Length for ledger line?

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David Ward
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Length for ledger line?

Post by David Ward » 18 Apr 2016, 11:32

I think the best length for these may already have been discussed, but I can't find the thread. It seems to me that the ledger lines in the attached screenshot are a bit too short before the noteheads for complete clarity (from a PDF full of a full score created from Finale and enlarged for the screenshot).

Any opinions and solutions welcome.
Attachments
LedgerLineLength.png
LedgerLineLength.png (23.01 KiB) Viewed 3373 times
Finale 25.5 & F 26.1
Mac OS 10.13.6 & 10.14.6
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Knut
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Re: Length for ledger line?

Post by Knut » 18 Apr 2016, 12:09

I don't think length of ledger lines has been discussed, just their width.

I think the length in your example is actually fine (or maybe a little short), but they should be much thicker.

In the past I have tried to cut the length down from Finale's default of 6 EVPU to 5 EVPU. My reason for doing this was their inherent interference with accidentals. Unfortunately, though, I've found even this minor decrease to be too much under normal circumstances, and I've since reverted to the default length.

Applications like Lilypond accommodates accidentals by shortening the line on the left side automatically, like so:
baer-ledger.png
baer-ledger.png (42.61 KiB) Viewed 3371 times
This was standard practice in the days of plate engraving, and an elegant solution to the problem. Unfortunately Finale doesn't provide any such automatic feature or any way to manually adjust the length of individual ledger lines. Under those limitations, I think the default length is the best you can do.

MJCube
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Re: Length for ledger line?

Post by MJCube » 18 Apr 2016, 18:55

I do find them too short in Finale where space is not tight. Sibelius’s default is more generous and easier on the eyes. For decades I have wished for software to mimic the shortening done in plate engraving, specifically to get runs of fast notes outside the staff even closer together. That is particularly noticeable in piano scores.

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tisimst
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Re: Length for ledger line?

Post by tisimst » 18 Apr 2016, 20:39

MJCube wrote:For decades I have wished for software to mimic the shortening done in plate engraving, specifically to get runs of fast notes outside the staff even closer together. That is particularly noticeable in piano scores.
Short response: This is VERY easily done with LilyPond ;-)

Longer response:
Programming LP to do this 100% automatically would be a little tricky since there can potentionally be a lot of things that need to be taken into account that shortens them at the desired places and not at others. My guess is that you'd probably end up manually tweaking some spots anyway.

Manually turning on/off this shortening precisely where you feel it would be helpful is easily done with a single line of code each. You can also put one or more manual overrides within a single variable (with a short name) and just (re-)use that variable wherever you want the overrides to take place. That also makes it easier to change all instances of its use because you only need to change values in one location.
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