Staff Spacing confusion

Here is a part of a score I am working on.

The part is turning out to be 8 pages long. 7 of the 8 pages look great, but there is a page in the middle where something odd is happening, the staff spacing here on page 6 just takes a turn for the worse. I have done nothing except input music.

Is there any suggestion as to what could be going on?

Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 3.12.00 PM.png

My first suggestion would be to go to the Vertical Spacing page of Layout Options and try reducing the threshold for justification from 60% to 50%.


Thanks for the quick response. You are always so helpful and quick with an answer.

Following your suggestion, I did something else first, I changed the paper size to letter (as is the default here in the US), and then I did your suggestion. The paper size change did a lot of good, but there was now a new wider gap that didn’t make much sense. That it when I utilized your suggestion.

The new issue now baffles me…
Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 6.45.21 PM.png
On page 1, there seems to be an extra gap between some of the lines of music. The rest of the piece looks good. Not every page is the same spacing, but each page looks evenly spaced. Except page 1.

Do you have any other thoughts?


From what I can tell based on your screen shot, it appears that Dorico is trying to provide additional space for your rehearsal numbers. Whenever you have a rehearsal number and the stave above has a hairpin below, it is adding a touch more space. In cramped settings this makes sense, however since you have plenty of room it appears odd. I’m guessing that the algorithm just needs tweaking a bit. This is where good old-fashioned engraving comes in to play. Your eye is always smarter than a computer when it’s all said and done. Just do a few manual tweaks and it will be fine. Your first page only has 5 staves due to the header. You were then left with an uneven (7 and 6) number of lines that needed parsing out over the next two pages, hence they all look different. You could force the first page to have 6 lines (a bit more cramped) and then the next two pages would probably have identical spacing, or you could also try distributing a few measures to get down to 12 remaining lines after the first page. Either way, a few manual tweaks will be necessary, I’m afraid.

Yes, the problem is indeed that the rehearsal marks on the first page are making the spacing uneven. This has been changed in advance of the 1.1 update – indeed, the whole way that vertical justification between systems is performed has been changed in order to produce a more even result more of the time.

I would say that you could easily fit two more systems onto each page, so Dorico is obviously being very conservative in what it thinks it can fit. I would be tempted to use the “make into frame” feature to bring a couple more systems onto each page, unless of course you find that leaves you with a half-empty final page.

Again, the forthcoming update will have more features in this area, including a means of telling Dorico how many systems per frame it should put, even if it doesn’t think they will fit, which would mostly be useful for this kind of situation, i.e. for instrumental parts.

Oh, so it’s the rehearsal marks causing that casting off? It is not an attempt to place the measure break at the page turn

No, Dorico doesn’t currently take the contents of the bars into account when determining casting off: it only uses its assessment of how many systems it estimates it can fit into the frame. In due course I expect we will include some features to help influence the casting off based on musical content, e.g. to find good places for page turns, but none of this is implemented at the moment.