Engraving rests in Harp parts

Posted In: Repertoire

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    MusikFind1 on #186844

    Showing a multi-bar rest in an instrumental part of more than one staff (i.e., a two-stave Harp part or Celesta part or Piano):

    Many engravers of modern programs do not seem to know how to show only one set of numbers centered in the middle of the staff, because the programmers of computer notation programs haven’t included it as an engraving option. Rather they put the number twice, above the treble staff and again above the bass staff. This is not correct for engraving in the old standard style and harpists have complained about seeing the measure rest number twice.

    I asked several major engravers what to do. They advised these steps:

    For Finale:
    In Document Options/Fonts/Notation/Multimeasure rest – set the font size to 0, fixed size. All multimeasure rests disappear. So now only one step is needed – creating the multimeasure text manually. I would manually set all multimeasure rest text in place, using the default numbers as guide. After all manual text is set, then hide all the default numbers.

    For Sibelius:
    Type in the text numbers and position them exactly over the existing numbers, and then change the setting to No numbers over rests. The text numbers remain, and the file can be printed directly from Sibelius (or a PDF).

    This is useful for harp, all keyboards, occasional other two-stave segments played by one player. In fact, the underlying “rule” (as if music engraving actually has rules) is that a number above each staff implies more than one player. I.e., in a string part with a solo line above a gli altri staff, rest numbers above each staff are correct and necessary.

    Step 1:
    In “Engraving Rules” go to Bar Rests and under “Appearance” select “Text Style” and set the color to white. Numbers above the H-bar will now be invisible.
    With bar rest text set to white – a box is visible above the H-bar which outlines the size of the hidden text. This white box can be used to set the correct horizontal position of the manually placed bar rest text. Just one less step.

    Step 2:
    Under the “Appearance” tab select “Design and Position” and create a new text style based on the style and size of bar numbers and set the vertical distance so that the text will automatically be created at an approximate equal distance between top and bottom staff. Set the horizontal placement at the best approximate position to be centered to the H-bar.

    (I am assuming Step 2 default placements are calculated below top staff and to the right of the left side of the H-bar) Now all that is needed to create one number for multi-measure rests is to type in text and nudge it to centered positions accordingly.

    Caveat – the file must be exported to PDF format before printing as printing directly from Sibelius causes the bar numbers to appear. (this may be a printer setting problem).

    For SCORE:
    The number of the rest is centered between the staves. Sometimes this takes a little juggling, since the staves are not always the same distance apart, and the number itself is attached to the lower of the two staves. You need to specify the height above the “rest beam” where the number is to be located.

    Please forward to any engraver who may know other methods of Engraving rests in Harp parts.
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    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #186861

    Thank you for looking into this. Creating a multi-bar rest is possible in Sibelius, but I have not figured it out. It is a problem in parts. There is also the interrelation between score and parts to take into account.

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