Change Stave Dimensions for certain pages.

• May 23, 2020 - 17:50

Yes we have talked about this before, there are breakers... BUT BUT BUT, what if you have a gigantic orchestral score, with over 20 staves? Putting breakers AT LEAST in one page is just painful. So why not have the option to change stave dimensions for specific number of pages. Generall: Be able to not modify every page's style at the same time. Perhaps there could be a system that could detect how much space the titles in the first page occupy and fix the style on its own. Probably too hi tech but sounds nice.


In reply to by ♪𝔔𝔲𝔞𝔳𝔢𝔯 ℭ𝔯𝔞𝔣𝔱𝔢𝔯♪

Yes that's really common in almost any score (orchestral)... that's why I think it will be important in using the whole pages in Musescore. Right now you will either have the title in another page, and all other pages filling the whole page (unless some pages are full of instruments and other specified examples) or have the title in same page as the first staves, but the other pages will not fill the whole paper.

In reply to by bobjp

Wha- what? I did not really get that... But example: check Dover's rite of Spring score and then check mooing's rescoring it for Musescore... You'll see that something is off: too much air and in the original edition the staves are bigger and the page look more filled up. I'm not sure what you meant with those parts thing.

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

@lothes... You wrote:
...then check mooing's rescoring it for Musescore... You'll see that something is off: too much air...

The "air" is produced by the staff spacers that he added to increase the distance between the staves. With that much whitespace, it could cause issues with trying to increase the staff size (to improve note readability).
As you wrote below: Breakers won't do the job, they just add more air...
I agree. Staff spacers can sometimes be the wrong tool.
See my other reply to you below.

In reply to by bobjp

I also like full scores, particularly when "sight" conducting. In addition to the "hunt the 2nd trumpet" problem there is also the problem when the score goes from one system on a page to two systems and I turn the page before reading the second system. There then follows a period during which I wave the stick aimlessly while trying to look confident but inwardly panicking while trying to work out why the band is playing something different from what I am seeing.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Wait- I don't get you... please give an example of what you are speaking of... I cannot really tell what you both dislike. But what I say is for paper and space saving. Also even if you dislike it (not sure if you talk abou what I talk) many would like that feature, I believe. Besides I believe every professional notation software should have that feature! And it can be seen in MOST orchestral classical scores. Breakers won't do the job, they just add more air while we need more paper occupation but without empty staves, only useful information.

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

MuseScore can quite easily do a close reproduction of that single page you attached in 3494347_02.jpg. Set "Hide empty staves within systems" and uncheck "Don't hide empty staves in first system" in the Format->Style->Score settings and then adjust the stave space scaling in Format->Page Settings to get a nice sizing for the staves.

As I understand it you are saying that something in the layout should change in subsequent pages and MuseScore can't handle that. Well, show us the subsequent pages and tell us what it is that you think MuseScore can't do.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Yes... I know that I can hide empty staves and adjust the space between staves. But we should reach a point where we don't have to use breakers(?)...
This cannot happen if you must have the same spaces and stave size in every page! Look:
Some pages, where many instruments must play, there is required a small size for staves.
And if there are less instruments playing you can have bigger size.
Bad thing in Musescore is that you can't have different sizes for different pages and so every page's stave size is the same as the one's page with the most staves on it, and thus that ONE page looks fulfilling but the the other pages will need breaks but even then, there is still space to maximize the size of the staves ,in those pages.
This is important because:
1. You don't need to use breakers(?)
2. Becomes easier to read pages like those (as you can see in my other comment with the 2 images)
3. Full use of the paper's space. that's actually like no2 reason.
If you know what I suggest, you'll see that this is way too common in scores.
You can think of it like that: You right-click and select Page settings (or was it style?). Then you do what you want to change in the settings but with the difference that: you can select to which pages the changes will apply.

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

"Bad thing in Musescore is that you can't have different sizes for different pages and so every page's stave size is the same as the one's page with the most staves on it".

It seems you are saying you want staves to be differently scaled on different pages so that for example the height (E line to F line for a treble clef) is perhaps 7 mm on page 1, 20 mm on page 2 and 15 mm on page 3. That would look awful!

