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Sometimes scores are formatted so that silent measures are completely omitted—not just left empty, but left blank, including the staff. The oldest score in this style that I have seen is Lutosławski's Symphonic Variations, apparently published in 1950 though the date of score preparation is not clear. Are there any earlier examples?

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  • I imagine you're looking, in particular, for examples in which the finished product was intended to have such gaps. I'm sure there are plenty of composers' hasty sketches that don't bother writing rests in parts that aren't playing... Nov 18, 2021 at 21:13
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    @AndyBonner Right, although this is a little bit more than just not writing rests.
    – texdr.aft
    Nov 18, 2021 at 21:14
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    Not really relevant to the conversation, but this made me think about the Ars Subtilior manuscripts in the shape of a heart or concentric circles or a harp. The cutaway score definitely qualifies as a kind of eye music, and I've been scratching my head trying to think whether there's any isolated instance earlier in history, without much luck. Even if there weren't it wouldn't be very relevant to the late-20th-century context without direct influence. Nov 18, 2021 at 22:57
  • What exactly do you want to learn from the answer? If you look at scores from the early times of printing or before printing was invented you'll likely find examples of various attempts to save effort and the paper area. Nov 19, 2021 at 8:18
  • @user1079505 I like the way the style looks and I'm curious about its origin/history.
    – texdr.aft
    Nov 19, 2021 at 22:04

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