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Note spacing does not honor the lyric extent

From: Jiri Zurek (Prague)
Subject: Note spacing does not honor the lyric extent
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2009 01:18:24 -0800 (PST)

In the version 2.12, I discovered bug in note spacing:
Note spacing ignores the extent of the lyric syllable when a note preceding
that syllable is without a lyric. This occurs especially on a note which
immediatelly follows an end of a melisma. The syllable (when
centered-aligned) is printed so that it overlaps with the last note(s) of
the preceding melisma, which makes it very difficult for a singer to discern
which note the syllable belongs to!

Although there was some
minor discussion   whether this is a bug or *only* a note spacing limitation
of Lilypond, I still think this is a bug. Since the code for the note/lyric
spacing already exists in the Lilypond and since this code does not produce
the desired behavior, then it follows that it is a genuine bug.

In the case of TextScripts, we have the \textLengthOn function to make
Lilypond honor the extent of the markup. However, for the lyrics, this
function does not work. It would be marvellous, if this function could work
also for the lyrics, if nothing else was possible.

This bug occurs in the default notational style, but also (and perhaps even
more visibly) in the Gregorian notation. I used the Sanctus example from the
official Notational Reference of Lilypond (v. 2.12, chapter 2.8.4) to show
how unclearly the neumata are divided into the lyric syllables - in the
first and the third Sanctus, the second syllable *ctus* is always printed
under the flexa of the preceding syllable *San-*. How should the singer know
which neume the syllable belongs to?
I made also the corrected version of this example where the music is spaced
appropriately. However, this correction was not done in Lilypond, but in a
graphical editor. (By the way, note that I changed also the Breathe sign
positions to make them appear more logically - the breath sign positioning
is also a problem).

In a normal notational style, I also produced a small example of the bug and
also provided the corrected version (the corrected version was done again in
the Photoshop).


%And this is the Lilypond code of the example:
\version "2.12.1" 

\paper { 
    #(set-paper-size "b5") 
    line-width = 14.6\cm 
    indent = 0.0 
    ragged-right = ##t  

chant = \relative c'' {\time 12/8 
d4 c8 a4 d,8 f16[ \melisma e d8 c] \melismaEnd 
d4. \bar "||" } 

%long syllable after the melisma - is not honored!
verba = \lyricmode {Do I ho -- nor the longtext? } 

\score { 
    \new Voice = "cantus" { 
    \new Lyrics 
      \lyricsto "cantus" { 

\layout { 
  \context { 
    \remove "Bar_number_engraver" 

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