measure sizes change when adjusting the notes' pitches

• Aug 18, 2022 - 00:27

The measure sizes change when adjusting the notes' pitches. See "Heard It Grapevine" on page two starting at measure 42 of attached file. I copied the lead part from measure 44 to the other 2 parts below the lead part. When I adjusted the pitch of these notes the measure length changed such that measure 44 would go to a new line. When I tried to stretch the measure length back to the original size II could not restore measures 39 to 44 to oneline, The measure lengths could be adjusted, but there was always two lines instead of one line.

Attachment Size
One_Country_vocals 8-14-22.mscz 28.2 KB


You wrote:
I could not restore measures 39 to 44 to one line.

When I open your file, I see Measures 39 to 44 on one "line" (aka "system").

In reply to by Jm6stringer

Yes, presently measures 39 to 44 are on the same line.. but if i try to drag the pitch of the notes on the 3rd part in measure 44 down to A, the measure length changes. This puts measure 44 on the next line. There is a line feed on measure 44 so measure 44 becomes very stretched and its own line.
See attached for re-enactments...


In reply to by beisner666

First, dragging is not a recommended way of changing pitches, too easy to accidentally adjust the horizontal or vertical position as well. Much better to use the cursor keys.

Anyhow, yes, it's certainly true that if you change the content of a measure, that can affect its width. Changing pitch of a note can change stem direction, for example, which can then impact spacing, particularly if there are also flags. Same if ledger lines get added or removed. And obviously, accidentals.

So, those measures just barely on the edge of not fitting on one system already, the changed pushed it over the edge. But in this case at least, easy enough to fix. Just select the measures you want to squeeze onto one line and press "{" one or more times to reduce the "stretch" factor that is applied. If they can physical fit given your current settings for staff size and minimum note distance etc, they will be made to fit. And if it's not possible given those settings, then those become the settings to reduce. Staff size is controlled in Format / Page Settings; minimum note distance in Format / Style / Measure. Usually a slight reduction in staff size yields more readable results - trying to force more onto a system than works naturally leads the page to look crowded. Slightly smaller staves end up being easier to read because then things have more breathing room.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you for your response Marc.
Same problem occurred with drag or arrow keys.
I had tried the stretching with "{" or "}". I had tried on and before measure 44. I tried one measure at a time, measure 39 to 44, 39 to 43 etc. measure 44 stays below.
Changing the 'Note to barline distance' in Format / Style / Measure from 1.50sp to 1.00sp worked. Seems odd that only changing pitch required so much adjustment in the set up file.

Thanks again Marc.

In reply to by beisner666

Changing ptuches doesn't require any othetr changes at all. it's just a choice, whether you want to squeeze more measures onto a system than actually fit given your current settings. if you do, then indeed, you need to change some settings.

But's only one adjustment - as I said select all the measures you want to squeeze into a system press "{" one or more times to reduce stretch for all of them consistently. Doing it one measure at a time either won't work at all, or will result in measures out of proportion to each other, or both - plus it's more work than necessary for worse results.

In your example, simply selecting 39-44 and pressing "{" once does the job.

But I do think it's more crowded than looks good, and you'd be better off reducing staff size slightly.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc,

I want the layout as is for reasons that might not be so obvious (for a country band, don't want more than two pages or I'll lose them...). I did originally try to stretch all the measures, different combinations of measures etc before I submitted the original question. But on your insistence I tried it again and it worked after much experimentation on my part. But now I know the procedure so now I can get rid of all those dead measures that were used to keep one or two songs per line.
Thanks again.

In reply to by beisner666

To be clear, I’m not suggesting changing the layout at all. Just rescuing the staff size slightly (say, from 1.75 mm staff space to 1.65) so it is easier to read. One might think smaller = harder, but that’s not necessarily so, since smaller = more space on the page. A small reduction in staff size can have a surprisingly large effect on readability.

And yes, those empty measures were confusing things, I though maybe this was a medley and those were literally rests to count. But if it’s just to separate songs, much better to simply add section breaks. You can also add horizontal frames if you want the system to not extend all the way to the right margin.

The reason to use section breaks rather than system breaks, btw, is to also suppress the courtesy key changes that are currently showing at the ends of each song.

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