Hidden notes in voice 2 should *not* cause an empty staff to show

• Nov 10, 2021 - 09:32

Hi guys, sorry if this has been asked elsewhere. I know that the hidden note is a popular a workaround to make an empty staff show at specific points. A transparent text element is a much better workaround for this, and I think I read in another post that it's planned to be made "official": that would be great.
Hidden notes should not cause an empty staff to show, in my opinion.
Straight example why: cue notes.
When do you want to give cue notes? When an instrument has been silent for many bars.
But when do you want to hide an instrument from the main score? Also, when it's silent for many bars.
In my case, I've spent many hours carefully crafting the score. Then I moved to parts, and I started creating cues. Depending on the length of the cue (2, 3 maybe 4 bars) this can cause an empty staff to show in the main score sooner than intended, even though in the score the cue notes are obviously hidden. In the example picture, those are cue notes for the choir, which enters at the beginning of page 3, and they cause the soprano line to show too soon.
You may argue that an instrument should be shown in the score some bars before it starts playing. I may agree, but crafting the layout of a score already involves so many trade-offs... Preparing a score while already thinking about cues in parts is just too much to ask.
In this specific case: any idea on how I could solve it?

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You can make the individual measure invisible, via the measure proerties

Changing MuseScore to hide staves with invisble notes would break a lot of scores that rely on this behavoir

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Mmh, good idea but I'm not sure it works. The staff is still there, the name is showing, and it still affects the spacing... Did I do it wrong?

As for breaking old scores: in principle I would argue that that is a necessary evil, sometimes. If you provide a better, official way to do something, I don't see a point in supporting the "old dirty" workaround forever, especially if it causes other problems, such as this one. In this specific case though, I'd leave it as an option: a small toggle in the "Hide empty staves" menu that reads "Ignore hidden notes".

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In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Besides, hidden notes also break multimeasure rests, as far as I can tell, so you can only use the hidden-note-workaround when you don't need parts. Otherwise every time you use a hidden note to show a staff in the score you will interrupt the multimeasure rest in the part... That's why the text element is a much better workaround: you make it invisible in the part and you're good to go.

In reply to by jeetee

Could you expand on this? Not sure I got what you mean
EDIT: Actually I think I got it, you mean writing the same instrument onto two staves, one goes in the score (with no cues), the other goes in the parts (with cues). It's ugly, but it's a solution nevertheless. I think I'll go for it. Thanks!

In reply to by jeetee

But if I may reiterate my point: hidden notes causing an empty staff to show is illogical (if they're hidden, they're basically not there, that's the whole point). I understand it exists because it's used a workaround, but then it causes itself some issues, for which you need an even uglier workaround. Not ideal! :)

In reply to by jeetee

Then, forgive my ignorance about the underlying code structure, but I'd suggest this: let's not change the properties of invisible notes (so that they can be still used for all the other workarounds you say), but let's fix the "Hide empty staves" function to recognize measures with invisible notes as empty, adding a toggle option in the menu to switch this off, for backwards compatibility.
The program can't rely on a bug forever ;)

I commented in the issue, but indeed, this behavior is not a bug - it's the desired behavior for other uses of invisible notes - but it does point out that there is a need for an actual cue features that does behave this way (and ideally, has other properties that would be nice for cues, like linking to the source staff, turning off play, making small, proper handling of rests, etc).

Meanwhile, only workaround I can think of trying would be to have two separate instruments for the part in question, one for show in the score (no cues) and one to print for the parts (with cues).

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