Note spacing question

Is this horizontal spacing OK? I.e. may notes from different beats overlap horizontally?
If not, is there some engraving rule I must change? Or should I update the note spacing on a case by case basis?

Screenshot 2021-12-14 at 15.30.00

Interesting case. How full % is that system? Other than the note spacing rule, there isn’t a specific setting that would affect this. It doesn’t look ideal, but on the other hand there isn’t actually a collision. I would just widen that space a little bit and move on. Anyone else?


It’s 98,8% full. Dorico doesn’t seem to think that this is a problem, that’s why I wondered if this is considered bad engraving or not. (Note spacing is 3 1/2 and minimum space for short notes is 1 3/5.) I’ll update this spacing manually indeed.

Dorico doesn’t consider it bad. If it can maintain the ideal rhythmic spacing without forcing the notes further apart because the items in adjacent columns are vertically displaced, then it will.

It’s a slightly different case but Dorico also considers the following to be OK. The settings were the Dorico 3.0 defaults.

Screenshot 2021-12-15 091501 - Cropped
Screenshot 2021-12-15 091533 - Cropped

That’s not about horizontally overlapping beats, it’s 2 notes of the same beat that can hardly be positioned closer to each other than this, right? I think this looks OK. I think that my example doesn’t look OK so I changed it manually, which is one of the first times that I felt the need to do so in Dorico.

Btw, you can swap the voice column index of those 2 notes to put them closer together without manually tweaking.

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Context is king, so it would be useful to see the rest of the system. If it’s similarly packed with semiquavers, then I’d be tempted to add a Note Spacing change (increasing the current value), which would likely bump a bar to the next system, allowing more space for all.

Agreed. And, to be honest, it’s pretty darn clear what’s going on with the dual stems, so you could even have them both in the same voice column with one shared head.

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Seriously? You don’t think legibility is a problem here? As I said, it’s a slightly different case but I would argue that the F# in the second voice should not be where it’s implied a second quaver in the bar would be.

In the manuscript, Butterworth actually has the crotchet F# to the left of the dotted quaver. See

Just select both notes and use Swap Voice Order in the Edit > Voices menu.

It’s not as bad when the line’s less cramped but it’s still not quite right:

The 1911 Augener edition is at IMSLP239744-SIBLEY1802.22632.9eb4-39087011299221score.pdf.

I wasn’t looking for solutions; I only brought this up in case it would be of interest to the developers.

Sorry: I was referring to the OP’s example with that post; and to yours in the later one.

I think the very fact we have a Note moving mode suggests there will always be things that need human intervention in notation.

No problem. I just thought this was a rare example of Dorico doing something that really wasn’t quite right.

I’d say it’s not that rare at all. Just swap the voice columns or combine the heads (I would do the latter). I see this in keyboard writing all the time and have had to deal with this exact scenario multiple times.

Thanks, that’s the best solution!

You’ve misunderstood my post. This kind of writing is indeed unremarkable; what is rare is Dorico producing output of questionable legibility.

Anyway, I’ll leave you to it.

Yes; perhaps we could have a special engraving option for cases with unisons of differing length like this.