Adjust vertical spacing when there are no lyrics

• Sep 24, 2022 - 16:12

I have enabled vertical justification on a score to achieve a good layout but there are interludes in the song where there are no lyrics. Is there any automatic way to make the 2 interlude systems closer together so that the lyrics of verse A are not so close, or does this have to be done manually with spacers?

So, decrease the red gap and increase the green gap:



Hopefully, someone who knows will post. in the meantime, I messed with this a little. I turned off vertical justification and adjusted spacing for lyrics and chord symbols instead. Not sure what settings you should use because chords below and lyrics above is too much for my old set-in-its-ways brain. But maybe it's a start.

In roder to advise better, we'd need to see the actual score, not just a picture. Then we could suggest how to optimize the settings. but probably it's a matter of tweaking one or more of minimum stystem distance, lyrics bottom margin, and or min vertical distance.

In reply to by yonah_ag

If you’ve saved it, you can post it here. This is, after all, a software support forum, not a public score-sharing resource for getting musical critique. Doesn’t matter if the piece is done, or good, or yours or someone else’s. Attaching the score is how we can help you with your MuseScore settings, and you don’t need anything more than you have in order for that to be of benefit.

In reply to by yonah_ag

Hmm, is there a reason you've reverses the standard position of chord symbols and lyrics? Makes it extremely confusing to understand which lyrics and which chords go with which staff.

With the more standard arrangement, the answer would be a little different - lyrics min bottom distance would work. But in your case, probably better to use min vertical distance (Format / Style / Score). A value of around 5.0 adds more space there and allows other spaces to close up.

Measure 25 doesn't show a number because it was explicitly hidden in measure properties.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Oops! Reason = lack of knowledge. My books of sheet music are simple classical guitar scores with no lyrics so I was not aware of any standard.

Since the song word syllables are in the melody, I put the words at the top; and since the chord roots are in the bass notes, I put the chord symbols at the bottom. Logical but apparently unconventional!

I will swap them and apply some lyrics min bottom distance.

I'll also fix M25 as I didn't intend to hide the number.

In reply to by yonah_ag

It's important to keep in mind that the idea of putting lyrics below the staff wasn't invented with tablature in mind, but for standard notation (actually, it dates to before that, you see it in medieval chants etc). And chord symbols go above (along with fret diagrams) at least in part to be out of the way of lyrics. I suppose if both notations had been invented for tab specifically, it could indeed have made sense to do them the other way around.

In general, Musescore tries to pick reasonable defaults that obey the common standards and produce readable results. So unless you have expert knowledge the default isn't appropriate for some specific use case, it is almost always best to simply go with the defaults. The one exception that could be relevant here: in any staff that has lyrics, dynamics generally get moved to above the staff, also to stay out of the way. But dynamics are below for other staves.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I hadn't even thought of the dynamics yet but it does look as though they will have to go above. Do you think that the chord symbols are of any use in a fingerstyle score like this? Personally, I am only using them to determine possible notes in the accompaniment whilst making the arrangement. Once it is finished then they are possibly redundant.

In reply to by yonah_ag

If the tab is already telling you what to do with all your fingers (as opposed to just being a single-line melody), and this is intended to be played by a single guitarist the chord symbols provide no added value. The point of the chord symbols would be so the player could provide their own accompaniment to a given melody. Or, if there are other musicians also playing, the chord symbols could help them create appropriate accompaniment. But in that case, I'd be considering a separate standard notation staff to actually show the melody, lyrics, and chord symbols. Then a tab-reading guitar player could look at the tab staff, and everyone else could read off the other.

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