Hiding bars in an instrumental part

I am editing a piece with a particular structure:

  • 3 instruments play an introductory “sonata”
  • 3 singers sing 2 strophes on the same music
  • the instruments repeat the “sonata” after each strophe
  • 3rd strophe starts like the first two, ends in a tutti with different music

For simplicity’s sake I decided to write the “sonata” once, then the vocal music once and underlay the text twice under the same music (and then comes the tutti), and indicate with text that the sonata should be repeated after each strophe. I am quite happy with how it looks and I think it makes the score better for pratical use.
But now I am faced with a problem when trying to make instrumental parts: after the introductory “sonata” there are many rests and then the tutti. In my opinion it would be quite unpractical to have to write text in order for the instrumentist to understand what rests are repeated and when to play. My idea was then to hide most of the rests and write out: “Repeat the sonata after each strophe” (as it is done in the manuscript, actually).
Does anyone know how to hide measures completely in a part (but without deleting them in the score)?
I am attaching an extract of the still unedited instrumental part, I hope my indications on the score make my problem clearer

Thank you very much in advance for your help!

This seems exactly what Flows are intended for. That is, unless you positively must keep all the music “together”, for which there might be some reasons. But if not, you should probably split this up into several Flows.

[Edit: the point being that, instead of hiding them, the relevant bars would either not be there at all, or just become a tacet section automatically, depending on what you do in Setup Mode.]


Yes, utilising automatic tacets could well be useful here. You can of course customizing the formatting around that to get the final look you want, e.g. by hiding flow headings in layouts if you don’t want to signpost the flow splits.

Thank you very much!
I see… I wouldn’t have thought of using several flows whithing one movement… Is there now any way I can split it up in (i guess 3) different flows withouth having to re-do the entire layout? :sweat_smile:
Is it also possible not to start over the counting of bar numbers when changing flow? In my case, if would not make much sense to start over after a 50-bar-long instrumental intro…

Yep, you can change the bar number at the start of subsequent flows so they follow on from the previous flow (I’d recommend doing this once you’re sure the bar counts are final as obviously this is a manual intervention).

If you hide flow headings and insert some frame breaks to fix your current layout first, then when you split the flow at the relevant positions the impact on casting off should be minimal but of course there’s a chance something will change. If you’ve moved any staves around manually, those changes can be lost if their page number changes so you can make a judgement about how rigorously you want to fix the layout.

Thank you very much for your help!
I have tried to do what you recommended, and it seems to solve most of my problems. However, when starting a new flow, dorico

  • writes all instrument names again
  • shows empty staves in the first staff, which i like at the very beginning of the piece, but not in the middle…

Is there a way to change this? The problem seems to be that these settings are part of the Layout Options, which cannot apply only to one flow, or can they?
I guess i could solve the second problem by renouncing to showing empty staves in the first system, but I can’t see how to solve the first problem.

For reference, this is the appearance I would like for the score…

The flow break should be after the first system of page 3, between bar 50 and 51

Thank you again


in Layout Options you can choose not to show instrument names.
After this setting you might go to your first flow, apply a System Brake (yes) at the first bar - and then in the properties panel choose tho show full instrument labels at this very point.
So in Layout Options you define the desired look of all your flows and then make a manual override for the first flow.

You can do the same thing (set the layout options as apply to the majority of cases in the layout, then override the smaller number of cases as required) for hiding empty staves – set the layout option to “always”, then use manual staff visibility for the first system in the first flow (and reset those visibility options again at the start of the second system).

Reference pages for what @k_b suggests above are here for inserting system breaks and here for changing the staff labels for specific systems.

Thank you very much, this is all really great! I had no idea some of these funcionalities existed!
I have one last question though: the place where my last flow (within the piece) would have to start is, as my layout was done till now, in the middle of a system. Is there any way to have a flow start in the middle of a system? I tried to di it by myself, but putting system breaks before and after doesn’t seem to have any effect…
Thanks again for your help, it is very much appreciated!

A flow cannot start in the middle of a system, at least so far as Dorico 3.5 is concerned. I doubt this will change in Dorico 4.

One way around this is to fake it by using a coda, rather than a new flow. You can then determine the gap before the coda in engraving options.

OK, thank you very much! I think I’ll just adapt my layout so that the 2nd flow ends just right :slight_smile:
Thanks everyone for your help! :blush:

Alternatively, and very much depending on circumstances, you could try to achieve that with - possibly frustratingly fiddly - Music Frame overrides.

The first question that comes to my mind here is, though: is not having that mid-system start in any way detrimental to the usefulness of the score? If the answer is in the negative, you should just do the necessary casting-off adjustments and not cling to layout decisions that were made in a different technical context.

[edit: the above sent literally five seconds after your last reply]

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