As I understand it:
For most percussion instruments "notes" don't really have durations in the same sense as other instruments. Percussion instruments are struck, and thus usually sound with a quick attack and decay, which is (generally) uncontrolled by the performer. Therefore, when notating music for percussion it is usually most useful to use note values that are no longer than a single beat (of the given time signature).
Cymbals (and similar) are often notated with cross note heads (like a ghost note). For percussion, the cross note head emphasises the somewhat meaninglessness of the duration value of percussion notes, unlike the emphasis of the pitchlessness of a true ghost note.
At the end of some music I am writing: the last notes in the piece occur on the 3rd beat of a bar of 4/4.
This leaves a problem as for what to write for the percussion (tambourine) on the last two beats:
- A cross headed minim / half note could be used here (to match with the other instruments note values):
But the symbol for this isn't used very often, and is very ugly. And as mentioned before, the percussion probably shouldn't have note values that are greater than a beat.
- Alternatively, the percussion line could end with a crotchet / quarter note on beat 3, followed by a rest to fill the bar:
It looks really weird to have that (basically meaningless) lonely rest.
A literal interpretation of this would suggests that the percussionist is to play on beat 3, "hold" for the fermata/pause, and then rest for a beat before the end (this is accentuated by the rallentando), — but this just seems absurd.
For either of these options, I think the intended meaning is probably clear, but they both seem like sloppy notation.
What is the best engraving practice for this type of scenario?
Is one of these option is preferable? or is there another way of notating this?