Staff-staff spacing (music with lyrics) and text markings

I really like how my current score is going and things are generally roughly where I want them. However, I have run into problems with staff-staff spacing in places where, as for the text on the page, apart from the lyrics, I had to insert solo / tutti markings. Here is the situation with ‘avoid collisions’ set in Engraving Options:

I’m not a fan of this: the soprano staff is clearly too far away from the alto staff, and the problem gets more pronounced later. Here is the situation with ‘avoid collisions’ turned off:

Now the staves look fine distance-wise; however, the solo marking overlaps the lyrics. (This of course happens later on, too.)
I can move the solo marking vertically using the Engrave mode; however, this will not automatically change the staff-staff distance, and I’m reluctant to modify it manually if, hopefully, other options exist.

I have explored the ‘Text’ Engraving Options, but changing them has no visible effect in this case (save for ‘avoid collisions’).

Ideally, I would like the staves to be a little more apart than in my 2nd picture, so that I could move the solo marking manually a little bit lower. Is there a way to achieve this, or do I have to change the distance between the staves manually, too? (I have never attempted this.) Or are there maybe some other solutions here that haven’t occurred to me? Thanks in advance!

(Dorico Pro 4. 3.30.1132.)

In Write mode, move the “Solo” text to be one beat earlier, which should reduce the ‘avoidance’ between the text and the lyrics.

Then position in Engrave mode as required.

(It’s probably more useful to the singer to be slightly forewarned!)

When I created a solo technique, it doesn’t sit that high above the part. I have been trying to recall where to set the playing techniques general distance from staff other than in Layout Options, but that doesn’t seem to be the place.

1 Like

Engraving options>Playing Techniques>Vertical Position


I use Staff Text for those indications, rather than Playing Techniques, and I think that’s what the OP is doing. As said, they often read better if they precede the first note, rather than sitting directly above it.

Thank you all for replies! Ultimately I went for @Derrek 's ‘playing technique’ solution, with a custom font style. Still, @benwiggy 's solution was almost perfect for my taste.

Thanks again!

1 Like