Stave space

• Oct 3, 2016 - 08:56

The default value for the sp unit is 1.764. Why this value?


Not exactly sure why it's so precise (maybe because of inch/mm conversion) but it's about 7mm for a staff height and it seems 7mm is standard for single parts, piano music and songs. (See Behind Bars by Elaine Gould, page 483)

Could it be...?

In typesetting there is a measure called a "pica"
A pica has been defined as 1/6 of an inch or 0.1660 inches
A pica can be divided into 12 points
A common height for a stave is 20 points
There are approximately 25.4mm in an inch

20 points = 20 picas divided by 12 = 0.277777778
Converting this to millimetres we get 7.055555556
Dividing this by 4 (there are four spaces) gives approximately 1.764

Some allowance might need to be made for "British", "American" and "International" inch definitions.

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