[SOLVED] avoiding a lyric overlapping a barline

is there a way of avoiding the following?
Screen Shot 2019-12-04 at 8.46.20 PM.png
thanks for the help!


solution: within Engrave mode, there is an option in the the properties panel for the alignment of the lyric text. choosing ‘left’ solves the problem.

i guess i’m left wondering why Dorico doesn’t automatically prevent any lyric from impinging a bar line.

With real lyrics on real vocal stave, lyrics never would impinge barlines because vocal staves never have joining barlines. If you’re going to use lyrics as a workaround for something else, then…

interesting analysis. how in God’s name does Dorico know that I’m not using a ‘real’ lyric? shouldn’t the algorithm interpret anything placed as a lyric ‘lyrically’?

Dorico knows that the player is not a singer. (No, it does not analyze the text.)

If you were to use a Text object (Shift X), then you would have the option to add a white background.

Thank you! That makes sense. But it’s not the entire answer. In a vocal score where the choice is made to have barlines connect through the staves the bad behavior persists. Also, it’s not a lyrics font issue.

Campania as lyrics font:

Academico as lyrics font:

And now I better understand Pianoleo’s comment above.


It would be nice to have an elegant solution to enable a white background where lyrics overlap barlines.

Find a reputable publisher that actually does this. (Clue: it’s bad practice).

If you find yourself needing to white out the area behind lyrics because the barlines are getting in the way, it really suggests you should follow the standard convention of not having barlines join vocal staves./

Ok. Point taken. But I’m not doing a vocal score and I’m using the lyric line to input harmonic analysis. I guess this rankles some Dorico users.

The point I was trying to make was that expecting lyrics to avoid barlines is a bit like expecting the fingering popover to accept any integer: it makes sense if you’re misusing the fingering functionality to mark beats or count repeated bars, but not if you’re using it for fingering.

Presumably when functionality is added to deal with harmonic analysis (lumped in with figured bass?) this side of things will be taken care of, but in the meantime if you’re going to employ workarounds, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect to have to do some of the grunt work yourself.

This also assumed harmonic analysis symbols must be between staves. When I recall doing them, I marked them below the bottom staff (or above the top).

yes. but there are cases where I have to put the analysis between staves.

I’m sorry guys, but I do not fully agree with you.

I’m writing for double choir.

  1. it’s useful that every singer sees the other voices
  2. it’s much more well-arranged, if I connect the staves of choir 1 and the staves of choir 2 - both being on the same page…I can immediately see what is which choir.

And here I really have the problem that my lyrics are not whitening the barlines. I have to move quite some words manually to avoid this.

And in this case it would be really nice to have the same possibilities than with text.

As to point 1, I don’t see what this has to do with connecting the barlines between vocal staves.
As to point 2, IMHO you can better make the division between choirs 1 & 2 clear by increasing the vertical spacing between the staves of the two choirs than by connecting the barlines within the choir staves. The latter can really make a mess, especially when it forces unnatural spacing of the music (which can be enough of a problem with lyrics as it is).

Having been a choral singer for over 40 years, I’d say that barlines through vocal staves are always annoying and unwelcome, and impart no useful information or context.
It’s very easy to display two or more choirs clearly and distinctly without resorting to that.

However, don’t take my word for it:

Elaine Gould, Behind Bars, p. 463: “Each vocal staff always has separate barlines, to avoid intersecting the text.”

Schirmer Style Guide, p. 21: “The common exception to this rule is vocal and choral music … this is done to keep the barline from interfering with the text.”

Ted Ross, The Art of Music Engraving, p. 152 “vocal ensemble and hymn … use separate barlines for each staff.”

Gardner Read, Music Notation, p. 295: “In order not to interfere with the written text of vocal music, barlines do not usually extend through all the voices as a group. … the text may be more easily read.”

There’s always going to be a balance in music software between the flexibility of letting you do anything and the utility of assumptions about accepted conventions.

I would never, ever want to see barlines drawn through a vocal staff. I would immediately be prejudiced against the quality of the rest of the music, fairly or not.

That thread was really strange and funny to read, because it could be reduced, that a user asks for a white background for lyrics because it would be useful for him. But all he gets is a schoolmasterly lecture on good and bad notation. Sometimes it would also be useful to get his head out of all these books with rules and think about whether the wish in itself could also bring something good or lead to freer possibilities of notation. Further development always implies the breaking of tradition and rules.

If the user were trying to achieve some avante garde new style in which the use of staff barlines with text overlapping was revolutionary and conveying some new paradigm in notation, then perhaps I’d be more receptive. (Though invariably, the answer to such things is: 'use a graphics program to achieve non-standard results.) But if it someone just needlessly want to do something non-standard for no benefit, then what musicians expect to see is relevant and important.

Sounds great.

Hey Daniel, can you guys please add a feature to flip lyrics upside-down? Because that’s how I want my scores to look. I think it’s expressive, and I don’t want to be bound to convention. :wink:

The point is that it’s not Dorico’s job (as I understand it) to blaze new notational trails, but to reflect the needs of its user base. If a notation is common enough to be worth the development cost (and is represented in published literature), then so be it. That’s why the ensuing discussion here is not irrelevant to the OP.

That’s boring. I want to be able to make scores that look like this, without any manual formatting:
That was “ancient technology” even when the original Dorico was doing his thing :slight_smile: