Empty measures -- can't display rests

I have struggled with this in all the releases. It happens frequently when importing XML. I can end up with empty measures and I can’t find any good way to clear that condition. If I wrestle with it awhile, I might be able to enter a note and delete it, with a rest remaining in the measure, but that doesn’t seem like a very good solution. Surely I am missing something very basic here. How to I reset measures so rests appear normally when there are no notes?

Select the last note before that problem section, and look for the “ends voice” property to be toggled on in the properties panel—if it is, un-toggle it. Alternatively, look for the “starts voice” property by selecting the first note *after the problem section.

Thanks. That does it. I have only one voice, so I was able to select all notes in the flow and wipe out all Starts Voice and Ends Voice indicators.

I understand the reasoning that leads to this situation. And I suppose there are folks who have become dependent on this strange behavior to intentionally create empty bars. But in the general sense, this is not valid music and would not be the intention most of the time.

In my case, it is brought on by scanning programs that recognize bar lines, but fail to see the whole rest within the bar. From each product’s perspective, the product is handling things properly (other than the original sin of the scanning program missing the rest.) But for the user, it creates a situation that is confusing without an obvious resolution.

I wonder if there could at least be an option during XML import to flag or repair these situations where there is no voice at all in a measure. Even a message saying “We detected one of more cases of bars with no voices. You can resolve this by disabling ‘Ends voice’ or ‘Begins voice’ properties in adjacent passages.” would be helpful.

Try switching off the ‘Rest visibility’ option on the MusicXML Import page of Preferences to see whether or not the kinds of situations that are arising in your MusicXML files coming from scanning programs would be covered by this option.

There is nothing really “strange” about having empty bars with no rests, for example in keyboard parts on a grand staff where all the notes are cross-staff.

For a scanning application that exports MusicXML, it would be pretty difficult for the app to figure out which notes were supposed to be cross-staff just by looking at the final printed notation, so the MusicXML file just says “there is no bar rest in this bar”. Even “earlier generation” notation software doesn’t necessarily understand the semantics of cross-staff notation very well.

Arrrrgh. Yes, that works perfectly. It never sets any voice start/end. For my work, I can leave that preference on all the time. Thanks for the direction – and thanks even more for having anticipated that and already solved it.

Yes, I can see that. That’s something I don’t normally have to deal with, but it could come up, especially as the scanning programs become better at dealing with this sort of thing.

Daniel’s solution is perfect. I can simply turn off the option for Dorico to try to bound the voices, as I will normally be working with a single voice.