Multimeasure rest from MusicXML disappear

I’m importing a MusicXML file, generated in Sibelius. For some reason, bars with multi measure rests are not shown and I cannot make them visible in any way. In this particular piece, the first two bars are hidden and a few bars of rest in the middle are hidden. So the piece starts at measure 3 and the bar numbering in the middle jumps from 110 to 113. So apparently, these measures are imported by Dorico, but not shown. Have I stumbled on a bug or am I missing some way to make the bars visible?

Can you attach a project?

If you have the option, it might be a good idea to switch off multi-bar rests in Sibelius and re-export the MusicXML file, then import it into Dorico again. You can easily re-enable multi-bar rests in Dorico using the options on the Players page of Layout Options.

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I have this problem with PhotoScore XMLs as well. I just add them back (with shift-B it is so easy) - and also replace rehearsal marks at the same time.

Are you sure these are Dorico bar numbers, not just text import?

I can certainly ask for another export in this case, but that feels like a workaround for a bug…? And I will not have that option for another bunch of MusicXML files that I have lying around.

No, they are actual measure numbers. Measure 113, after the “disappearing” measures has its measure number shown (mid staff) and will show a signpost if I hide it in the properties panel.

Without looking at the MusicXML, or running it through other notation software, it’s impossible to know whether the issue is at Dorico’s end or Sibelius’s. Does MuseScore import it correctly?

MuseScore does import the file correctly, so the problem seems to be at Dorico’s end. I took the liberty of creating a minimal example, where mm. 2-3 contain a multi measure rest. Dorico shows only m.1 and m.4 (and insists on repeating the bar number and time signature in m.4).


Unfortunately, it seems musicxml is not a format I’m allowed to upload in this forum.

Can you upload zipped?

Good suggestion, didn’t think of that: (1.1 KB)

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I see what you mean.
I also see that if you open your file in MuseScore, export that to MusicXML, then open the resulting file in Dorico, you get the correct rests.

My understanding of MusicXML doesn’t go far enough as to determine who’s doing it “wrong”, but at least you have a means to get music from Sibelius to Dorico.

That solution does not seem to work on my end: the measure are not hidden, but there’s no rest in them. But MuseScore does put an explicit <rest measure="yes> in both measures (which, as far as I know, is superfluous).

If I recreate the same minimal “score” in Dorico and export it, Dorico will not correctly import it’s own export either…

Turn off the Rest Visibility option at Dorico > Preferences > MusicXML Import and then try importing the file from MuseScore again.

In that dialog I have only these settings ticked:

The others tend to make sense if you’re only going to do a bit of layout work; if you’re going to actually edit/rearrange/rewrite the music itself, with other options turned on I typically find myself having to reset design and position repeatedly. Better to turn off the options from the outset.

edit: This should also fix the import of a file that originated in Dorico and was then exported to MusicXML and reimported - it certainly works here.

As to the <rest measure="yes>, Finale 27 does this too.

I don’t have a great deal of faith in Finale in general, but given their links to Michael Good and MusicXML, and the fact that updating old Finale files often involves exporting to MusicXML and then reimporting, perhaps the <rest measure="yes> is a trip hazard that Sibelius should fix.

Thanks for your suggestions. Your import settings and using MuseScore as an intermediate step made the results at least workable.