If that is not what you are saying, please let us see example pages (i.e more than 1) of a published score showing the different individual page layouts to illustrate what you want.

In reply to by bobjp

@Steve : I cannot send any example right now... But for the moment you can go find (imslp perhaps) a score for huge orchestra and see 2-3pages where the first will have the full orchestra playing while the others will have less instruments playing. Usually the difference in size is not huge but still there is. Seriously, I still think it's common. Most publishers do it.(?)
@Bob:... Yes perhaps that was a lame excuse, let's say it's for the sake of not zooming to much into the score to see and generally for easier reading... Sometimes.

In reply to by bobjp

We need to see more than 1 page of a published score that conforms to whatever is the ideal that is being asked for. Currently we have an example that is only a single page and MuseScore can produce a very similar result of that single page quite nicely. What I don't understand is what happens on page 2 or later of the published score that MuseScore is not able to reproduce. A MuseScore file might be useful to play with to work out how to achieve the desired effect, but first we need to understand what the desired effect actually is.

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

@lothes... You wrote:
You can see how the original can be read more easily with bigger stave dimensions...

I completely agree. In fact, your "3494347_02.jpg" looks similar to:

See my post below for the actual MuseScore (.mscz) file of the above image.

The score you dislike (the one posted on .com) is not ideally formatted, as I explain elsewhere.

In reply to by graphos

@graphos... You wrote:
Here four consecutive pages from Strauss' Eine Alpensinfonie, edition Leuckart, where the staff size is different in every page.

Do you mean staff size, or staff spacing?

I took your Strauss 01 and cut some snippets to overlay and check to see if any different:

I did the same with Strauss 02:

The staff size looks the same.

The spacing - distance from one staff to the next - varies.

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

I was addressing @graphos about the four pages "where the staff size is different in every page".
I actually used those images and directly compared (by overlaying) the staff sizes and they were not different.

I see that the staff distance varied (especially due to leger lines). MuseScore handles this, too.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

I'm talking about the staff size. With that I mean that each staff within a system (in this case one system in each page) has the same size. The staff size in page 9 is smaller than in page 8, while it is actually the same in in page 10 and 11 (my bad, it seemed smaller). However, the staff size in page 10 and 11 is smaller than in page 8 and 9. So in total there are three pages with three different staff sizes. I have the physical copy, but I can try to send another scan where the pictures are taken from exactly the same distance.
As I said in the previous message, this is a study (pocket) score and not a conductor's score.

Your attachment: "Screenshot_com.brave_.browser_2020-06-01-09-24-03.png" was captured from the web, perhaps with your phone (judging by the battery level and "4G" text):

Rite screenshot.png

You are correct about there being too much air. However, that web display does not show this:
I downloaded the score to check it out and discovered that spacers were intentionally placed to increase the distance between staves.

For brevity, here's the MuseScore file of just the first page of that actual score: The_Rite_of_Spring_Part_One_The_Adoration_of_the_Earth2.mscz
You can open it in MuseScore and see the staff spacers.

As I mentioned earlier (in a post above), staff spacers are not always the proper tool.
There are better ways to obtain something like this:
Here's the file of that image - which you can also open in MuseScore to compare the two:

There are a bunch of formatting tools which take time to discover and learn how to effectively apply for a given situation.
Much of the layout difficulties people encounter can usually be handled by correctly setting staff distance, minimum system distance, and maximum system distance.
Those are the settings which help to fill the page without resorting to excessive use of staff spacers on every page.

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

Not necessarily mess up - depends on the score. It may improve them, especially if staves are hidden.

