Measure rests

Updated 4 years ago
This page shows old instructions for MuseScore 2.
For MuseScore 4 users, see Measure rests.

    Full measure rest

    A whole rest, centred within a measure (shown below), is used to indicate that an entire measure (or a voice within a measure) is silent, regardless of time signature.

    Full measure rest

    To create one or more full measure rests

    Use the following method if all selected measures are "standard"—i.e. with no custom durations:

    1 Select a measure, or range of measures.
    2. Press Del.

    If one or more of the measures contains a custom duration, use the following method instead:

    1. Select a measure, or range of measures.
    2. Press Ctrl+Shift+Del (Mac: Cmd+Shift+Del).

    To create a full measure rest in a particular voice

    1. In the appropriate voice, enter a rest that extends for the full measure.
    2. Make sure the rest is selected, then press Ctrl+Shift+Del (Mac: Cmd+Shift+Del).

    Multimeasure rest

    A Multimeasure rest indicates a period of silence for an instrument: the number of measures is shown by the number above the staff.

    Multi-measure rest

    Multimeasure rests are automatically interrupted at important points, such as double barlines, rehearsal marks, key- or time signature changes, section breaks etc.

    To display multimeasure rests

    To turn multimeasure rests on or off:

    • Press M on your keyboard.


    1. From the menu, choose StyleGeneral...
    2. Click on the "Score" tab, if it is not already selected;
    3. Tick/untick "Create multi-measure rests."

    Note: It is recommended that you enter all notes in the score first before enabling multi-measure rests.

    Break multimeasure rest

    You may want to have a multi-measure rest divided into two multi-measure rests:

    1. Ensure that the option to display multimeasure rests in the score is off (see above).
    2. Right-click on the measure where you want the second multi-measure rest to start;
    3. From the menu, chose Measure Properties and tick "Break multi-measure rest."

    See also: Measure operations: Break multimeasure rest.

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