lyrics: syllables sometimes too narrow

• Jan 16, 2016 - 09:12
S4 - Minor

Sometimes syllables in the lyrics text are too narrow. It would be good, if lyrics also would be a part of the formatting criterias. Possibly it could help to have a value, that gives a minimal width between the syllables. In my opinion this should conform to a normal space in the given font size.
Probably this could also help to avoid missing hyphens.

In the attached screenshot the problem can be seen in two places with punctated fourth and a following eights, between "[Him-]mel mit" and "[mei-]nem Ge-sicht".

I know, that I could manually move the lyrics or the chords or add spaces with Ctrl-Space, but I think this should be done by the programme automatically.

GIT commit: 0d91086


Lyrics sylables are a part of the formatting criterias already. But indeed in very densly formatter scores the distance between them can be quite small, so small that even the lyrics dashes vanish. For that a fix has been implemented in the nightly builds.
But indeed some additional config option for the distance of non-dashed lyrics seems a good idea

To have at least the distance of a normal space in relation to fontsize would be a good thing - possibly then it wouldn't have to be configurable at all.

BTW - you wrote about a fix in the nightly builds for the dashes ...
Is it in the 2.0.3 nightly also or only in the 2.1 nightly?
Then the fix doesn't work correctly ...

In the attachment an example file: 1. strophe, 3rd line "quicken-des", 2.str., last line "schie-den", 6.str. line 3 "Nä-he-sten"

Attachment Size
EG449.mscz 21.5 KB

in the master nightly for sure, I believe not in thr 2.0.3 nightly, but am not 100% sure in that.
You'd see a corresponding section in Style/General.../Sizes

IHMO the distance would need to be configurable, to be able to keep the old style, but maybe a full space would be a good default.

Currently, the minimum space between lyrics is given by the "Minimum note distance" setting in Style / General / Measure. So you already have some control over this, although it is tied to note spacing, so not an ideal solution.

In the master / nightlies, there are new options in Style / General / Sizes to specify the minimum distance for the dash, and an option to force it to always appear. The latter defaults to "on".

So as far as I can tell, this issue is resolved, unless it is still felt that forcing more space even for non-hyphenated lyrics would be good. I'm not sure most people would agree - people are constantly trying to get more music to fit pn a line, not less. You can always stretch the measure, or insert a line break a measure early, or increase minimum note distance, to get more space if you want it.

Yes, see my last paragrpah above again. I don't think most people would want MuseScore adding more space, but if you personally want more space, I gave several methods for achieving it. Perhaps a forum discussion could be started to see if people really want more space by default, and if so, we could consider changing the default from "Minimum note distance" to something else - another style setting, or the width of the space character as suggested.

I understand very well, what you suggest to do.
But in fact, I don't want to enlargen the overall note distance or the packing, nor I want to reduce font size.
In my example, I want to have one strophe on one sheet and to use a good font size. It is no problem of packing, but of some distances between the words of the lyrics.

The problem occurs only on some places, which could be in fact changed by adding a space at the end of the word, without changing anything else.
But this is no solution, as in larger partitures the problem always will probably occur on different places, if you change layout.

So for me, the only senseful solution seems the addition of a "minimum lyric word distance" (or whatever that should be called) to change the few problematic places, possibly in the width of a space.

I suspect that before the code to force the dash was added, it made sense to *not* force extra space between syllables, so that we could have hyphenated words dispay with no space or no dash. And that behavior is worth preserving. But I think we should probably check if a syllable is hyphenated or not, and if not,*then* we might want to force the extra space. We could indeed make it a style option, but maybe the width of a space character in the selected font really would be good enough as a minimum?

BTW, I think it's more or less just an accident that minimum note distance controls this currently. Basically, the width of the lyric is just included in the calculation of the width of the note, so the minimum note distance is just doing its normal job based on the width of the note, which includes the width of the lyric.

I gather Werner is working on a totally new note spacing algorithm that isn't so naively based on note widths but instead taken into account the full bounding box, to allow things like accidentals or dots in one voice to potentially overlap notes in another voice. This will presumably require rethinking the lyric spacing algorithm. So maybe not worth making any significant changes now.

Since, in my experience, these instances do not happen very often, I select the note that is too close, then (via inspector) add to "segment/leading space."

In the meantime I tested the minimal note distance. I don't think, that is a good solution, as this changes other places as well.
In my opinion to have automatically a good word distance in the lyrics is a necessary feature, as this guarantees a good readability.

Would be good to include that in the new note spacing algorithm!

Last I heard, we were planning on a 2.0.3 bug fix release sooner rather than later, but new features would wait until 2.1, and the new layout might wait later still if it happens at all (could be an experiment that goes nowhere for all I know). So:

My suggestion is you start a discussion in the forum proposing we simply change the minimum space between non-hyphenated lyrics from "Minimum note distance" to whatever the width of the space character is. Make it clear that sometimes this might result in changes to existing scores where some things that formerly fit on one line would no longer fit without making manual adjustments.

If there is buy in that this is worth it, then the actual change would be easy enough to make. As I said, I haven't heard complaints about this before, whereas I do often hear people complaining it is too hard to get things to fit on one line as it is, so I am not sure you'll really find a ton of support for this idea. But if I'm wrong, I'm happy to implement it.

Actually implementing further options to control spacing does make sense, but my sense is they should probably wait until we know better what the story is with the new layout algorithms.

So I guess my sense remains that changing this will have a negative effect on too many scores to risk doing it for 2.0.3, given there doesn't seem to be overhwleming support for the change. I do agree that one way or another this could be handled better, but I think it is something better looked at when we switch to the "new layout".

Another problem with lyrics probably also could be taken into account. Sometimes, especially with short note length a long syllable will deform the proportionality of notes, which is especially ugly, if these notes are beamed.
I'm not sure, if that can be done automatically, as other professional programs do have here also their problems, but possibly a solution could be found that avoids such things.
Here is an example (one of the Kremberg Arias) - the problem is the "säumt"-syllable:
Here I have changed that manually by shifting chords to the left and trying to make everything a little bit more even (not perfect, but much better):
LyricsProblem1a.png ]

I'm not sure, if this is the same problem: If I try to make by moving a chord the distances of notes more even, that have uneven distances because of the lyrics, the spacing around the notes will not work and the lyrics overlap.
Example without adjusting
After adjusting - overlapping lyrics

Attachment Size
What_poor_Astronomers.mscz 15.19 KB