The most requested reason that I've seen for desiring a different staff size (usually smaller) on a page is for the title page. That is, to make the staves smaller so that the title can fit above the system without requiring a separate page for only the title.
This would be useful when the score has a lot of instruments and they are all shown on the first page (because the empty staves are not hidden for that page), and when only one system can fit on the page. Thereafter, on the following pages (without the title frame) the system can hold (slightly) larger staves to reclaim that space.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

well that's actually another reason I wanted to state (but couldn't think at that time). But I still wonder about whether the pages will mess up after making the staves bigger... Just wonder... Why do you think mooing (The one who recreated Dover's 1929 score of Rite of Spring) keep them small (or look like so in certain pages). The most probable answer is that it would indeed change a lot of stuff in the other pages, and this is supposed to be "a recreation". So mooing couldn't make them bigger for the sake of keeping the same pages number as in the original (because there are 3 major publications of rite of spring and not just one).
And about the spacers (which I thought were called breakers lol)... I believe some may not want to use any of them if possible.
That's why I believe my idea (which I believe is a really simple concept) may help in not just finding space for title and occupying more space but perhaps other less major stuff we cannot think of now.
Well I personally find the idea really comprehensive (?) but all this conversation makes my concept more problematic. I do not think my idea has any cons: it doesn't change anything, instead it just adds options.
Maybe it could be hard to implement, so that's why there's such commotion(?).

In reply to by Jm6stringer

@Jm6stringer, I checked few other scores and found out that also Eulenburg in Strauss' Don Juan slightly changes the staff size per page if needed, as in the example I posted. Boosey&Hawkes changes it in Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring but it doesn't in Petrouchka. Durand does it in Messiean's Turangalîla-Symphonie. Petrouchka is quite interesting as the layout is organised through staff spacing with at times quite a lot of white space. All the ones I checked are study score, not conductor's scores (not sure about Messiaen though as I checked it from Nkoda).

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

Because of his staff scaling. Compare my 2 MuseScore attachments and use menu item:
Format -> Page Settings... and compare his 'Scaling'.
His staves are not "tall" and so he leaves a lot of extra whitespace which he took up by using staff spacers rather than making the staves themselves "bigger" overall.

@lothes... To recap

You requested the ability to modify the stave dimensions (you probably mean scaling) for certain pages. You also wrote:
Yes that's really common in almost any score (orchestral)...

This prompted @bobjp who wrote:
I like every page to be the same. I want to reliably know where to look for the 2nd trumpet part on every page, rather than hunt for it.

@Steve Blower added:
I also like full scores...In addition to the "hunt the 2nd trumpet" problem there is also the problem when the score goes from one system on a page to two systems...
(Admittedly, here we are not really talking about 2 systems on a page - although mooring's score shows this.)

You mentioned mooring's rescoring of Rite of Spring, with too much "air" and attached 3494347_02.jpg showing only one page, which prompted this reply from @SteveBlower:
We need to see more than 1 page of a published score that conforms to whatever is the ideal that is being asked for.

(As you have seen, I took that first page from mooring's real score and showed that the "air" you complained about came from intentionally placed staff spacers, and among my postings I showed a way to "fix" it and make that page more readable.)

You reiterated:
I believe every professional notation software should have that feature! And it can be seen in MOST orchestral classical scores.

That's what we wanted to see - what you see in MOST orchestral classical scores.

Then, @graphos provided "four consecutive pages from Strauss' Eine Alpensinfonie, edition Leuckart, where the staff size is different in every page."
You thanked him. He mentions they are "study scores".
I then showed that those 4 pages were not "different in every page".

So... my question to you:
Can you attach a .pdf of a multi-page score showing this feature you say is "really common in almost any score (orchestral)" and is what you see "in MOST orchestral classical scores".
Even a few links to the many scores you reference would be helpful so we can see real published instance(s) of exactly what you mean.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

I just noticed you wanted a pdf file... I got screenshots instead, but I'll tell you that All of them are of pages of the same size, which are zoomed and brought in the same scale (208%), by the way they are all from IMSLP (except Oedipus Rex) so you can go check.
Here are the common things in the following screenshots:
1. They are comprised of more screenshots of some pages of the SAME score each. For example the first one contains pages from La mer only and another from Bolero Only.
2. The screenshots IN the screenshots I give bellow, are scaled in the same scale (208% in my viewer)
3. The left-most page will always be the best and the right -most is the last page of the work (perhaps one exception which I don't remember.) I have brought the staves of each page as near as possible so it's easier to see the differences.
4. I made sure that the scores aren't made by the same publisher, meaning there are various (perhaps one could be Dover again).
So here is the order of the screenshots:
1st: Bolero , Ravel
2nd: La Mer , Debussy
3rd: 5 Orchestral Pieces , Schoenberg
4th Oedipus Rex, Sravinsky (again)
5th: DA 9th, Beethoven (no difference in stave size here, only stave distance)

I believe most classical music fans and composers will not notice that thing... probably because most examples can be found in 20th century pieces, with huge orchestras (while most just hear romantic, baroque and classical music). there must be few classical and romantic pieces where there can be found pages showing few instruments playing and then the full orchestra playing. (Don't look at cadenzas, it's 1-2 staves which can fit without changing the stave size) In 9th all I could see is the full orchestra playing ALL the time: actually there was a time that only cellos and contrabasses were playing and it seemed that the empty staves weren't hidden.

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La Mer.png 1.05 MB
5orch.png 1.69 MB
OedipusRex.png 1.37 MB
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In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

Also, I already added that 3 of the 4 pages of the Alpensinfonie actually had different staff sizes per page (ok not 4 out of 4, but 3 out of 4... plus the rest of the score shows the same feature), same as in Strauss' Don Juan (Eulenburg), Rite of Spring (Boosey&Hawkes), Messiaen's Turangalila (Durand), then you brought Bolero and La Mer, also Durand I think, then Schönberg (I guess Peters), Oedipus Rex, (Boosey & Hawkes). Yes, it is used in many large orchestra scores from the late romantic period / beginning of twentieth century, with compositions written by very known composers and published by famous and respected publishers. No doubt about that, and funnily enough I never paid too much attention to it. I suspect the staff size change is used mostly in study scores rather than conductor's scores because of the limited page size, but I'll ask few colleagues and report.

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

I cannot say for sure, that's a bit my hypothesis at the moment :-) My examples were taken from pocket scores, although I can't be 100% sure about Messiaen as I checked it from Nkoda. My reasoning is that with a small format the idea is to enlarge the staff size when possible, and reduce it when the systems are fuller, but I don't know. I now asked a couple of colleagues definitely more expert on the conducting side for their opinion. I just got really curious about this as I did notice it before, but never really paid too much attention to it.

In reply to by graphos

Me neither... I MEAN-
My conclusion is basically: if it is done in study scores it will be done in conducting scores... For similar reasons. After all those scores have bigger size to be more clear and easier to see from far... thus better to occupy the most space on those large pages too.

But please let's not specify on stave sizes and distance only... I want to generalize and say that this feature should be for (if possible) every setting found in page style/settings. Lol, pardon me for repeating myself. xD

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

A couple more things to consider.

You may not have seen many real life scores for full orchestra. They are not printed on standard US sized (8.5x 11 inch) paper. They are often printed on paper almost twice as big, or more. This is part of why I said that I like every page to look the same.

The scores you posted that show different spacing on different pages are hard to read for me. I don't see any value in reproducing an old score exactly as it is. Why? The score you are copying has already done its thing, so to speak. You need to make it better. I do see value in making it easier to read.

In reply to by bobjp

But it has been tested: look at Steve's resizing of staves of the first page of the rite of Spring and then look at mooing's unedited. Even if you don't like, I believe there are many others who would see that and perhaps agree. I'm not trying to be arrogant in order to finish this whole story with the feature... But reality is I'm fed up after 50 comments and I still find the feature a major thing to add.

Edit: I actually just saw that you believe reproducing old scores is pointless and you need to "improve" them... Some people like me may still find that "too much unoccupied space" unfulfilling.

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

I'm actually not objecting to what you want. As I understand it, there are ways to do most of it. It comes down to the motivation. What is the goal here? Is it to make a more legible score? Is it to preserve the score for future generations? Is it to make the music ready for a live performance? Or to be performed by a computer?

You don't like all the empty measures. Yet on some level, the silence of those instruments is just as important as the notes in the other instruments. This is the nature and strength of the orchestra. It is the twisting and turning of textures that is the allure of writing for orchestra. For me at least. I don't view a score simply as notes on a page. I think of a score as more of a treasure map to be followed. To do so, I need all the elements.

