Ledger line thickness

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Schneider
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Ledger line thickness

Post by Schneider » 06 Oct 2019, 09:58

Hi All,

Regarding this pic:
Image
John Ruggero wrote:
05 Oct 2019, 21:35
HaraldS wrote:
05 Oct 2019, 17:55
The different widths of staff lines vs. ledger lines in the Lilipond examples do bother me a lot more than everything else, I have to admit.
You are so right. I was so fixated on the length of the ledger lines, that I completely missed the difference in width, which exaggerates the effect of the former.
These are standard rules -- AFAIK -- and it's much more readable.
I also think that you can misjudge the final result because of the bad quality of the picture.
When I started to digitally edit scores, it was with Finale 2000. My first thoughts were that the output was really elegant, mostly because of its thin lines. But Finale was not flexible enough for my needs so I changed for LilyPond; I then tried to customized LP so that the output looked like a Finale score... Bad idea. Musicians made me realised that de default output was much more readable, especially when lots of ledger lines.
Actually, I often hear that my scores do not look like digital ones. ;)

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Schneider
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Re: Ledger line thickness

Post by Schneider » 06 Oct 2019, 10:01


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John Ruggero
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Re: Ledger line thickness

Post by John Ruggero » 06 Oct 2019, 13:16

You're right. I think we may have discussed the difference in width in Notat.io threads several years ago, because my staff lines are set to .1 space and ledger lines set to .125 spaces for a solo piano score. LilyPond seems to have a greater difference than that, but it seems to be in the ball park. Given your experience with players, perhaps I should experiment with slightly thicker ledger lines!
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Schonbergian
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Re: Ledger line thickness

Post by Schonbergian » 06 Oct 2019, 18:42

Ledger lines should, at a minimum, be thicker enough than staff lines so that they subjectively appear the same thickness as staff lines.

I go further than that, because I believe it's easier to count just ledger lines at a distance than staff lines + ledger lines. In the Schenker edition of Beethoven's sonatas, I can easily count three ledger lines above the treble staff and recognize it as an E - as opposed to having to take the staff lines into account as well. So my ledger lines, based on those in the Schenker edition and the Breitkopf Brahms Complete Works, are quite a bit thicker than staff lines, and moreso than the LilyPond defaults. They look too thick up close, but from a distance I find them much more readable.

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John Ruggero
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Re: Ledger line thickness

Post by John Ruggero » 06 Oct 2019, 20:32

Great analysis, Schonbergian.

We seem to have had exactly the same experience with the Breitkopf Brahms. The ledger lines look too thick up close, but fine from a distance. That's also happening in the LP examples. I am going to rethink my ledger line thickness.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

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