In 2/4, spacing of notes in two voices when one voice has a dotted quarter

• Jun 6, 2021 - 23:26

This is a little complicated to explain. I have worked on this 'spacing' problem for a couple of days. Please see the attached file. [** Please also see the explanation at the end of this message.]
The 'example' is 2 bars long, and I have presented 8 versions, separated by thin double bar lines. The first of the two bars are the same in all eight versions.
The second bar, with the tied dotted-quarter note in another voice, does not seem to respond 'correctly' to the:
Measure Properties > Layout Stretch
The original version is m 3-4.
The distance between the first and second eighth-notes remains too large, when the stretch percentage percentage is below 90%.
In m2, I changed the tied dotted-quarter to rests. In m10, I changed all of the values to eighth notes, to get a 'standard' with which to measure how the "stretch" functions. It functions as expected.
It also functioned, as expected when the 'dot' is removed and replaced by eighth-note rests as in m17. In m17 in the score, when the dot is added to the quarter-note, the "stretch" function no longer works.
[**] . . . I have just found out it is related to the accidental on the following eight-note. Removing or hiding the accidental removes the irregularity in the spacing.

Attachment Size
TEST File Spacing .mscz 22.26 KB


If I'm understanding correctly, you are asking the amount of space after the note on the first beat of the measure? MuseScore is trying to make sure there is a consistent amount of space between notes, but in this particular case, it ends up being inconsistent because of the note in voice 2 on the opposite side of the stem from the voice one note and the calculation for that specific case isn't sufficiently accurate. Spacing within a measure isn't something that stretch would normally affect except quite indirectly. Instead, reduce the leading space on the next note. You can then decide for yourself how much allowance you want to make for that voice 2 note.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you. I had read this in the documentation, but the vocabulary is not one that I was familiar with. A very careful reading of the documentation explains that there are several different kinds of things going on here. Years ago I was in the world of Finale, and one feature of the editing of space / distribution was a little visual editing window that could be placed above a measure.
It had two rows. The top showed the 'default' positions of the beats/subdivisions, and the bottom showed the exact position of every note [or more likely stem] in the bar. In all of the parts, all of the voices.
The bottom row of little squares was very much WYSIWYG. This made the situation much clearer.
There were no 'Inspector' values to be worked with, and trying to figure out what they changed, and how.
The 'note' was wherever it was placed. It wasn't a number, unless I wanted to apply a specific value to it.
I could place the 'beat' location wherever I wanted -- using the graphic, and I could move individual notes away from this default position.
The documentation on this point, I find 'obscure'. A simple annotated image would make this much clearer.
The stretch function I have used to force a 'lost' measure, back onto the staff system above.
It may not have been designed for this function, but I have difficulty forcing measures back onto a staff system once MuseScore has decided there is no space.
I have used the 'stretch' function to make bars appear 'balanced' on a system. Sometimes a few .9's will do do, sometimes [in this situation] I have gone down to .7 and .6, and at some point, they can't be made smaller with this function.
I remember that there is a 'local' spacing option -- which I will look into shortly, where the spacing rules between voices are relaxed. That may also be a [generalized] solution to my problem here.
This example is from #141 in Volume VI of Bartok's Mikrokosmos. The last 43 pages of the score seem to present only a few really difficult passages for note entry. My next step is to enter all of the fingering, dynamics and articulations, which I can see will provide me with several rather tough weeks.
The edition I am using is variable on how to place seconds in two voices, eg G# and A, and even more difficult in cases such as #144.
Take care.

In reply to by kevin.austin@v…

The Inspector is a nice precise and way to do it and get the same results reproducibly, which is why I generally prefer it. But if you prefer working manually and eyeballing things, there are a number of different adjustments that can be made by dragging. For adjusting the leading space, it's just plain horizontal drag.

Reducing stretch is indeed a way to force a measure onto a system that doesn't technically fit given your style settings. But, the spacing will normally be uneven unless you apply it consistently. Better usually to simply change your style settings - eg, reduce the overall Spacing setting in Format / Style / Measure. Then add breaks where desired.

By "local" spacing I believe you are referring to the local relayout for beamed notes, when can be useful indeed.

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