Struggling to position/space elements in choral score (lyrics, extensions, hairpins, etc.)

• Aug 18, 2022 - 21:15

I'm re-creating a 50th-generation photocopy of an originally handwritten (therefore, hard-to-read) score. It's mostly going quite well but I've hit on a few measures where I just can't position things correctly.

Specific issues (pic 1 has mm. 37-38; pic 2 has m. 39):
1) mm. 37-38, the Soprano/Alto lyric extension is in the E space of the Tenor part. How can I move it up, closer to the S/A staff?
2) m. 39, the extension is below the hairpin and collides with the Tenor 1 dynamic marking
3) mm. 37-39, the Tenor 1 lyrics are below the Tenor 2 extension. (In the original that I'm working from, the T1 lyrics are actually above the staff but that really wasn't working, either.) How can I get the T1 part above the T2 part?
4) m. 39, the hairpin for Tenor 2 bumped the fermata on beat 1 down
5) m. 39, I'd like the hairpins to be below the lyrics
6) mm. 37-38, can I add more space between the Soprano/Alto line and the Tenor line?

I can't seem to find a way to position things where they need to be. Any suggestions? Thanks.

EDIT: I attached the score.

Attachment Size
blackbird01.png 124.33 KB
blackbird02.png 26.1 KB
Blackbird.mscz 30.15 KB


Hello! Unfortunately the automatic collision avoidance algorithm doesn't really understand these melisma lines, and there isn't any manual good control over their appearance either. So for example, in bar 37, the continuation is just preserving the same vertical position from bar 36 even though that isn't really appropriate. I can't think of a great solution here. But a possible hack approach would be, lose the extender on the syllable itself but then add lines manually from the Lines palette.

To add space between staves, use a spacer from the Breaks & Spacers palette.

As for reversing the default positions of things - that is, when one item is above another but you want it the other way around - try disabling autoplace for one or the other. Usually it is best to disable it for the one that is currently closer to the staff but that you want to move further away. Then autoplace can still do its job for the one you do want closer to the staff. To disable autolace, see the checkbox in the Inspector, or the shortcut "="

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