How Can I Create 32 Empty Measures?

I like to sketch into empty staves and measures as if I had a sheet of manuscript paper in front of me. I might sketch an 8-bar melody starting at measure 1, and then skip some measures, and start sketching something else, say at bar 16. When I need more “paper”, I add empty bars at the end. I want all the empty bars there in advance – sometimes pages of them – (filled with bar rests, e.g.).

I spent 3 hours today with Dorico 2.0, which I have used casually for a while, and gave up. I started with an empty flow and one player, a Piano. I put in a 4/4 time signature, and got an empty grand staff with a single, page-wide measure that said “Tacet”. I clicked in the upper staff, and did an “End of Flow” “31” “Insert Bars”. Nothing changed, except the system track now said"1-32". There were no bar lines, just the long, page-wide “TACET” glyph. (Sibelius at this point would have given me 32 empty measures separated by barlines, with a whole-note rest in each one.)

I then tried inserting a whole note rest at the beginning of the staff, clicked, and nothing showed up (i.e., no 4-beat rest, no four (4) quarter rests, nothing). In desperation, I entered a whole note at some random pitch in two successive measures, and then deleted the whole note in measure 1. Finally, I got a single measure with rests on both staves, and “1” between.

Now, my strategy was to copy (duplicate) the first measure (both staves) into the remaining 31, but after one hour of searching online and in the Dorico manual, I could not find the command that lets me repeat an entire measure “n” times. So, new, strategy: paste measure 1 into measure 2, then into measure 3 (at this point, consolidated as TACET with measures 3-32), etc. The minute I pasted measure 1 into measure 2, both measures 1 and 2 disappeared, and was back to one giant, page wide measure saying TACET – not even notating for me how many measures of tacet there were.

This shouldn’t be this hard, so either I am clearly missing something, or the manual (or program) is missing something, or both.

Can someone tell me, in a few short steps (Sibelius does it in a single click of add (multiple) measures + type the number) how to create 32 bars, 64 bars, or even ten blank pages with 256 blank bars, each with a rest in it? And while you are at it, where in the manual is the command to duplicate (repeat n times) a selection or measure, and where is a command to tell Dorico “Do not consolidate adjacent rests”?


Once you put in a meter in the first bar you can select the bar and do Shift B and input the number of bars you want then hit Enter.
Does that not work for you?


This video is not what you want to do; but may contain some useful pointers. Good luck!

I think one of your layout options needs to be changed. Try this:

  1. Go to Layout Options by pressing Crtl+Shift+L;
  2. Choose the Players Category;
  3. Select both the Full Score and Piano Layouts;
  4. Scroll down to Bar Rests and Multi-bar Rests;
  5. Make sure Consolidate is set to None and choose Apply;
  6. When you return to Write mode you should now see a single bar rest;
  7. Double click the rest and the press Shift+B;
  8. Type 31 (or the number of bars you want to add);
  9. Press Enter and you should now see 32 bars.

Note that I’m using Windows. If you’re on a Mac, use the Command key instead of Ctrl.

Hope this gets you going.


Don’t you have to type +32 instead of just 32?

Not as of 2.0 :slight_smile:

You think you know somethin’ …

Don’t worry. I’ll still be using the + key for a good long while…

Matthew only knows that because I happened to mention it in my demo in New York last week. I don’t think I even documented this change in behaviour, so you’re forgiven for not knowing it.

I’m relieved too :slight_smile: I thought I missed a post in a thread!

I’ve been outed without realizing I was even showing my hand! How sneaky!

Stew (aka sspharis): Thanks, much. From my post you can see I was searching for a “don’t consolidate rests” type of command, but never found it. Your steps worked perfectly. Only comment is that the measures look a little funky, with the full measure rest in the upper staff shifted to the left and slightly smaller than the matching rests in the lower staff. Probably another setup command that I have to search for.

The second part of my question was: what/where is the command to take a selected block of music (e.g. 2 full measures) and duplicate them n times? You know, instant ostinato? It doesn’t jump out to me from either the manual or the menus.

You can select those two bars either by clicking in one of the bars and Shift-clicking in the other, or use the new system track to do it, and then hit R to repeat it after itself.