invis the text, will the staff be hidden? If we make cue notes invisible, does that hide staves?(all my previous experience says no)

If all the answers are, 'make everything invisible,' then we need to make doing so as easy as possible. For now I half to select the measure(s) in every staff - not fun when you have a large score - and then hunt down a possibly tiny element, right click, selections, select all subtype in range selection, and then hit the simple v.

The copy-paste way is also not user friendly, especially if you want to paste something invisible to a hidden staff.

For fermatas in particular, I'd want the program to propagate a fermata to every staff, and add them to any new staves added. Seems like it would be pretty easy to automate. It'll get a little weird when you have something other than a measure rest in a staff, but not too terribly so.

I think I got off topic, lol. Give me a minute to think.

NP :-)

Here is the original request regarding text: #44956: Empty bars with text not visible when hiding empty staves. "chen lung" was a very active user who was creating lots of fairly large scores, copying from published versions, so his expectations were set by what he was copying from, so that should seem like familiar territory I imagine :-)
Except he was almost exclusively doing rock band transcriptions.

As you can see, I was lukewarm about the suggestion at best. But then, as per my comments in the PR I eventually submitted, I talked to an associate who teaches composition for kids and they commonly create scores where the whole (small) ensemble reads from the score instead of the parts, and it's not uncommon for there to be no notes on some of the parts but plenty of text (like, "make funny noises with your armpits here", or whatever).

So, if you are writing cues on the otherwise empty staves and want them to be hidden in the score, I'd suggest the same workaround of making them invisible in score, visible in parts. As far as I can tell that should work although it would be good to verify.

Invisible notes do not work. The function that determines whether a measure is "empty" doesn't check for this - any note with trigger non-empty status. Changing this would be somewhat complicated, we'd have to check not just the notes but also the stems, accidentals, dots, flags, beams, etc. But wanting cues to not show in the score is common. So I have a thought - how about a new property "cue" (or whatever we call it) that would apply to the chord as opposed to note, making it very easy to apply and very easy to check. With this property applied, the notes would appear in parts but not the score, and measures containing only these would be considered empty.

Off-topic a bit, but I know this is something a lot of people would like to see, and it occurs to me that could be a pretty easy way to get the job done. Way better than any scheme involving notes that aren't linked between score and parts which is how we usually imagine solving this problem.

Back to fermatas - so, what if it were possible to a) add the "system" flag to articulations, and b) somehow specify that it should be displayed on all staves? This relates to other requests to customize which staves display other system elements like tempo changes.

Way better continuing these discussions in the forums of course...

Fix version