Spacing proportions and settings

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Fred G. Unn
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Re: Spacing proportions and settings

Post by Fred G. Unn »

RMK wrote:You can use different algorithms in the same file via the note spacing plug-in:
Great! I had never installed that one I guess. Something else to mess around with tonight.

I tried to see what would happen if I fed the Sibelius allotment settings into Finale. There are clearly some other factors at play here too, as I had expected these to be a little closer than they actually are. The bar with the 4 quarter notes obviously receives a lot more room in Sibelius. Since the ratio of quarter to half is the one that is 1.7, maybe Finale is scaling it or something. I had thought if I was using the allotment library these values would be absolute but there are other factors involved I guess.
Fin attempt at Sib.jpg
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Just out of curiosity, is anyone that expressed a preference for the more "humanistic" spacing using Finale with an allotment library where you purposely altered the spacing to not be proportional?
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Fred G. Unn
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Re: Spacing proportions and settings

Post by Fred G. Unn »

RMK wrote:You can use different algorithms in the same file via the note spacing plug-in:
... and here are the results:
SibSpacingPlugIn.jpg
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Peter West
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Re: Spacing proportions and settings

Post by Peter West »

The problem(though not insurmountable) that arises from mixing algorithms is that you'll lose them in the extracted (or linked) parts as they will always set to the default (current setting) for the whole part. The work can be re-done part-by part though.

I sometimes use the allotment libraries to shorten whole and dotted whole notes, especially if the spacing is greater than q = 6 spaces. This prevents long note bars being too long, and the default bar rest length is set to the same as the whole note, so it helps keep them shorter.
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Fred G. Unn
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Re: Spacing proportions and settings

Post by Fred G. Unn »

Here are a couple of interesting scans from books I have on the subject. The first is from William Gamble, "Music Engraving and Printing," 1923, pg 131:

Image

He avoids going into an exact method stating "It is more easy for the beginner in music engraving to have a definite amount to give for the spacing, but the experienced engraver does not need such aid." To me this seems like he is going by eye and not really thinking in terms of a mathematical ratio. When he does give mathematical spacing advice, it is just along the lines of "if the spacing is set for a crotchet, one more space must be allowed when a minim is encountered." Quite frankly, I don't find this terribly helpful since we don't know the amount of space he's allotted for the crochet. Is he really saying regardless of how many spaces a quarter is allotted, a half is always one space more? I find that pretty hard to believe, but instead is conveying the point that obviously a half needs to be allotted more space than a quarter, but probably not twice as much, or he would have likely said so.

Here's Ted Ross on the subject too, from his 1970 book pgs 76-77:

Image

In contrast to Gamble, he actually dictates an exact formula. If we examine the ratios, eighth to quarter is 1.4, quarter to half is 1.36, and half to whole is 1.53. I'm assuming these must be close to what Sibelius is using in the "Ted Ross" spacing algorithm. Looking at the "Sibelius - Ted Ross" example I posted above, to me it seems like the half doesn't get enough space compared to the quarters and eighths. If they are using these spacing values, that seems to make sense as the quarter to half ratio is only 1.36. There is a lot of personal preference here, but remember 1:1 means all notes get the same spacing, so anything sub-1.4 seems like the note values aren't being represented as clearly as they could to my eye.
Last edited by Fred G. Unn on 20 Oct 2015, 17:04, edited 1 time in total.

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John Ruggero
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Re: Spacing proportions and settings

Post by John Ruggero »

Just for the record and from the samples that you have shown, I seem to prefer the scaling factor of 1.414. But of course, once accidentals are added into the mix, and all the other spacing requirements...
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