Parentheses around rests

Since this is not available in Dorico, I have become curious as to what technical limitation prevents this being done.

What kind of detail are you expecting?

Rests are a different type of object from notes, so require additional effort to give them brackets. The same can be said for other objects that might require brackets, like performance techniques, trills, etc, etc.

The limitation is available time and resources, as always. It’s unlikely that anything else is preventing it.

While I definitely want to see this implemented as I have regular need of parenthesized rests, shift-X’ing some parentheses is not too difficult, presupposing your score isn’t littered with them.

@benwiggy Well its trivial and supported in Lilypond. I am curious as to what programming or architectural difficulty makes it so hard in this context (not that that is any of my business) and I find it a suprising omission. It’s a fairly common thing to want to do.

In what way does Dorico think rests are a ‘different object’ to notes? Musically yes, but graphically? In lilypond all objects that you see are ‘grobs’ - graphical objects. I know Dorico is nothing like Lilypond, but when you come from a decade of every day full time use of lilypond, it’s a limitation that annoys.

How do you know that actually, if I may enquire?

Because that has been the response of the dev. team to countless feature requests. “Would, could, should. Limited dev. resources. It’s on the list.”

Rests are, essentially, non-entities unless explicitly placed. Notes are entities that are then drawn according to sophisticated rules. But the rests are populated in the voids, but conceptually aren’t things in themselves (but rather the testimony of the absence of other things). This has also been discussed on the forum before, and in previous blogs.

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One way to obtain parentheses around rests in Dorico is to create a new notehead set:


In this example, the new set contains “noteheads” for half, quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes. By adjusting the size and placement of the glyphs in each notehead, you can control the size of the parentheses and how close they are to the rests. The stems of the notes using these noteheads can be hidden in engrave mode and the playback of these notes can be suppressed.


This is a very clever solution if you need to do this in multiple places.

I normally use a cue (or smaller) size for objects that need unavailable parenthesis.