This is to recommend rationalization of, and enhancements to, the provisions in Encore for controlling the lateral positions of notes (often spoken of as note "spacing" issues).
EXPLICIT AUTOMATION FEATURES
This is an existing function. It can be explicitly invoked by the user, with some defined range of action (always integral measures). I propose no change in its behavior. (That is not to say that none are warranted - that is just not a thrust of this recommendation.)
It would also be automatically invoked as part of the Auto Align and Auto Space functionalities, as will be described next.
I give this a familiar name, and in fact, my recommendations for its behavior are essentially identical to that of the same-named function in Encore/Windows 4.5.5. The term has different implications in Encore 5 (and in fact, I believe, different ones between Windows and Mac versions, some of which are very questionable).
This feature should be able to be turned On or OFF with a menu item.
It would apply only to the deposit of notes by mouse and for step entry by MIDI, little keyboard, or QWERTY keyboard.
When set ON by the user (or, in the case of MIDI, little keyboard, or QWERTY step entry, whether or not set ON), when a note is entered, the Align Spacing function (described below) would be executed. The user should be able to choose which two note spacing rules, Engravers' Spacing and Theoretically Perfect Spacing, will be used. (Presumably the setting for this on the Align Spacing dialog could be utilized for this; some change to the U/I there will be needed.)
This is a newly-recognized function.
This feature should be able to be turned On or OFF with its own menu item.
When ON, this function would, upon the occurrence of any of several "trigger" events (one of which would be anything that changed the width of a measure), execute the Align Spacing function on the affected area (for example, in the case of moving a barline, over the two adjacent measures).
The entry of notes would not be a trigger for this (so that can be controlled by the Auto Space ON/OFF setting).
I leave to others here the matter of refining the catalog of trigger events.
In Encore 5, when a barline is moved, the activation of a similar operation can (supposedly) be suppressed by holding Shift while moving the barline. I recommend retention of this for the Auto Align function. (There may be other "suppression" possibilities, in connection with other "trigger" events, that should be looked into.)
The principal motive for the separation of the Auto Space and Auto Align functions is this. The user may well not wish to have the "standard" disposition of notes imposed every time a measure width is changed or such. Such users may make extensive use of moving notes to other then the "standard" positions, by the use of such tools as (lateral) "nudge", (lateral) note drag, and so forth. But that same user may well normally want Auto Space (as defined here) in effect when entering notes. (Disclosure: that certainly describes my usual personal modus operandi.)
If those two functions are controlled by the same menu switch (as seems to be the intent in Encore 5), then the user will have to toggle that switch every time he moves from a "note entry" phase to a "doing anything else to the score" phase or vice versa.
Of course, other users, not heavily involved in "custom tweaking" note positions, but wanting to ensure that the standard note disposition is maintained as notes are changed in time value and the like, may well wish to keep Auto Align working most of the time, easily done under my proposal.
IMPLICIT AUTOMATION FEATURES
This term does not refer to an explicit "user command".
If Auto Align is OFF, and the width of a measure is changed (by any means), Encore should nominally maintain the existing disposition of the notes across the width of the measure in proportion to the width of the measure. I say "nominally" since there might be special considerations that need to be taken into account in the case of extremely small new measure sizes.
Note that (except when such special measures had to be taken), this operation is "intrinsically reversible". That is, without benefit of any specific "memory" provisions, if the measure width were changed back to its earlier size, the natural working of the function would result in the notes now being back in their original positions (in absolute - "inch" - terms).
I do not propose any special provisions for attaining "reversibility" in the case where special considerations had come into play. These eggs have been squeezed until they crack, and I do not suggest that Encore be given complex powers to uncrack them.
If Auto Align is ON, and the width of a measure is changed, the workings of Auto Align would completely take the place of the scaling behavior described in this section.
Together with the Auto Align function (an alternative), we would have these "automatic" possibilities when the width of a measure is changed:
â€¢ Keep the note positions as is (proportionally). [Auto Align OFF]
â€¢ Arrange the notes in one of the two "standard" patterns. [Auto Align ON]
I am unable to imagine any other plan that could be regularized. ("Do what Salieri would have done in this situation" is not something I foresee Encore taking on in my lifetime.)
Perhaps I am missing an important scenario that could be supported by some third (definable) modality.
There are many further details of this doctrine that will need to be decided before it could be implemented. I am confident that my colleagues here will be able to contribute to this. I may well have overlooked operational needs that may conflict with my recommendations, or that might be thought to conflict. These will presumably come to the surface.
Thanks to my many colleagues here for their recent insights into this area of functionality.