Many people use the hide empty staves idea to see only the notes being played. Also to save paper. I have no issue with that. It just depends on the goal. I realize that my problem is that I'm an old guy. While I embrace technology, I am also a bit old fashioned. I use notation software to create new things, not what has already been done. We are in the midst of complaints about copyright problems that I am not involved in at all. Thank goodness.

In reply to by bobjp

I mostly want it because it will help me to set up each page individually in an easier way (and in the first place modify each page individually). For example I want in a page to fit 3 systems(?) or four like in the final page of Oedipus Rex. If I set the staff size this may help set up the page like that but it might ruin other pages, where you might have more instruments playing but it could fill the 3/4ths of the page. In this case you must be able to apply a specific size for that specific page. Another reason, besides trying to fill pages and even try to save some, is that some people like them because simply: bigger= easier to read. I believe that there could be other benefits out of it because we are only talking about staff size now (while the whole topic is about page style and settings generally). Some might find those really trivial details while others, like me, believe this helps in making the score look more elegant (also having a lot of space unoccupied/blank is a bit displeasing especially when it can be used to see orchestral scores with huge orchestras more clearly).

Not sure how live performances and computer playbacks have any connection...

I don't get the philosophy in the 2nd paragraph clearly... What did you mean?

Also, hiding empty staves sounds logical to many because, why would you look at empty staves? If you aren't used to seeing modern scores then I guess don't hide them. But the result of hiding them is that you can save (perhaps a lot of) paper in some cases. And have bigger staff size for easier reading.

It doesn't matter what you like of course (not sure why you are talking about your old-fashioned tastes but I don't mind). And I didn't propose this idea to recreate something (like mooing did). There might be scores which need less pages with this idea.

By the way about using software to recreate scores for Musescore... I personally use the recreation if Rite of Spring to study the different voices found in it: it makes understanding the score less time consuming by just listening to the voices separately and examining the score in Musescore.Also...

Copyrights? I haven't uploaded anything personally and all the score excerpts I shared are of scores found in imslp, free to view and download.

This idea won't destroy anything (unlike my idea for time stretching)... It will just make Musescore more appealing to people like me (who care about those aspects of a score too) and make scores be more customizable.

I hate it when I modify a page to "fix" by destroying all the others... but we should also be able to modify every page at the same time.

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

Oh man. I thought the second paragraph was rather artful. Oh well. Sigh.
Thanks for putting up with what I'm sure you think are odd questions.
Oh I've seen plenty of scores that hide empty staves. It's nothing new.
I thought you meant empty measures when you said empty space.

I am a bit curious as to what you plan to do with this score after you finish. You say you use it to study the orchestration. That's all well and good. But you want the score to look elegant. That says to me that you might upload it to the .com site. Maybe someone can answer this for me. What happens to the hide empty staves format. Is it retained when someone downloads it? Especially on a tablet. I don't know these things because I don't have much use for the .com MuseScore.

In reply to by bobjp

I don't plan to do anything with it afterwards. The fact that Musescore has playback and I can mute any instrument I want to hear them individually is just making my understanding of this piece faster.... I have to say the score keeps amazing me.

Also I don't believe it's worth uploading. The one which currently exists is fine. And if you I to conduct the piece I can take the score from imslp. Wait you thought it didn't exist? If you hide empty staves they remain hidden in .com site and when you download them they still remain hidden. I naturally believe the developers try to keep it updated and make scores in it look like when they are viewed in the software.

Also... There are still some updates that I want to recreate scores for Musescore (mostly for studying them). The first would be this one here. Another is making trills with accidentals work in more "professional" and not the current way, by using other voices.

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

I mean in a separate thread. And what I mean by specific is, describe exactly what the options would be, what dialog you think they would go into, how you would want MuseScore to decide when to increase staff size (very rare in published music) versus staff distance (very common), how it should handle cases where they are multiple systems on the page, etc. Those are the hard to questions to answer and the reason why this hasn't been implemented already - no one has yet to come up with a really good solid proposal for exactly how it should all work.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Please don't say that changing staff size is rare we did a whole discussion above xD. Only people who like to look at 20th century (first half) music scores can see it (and perhaps later on).

