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Why is the whole rest written on the fourth line of the staff only? Why not any line of the staff?
-- Kirsti McMurdo (email@example.com), March 13, 2003
Probably for the same reason that many other symbols are printed where they are printed...i.e. the half rest, eighth rest, etc.......it's a matter of consistancy.
-- Mary Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 13, 2003.
Probably because when the notation system was established the fair majority of music written at that time was centred around the middle register. Writing it in the second space from the top keeps it away from the notes for better visibility.
-- June Ryan (email@example.com), April 03, 2003.