Starts Voice property rarely works

I can’t fully comprehend ‘Starts Voice’. It hardly ever works for me. Here is an example where it does nothing - I thought it is supposed to delete the preceding rests. Is that wrong? If so, then what does it do?

My dorico-manual-fu may be lacking today, as a search for ‘starts voice’ or ‘starting voice’ (the manual always prefers the participle, I know) produces nothing, that I could see.

There’s a bare mention of Starts Voice under implicit rests. So these are implicit rests, but Starts Voice has no effect when applied to the arrowed note.

Did you try ‘Remove rests’? That should also take care of setting ‘ends voice’ on the last note (in that voice) before it.

That will work. But it does not answer the question. Why does Starts Voice not work? Sometimes I have very long bars where you have to manually remove many many rests.

What are the conditions for Starts Voice to work? Nothing about this is mentioned in the manual, and I can’t figure it out by observation. It just appears to be erratic. Sometimes works, others not.

The specific conditions under which the Starts voice property takes effect are complicated. Without auditing the code or asking the developer who originally implemented it to give me his best recollection of all of the conditions, I can’t tell you for sure.

The fundamental complexity is that, in common with some other properties, the Starts voice property does not operate atomically, i.e. it depends on the properties set on other notes or rests in the same voice.

This is the main reason why we provide the Edit > Remove Rests command, as it can work out the specific combination of properties that need to be set, potentially at great rhythmic distances, in order to remove the rests you don’t want to see. I strongly recommend using that feature instead of becoming frustrated with the Starts voice property.

Thanks @dspreadbury, So Starts Voice shall remain a mystery!

Remove rests is tedious when I have bars in the modernist music I set that span many pages. Deleting dozens of rests is error prone and tedious. But yes. it works.

Andro, you can select individual rests and still use remove rests. Or you could do a marquee selection and filter for rests (and even then use ctrl-click to deselect any rests you want to keep) and then use remove rests. There are many options.

I agree this is a PITA. While Starts Voice often doesn’t work, I find going to the previous entry and using Ends Voice usually does, and it’s faster than Remove Rests, especially if there are a lot of bars between the entries. Sample gif below:

rests

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We don’t even have to filter for rests before removing them. Remove Rests doesn’t affect notes or anything else. Just select a passage and go.

You have to at least filter by voice first with that method though, as Remove Rests will get rid of all rests, regardless of what voice they are in.

voicerest

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