Ends voice immediately sometimes appears not to

That’s Fuga VIII in D sharp minor from JSB WTC I, by the way (my example does not show the key sig., not that it’s relevant to the question!)


Except that this is not working in my score. I wonder why?

Do you want to attach?

Sorry, no.

Will continue to puzzle it out.

Is Starts voice enabled on the first bar rest?

Long story short: the red voice is the primary voice and the notation option hides rests in additional voices.

Here’s a primer on how these work: Unasked for flipping of notes - #23 by pianoleo

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Thanks Leo for this very clear article. I had the feeling that changing the upstem voice as downstem voice by default would settle things but it wasn’t clear as to why. Your 3rd point makes it very clear.

@pianoleo I’ll have a good read of that.

Amusingly, this is Bach and I do not regard any of the voices as being ‘primary’ and neither did he, I’d say. In fact, in WTC and other works he goes to a lot of trouble to make the voices equal participants in the dialogue. But I suppose the engraving program needs such a notion, even if it is musically not quite right, as such. Not that there has to be any direct mapping. And also amusingly, if there was going to be a primary voice in the LH it would be the down pointing lower voice, the bass from which everything is built up from, and even then, in WTC, that’s not really the case.

But with the help of your article I will be on the way to working with this. Thanks.

I don’t think that post summarises it particularly well, actually. Let me try again:

  1. The first voice used on a staff is the primary voice. It will pad the entire flow with (notes and) bar rests.
  2. Unlike additional voices, which can drop in and out at the start and end of any bar, the primary voice pads with rests from the start of the bar of its first entry to the end of the last bar of its final entry.
  3. If you start using an additional voice and stop using the first voice, the additional voice will take over as the primary voice, but this only holds until you start writing into the original primary voice again (see point 2).

Remove Rest takes care of this so easily. Alternatively, there’s nothing wrong with writing LH in the red voice starting in bar 59 where the middle voice of the fugue moves to RH. “Voices” in Dorico are not the same function as musical voices. It’s just a method for fitting notes on a staff.

Yes, I have figured that much out now!

@pianoleo Can I refine that more? It seems that the first up stem voice used on a staff is the primary voice.

Here the first voice I entered is the green bass down stem lower voice. Later added the bass upper voice. Yet the bars re filled with the red rests. So the actual order of entry can’t be important, but the up or down stemness is.

i have no objection to whatever colour or voice the bar rests get set to because as you engrave they all disappear as you fill bars. But it was the stopping and starting of voices that had me puzzled.

And re point2, it pads to the end, not to the last bar of the final entry. Doesn’t it?

As a possible FR, an option to specify what the primary voice is? Would that make any sense?

Each staff automatically starts with an Up-stem voice 1, so up-stem voice 1 is the primary voice. I didn’t say so explicitly because if you did Voices > Default Stems Down it would be renamed Down-stem Voice something and would still be the primary voice.

My points 2 and 3 depend on each other: if you stop using the primary voice but continue using a different voice, the different voice becomes the primary voice from the next bar onwards, meaning that the original primary voice only pads until the end of the final bar of its last entry.

I’m still not getting the point here. Today, I have this. The quaver G’s take over the full bar rests, and when I add more ‘primary voice’ (blue) the red full bar rests still appear and have to be removed bar by bar by hand. I simply don’t get it. The second quaver G is marked ‘ends voice immediately’.

The quaver Gs are up-stem voice 2. The primary voice does not stop, so how can up-stem voice 2 take over and become the primary voice?

Worse, when I delete those G quavers, the only instance of that voice, and close and restart Dorico to purge unused voices. the red full bar rests from that voice persist. This cannot be right… What would I have messed up?

Dorico Pro 4.2, Windows 11, in case this is pertinent (but I don’t think it is).

What happens if you continue adding Up-stem Voice 1 in ms. 12? Do the red rests disappear? Or get replaced with blue rests?

They stay red. You can see why I am perplexed and disturbed.

Hmm. I exported the flow, hoping that Dorico would clean out unused voices. It did not. I deleted the notes in the voice. Rests remain. On a whim I added a semibreve note in that voice in the first empty bar. Then deleted it. Blue rests come back. Added in the the quavers in that new voice again and the problem is resolved. That’s nice, but I feel uncomfortable that I lack any explanation for this, and it seem an odd way to have to go about things.

The light blue bar-rests are still there, but the red ones are drawing on top of them. A voice can restart with an explicit rest. I see this sometimes and I haven’t noticed what I did to cause it. Select RH bar 12 (or any empty bar with red) and press Delete (which removes any explicit rest), and those bar-rests should all go light blue.

I really like View > Note Colors > Implicit Rests, which shows them in grey. If you turn that on you won’t be distracted by rest colors.

Not done yet!

Here is ‘show rests in every voice’:


and here is ‘show only one rest’:


Why is the red crotchet rest still present?

If this is somehow about the option only taking effect with new note entry then why is any rest removed from this bar at all when selecting the option?

Dorico is very successfully making me feel very dumb! :frowning: I simply do not understand this. Since my project is to engrave the two books of the JSB WTC, vast amounts of polyphony like this, I feel I really need to understand what I am doing wrong. This is not just for one isolated piece. And I read the manual sections three times over today and watched the video on voices.

I am sorry this is becoming a long thread.

You’ll need to attach the project itself if you want us to look into this in any detail. You don’t have to attach the whole thing. Just cut it down to the few affected bars, and attach that.