Staves Menu commands

The Staves menu offers the following commands:

Staff Manager Opens the Staff Manager dialog box.
Choose Staff Instrument Opens the MIDI Staff Instrument Setup dialog box.
Show Staff Namings Shows/Hides the Staff Namings.
Staff Tools Show Staff Tools
Shows/Hides the Staff Tools.

Ensure Staff Tools are Always Visible
This option is used in conjunction with the following two commands:

  • Show Staff Tools
  • Hide Empty Portions of Staves

You can choose to show or hide the ‘Staff Tools’ on the left of the first system on each page of the score. A set of Staff Tools is shown for each staff or staff in the score. If, however, you have chosen to hide portions of staves which are empty (see ‘Hide Empty Portions of Staves’ below) then the first system of a given staff may be hidden in which case the Staff Tools cannot be shown for that particular staff.

In order to ensure that you can always access the Staff Tools for all staves when you have opted to ‘Hide Empty Portions of Staves’ you should enable the item ‘Ensure Staff Tools are Always Visible’. This will ensure that all the staves in the first system of each page will be visible whether empty or not and their corresponding Staff Tools will also be shown.

Show All Staves Now (inc. empty portions) Show all hidden staves, and also show empty portions of those staves.
Hide Completely Empty Staves Now Hides (makes inactive) all staves which contain no music, lyrics or other musical information.
Hide Empty Portions of Staves Shows/Hides Empty portions of "Active" Staves.

When a piece of music contains empty staves (i.e. staves that do not contain any notes, lyrics, bookmarks, chord names or guitar frets) MidiIllustrator gives you the option to ‘hide’ these empty portions so they no longer appear on the score.  Note that this is not the same as hiding a staff.  If you hide a staff (or MIDI track) none of its corresponding staves will be shown in the score, empty or otherwise. Hiding empty portions of staves on the other hand allows you to keep all your staves visible but will only display ‘populated’ staves for each staff.  If, for example, only the piano part is playing in the early stages of a score and the other instruments in the score are silent until the piano solo has completed, then MidiIllustrator will only show the piano part on the screen in those measures which span its solo.  Other parts will not be shown until later in the score.

The benefit of hiding empty staves is that the score becomes easier to read as there is less ‘clutter’ on the page.  It also allows you to fit more of the music that you are interested in on to the screen.  This is especially useful when playing back multi-staff orchestral pieces. When an instrument in the score is not playing its staff can be hidden providing more room for the active instruments.

Note that:

  • Hiding empty staves can impact the display of the Staff Tools see ‘Ensure Staff Tools are Always Visible’ above.
  • Empty Portions of Staves are always shown whilst in Edit Mode to make editing easier - see this Note about Edit Mode and Printing.
Split Staff Opens the Split Staff dialog box.
Merge Staves Opens the Merge Staves dialog box.
Merge All Staves into One Merges all the staves in the score into one staff.