Suggested Improvements to Bar Number Changes and mutirests

In Musical Theatre parts, it’s very common to have a lot of bar number changes resulting from cuts (eg. 1-5, 14-…), additions (eg. A-C, 1-8, 8A-8D, 9-…), or occasionally both (eg. 1-7, 7A-B, 55-…).

  1. To indicate a cut, it’s common practice to prefix the new bar number with an arrow like this, with no double barline at the change unless it cuts to the start of a phrase where one would be warranted. It would be great if this could be implemented by default, with an engraving option to disable it.

  2. At present, creating a bar number change doesn’t split muti-rests, and there appears to be no option to force Dorico to do this automatically. This either requires manually adding (blank) system text or a double barline at every bar number change to fix.
    If this is not done, it leads to confusion. For example, if the bar number pattern is [17]-20, 20A-20D, 21-24, [25] and the MD asks to go from bar 21, any players that are resting between [17] and [25] will have a 50/50 chance to start counting from bar 20A instead, depending on whether they counted 4 bars forward from [17] or 4 bars back from [21].

  3. On a related note, when the “Layout Options>Staves and Systems>Casting Off>Fixed number of bars per system” option is set, it would be really nice to have the option to also force it to break multirests. It’s really common in Jazz and MT parts, for the systems to be broken into 4-bar phrases, and if the multi-rests are split in a way that the form is not obscured from the resting players it makes a huge difference. Eg. in a 12-bar blues, if the player plays on bars 1, 7 and 10 of the form, it’s usually better to have that laid out in 4-bar systems as:

    • Bar 1, |–3–|,
    • |–2–|, Bar 7, |–1–|,
    • |–1–|, Bar 10, |–2–|
      Rather than what Dorico currently does:
    • Bar 1, |–5–|,
    • Bar 7, |–2–|, Bar 10,
    • |–2–|
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An explicit single barline will break these as well, just not a default single barline. I agree an option to auto-break at bar number changes would be useful though.

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Just as a memento: there is a command Split Multibar Rest that puts a global split on all layouts in the same place:

(doesn’t happens automatically at bar number changes, as requested, but is a fast way to be sure that in all layouts there is the same split, without needing the mentioned other methods)

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Hehe, I completely forgot that existed. I’ve been using an explicit barline when I didn’t have a rehearsal mark, double barline, tempo, etc.

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