Voice question

I’m sorry to bring up something old, but I’ve searched everywhere and I can’t find this in the forum or the documentation.

When entering two voices in one staff, and when voice up-stem 1 has no notes, I enter some notes in down-stem voice 1, with the expectation that whole-bar rests will appear in up-stem 1. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it doesn’t, and I don’t know why. And when it doesn’t, all I know to do is force rests into up-stem 1.

Oddly enough, if there is more than one bar in the passage, the minute I force a rest in up-stem 1 in the first bar, regular whole-bar rests appear in the following bars.

I’m sure I’m missing something, but I really thought I had finally learned to understand voices until this came up.

Any thoughts?

I might be mistaken, but I don’t think a voice is created until there’s any content in it. Not even up-stem 1. In the rare occasion where you need bar rests in an empty voice, insert a bar rest (right hand panel → bars and barlines) in the first and final bar. This will tell Dorico when the voice starts and ends.

Yes, it sounds as if this is the way I would expect voices to work – if the silent voice is inactive, the active voice takes over as if it were the only one.

In certain circumstances (like two instruments sharing a staff), I might indeed want to make explicit which part is playing, so I would add the visible bar rest to clarify. And if I’ve done so, then it seems that Dorico is smart about figuring out what I intend, and handles the intervening measures. So all of this sounds right to me.