Ends voice immediately sometimes appears not to

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.

And now in this bar all is fine:


Is this something to do with the amount of space available at the rhythmic position? Even so, the rest ought not to appear, by rights.

I’ll prepare a project to submit.

I’m sure this is my stupidity and not a Dorico defect. I’d just like to know how to correct my stupidity! :slight_smile:

Project attached.

wtc - P 10.dorico (2.1 MB)

It’s set in November2, as an aside.

Try adding in the middle voice quavers. It’s all over the place, seemingly random rests there and not. I cannot see any patten to it. None of them should be there anyway. Refer to the Henle Verlag WTC I for the proper voicing here. [Peters edition is wrong.]

Maybe it’s not me - is Dorico confused about three part polyphony and rests?

One question: Are you entering rests?

You have set Notation Options>Rests>Coincident rests of the same duration in opposing voices to Show only one Rest. If you change that to Show every rest in each voice things might become clearer.

I’ve been looking at this, and the reason why you get different results in different bars is that the result is dependent on the distance between the notes in the voices to which the rests nominally belong in the beats in which the rests appear. Take a look at this little animated gif:

CleanShot 2022-08-02 at 15.22.26

As you can see, there are thresholds for how close together the notes should be for two sets of rests to appear, and for how far apart they should be before two sets of rests will appear again.

I don’t think these thresholds are currently exposed as options that you can change yourself (or at least not all of them are).

The thing I can’t quite fathom is that the rest positions also seem to depend on the distance from the other voice, like so:

Aug-02-2022 15-33-36

edit: ah, but if the purple voice is redefined as a down-stem voice, the rests (vertically) consolidate. Is it perhaps that the Notation Option really does apply only to opposing voices?

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This is still confusing, and I would actually say totally unclear. If I choose the option to consolidate rests and some of them are and some are not then I think one could legitimately say that is at least unexpected and possibly a fault. Look how long this thread is getting with no real definitive answer or rationale. If @pianoleo can’t fathom it. that’s an indication something is not right.

No, the rests are added by Dorico. as it does.

@dspreadbury surely the option ‘consolidate rests’ would mean to most people ‘consolidate’, not ‘do something different, including not consolidating, depending on the context of a given bar’.

This is J S Bach. I am rather surprised Dorico behaves in this way for such a composer. Nothing to do with the usual shortfalls I ask about in relation to New Complexity School music, which does lie far outside Dorico’s current remit.

Yes, I can delete rests manually, but as mentioned, the two volumes of WTC that I am setting, this involves a lot of fiddly work that I am not expecting, combined with a permanent state of confusion about this. At least I have a keyboard shortcut for ‘remove rests’. :slight_smile:

Dorico’s algorithms for rest positioning and consolidation are complex, and I’m not going to attempt to provide you with a chapter and verse explanation of precisely what they do in every situation. It’s in any case impractical to do so, since the algorithms are by their nature contextual, and do their best to adapt to the material that is fed into them.

You have per-flow options in Notation Options for the handling of rests positioning and consolidation. In my opinion, the most practical approach would be to input the music for each piece, and then once all of the music has been input, try modifying the options for that flow to see how close you can get to the desired appearance automatically, then make any manual tweaks that are required at the end. If you instead edit the rests in every bar as you input it, you will find that you cannot later take advantage of any of the options, because Dorico’s hands will already have been tied by the edits you’ve made as you go along.


Thanks - that sounds like a good approach.

You don’t really need to tell me rest layout is complex. Do not forget I have 40 years experience as a software developer and spent the last ten years writing Lilypond and Scheme libraries. One could say I am somewhat familiar with the complexity of music setting software engines. But this is not about complexity of coding. It’s about what the option to consolidate actually means. I still maintain that the usual sense of the word consolidate is to consolidate, not to consolidate sometimes which is what is happening. To this extent, the option is misleading, or imprecise. Maybe it should be labelled ‘best effort consolidation’! :slight_smile:

Perhaps the manual should be updated to mention that consolidate rests doesn’t actually do that, but sometimes does (which is pretty weird to say, isn’t it?).

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On balancing the twin devils of “too little” and “too much” information, I think for now this sort of note would fall on the “too much” side.

I also don’t think the manual should explicitly mention every possible quirk of how certain combinations of options interact with specific musical contexts (although of course I do try to cover as many bases as is practical).

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Yes but the issue is that the option says ‘consolidate’ and yet it does not do so consistently, as easily demonstrated. One would truly expect it to do exactly that - consolidate the rests at the same rhythmic event and not do it sometimes, in an unpredictable context dependent manner. The option should either be labelled in a way that explains this, or the manual must comment on it, or maybe the option should be thrown away altogether. Gosh if it can’t set three part polyphony in Bach in a sensible and consistent way then the programmers have fundamentally misunderstood things about notating rests. This has caused me a significant loss of time trying to get this to work and then to understand it with the help of the forum and it’s quite probable that others may hit the same thing in the future. I don’t accept the defence that setting rests is difficult from a software point of view. The program option simply does not do what it says in a perfectly normal context such as Bach. Am I the only person who has ever set three part polyphony with rests?

I am not asking the manual to cover all permutations and contexts for all options. But when the option does not work as a reasonable person would expect (to borrow a legal term!) then it is surely worthy of mention?

Edward Demmings would tell you that performance is based on what you get rather than what you (logically) expect to get, dictionary (or personal) definitions or “law of averages” (in Demmings’s case) notwithstanding.

@Derrek then none of the terms in Dorico have any predictable meaning. Sorry, I don’t buy it. Consolidate means consolidate, not from time to time and half and half. It’s not advanced postmodernist semantic critical theory.

This is an outright defect in Dorico implementation. How about if ‘add time signature’ did it sometimes, and not others, unpredictably? You see my point.

I’m frustrated. I’ll shoosh.