Eleanor Selfridge-Field and Edmund Correia, Jr.
© 1994 Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities
Reproduced by the IEEE Technical Committee on Computer Generated Music by permission

Category 2. Coordinate Spacing

Coordinate spacing of vertical and horizontal elements may seem like a problem that has been solved since the invention of the graph, but positional relationships in musical scores are less simple to describe in terms of x and y coordinates than it may seem from dwelling on an abstract sense of the score.

Particularly troublesome is the fact that a multitude of special elements may abruptly occur and all relate to one or a few "musical objects" that lie in close proximity to one another. This possibility tends to complicate vertical space allocation.

Also basic to the typographic composition of scores is the sense that every score is constructed anew. Spacing algorithms in many early programs for notation were faulted for their logical allocations of horizontal space. The space of eight eighth notes might, for example, be allocated to measures consisting of a single whole note, with aestheticresults that were considered awkward.

Examples of various problem situations are shown below.

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