Feature request (with work-around): bar repeats above the staff

Feature request: please allow us to place bar repeat regions above the staff and to tweak the position in Engrave mode.

These examples are from a popular series of jazz fake books (the ones that inspired the Petaluma font).

I’d like to do this, except that in my case the bars are empty.

It doesn’t seem possible currently. I tried changing the Y offset of a bar repeat in Engrave mode, but it had no effect.

EDIT: Removed work-around originally posted. See below for a better one.

I just use a custom Line for this. To ensure it’s always centered, set the start and attachment points to “attach to barline.”


I wouldn’t personally need this feature but I believe I’ve run in to this before… I seem to recall that some musicians prefer this method because it allows them to make annotations in their part. Is that the reason why?

Yeah, blank staves can be useful on a professional level because they allow the player to pencil in cues, backgrounds, etc. They can be useful on a student level because they can allow the student to pencil in chord tones for chord symbols they may not have memorized yet. A lot of the Jamey Aebersold play-a-long books are blank like below for that reason.

(LOL, just noticed an error in Jamey’s book. 4th bar of solos should have D7+9, not G7+9)

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I’m looking at the line editor and have no idea where to begin. Would you be willing to post a screen shot?

Yes! As I mentioned in another thread, this was requested by a well-known jazz musician and producer when I was preparing charts of my songs for a recording session a while back. He wanted the space to write in anything that might come up during the session - fills, rhythm accents that we might create on the fly, solo ideas. It was a light-bulb moment for me - I wish I’d thought of it long ago! I’d been dodging needless slash marks to pencil in things for decades.

Yep! Fortunately, the bassist didn’t play that on the accompaniment track!

Sure, here 'tis:

I think I just copied and pasted the symbol from the SMuFL page.

Thanks! Before I saw your reply, I found a way to use the symbol already in Dorico:

  1. In Engrave > Repeatable Symbols, I created new one called Bar Repeat. Clicked Symbol > Edit and in the “Range” menu of the next window, selected “Bar repeats”, clicked on the symbol to select it, and then clicked “Add glyph.” (see screen shot)

  2. If I recall correctly, the new repeatable symbol was now available in the Line Body Editor in Engrave > Lines, so I selected it.

What I didn’t realize at first was that the way to get a single bar repeat symbol was to simply add it to the music and drag the ends. And that the place to select the attachment point was in the Lines sidebar.

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