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Re: Stanza Collision

From: Matthew Fong
Subject: Re: Stanza Collision
Date: Sun, 6 Dec 2020 12:55:17 -0800

Hello Fr Samuel,

It sounds like we are solving almost the same issue with note entry, and Aaron Hill created a function which basically scales note values so that they group together nicely. And the clutter from manual scaling is removed entirely. 

However, I am using fixed time (1/4). And to 'force' the spacing, I also set \override SpacingSpanner.common-shortest-duration = #(ly:make-moment 1/4. This does mean that tweaking lyric spacing becomes necessary, i.e. \override LyricSpace.minimum-distance = #1, or pushing the final bar out further programmatically with a suggestion Kieren provided: \once\override Staff.BarLine.extra-spacing-width = #'(-1 . 0)

The solution Aaron provided me is located in this thread:

And if you want to retain rhythmic signs (such as a dot in the final note of a phrase)

Here's a sample of note entry with multi-note neumes (I've aliased the function to mnn, or multinote neume)
chantNotes.mode-II_cd-d-de-c-def-fe-de-e = \relative c' {
    % 1
    \mnn { c4( d) } \mnn { d4( e) } c \mnn { d( d e) } f \mnn { f( e) } \mnn { d( e) } e
    % 2
    g \mnn { g( f) } e \mnn { f( e) } d \mnn { e( d) } \mnn { c( d) } d
    % 3
    c \mnn { d( g) } f \mnn { f( e) } d \mnn { d( e) } \mnn { d( c) } c
    % 4
    c d e \mnn { f( e) } d \mnn { e( d) } \mnn { c( d) } d

Sample output is attached.

Many thanks,

On Sun, Dec 6, 2020 at 12:21 PM Kieren MacMillan <> wrote:
Hi there,

> It tightens the spacing between notes which are inside a slur so that the musical sense is clear without the usual bow (though, it’s a separate setting to actually omit the bow).  Attached are two versions of the same antiphon: the first uses the usual bow for slurs, the second uses the Slur_spacing_engraver instead.  Both are compiled from the same source (except for consisting the Slur_spacing_engraver and "\omit”ing the bow).
> I’m deliberately avoiding the suggestion in the manual on using a fixed time and tuplets because I feel that construction makes the source for the notes really difficult to enter and read because of all the interspersed durations (and the calculations necessary to figure them out).  By using the Slur_spacing_engraver I eliminate the need to worry about the durations at all and simply slur notes that belong to the same syllable  (which is normal practice anyway).

I think an engraver like that is the right approach. The last piece of the solution, as I see it, is to take the syllable attached to the [first note of the] slur/melisma, add the "*" with some padding to the left, then reset the X-offset or self-alignment-X so that the syllable stays in the correct position relative to the note.

Making this happen is currently above my Scheme pay grade, and I don’t have the time right now to put into it… but maybe Aaron can add that on to his solution without much trouble?


Kieren MacMillan, composer (he/him/his)
‣ website:
‣ email:

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