Text above first system on a page

I realize I am replying to a 3-year-old post, but I want to ask: Why was this desired in the first place? I do not see this in engraved scores; I see the content fit within the margins, not staves aligned across pages as such. It would seem to be a habit of music software, rather than an engraving tradition.

From a user’s point of view, it seems strange that Dorico does such careful work avoiding collisions between staves but throws up its hands when it comes to margins. An honest question: How different would it be to avoid margin collisions too? If the choice were offered, I would never use the current way, and I doubt many others would either.


In general I think it is desirable for the top system to be in the same position on successive pages, and this is certainly what we typically observe in the scores we look at (likewise for the bottom system). It would of course be possible (given sufficient time and will) for us to add features to “push” the outer systems away from the page margins, but it’s not something we are actively working on.

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I came into this thread looking for the same solution.

I’m currently working on a method book to use in my teaching.
I’m using system text to provide directions on exercises. This is going to mean needing to manually adjust nearly every First-System-on-a-Page, on every page, and they will all require different adjustments because they will all have different amounts of text. I COULD just set the top margin to allow enough space that all my music systems line up on each subsequent page, but that will give the actual printed page several different appearances - the white space above the print will not be consistent - this will look pretty rag-tag - so I’ll be forced to manually adjust every page – and this will mean needing to manually edit every page on each different part.
Why can’t System Text carry a function that will automatically space the System itself a given margin below the text - rather than rooting the text as to wherever the music staff is?

I agree with the OP. This is one of the biggest problems I have in Dorico, and I can’t fix it until the verrry end of the process because if the page the music is on changes then the staff spacing changes. It can be quite frustrating to have such an illegible score until the end of the process, especially if I have to show parts of the work to others before it is fully finished. I hope that in the future, Dorico can adjust the position of the top staff automatically when there is text. I understand the desire for the top staff to be in the same position on each page, but at the end of the day, the music being legible is more important. (I’ve played with the music frame margins in Layout Options, but since it pushes the top staves without text down too, it’s not very useful for this problem.) All this to say, this would probably be one of my top 3 requests for improvements in future versions of Dorico :smiley:

I guess the question is whether Dorico was conceived as a textbook-creation program or (at least initially) as a more basic music-notation program with playback. I agree that having a dynamic text box would help with aspects of musicals and opera as well as method books or musical textbooks, although I expect textbooks would need many more non-musical tools which might well make it impractical for Dorico to envision any time soon (if ever).

I would like to respectfully disagree. I have had this problem many times notating concert music and songs, so it’s not just an issue that arises with musicals, opera and textbooks–but any time you need text above the top staff for any reason.

Just to reiterate what I said a couple of weeks ago: we’re not actively working on changes in this area, but it would certainly be possible for us to add options that would cause the top and bottom systems to “push” against the frame margins, and perhaps this is something we’ll be able to look at in the next development cycle. I can’t make any promises at this stage, however.


Thanks, Daniel! Just wanted to cast my vote for that in the future :smiley: