Stemlets on rests

• Jul 19, 2022 - 18:31

How do you put stemlets on rests?

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stemlets_example_with.png 12.42 KB


Adding stemlets almost makes sense where the beam starts or ends on a rest - though I don't remember seeing such stemlets in published music. However Elaine Gould in her notation guide Behind Bars certainly shows the use of stemlets (see "Extending beams to cover whole beats", pp.165-166).

You can fake the stemlets by adding notes high up the stave, then making the notes silent and the noteheads invisible:
Beam and stem over rests.png

In reply to by TheBlockofSwis…

Hopefully, there are not too many stemlets. Some elements need to be positioned manually.
I added the stemlet rests in voice 2. Voice 2 allows all unneeded rests to be deleted.
Use menu item: View > Show Invisible to see the invisible notes.
EDIT: Forgot to make invisible notes silent. Correction attached.

In reply to by DanielR

Not that anyone should care what I think. But for my own piece of mind, I have to say that, to me, stemlets make no sense at all. And the beams extended over the rests in the second half of the example don't seem to serve any purpose. Why do we need more than the rests?

In reply to by bobjp

"Why do we need more than the rests?"

I can only quote Elaine Gould (Behind Bars on p.165):
"Beams may extend across rests that start or finish a beat, in order to clarify the position of a beat. Stemlets (stems that stop short of the rest) mark the position of each rest, and inner beams are then extended or attached to these stemlets."

... and to support your view, on p.166:
"Use extended beams only when it is essential to help the reader to identify the beats. Elsewhere, use tradional beaming, since otherwise the extra notation makes straightforward rhythms look unnecessarily complicated."

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