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ragged-bottom

Don’t worry – nothing scurrilous about this post. Instead, I’ve been learning a bit more this morning about controlling page spacing in Lilypond, my musical typesetting system of choice with commands such as ragged-bottom.

I had a song I’d scored out which fitted on one page but looked cramped together while still having space at the end. I turned back to the online documentation and discovered that I could get detailed information about how Lilypond saw the measurements of the page by inserting the annotate-spacing command into the paper block at the top of the file:

\paper { annotate-spacing = ##t }

I had been looking for a way to request more space between each line of music but a bit more reading round and experimenting led to me discovering that turning off ‘ragged’ spacing at the bottom was the way to go:

ragged-last-bottom = ##f

Since I had a set of music that fitted onto one page, this requests that the vertical distances get nudged up to fill the whole page rather than the default of leaving a gap at the bottom. It probably wouldn’t work so well if my score was only three or four lines long but, in this case, was perfect for providing some visual ‘breathing space’. I’ll test the results at tonight’s music practise; hopefully any other mistakes and failings in my transcription won’t be hidden away because the dots are too cramped to easily read.

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