Remove rest or include rests

As a musician/composer bought up on classical music but then spending most of my time improvising I wondered what the current trend is with rests. I’m currently notating a number of piano pieces and I clicked on ‘no rests’ because to my eye the score looked a bit messy. I prefer the look of no rests, as I find the score easier to read, but wonder what is considered the ‘proper way’ if presenting scores for competitions/publishers. Are rests now no longer obligatory in many contemporary scores; is there are trend toward fewer rests in bars for visual clarity? Any views would be very welcome.

Many thanks


For a single player it’s fine to omit rests where the rhythm is unmistakable. It’s more necessary to show a rest where, say, one voice enters in the middle of a longer note in the other voice. It’s all about (musical) voices – different from voices in Dorico.

For clearly discrete voices in one hand, like in a fugue, you’ll want to represent the voice all the way through including rests. But your music is probably not like that.

On a not-too-recent orchestration project, I was told to include measure rests. I would have to look up why. :rofl:

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I think just turn off show explicit rests which is nice for visuals but when you print it all rests there

Thank you all. My post was specific to piano scores. I feel that clarity is key in notation, having seen pieces where unnecessary rests can clutter bars I was curious about other views. Thank you for your suggestions.