Option to move the first note under a volta to the right if there is a chord symbol, dyanamic or other element above it.

• Oct 14, 2021 - 21:28

In the type of music I score in MS, the music is almost always a melody line, chords, a first and second ending on each part - not much more. MS is more than excellently equipped for this.

However, one of the things I almost always do is to move the first note of first and second endings to the right a little so that the voltas don't get force upward by having a chord after the volta number (and that often add a spacing between staves, which my OCD self finds troublesome).

Here are two examples. First, what MS does by default. Then what it looks like after I move those notes.

My request/suggestion is to have an option that shifts right the first note under a volta by a specified amount. It could even be something more automated, as in, do it only if there is a chord or dynamic on the note and only shift it enough so that the volta isn't raised.

One comment on this suggestion in FB was "this will serve everyone who writes lead sheets, and will be a welcome suggestion in the ongoing effort to make musescore a cleaner and more intuitive engraving software. Many people probably don't realize that they specifically want this change, but they will appreciate it when it comes." - Thomas Elley


Moving the chord symbol is a nice simple approach, and I use it occasionally. But it's not really ideal in contexts with a lot of notes or a lot of chord symbols, as it throws off the alignment and can make the measure look too crowded or confuse the issue of which note the chord symbol applies to (although in practice, we "probably? know it's the first).

You can also move the volta itself, that's what the jazz templates do by default. To me this looks marginally better than moving the chord symbol, but still kind of "off". Same for adding leading space to just these measures.

So I wonder what the actual most common approach is used by different publishers? I'd be most interested in seeing us automate whatever are the most common solutions actually used in published music.

I've tried looking into this briefly before, but a problem is it can be hard to find examples where we have voltas with chord symbols and also voltas without chord symbols within the same publication, to compare layouts.

But the best I am able to piece together in a bit of browsing is that most publications that include chord symbols, the distance from barline to first note is simply greater across the board than our default, so there is less of a problem, Some publishers also seem fine with voltas that are just extra high.

BTW, I note that in this particular example, there are also measure numbers on every measure, which actually make the first beats look kind of crowded throughout. So in this case, maybe it does make more sense to simply up the "Note left margin" globally for the score in Format / Style / Measure. Although, if you set the measures numbers to centered instead of left-aligned, then that also kind of solves that problem. The default of left-aligned makes more sense when also using the default of only displaying them every system instead of every measure. Still, the problem exists with the voltas, and I think maybe upping the left distance on scores like this is perhaps the "right" approach.

More examples from more publishers would be nice for comparison. One way or another, it would be good to have better results "right out of the box" - it would just be good to have some good models for what that really should mean.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

fwiw ... the solution I see as preferred would be to automatically move the first note of the measure rather than the chord. Did not mean to imply otherwise.

Also, the measure numbers in the example - I never use them unless I am sending something to a friend to discuss and so I have. never optimized size or placement

In reply to by DMarcus123

Yes, I got that was your suggestion. I'm just observing that there are multiple ways one could potentially solve the problem, but the one we do automatically should be the one actually used the most in published music. HEnce the desire to see a range of published examples to help us decide.

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