Multirest questions

Finale and Sibelius (and presumably all other notation programs currently out there) support the modern “H-bar” multi-bar rest shape. In Finale, this is a line that can stretch to any width; Sibelius uses a short horizontal line Symbol which is repeated as needed to fill width. in both programs, vertical lines or symbols cap each end to make the “H”.

Both Finale and Sibelius allow the user to control the amount of “white space” between this shape and the surrounding barlines as an Engraving Rule.

I’d imagine that so far, this is all standard in the Dorico design, and all of the above will be possible?

What I am more interesting in at this stage is learning about (a) how flexible this “H-bar” visual appearance can (or will eventually) be in Dorico to conform to various house style requirements and also (b) flexibility of application within a score or part.

(1) Thickness of multirest horizontal line

In Finale, multirest (horizontal) line thickness can be changed in the Shape Designer. In Sibelius, this type of house style edit is also possible by creating a smaller or larger duplicate of the Special Symbols text style, and applying this to the “Multirest middle” character in Edit Symbols.

(2) Height and thickness of Multirest Ends

In Finale, the height and thickness of the vertical lines at each end of the multirest can be edited in the Shape Designer:

In Sibelius, you have the option of substituting the “Multirest End” symbol. While this doesn’t offer the same degree of control for line thickness and length, as in Finale, it does allow for some customization.

For jazz charts, one nice feature of both Finale and Sibelius is that in both programs, it is possible to combine symbols or even import graphic shapes which can be used to create a “handwritten” looking multirest symbol. For instance, you sometimes see a single thick horizontal line or a double line without the vertical ends in jazz charts. | fonts, related:

more info |

(3) Visibility of Multirest Numbers on Braced Grand Staff Parts

Neither Finale and Sibelius provide a straightforward way to show a single multi-rest number range centered between a braced grand staff. In both programs, multirest numbers are related to each staff, so the rest range text and the multirest shapes are married. It will be great to have a control for this, which I see was addressed in this post |

(4) Application of Multirests

It is possible in both Finale and Sibelius to create multi rests in one section of a part while having one bar rests in another section remain written out linearly. That said, it could be more straightforward. For instance, Sibelius requires manual breaks at each bar for these specific rest sections to be written out linearly. It would be great to have a proper mechanism for this in Dorico.

Added: In Finale, if you change the amount of white space between the H-bar and the barline, you have to manually go through each part and reapply the multi rests. Sibelius updates its “Distance from Multirest to barline” settings globally, while leaving the width of existing & manually adjusted multi rests alone, which, FWIW is infinitely preferable. (When you apply multi rests in Finale, any changes to width are overwritten, meaning that a simple global operation like changing the amount of white space potentially requires a huge amount of work in pre-existing parts where a change in distance from barline is required.)

To summarize my remaining questions:

(1) will there be a user control to change the horizontal line thickness for the multi rest horizontal line?
(2) will there be a user control to change the multirest end attributes such as height, line thickness and visibility?
(4) will it be straightforward to create a combination of multi rests and sequential one bar rests in the same layout?

With thanks,

Multi-bar rests (as Gould calls them in Behind Bars, and as we will probably likewise call them in Dorico) are not yet implemented, but obviously we plan to include them in the first release, all being well. I anticipate that all of the options for appearance that you describe, at least for “engraved-style” multi-bar rests (and perhaps not for “handwritten-style”, as we will probably not have support for a handwritten font in the first version of Dorico), will be available in Dorico.

Sounds good, Daniel; it’s encouraging to know these types of appearance controls will be incorporated into the initial design (all being well). I appreciate your decision to defer any “handwritten-style” options; certainly until you have implemented support for a handwritten font, where they might become more integral; my main reason for including that was in the context of house style appearance flexibility, which will be supported right from the start.

I can imagine I’ll start referring to these as “multi-bar rests” at some point, too…

With thanks,

Will there be an option of displaying only one numeral for the multi-bar rests on grand staves, centered between the two staves (as opposed to having two numbers displayed, one for top and one for bottom staff, positioned to a fixed height from the top staff lines)?

Yes, that’s the plan. (None of this is implemented yet, as I’ve said.)