Dancing Dots
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Dancing Dots serves blind musicians and their educators through technology and training

Lime Aloud Page Layout


This page describes the different facets of laying out your music using Lime Aloud. Currently with Lime Aloud there's no absolute way of positioning annotations so it's a good idea to leave extra space when preparing music with many annotations.

Read the section in the Lime manual about the Systems dialog.

When laying out your music in Lime Aloud the user must consider how many staves are on the page and what factors may limit how many staves can fit on a page before the music becomes crowded and hard to read.

The total number of staves should be limited to 11 for an 8.5" by 11" page. This limit should be reduced if there are many annotations in the piece. Lyrics (especially multiple verses of lyrics), chord symbols and figured bass annotations reduce this limit significantly because they tend to be considerably above or below the music. Many ledger lines (notes that extend above or below staves) will also reduce this limit. Here is a list of recommended values for Systems per Page for a few different arrangements:

  • Beginner solo instrument - 11 Systems per Page
  • SATB (4 Separate parts) - 2 Systems per Page
  • SA & TB (2 staves) - 4 Systems per Page (almost crowded but 3 looks sparse)
  • Piano - 5 Systems per Page
  • Piano with vocal accompaniment with 2 lyric verses - 3 Systems per Page (almost crowded but 2 looks sparse)
  • Quartet - 2 Systems per Page (looks sparse but 3 is too crowded)
  • Score with many parts - 1 Systems per Page (You will probably need larger paper if you have more than 12 instruments.)

Systems per Page

In Lime, there are a few dialogs that have a Systems per Page field. The value of this field times the number of staves that are in each system equals the total number of staves on a page. This field affects how cluttered your music appears more than anything else. This field is in the New Piece, Insert Measures and Systems dialogs. It's nice to think about your piece's layout while using the New Piece and Insert Measures dialogs but you can always have Lime layout your music again using the Systems dialog.

The Systems Dialog

You can tell Lime how to layout your music at any time by using the Systems dialog which is under the Page menu. It is probably safest to use the New System and Page Start Location (Variable) radio button, set Percent of Normal Note Density for Each System around 100 for pieces with lyrics and around 140 for average piano pieces and then figure out a value for Systems per Page based on the instructions in this document.

Distance between Staves

To adjust the space between staves without a mouse:
  • Click on the first note (or rest) of a piece.
  • Select Parameters from the Symbol menu (or press ctrl+Y).
  • Select STAFF LINES, MARGINS, NOTE SPACING in the first list box.
  • Press tab and then select default distance between this voice's staff and next *.
  • Tab to Value and set it according to how many verses you have: 70 is usually good for one verse and add 20 for each additional verse.
  • Press Alt+S to save the change(s) and Alt+Q to quit the dialog.

If you have lyrics below the bottom staff you might need more space below the bottom staff (above the next system) and this space can be changed by changing the value associated with default vertical distance between systems.

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