Style -> General -> Notes

• Oct 23, 2016 - 22:47

What functions do 'Shorten stems', 'Progression' and 'Shortest stem' serve? The online handbook did not explain much.


Stem shortening is applied to notes whose stems extend outside the staff - basically, upstem notes that are above the staff or downstem notes that are below the staf (eg, in a multivoice context). Full length stems extending above or below the staff would likely create conflicts with other markings or other staves, so the usual convention is to gradually shorten them the farther from the staff they would otherwise go. These settings control how this happens.

In reply to by pianopanda8

For notes with stems extending beyond the staff, the stems get progressively shorter and shorter as the note gets higher and higher (for stems extending above the staff) or lower and lower (for stems extending below the staff). The "Progression" setting controls how much shorter the stem gets at each successive step.

This is not a setting most people would ever need to touch, but if you do have a special need to, some playing around with them should make it clearer. Try, for instance, setting both progression and shortest stem to 1 sp, entering middle C on treble clef, forcing the stem up by press "X" twice, and watching what happens as you press Up to raise the pitch all the way to C above the staff.

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