Sebastian + font stretching = win

I thought folks might enjoy seeing a project I’m working on presently in order to commend both Ben’s (and Florian’s) Sebastian font and Dorico’s updated handling of lyrics.

This is a new English translation of an old German Apostolic hymnal in landscape, 7.375 x 5.25 inches. The client provided the translation but was insistent that nothing change from the original, including pitches and rhythms (hence the awkward poetic cadence in spots), cautionaries, rest groupings, beaming, and even page layout. There are 124 songs in the book, some of them as long as six pages.

I used Sebastian, which is a beautiful font that captures the original handwritten music really well. The casting off was a challenge because the client requested a larger point size for the lyric font, and the English translation regularly required more horizontal space. When needed, I used an alternate paragraph style for lyrics with font stretching set to 98% and letter spacing set to -0.1 pts. For exceptionally tight spots, I cranked these values up a little more, although it became noticeable quickly. Oh, and I shrank the dynamics to 80% in the Music Symbols editor in order to match the original document proportions.

Thanks to Florian and Ben for their work, and to Daniel and the team, of course. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to replicate a project like this before Dorico 4.1… or in any other notation software!


Looks great. The effort has turned into elegance. The short flags at the eighth notes are striking. Did you shorten them? Here the Sebastian eighth notes look like this

That’s odd, usually German is the worst for lyric width, with syllables like schmerzt or schwimmt.
Little nitpick: third system, fourth bar I’d expect a bar rest in the bass instead of half + quarter. Dorico condensing artifact or faithful adherence to the original? The whole thing looks very nice though :slight_smile:

But then you’d need another half bar rest for the tenors? Kind of crowdy… I find this very clear. But I admit I know absolutely nothing about hymnals and how they should be laid out.

It looks really good. Congrats!
Another little nitpick: 2nd system, penultimate bar (on "and): Is this correct? d in tenor OR e in soprano?

You could just change the point size of the Dynamics Music Font, to get smaller dynamics.

Yes, the move to Paragraph Styles for Lyrics means you can make your own ‘condensed’ style for Lyrics. Academico benefits from 90% stretch – possibly some positive letter spacing to compensate for the squish.

Also, don’t forget using a negative value (-0.2pt) for the Indentation, which make left-aligned lyrics align slightly better.

Yes, to imitate the handwritten look of the flags, I used short flags everywhere. It looked odd to me at first but the client was thrilled, and they’ve started to grow on me. :disguised_face:

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It’s correct, in fact! One challenge of this project was the quirky part-writing at times. And the congregations have sung from this book for many years, so no changes allowed!

Doh! Much easier… :clown_face: