Help with fine tuning Dorico’s defaults


I would like to ask for suggestions regarding the layout of a quite simple piece of music. It seems I have played around with Dorico’s defaults and have somehow lost a balanced display. On general I probably tend to squeeze too much music onto a page, resulting in a kind of square look of the score.
Here is an example:

01_Telemann_Example_Full score_2021-03-23.pdf (49.0 KB)

  1. In specific I don’t like the spacing of the bass notes in the first bar.
  2. I think, the singers system is too close to the bass system.
  3. I know, that bars are usually distributed as a whole, before a system brake. Still the third system looks spaced too wide somehow.
  4. I am using the big note heads, may be this squeezes the music too much.
  5. I don’t really want to make everything smaller, as the text might not be readable then - Page size is DIN A4.
    Also I do not want to hand-correct the layout too much, so I can have the benefit of Dorico making a nice and balanced layout view.
  6. just a small issue with the Figured Bass: how do I in bar two get the last number (3) onto the same height as the (4) on the last beat?
    I tried to input Cmd/Ctrl-G “,3” to get the 3 onto the second line, but this does not work…

Any suggestions or help is very welcome.

This is the cut down project:

Telemann_Example.dorico (1.9 MB)

There’s not a ton you can do. Perhaps introduce line breaks on the longer instrument names? That would gain you some space in the first system.

The third system looks too spaced out because of the lyrics. Again, I don’t think there’s much you can do. And I think it looks fine. Maybe you’ve been looking at it too long? :sunglasses: Happens to me.

Yes, I could see using smaller noteheads.

Yes, the sung text is too close to the staff below. This is precisely why I and others have requested an “Ideal gaps” setting for the space between lyrics and the staff below them.

  1. Put the names of the instruments onto two lines to get a bit more width for the music.
  2. Change the Staff to Staff value (upwards). Possibly reduce the Staff group to staff distance.
  3. Looks fine to me. number of bars per system will vary in music of this sort.
  4. Bravura’s “big heads” are the default. I wouldn’t change them.
  5. It could take some reduction. The lyric text is quite a good size: but you might get better spacing with a different font.
  6. Use a suspension.

Here’s my adjustment:

Telemann_Example.dorico (1.9 MB)

You can also look in Engrave > Engraving Options > Lyrics at some of the minimum horizontal gaps, especially between adjacent lyrics and between lyrics and hyphens; reducing those even a little will prevent lyrics widening the music quite as much.

A different font works wonders with spacing - have a look at Dan Kreiders blog post on fonts where he compares a few fonts here: Comparing fonts for hymnals - Hymnworks

Although it’s aimed at hymnals I found the comparison very useful. Especially as in German there are quite a few long words with only one syllable. (Schmerz for example.)

Flashbacks to the time I engraved a Dutch-language opera and subsequently had to fit the German translation into the same layout… Felt like a right Dan Kreider with the amount of lyric-nudging I had to do :stuck_out_tongue: