Overlapping voices

It is repeatedly argued that one should not fiddle around with spacing on via Engrave mode, but rather adjust the general settings according to one’s needs.

When I wrote the following bars, I got this:

spacing 2

Instead I want these notes vertically aligned (yes, I adjusted this manually).

spacing 1

By which settings can I achieve this automatically?

For voice order settings, check in Library > Notation Options > Voices for per-flow defaults, and here for individual overrides.

To force notes into the same voice column, see here:

It’s standard engraving practice to allow some adjustment, so that the noteheads and stems don’t collide.

Also, your first bar, it’s unclear which note has the dot.

True, I have to adjust the dot. But I assume that no automatism is provided for my solution? Thirds can be aligned vertically without colliding heads or stems. The problems are the dots, which cannot be moved vertically.
Or do you think my version is non-standard?

Your alignment is decidedly non-standard. You can adjust the default gaps Dorico uses for interlocking voices in the Voices section of the Notes page of Engraving Options, but you won’t be able to persuade Dorico to completely align notes in opposing voices that are only a third apart as if they are in the same column, because it’s really quite unclear.


lim.usic, measures 1-2 of the following example use the default spacing, which you showed above. What do you think of the spacing in measures 3-4?

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Measures 3-4 are acceptable to me, measures 1-2 are really unclear since “a” appears “after” the “c”!

You’ll find thousands of keyboard scores by the best engravers with the up-stem note ‘after’ the down-stem one, even if it does look ‘late’.

The alternative is to use Edit > (Notations >) Voices > Swap Voice Order, which will give you this:


Or, you could use Swap Voice Contents, which would essentially flip the stems, if the voicing wasn’t crucial.

How did you move the dot (“c”) up?

You are right, I looked it up in Gould; however Dorico’s standard does not satisfy me. After all John Ruggero’s solution (measure “3”) would be my choice and congruent with Gould, but how can the dot be moved upwards? I think Dorico does not offer this, which I deeply regret.

Your first version and Ruggero’s solution are my choice (voicing is relevant indeed).

IIRC, John has access to Finale and may have used that to fine-tune his example and move the dot up.

I did it all in Dorico but was surprised that I couldn’t move the dot. :pensive:

So I used a work-around. I input a quarter note instead of a dotted quarter note, made the resulting eighth rest invisible and added the dot with the text tool. :smile:

An alternative… flip the dotted A and hide the stem, then add a new voice crotchet A, set voice index 0, and hide the rests.

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Thanks, Janus. That’s a good one. And it would play back correctly.

But wait, I also moved the dot horizontally. Don’t think I could do that with your work-around.

You can take the man out of Finale, but you can’t take Finale out of the man! :grin:

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That’s hilarious, benwiggy, and made my day. :grinning: :laughing:

I ended up with …

We have no control over this. It is a FR that the team is aware of though (I started a thread about it at least 3 years ago.) The only way to manipulate this is by changing stem direction, or adding additional notes that cases the algorithm to change the dot placement automatically, and then hiding them in the alpha channel or scaling them to 1%.

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Looks good to me, Janus. So, in this case, horizontal movement of the dot isn’t necessary. One might even move the A closer to the C, but that is probably a question of taste.