I see what you mean. It indeed looks kinda hard to think of a solution and I still believe it's worth adding. Like... How do all those modern publishers even do that? Well that's another story so when I have the time to find out a great enough solution I shall write a new thread (I already have shaped one but half-done).

It still kinda bothers me that people don't like to occupy more space by changing stave dimensions...

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

It is rare, that's exactly what the fact that only a small handful of examples were found demonstrates. Whereas I have literally thousands that do not do this. So I'm not saying the option shouldn't;t be present, but that the way the options work should not prevent people from doing the common thing (increasing distance) by forcing them into the uncommon one (increasing size).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I don't think my idea is difficult to be implemented: all you need to do is add some more options before pushing the "apply" button in style/page settings.For example:

-Options: Apply to: [insert page numbers like this: 1,2,5,8etc or this 1-18 for obvious function]

Uh actually that's all... And I do not think it's uncommon for the staff size to vary slightly from page to page in scores with MANY parts. But it can only be seen in such works. I mean compare what we said: Rite of Spring Dover Edition (1929) and it's cooresponding "re-engraving" for Musescore by mooing user. I cannot fetch the link to that one but it's easy to find: simply search "Rite of Spring" in and you'll find it.

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

Like I said, in order to implement something, we'd need a very clear design that specified exactly what all the options would be and how they would interact with each other.

Dover editions, btw, are mostly just photocopies of other editions, and most likely the scale the photocopies as they go. So they don't really represent how music is normally published.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Well it's not only Dover, but EVEN THEN it is bad for some that every page will have the same stave size size as the page with the most parts, which means that in a page which could fit less parts(= less staves, because it's a moment with less instruments playing) there is too much unoccupied space which they might want to use. But seriously which did you prefer?

I guess I'll have to download something to show the design? (Although it will just be an addition of few buttons?)

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

Seriously I prefer what the majority
of editions do, which is keep a consistent staff size and at most vary staff distances.

In proposing a design, you don’t need fancy to screenshots or anything, just a written description of all the options and how they would interact in various situations (eg, how MuseScore would decide when to apply the staff size vs staff distance vs system distance adjustment). That’s the hard part no one has yet come up with a good plan for.

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

Oh, so you are talking about a completely manual process, where you go and place page breaks your self and then tell MuseScore specifically on each page what size you want? That much is indeed conceptually simpler. But mostly people want things more automatic than that. So maybe the staff distance adjustment is automatic, but size is manual?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

what- still no xD. I want automatic not manual, no breaks(?) Involved and what do you mean what size on each page? If breaker (?) Size, then I'm not sure that it makes sense. I hate spacers... I want to eradicate their uses xD (but they might prove useful sometime). Let me rephrase:

Right now in Musescore you can change stave size through page settings(or style?). So you say what size you want (the area with millimeters) as usual, and you get that usual preview of the pages. And then you click apply/ok or whatever and close right? Well my idea is just an addition to those changes: you'll just have an area (like when you want to print) like page filters that let you apply those changes ONLY to on specific pages... Not sure if you still get it :')

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

Yes, that's exactly what I mean by being manual - you are choosing which pages you want to be larger, and you are choosing for each of those pages how much larger you want them. Since pages can change every time you edit the score in any way (eg, adding a single note to measure 1 could conceivably push one measure off first page onto the second, which in turn pushes a measure off that page onto the third, etc to the end of the score), the only way you can possible attach specific settings to specific pages is using page breaks. No one said anything about spacers.

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

Oh by the way... A measure which moved to the next page (which had other characteristics than the first one), because of inserting anore or smthing, will now "adopt" the "next" page's settings. And I'm thinking that when a page is deleted and then "respawn" because of changes in the score, then that new page will have the default settings. So you must edit such pages. Or perhaps we could have another system for those?

Something along these lines will be included in the 3.6 release, at least the page will be filled if it's not already. I don't think that automatically shrinking a page or giving the ability to do that is on the table. We'll have to rally the troops to demand this if it's not in the 3.6 release, perhaps we can get it in 4.0.

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