Tremolo display is... questionable

• Apr 1, 2021 - 04:25

So I've been trying to create a new typeset for Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5, and in the 3rd movement, I've been trying to replicate the piano tremolo that you see in Figure A.

I know how to use the tremolo between notes and how to move notes down to the next staff. But they look like what you see in Figure B.

Yeah... the tremolo lines colliding with the staff isn't really going to fly with me. Is there a workaround in which I can make the tremolo lines not collide as seen in Figure A?

Attachment Size
Fig. A.png 61.06 KB
Fig. B.png 87.94 KB


You don't have full control over the tremolo placement as it follows the (not-visible-on-whole-notes) stems. You might be able to slightly improve their placement by flipping the stem direction on the whole note (yes that's a thing you can do, default flip shortcut "x" or use the inspector).

I'd probably go for voice 2 notes for which you turn playback off and make them invisible. But positioning them can give you the visual control you're looking for.

Or see if using the raw symbol from the master palette can help you out.

With much faffing around, you can get it to look like you want - I added a hidden note in the upper stave to act as an anchor for the tremolo. I then put a half-note chord in the lower stave and changed the noteheads to semibreve. Somewhere I used X to flip a “stem“.

Getting it to play back correctly would take more work.

Attachment Size
Tremolo20210401.mscz 5.08 KB

Tremolo generally should look pretty good, but cross-staff is kind of special, and options are more limited there. I wonder if having the tremolo interest the staff is actually considered problematic in general? I don't see that Gould forbids it, in fact she shows that exact situation (not that specific measure of that specific piece) and her tremolo does intersect the staff.

Anyhow, if I had some special reason not to want that, I'd take the simple approach - make it invisible, add a new one as a symbol ("Z" for the Symbols palette) or a graphic.

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