drop instrument midscore

• Aug 1, 2023 - 03:24

In the attached four-movement piece with four instruments throughout, I added a fl 1b and fl 2b (now hidden, but that's irrelevant) in the first movement, but I want to drop them thereafter. In 3.6, "change instruments" does not have a drop option. The closest I have been able to come is attached. The flute 1b and 2b parts have three systems of empty staves at the end even when I make everything invisible after movement 1 (which takes a surprising number of steps) and hide empty staves within systems. Am I missing a trick?

Attachment Size
Haydn Sy13 v4x2.mscz 145.79 KB


In reply to by jwpratt

I see, you had shared it in the initial post...

OK, so MuseScore 3.6.2... and the problem is in the parts.

Hide empty staves doesn't make much sense if there is only one staff, as there's then nothing left to show.

But even without that setting it looks the same. It seems to relate to multimeasure rests and section breaks

Ah, no, it is because you made all the mmrests and repeat barlines invisible (and disabled "Show invisible")
So back to
Hide empty staves doesn't make much sense if there is only one staff, as there's then nothing left to show.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thanks for the info, but I think you're thinking too narrowly. There must be lots of situations with several movements or pieces where the instrumentation varies by movement or piece and one doesn't want to provide a part for every piece for every instrument. In my case, the fl 1's, for example, are divided here and there in mvt 1 and rarely elsewhere. I originally planned to have a single fl 1 part with two voices where needed, but in some places in mvt 1 the voices are intertwined so that it would be hard to read one voice on the fly. I thought about cutout measures, but that didn't seem feasible and might not fit well anyway, so I planned (and still do) a separate fl 1b part for that movement only. It's only two pages in the part. All fl 1 players would get the full fl 1 part and those two pages. (Who would play the 1b pages might even vary from reading to reading. This score especially is intended for a flute ensemble to have fun playing, not, to be honest, for me or you to listen to.) Any explanation needed would be provided in the accompanying Note. Even if my particular enterprise is nonsensical, I think wanting to drop a instrument might occasionally be sensible.

In reply to by jwpratt

To be clear: hide empty staves is to situations where you have systems consisting of more than one staff each, and some of those staves are empty. That option will allow only the staves with notes to display. But for systems with only one staff, it always displays, by design, because otherwise there's just an empty space on the page and the player would start playing the next section too soon because they wouldn't even know they were missing a whole chunk of music.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks. I started a reply to Jojo's last but it disappeared. I still think what I wanted to do is reasonable, even if it wasn't reasonable to hope to do it by hiding empty staves. I guess I will have to do it by postponing the unwanted material to a later page and eliminating that page in pdfCreator or something rather than in MuseScore.

In reply to by jwpratt

Alternatively you could start another score for the remaining three movements without fl1b and fl2b, and join the movements later in pdfCreator. If you are creating parts as well you should add something like “Movements 2-4 TACET” at the end of those flute parts.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Yes, but where I started is that they are sometimes intertwined in such a way that they are difficult to sightread (or read at all) from a single staff. My first attempt was multiple staves where needed, but the multiple staves didn't propagate to the parts. I found that this was issue #57136 and posted there, but it turned out the bug was not going to be fixed in 3.x. I think the issue was closed, though I don't see where it says so. The later suggestions by Mark and others all seem to run aground on this as far as 3.6 is concerned. And it does seem to me reasonable to want parts sometimes that do not have an entry for every movement in every part of the type that creating parts inevitably produces. Imagine a song cycle with different instrumental accompaniments in different songs, some instruments in a small fraction of them. I can't resist saying that of course Empty staves works if it's never needed.

In reply to by jwpratt

If I understand correctly, you want to hide all things from measure 88 of Flute 1b and Flute 2b. If so, you can just cover it up with a vector graphic:

  • See the attached file "white.svg". It is a small vector graphic rectangle with a white background. It should be applied to the parts Flute 1b and Flute 2b.
  • Select the part tab, drag this file from an Explorer window to, for example, the first multi-measure rest or to measure 88.
  • Uncheck the option "Automatic placement" and "Lock aspect ratio".
  • place the element and resize it by moving the rectangle and its handles to fit.

Using this method you do not need to hide measures, notes, rests or barlines - just cover them! Check the attached score.

Attachment Size
white.svg 1.73 KB
Haydn Sy13 v4x2-1.mscz 147.71 KB

In reply to by HildeK

Thanks. I wondered if there wasn't some way to do something like that. However, it leaves an empty space at the foot of the page. If one fills the page with active staves, the material to be covered will go to another page, where it could be covered, but then the pdf will have an extra, blank page. What I have managed to make work on the fl 1b part is to choose a negative music bottom margin and insert spacers under the last staff (system) on each page, but the right numbers for fl 1b (bottom margin -38 and spacer heights 41.5 and 18.5) don't work for fl 2b. I hid things and I may have made other adjustments (like reduce stretch), but they apply to elements which are ought of sight (off the page on the screen), so I can't find out from the inspector what I did. I suspect hiding isn't necessary, but as a method, I don't see how to avoid a tricky trial and error.

In reply to by jwpratt

MuseScore 3.6.2 cannot fulfill your wish, so hiding it under a white graphic layer is of course a workaround.

As long as the score is not finished, you should not use it. And, the multi-measure rests certainly don't interfere at the time. In my opinion, they should also be visible to the musician, especially since they take up very little space. If you optimize it they will fit in one or two lines.

Note: the anchor point of the graphic is an existing element, e.g. a note, a rest or a measure. So if you insert more measures in front of it, the graphic will naturally move with it; this also happens with your unsuccessful attempt to just hide it.
Then you can simply delete the graphic again, reinsert it and resize it. Since it is an SVG file, the size can be changed arbitrarily.
What things this graphic covers depends on the stacking order. For example, with the default settings the footer remains visible anyway .

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

That's what I hoped, so I think you're agreeing with me in response to HildeK. But if I create a part with two instruments (your previous suggestion), either it's confusing to the players in places or it has two staves in places and they don't propagate to the part, in which case my previous difficulty arises and #57136 becomes relevant.

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