spacing of lyrics

How to make the sung text have absolutely no impact on the rhythmic justification?
I tried to increase the “proportion of the width of the lyrics for horzontal adjustment” in the Options, but that is not enough.

Thanks in advance

There’s no way to do this absolutely, but you can set minimum width between lyrics to zero, which definitely helps. There’s no way to permit actual lyric collision though.

Thank you, dankreider.
I will try this.
Regarding collisions, as long as I can move the syllables horizontally, I’m doing it. There is a flexibility about that.

It would be nice if Dorico would offer the option to disallow lyrics to be considered in music spacing. Some of us advocate this approach in vocal music, not the least of whom is Steven Powell in his fine book “Music Engraving Today-The Art and Practice of Digital Notesetting”. No, it doesn’t work all the time and sometimes fails miserably. But with the right workflow, it often produces a consistent, beautifully spaced result.

In French engraving, it is absolutely essential (in view of the great tradition of French engraving).

This is one of the aspects of engraving which took me the longest when I worked in Finale. I would space everything, taking lyrics into account just to get a rough layout, then lock the systems, turn off spacing for lyrics, respace and then tweak both lyric positioning and note spacing. Dorico does this by default much better, especially with its extensive lyric placement settings, including the ability to push a lyric over a barline. Reducing the space between lyric syllables (I have mine at ½ space) and the space between lyric and hyphen (mine’s ¼ space) helps a lot in reducing rhythmic distortion.

Having said this, even though some of us do still need to tweak lyrics in Dorico, I can’t imagine Dorico’s designers ever including an option to turn off spacing for lyrics entirely, as their philosophy is to create settings which reduce tweaking to a minimum while maximising the aesthetic result. This has been discussed before, and the Steinberg team expressed reluctance at allowing Dorico to take manual tweaking of certain notational elements into account. Lyrics was among those elements.

Looking at some of his personal interviews, Steven Powell seems to be a Finale devotee. Perhaps the subtitle of the book should be “how to use Finale exclusively for engraving and stay sane”. That’s not to say that it’s not a fine book within that context!

But different circus, different monkeys :slight_smile:

He has a number of interesting quizzes, among which looking at a score excerpt and finding the errors. He also makes comparisons between using Finale and Sibelius for certain tasks. Sibelius doesn’t necessarily fare better.

Certainly, but Sibelius (which I prefer to Finale) allows to disable the spacing of the lyrics so as not to disturb the rhythmic spacing. This is a definite advantage for me, which I would like to find in Dorico.

I’d agree that Steven Powell’s book is written almost exclusively for use with Finale. He writes (p.59) that auto-spacing of lyrics should be turned off because “all of the engraving programs I’ve seen try to take lyrics into consideration when they apply spacing algorithms, and all fail miserably.” So it is only because of Finale’s failure to space lyrics well that he recommends it. It’s a work-around. :wink:

I’d say generally even the best examples of vocal music show some displacement of the mathematical spacing due to the lyrics: obviously it’s good to reduce this as much as possible, but the result from ignoring lyrics and then making small adjustments might be just as well achieved by the opposite process.

The Powell book was already outdated by the time it was published, and (to my knowledge) has never been revised. I would consider it a historical curiosity in as much as its advice for how to get good results using Sibelius, and I imagine also (though possibly to a lesser extent) using Finale, is now decades out of date. And although I don’t doubt Mr Powell’s credentials and experience as an engraver, I find the book overall one of the weakest of the widely available ones when it comes to practical editorial practice and engraving.

In fact I think you can achieve this, though it’s been a year since I last used Dorico, so I might be wrong. Under Engraving Options/Lyrics/Spacing I have ‘Proportion of lyric width…’ set to 0 and ‘Minimum gap between adjacent lyrics’ set to -50 (ie a large negative number). Then enjoy some manual tweaking.

I agree vocal music looks so much better when rhythmic distortion is kept to a minimum. Dorico does this automatically better then other programs it seems, but there’s still room for improvement.

Thank you ! That’s great !!!
I did not think about putting a negative number. It pretty much fixes the problem. It’s awesome !

Bingo! Thanks.

Setting the ‘Minimum gap between adjacent lyrics’ to a high negative number is clever but forgive my not understanding the other part. Wouldn’t setting ‘Proportion of lyric width…’ to a higher number reduce the amount of manual tweaking?

I prefer to have complete control of note spacing and don’t want Dorico making any automatic adjustments for lyrics. I generally find that a carefully thought-out cast-off means I have to do very little in the way of manual spacing adjustments and not that much left/right shifting of lyrics.