Elaine Gould, writing in her book Behind Bars, says:
“When a player has finished playing for the remainder of a piece, this is indicated tacet al fine. For orientation in rehearsal, place the instruction after a subsequent rehearsal mark:”
With a bit of ingenuity, you can achieve this in Sibelius.
First, let’s have a look at a trombone part. The trombone has finished playing after the sixth bar of rehearsal K, as in the Gould example.
Sibelius automatically breaks multirests at all system objects, such as rehearsal marks, tempo and metronome marks, double barlines, time signatures, and key signatures. Of course, you want this behavior nearly all of the time — except when indicating tacet al fine.
Hide the system objects
The trick to consolidating all of the rests into one multirest is to hide all of these system objects. By hiding them in only the part that contains tacet al fine, you won’t affect their appearance in other parts (or in the score) and thus multirests elsewhere will be unaffected.
Watch what happens as I select each of these objects and hide them by using the shortcut Command-Shift-H on Mac, or Ctrl+Shift+H on Windows, to invoke Home > Edit > Hide or Show > Hide or Show:
(Actually in the above video I was pressing the Hide or Show button using Notation Express; shameless plug!)
Within minutes of first publishing this post, Scoring Notes reader Vladimir Tubić advised that this could be done more easily by simply making a passage selection by Command-clicking (Mac) or Ctrl+clicking (Windows) to make a passage selection, and hiding everything. That is indeed quicker! You just need to remember to unhide the final barline (and, if there is no intervening rehearsal mark or other item such as letter L in this example, you’ll need to unhide the multirest itself).
The first example is still useful if you wish to understand the underlying process by which Sibelius consolidates the rests.
Create the text
Next we must add the tacet al fine text. For this, create some staff text such as Technique text and adjust the font style and size to your liking in the Ribbon in Text > Format, or create a new text style specifically for tacet al fine by going to Text > Styles > Edit Text Style. You’ll want the font size to be large enough to obscure the numeral; more on that momentarily.
Place the text on the multirest, and type
tacet al fine.
Make the necessary adjustments
A few business items:
- In order to prevent the multirest numeral from repelling the text, turn of Magnetic Layout for the text by going to Layout > Magnetic Layout > Object and select Off from the dropdown (or just press the Magnetic Layout Off button in Notation Express).
- Go to the Home > Inspector and in Text > Background select Erase. (Or, if you’ve set up a text style specifically for this purpose, you can go to the Border tab of Edit Text Styles > Edit… and select Shape > Erase background.)
- Next, bring the text to the front of the drawing order (did you know there was such a thing in Sibelius?) so that it obscures the multirest numeral by going to Appearance > Order and click Bring to Front.
- Finally, ensure that this text doesn’t appear in the score by going to Home > Edit > Hide or Show and select Show in Parts. This will hide the text in the score.
Make any final positioning adjustments, and… è la fine!
Dorico users may be aware of an option in that program to automatically display tacet al fine. When this post was first published, I mistakenly implied that it would consolidate all of the rests, but that is not the case — it will only show “tacet al fine” on the final multirest. It won’t consolidate all of the rests into one multirest unless you delete the other items such as the rehearsal marks, time signatures, etc., which would have the undesirable effect of deleting them from all the scores and layouts in the project.
Well, there’s no need for Sibelius or Dorico users to be smug about the advantages each of the programs has; we are all friends here on Scoring Notes!
Special thanks to Natheniel Siu, who suggested this method in a discussion on social media, and to Vladimir Tubić for the extra tip. Do you have a music notation software tip you’d like to share? Let us know about it and maybe we’ll feature it in a future blog post!
This post has been updated to add an additional method of hiding items, and to clarify the behavior in Dorico.