Trouble with systems per page

I’m trying to layout a piece as two systems per page, except the first page. Easy, you’d think: Layout Options > Staves & Systems > Fixed Number of Systems per page: 2, and tick the box for Scale Number of Systems by Frame Height.

However, that just gives me one system on every page. Presumably, Dorico thinks there’s not enough height for two systems in the frame. But if I untick that box, I easily get two systems per page. The problem then is that I get 2 systems on the first page, which collide into each other.

I’ve tried various settings for justification and staff distances. What else is there?

Doh: Solved with a Frame break on the first page’s second system.

Still, I don’t understand why Dorico won’t put two systems down on the subsequent pages without being forced to.

I was about to suggest that…
Looks like you’re really diving into Dorico now, Ben. By the way, I liked your post on the Dorico blog. Thanks for taking the time to write it! I know how much work this is.

Staff size is 3.9 pt. Spacing between staves is 8 spaces, or 31.2 pt. Spacing for grand stave is 6 spaces, or 23.4pt.

Turning on Staff Spacing in Engrave mode shows exactly those values for staff spacing, with a surplus of 57 pt between the systems, even with a comedy setting of 2 spaces for the inter-system gap.

Please see this explanation.

That’s interesting, Daniel. I can see how layout is a circular problem when squeezing or stretching needs to be done, but when two systems can be laid out with the specified spacing values, and still have ‘spare’ space left over between them, then surely it should do so?

Even turning off Resolve Collisions doesn’t keep 2 systems on the page when Scale Number of Systems is on.

But the frame break is the fix, and it’s still almost effortless to lay out pages. Thanks.

I suspect that the lyrics and dynamics are sufficient for it to estimate that it needs more space than it actually ends up needing, but if you send me your project I can verify that to make sure.

Ben, I’d like to make some comments and suggestions, none of which you’ve actually asked for and based upon “what I would do”, for better or for worse.

I’d like to see 2 systems on the first page, to better fill out the layout. Looking at your “Screen Shot 3”, you’re “almost there”. I’d very, very judiciously resize the staff (smaller) throughout, tighten up the stave spacing on page 1 just a hair, slightly reposition the page text (away from the music) and enlarge the music frame vertically a tad.

What do you think?

Of course. This is what the internet is for. :laughing:

Yes, I’ve tried that. However, the current staff size and note spacing gives me a nice spread of bars on every system, with 2 systems to a page, and a page count divisible by 4. It’s quite hard to find another sweet spot where the final page is filled nicely and is a multiple of 4.

Also, I have some Editorial Notes that could fill out the white space on the first page.

As usual, nice work, Ben! Could you post a link to the Dorico blog?

Ben’s blog post is here.