Note Spacing Tip

I just wanted to share this usage, which might be of use in similar, or different circumstances.

At the end of this 16th-century motet, I wanted to use a maxima note. So, I created a 16/2 bar, and added the note.

But of course, this huge bar takes up a lot of unnecessary space on the system. Easy, I hear you cry: just go to Engrave mode, and ‘nudge’ the width of the bar in Note Spacing mode until it looks good. That’s also what you’d do in other apps.

Another option might be to use “Note Spacing Change…” in the Engrave menu. The advantages of this are: you can always see the signpost; and you can set a numerical value. It’s also possibly more resistant to being undone, if you’re still moving things around.

I’m a big fan of setting Note Spacing values for each flow, in order to fill a certain number of pages and systems, (with the last system spaced like the rest). Also setting different spacings for alternating 3/2 and 4/4 passages, etc.

It’s things like this that make Dorico such a pleasure to use.
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Thanks for sharing this tip, Ben. I use a similar strategy for reciting tones when doing things like chanted psalms, versicles/responses, and so on, though normally I am increasing the space to make sufficient room for the full text.

So one does not need a system or frame break to institute a note-spacing change? One can to it at a measure border or any rhythmic/caret position. Just found it on p 404 of the 3.0 manual. That’s good to know.

Really? Page 404!
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I literally just used a Note Spacing change an hour ago, for the first time. Saved my bacon.

Dorico is growing so mature and feature-rich that it’s nearly a full-time job trying to commit every feature to memory. :wink:

In my English PDF, yes: page 404. :wink:

Sorry, that was just a friendly joke as page 404 is a common error code for missing page and I happened to have that picture. Perhaps you didn’t see it?

I figured you might be joking: no problem. :slight_smile:

That’s a great tip, Ben. I’ve also been using this great feature of Dorico’s, especially to accommodate varying note values in the different instrumental parts of a score, like a more compact spacing for horn parts with long notes and a wider spacing for violin parts with smaller note values. I also use them locally in order to customise the layout, like expanding the spacing to fill out pages or compressing it to fit. I used to do this in Finale by loading different spacing algorithms and then respacing certain sections. The advantages to Dorico’s method are being able to see the signposts and the ability to edit and even copy the changes directly. And whereas in Finale I would often end up moving bars between systems manually, in Dorico I usually prefer to respect Dorico’s choices for the inclusion of bars in systems and to use note spacing changes to affect changes.

Thanks Vaughan, those seem to be nice workflows you develop here. It’s inspiring.