Hide Notes to Create Multi-rests in Voiced Linked Parts Using a Staff Style

In orchestral scores, it is common to combine two similar instruments onto a single staff:


Text indicators like “1”, or “2” are used to show when a specific player plays a particular portion of the line. Following a passage where one player rests while another plays, a directive like “a2” or “tutti” shows that both / all players play the same line in unison from that point. By default, these text indications appear in both the score and parts, making it easy to identify who plays where.

Note the hidden text expression “both”. This technique serves a useful purpose, which I’ll explain in a moment.

In Finale, we can use the Specify Voicing feature of “Manage Parts…”, to control the part appearance so that the Clarinet 1 notes show up in the proper part. To do this, Finale offers flexible rules for how the Clarinet 1 notes are selected for display in the part.

For instance, if the Clarinet 1 and 2 notes are different, but in the same Layer, we can make sure that Clarinet 1 is always assigned the top note and Clarinet 2 is assigned the bottom note. If a measure contains multiple layers, as in the second measure above, we can always display Layer 1 for Clarinet 1 and Layer 2 for Clarinet 2. Here’s an example of the Clarinet 1 part:


Brilliant. You’ll notice that while it is visible in the score, I’ve hidden the “1.” indication in the part.

I’ve also placed hidden technique text (“both”) in the score to mark the entrance of Clarinet 2 following the “1.” passage. This helps me identify the Clarinet 2 entrance point in the part, since at this entrance, there is no “a2” type of identifier used in the score, and the notes at this entrance are are not in a different layer. This “both” technique will help keep me oriented when I get into preparing the 2nd part.

Now for the Clarinet 2 part. In Managed Parts, my current the Edit Voicing settings are:

  • “Select Notes from one or more Layers”
  • “In Measures Containing a Single Layer, Display Bottom Note”
  • “In Measures Containing Multiple Layers, Display Layer 2”

…which looks like this:


But, wait. The Clarinet 1 part is showing for two bars where it shouldn’t be. No problem. There are no less than three different solutions for this.

1) In Manage Parts… > Edit Voicing, choose “Selected Note(s)” instead of “Bottom Note” and check 2nd Note, making sure to leave “Include Single Note Passages” unchecked. However, there is a caveat with this approach. This setting is global for the part. If there are unison passages, you’ll want those to display in both parts, and this particular setting won’t allow that. You can, of course, create split stem unisons (add duplicates of all of the unison lines into Layer 2 in the score).  However, in my opinion, this can look a bit cluttered, particularly for woodwinds or brass. So let’s examine another option…

2) Put whole rests in Layer 2 of the score for any full bars where only Clarinet 1 plays. Use the “Display Bottom Note” setting in Managed parts as above. These Layer 2 rests will then show up in the Clarinet 2 part, while the Clarinet 1 part will show the notes.

Note that sometimes, displaying notes in one layer and rests in another can get cluttered looking in the score, depending on the density / complexity of the Clarinet 1 line, and the register the it is written in, but the intent is very clear. OR…

3) In the Clarinet 2 part only, you can transform the Clarinet 1 solo passage into default Whole Rests by using a Staff Style. Let’s take a look:

Open the Clarinet 2 part so that it is frontmost,  select the appropriate measures with the Staff Tool, then Right click and “Apply Staff Style To Current Part / Score…”


Choose the “Blank Notation With Rests: Layer 1” Staff Style.


You will see the Layer 1 notes in these bars turn to rests:


Easy. And importantly, if you go to the Clarinet 1 part, you will still see the solo passage! Now you can create multi-rests from these default whole rests in Clarinet 2 .

Note that you can use “Blank Notation With Rests, Layer X” for technique number 2 above as well, where you added “real” whole rests to Layer 2 in the score. In this case, instead of converting notes to default whole rests, you’ll be converting “real” rests into default whole rests, at which point, it will be possible for you to create proper multi-rests in the Clarinet 2 part.

However, to create “Blank Notation With Rests: Layer 2” you will need to create an additional Staff Style. By default, the Finale templates have only “Blank Notation With Rests” for Layer 1 or Layer 4, but it is very easy to edit the “Blank Notation With Rests: Layer 4” staff style so that it works for Layer 2 instead (or you can create a new Staff Style if you prefer).  Following the steps above, when you get to the Apply Staff Style Dialog, choose “Blank Notation With Rests: Layer 4”, then select the “Define…” button at the bottom of the dialog.


When the Staff Styles Dialog opens, you will be in Edit mode for “Blank Notation With Rests: Layer 4”.

  1. Change the “4” in the Style Name to “2”
  2. Click the Select… button for Alternate Notation
  3. Change Apply To: to Layer 2
  4. OK the dialogs


That’s all there is to it! At this point, you may want to use the JW Copy Part Layout plugin to save some time as you create your part layouts.


3 Replies to “Hide Notes to Create Multi-rests in Voiced Linked Parts Using a Staff Style”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.