Cross staff notes

While there is no doubt that Dorico will be a giant step forward with regards to automatic optical spacing adjustments, not least for cross staff notes, the example shown in the MOLA demo (Lieder one Worte No. 24) seems to show a discrepancy in spacing between beam groups and within them. It looks like Dorico allocates too much space between beam groups (or too little within them). Is this observation correct, and if so, is it possible to remedy with a simple setting, or does it need to be corrected manually?

There is a similar issue with LilyPond’s default spacing shown in this thread:
Although, this has the opposite effect to the one pointed out above, leaving less space between beam groups than within them.

Dorico doesn’t adjust the amount of rhythmic space between beam groups where it has performed this kind of optical adjustment, so this means that depending on whether the last note in the beamed group is stem-up (in which case it has been pulled inwards towards the previous stem-down note) or stem-down (in which case it has been pushed outwards away from the previous stem-up note), there may appear to be too much or too little space between the groups. It will be easy to correct manually in Engrave mode. (Of course if you prefer to take care of this kind of thing manually from start to finish, you will also be able to disable the optical adjustment altogether.)

Thank you, Daniel!

Cross staff notes spacing should be improved in my opinion. Traditional notation looks like this :
cross-staff spacing.png
(from Ravel Concerto en Sol, edition Durand). Alignment should be made within stems instead of within noteheads, that’s what I’ve always seen.

In Layout Options > Note Spacing, turn on “Use optical spacing for beams between staves”.

Daniel – Is there a reason for this not to be on by default?

By the way, I can’t really find out what makes it a “layout option” rather than an “engraving option”.

The option is switched on by default in part layouts, but switched off by default in full score layouts. The adjustments made to spacing for beams between staves cause distortion in other instruments, so on the grounds that you might well have other instruments in your score layout, we have the option switched off in scores.

Simply put, it’s something that you will need to change on a per-layout basis.

Best of both world would probably be to have cross-staff notes not exactly vertically aligned with other instruments notes…

This is the way it was often done in the days of manual engraving. Although I think it might be hard to implement as an automatic feature in a scoring application, it would most certainly be great if it was possible.

As we can see Dorico handles so well horizontal offsetting notes to avoid 2 voices collapses, I think it wouldn’t be so much a problem.