Is it possible to hide the vertical line at the beginning of systems?

Is it possible to hide the vertical line at the beginning of systems that connects all the staves in the system?

Thanks, in advance!

There is no method that I can find for hiding the systemic barline.

For hundreds of years it has been an absolutely standard way of indicating that all the connected staves are played concurrently. Without the systemic barline it would be visually confusing, because the appearance would be the same as for separate, non-concurrent staves (eg separate systems). Unless there is some explanatory text on the page to eliminate the ambiguity, how is a conductor (or any musician viewing the score) to know what to do? Imagine a piece for piano written with the two staves not connected! Are they to be played concurrently or consecutively? The systemic barline makes the situation immediately apparent.


Could you say more about why you want to do this?


Some cutaway scores use a systemic barline, and some don’t. Some aren’t consistent within the piece, or even on the same page. Written 85 years ago, Lutosławski’s “Symphonic Variations” (1938) is one of the earlier examples of this type of notation. You can peruse the full score here, but it frequently mixes use of a systemic barline. Here’s the second system of the piece, where some instruments use it and some don’t.

When Dorico gets around to supporting cutaway scores, there will obviously need to be some sort of support for systemic barline visibility, mid-system staff labels, etc. In any case it’s not too uncommon to have a need to hide a systemic barline with this type of notation.


All the ‘starting’ instruments on the left-hand end use it. I wouldn’t expect there to be a systemic barline going all the way up the page on the left hand end , to the flute, but the (dotted) barlines clearly show that the staves are joined.

Since Dorico can’t do cutaway scores, the use case is not there. But I’d be interested to see what the intention is, for the request.


We’re pretty close to being able to do it now using an instrument change to a 0-line instrument. The systemic barline still presents an issue though, as there’s no way to modify it in the example below:

I suppose it could be masked off with a graphic or something.


Wouldn’t this mess up the parts?

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Probably would. Even if you duplicated the Flow, there’s no way to exclude an instrument from a Flow, just a Player, right? You’d probably end up with some workaround with duplicated Players, one for score with the 0-line double, and one for parts. Or just duplicate the entire project, and delete the 0-line instruments for parts. I honestly didn’t really think it though, just wanted to point out there are situations where the systemic barline usually is modified. Dorico 6 (or 7, 8, …) will need some sort of capability to edit the systemic barline if they want to be able to do this type of notation.

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I would like to make a workbook for my niece who has started studying to be a composer. This workbook will consist of flows, and each flow will contain exercises. However, one flow contains a lot of exercises, so I should use “coda” to hide the warning time and key signatures.
To get the desired layout efficiently, it would be very helpful to hide the systematic bar lines.

Yeah, it’s hugely annoying that Dorico can’t easily hide cautionaries as this is a very standard type of notation. Honestly, I usually just use a hidden Coda, and then alt-click it around, but class handouts or patterns for lessons often end up with dozens of hidden Codas. If you really want to just delete the systemic barline, for speed I’d probably just do it in Acrobat.

If you have this in Dorico …

… select the barline in Acrobat and one click later you have this:


Thank you very much! This is very helpful, but it would be nice if Dorico supported this feature.

It would also be helpful if the “Default gap before mid-system coda section” option only affected the coda assigned to the bar in the middle of a system. At the moment it also affects the coda assigned to the bar at the beginning of a system.

Please do not blame the musical examples with enharmonic notation in the following picture. It is just to help my niece understand what pivot chord modulation (common chord modulation in the diatonic sense and using borrowed chords) is, and not to confuse it with enharmonic modulation, which involves changing the direction of dissonance resolution by reinterpreting the functional root of the chord. In South Korea, the harmony exam for university entrance is too complicated and difficult, so people should not confuse musical and harmonic structure with enharmonic notation.

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Completely agree. As a workaround, I set the value of the default gap to something really small like 1/100. It’s not noticeable in the left margin when set that small, but the fact that there is some gap means the spacing is adjustable in Engrave.


Could you post an example? I’m struggling to understand why a ‘workaround coda’, which exists just to hide a cautionary signature doesn’'t need a systemic barline.

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Perhaps I’m wrong, but I was sort of assuming he had something like this in mind if it’s for exercises:

No need to worry about hiding cautionary key sigs, or using hidden Codas or extra flows. Obvious downside is that any horizontal spacing on other staves has an effect on the rest so it will be spaced much more poorly than using individual systems. Not really a good solution.

Best solution IMO would simply be to click Notation Options / Key Signatures / Hide Cautionary Key Signatures to turn off cautionary key sigs for that Flow, … if only that setting existed :wink:


I see what you did there.


[Example 1]
Aligning the gaps might be simple using the method suggested by @FredGUnn, but aligning the layouts after the blue boxes are very complicated and not perfect. This will be easily done if the systemic bar lines could be hidden.

[Example 2]
In the first example, I need sixteen bars to make the example, but I need only four bars if the systemic bar lines could be hidden. I think this makes it easier to organise the content structure of a flow:

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For something like this, I’d create a new page template that has two music frames.


Oh, no…
The same problem occurs horizontally:

This is very good, but piano has a problem:

So, you’re effectively ‘faking’ multiple systems with multiple staves on one system…? {confused}

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