The whole Iowan Old Style family, consisting of 6 weights, is £83 at MyFonts. I know that’s not exactly small change, but if the font is one you really love and want to continue to use, it doesn’t feel like an absolutely outrageous amount to have to spend to continue using it.
I don’t disagree with you there. That is cheaper than I’m finding it elsewhere; a few sites have the whole family for sale for $245 usd which is certainly more than I’m willing to pay. I use the whole family, unfortunately. It’s just a shame that I now have to pay for a font that is already installed on my system… grr.
I’ve found I like Vollkorn which is nice and meaty (not unlike Gentium Book) although I’ve had to substitute Minion for the verse numbers. Vollkorns numbers are a bit odd (or rather, they don’t line up vertically very well).
Apart from loving my old font, I just wasn’t prepared to drop $120 on a font today… if I do that, I will have paid more for one font than I have to use D4. Not where my mind was this morning…
Minion is beautiful and very fine type, but that’s just the problem – Its fine features are a mismatch with the heavier weight of Bravura and Dorico’s line weights. The latter were a revelation in legibility to me when I first tried them out in 2014 (the Norfolk port for Sibelius, which I still use). This Vollkorn is a much better fit, and looks like a good match to Iowan for set-width.
But I agree, you want lining figures. I would even use Georgia for lyrics, but for the figures.
You can remove that ligature by editing the font. I suppose that’s not strictly permissible… maybe someone else can confirm? If you didn’t share your modification with anyone, I don’t see why it would be a problem.
My experience: In the 1980s with 300dpi printers, Sonata and Petrucci with Finale’s default fine lines and Times for text were just what we’d always wanted, because they were all fattened up in printing and still looked finer than most printed music at the time.* When I started to see the same Finale output on 1200dpi printers and in PDF, it’s just too damn fine. It looks washed-out and it’s a little harder to read.
*(except for the jagged edges on hairpins)
Sibelius’s Opus and default lines are rather fine too, and I used them for many years, printing at 600dpi. The big revelation for me was when I first made a PDF using a template Daniel had thrown together for Sib with Norfolk, and read it on an iPad. The improvement in legibility was astounding. I knew right away that Daniel had made the right choice for a standard for the future of digital music display.
The fineness we got used to with Finale & Sibelius is still good if you’re printing music quite large. But the smaller you go, the more it benefits from the extra weight.
[Edit]: So, to answer your question, Dan! I do think your lines match well with Minion, and both are a better match with Maestro than Bravura for weight.