Slurs between two note heads

• Jan 29, 2017 - 07:05

Dear Forum,
I’m using MuseScore 2.0.3 on Windows 7.
At the moment slurs are drawn from chord to chord. But there are situations when slurs should be drawn between 2 note heads:
a) to save space
b) between the notes of 2 chords
Slurs between note heads.jpg
Certainly I can adjust the slurs manually but that sometimes means a lot of work (which is lost when the layout changes or the slurs are reset)

Please, could you develop a possibility to draw slurs between 2 note heads? These slurs should have their default position between the 2 note heads and get reset to this position. Perhaps it would be even possible once to join 2 chords with slurs (respectively ties) automatically?


A trick to tie 2 chords together that have stems is click the stem on the first chord and press the + sign. All the notes that can be tied will be.

In a similar manner, shift click to select a single whole note chord and press + will tie all the notes to the next chord that can be tied. You can also use this on the stemmed ones, but I always use the other method.

In reply to by KHS

I agree, clicking a chord and adding a slur to it should create slurs for each member. It gets tricky when you slur from 4 notes to 3 notes for example. Which slur goes where? I think selecting 2 notes and applying a slur should apply to those 2 notes rather than any chord they might be part of. Then the only adjustment should be X to flip it if you don't like its direction.

By the way, you have not filed a feature request. You have simply opened up the discussion on the forum concerning feature requests. Actual feature requests are entered through the Issue tracker that has a link to the right of this. When you enter the request, leave the priority as normal and don't assign it to anyone, that is the person who says they want to fix it. I think I would leave this as a discussion for now because I haven't seen any developers or 3.0 testers chime in. Someone more familiar with 3.0 might be able to tell us if any of these ideas are already being worked on in 3.0.

In reply to by KHS

Hmm, I can't say I've seen this. The official / correct / standard way to notate slurs is with one for the entire chord (see for example Gould "Behind Bars"). No doubt some editors have chosen to violate this rule for some special notational situation, but unless there is some alternate standard for this I'm not aware of, I am not thinking MuseScore should be going out of its way to provide native support for this.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Nearly every late romantic piece I've seen has multiple slurs connecting chords mixed with ties as needed. These are scans of prints from the 1800's or early 1900's. This is in the main score where multiple instruments are on the same line, such as 4 of Mahler's 8 horns he liked to use. Of course it is used to differentiate between such things as horn 1 playing a tie/slur and horn 2 playing each note tongued versus both playing tied/slurred.

In reply to by mike320

So you mean cases where there are more than two instruments notated on the same staff? That may well be, although surely this doesn't literally apply to "nearly every late romantic piece" - it's got to be the exception. The norm has only two parts per staff, and only a single slur is used in these cases unless the rhythms differ, in which case it will use multiple with stems up/down rather than chords. So unless I am missing something, it would only be scores with more than two instruments on a single staff that require slurs on a per-note basis *within* a chord.

And to be clear, I don't mean to quibble just to be argumentative. It's not out of the question that MuseScore might eventually support slurs on a per-note basis, but it *is* important to establish the frequency with which this is used in real published music, to help prioritize this feature relative to other features that we *know* are needed due to their pervasive use in published music.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I’m really astonished that you haven’t seen this before. Open any classical piano book and turn some pages and you will find these slurs between note heads. Especially at cadences which end by suspension this notation is standard.
Look at Beethoven’s Sonata Pathetique (m.2) (publisher: Hans von Bülow, Stuttgart: J.G. Cotta)
Look at Haydn Sonata E-flat major, Hob.XVI:52 (publisher: Peters, Leipzig)
Look at Schubert Sonata D.960, m.44 (publisher: Breitkopf & Härtel, Leipzig 1888)
Schubert 44.jpg
Look at Fauré Barcarolle op. 7/3 (publisher: Pierre Gouin Montréal, Les Éditions Outremontaises, 2006)
Look at Chopin: Etude op. 10/10 (publisher: Breitkopf und Härtel, 1879)
Chopin Etude 10-10.jpg
Look at Schumann: Carneval (Pierrot) (publisher: G. Schirmer, New York)
Schuman Carneval-Pierrot.jpg


In reply to by KHS

It's certainly possible I've seen this and never really noticed. But like I said, it really isn't standard in general - consult Gould or any authority on engraving practice and you'll see the current recommendation is for a single slur only. I don't see any exception made for cases where one note of the chord is tied but the others aren't, but I guess most of the examples you are showing have that going on.

So it seems the main reason to add this for reproducing older / historical editions, anmd the particular case of two slurred chords with one note tied. And as it is, there *is* the workaround of adding multiple slurs and re-positioning them manually. Does this summarize the situation correctly? Not that this invalidates the request - again, it just helps to understand the context in order to prioritize it.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

In Europe, professional musicians only use so-called "Urtext-Ausgaben" (Original text Editions). When a student arrives at university with any amateur edition (which are really inferior) he/she has to go home immediately.

These original text editors have only one interest: How did the composer write his work. There is no interest in Gould or any authority on engraving practice. Each marking, each dot and each slur will be printed exactly as the composer wrote it in his score. And within the note book you will find an attachment with exact descriptions of any differences between several manuscripts (see a small example of these critical notes of "Wiener Urtext Edition" 1973 as attachment).

Therefore that has nothing to do with older / historical editions. I use these note books every day for playing, studying and teaching.

And the composers DID draw these multiple slurs. Even this implied more investments in writing! What did they mean by drawing them? I think they show us (interprets) a pair of chords (there are never triples or something else) which should be played with one movement and one single accent (see a famous example: Schubert Moment musical D. 780/6). And that's different to chords which are bound by one single slur.

But otherwise I have to confess that today I didn't find so many examples of multiple slurs when looking though my collection of note books at university (as yesterday in IMSPL). Therefore I don’t know how you will prioritize this case. I think MuseScore should really offer this feature once but I can't determine its priority in comparison to other projects.

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Schubert Critical Notes.jpg 127.13 KB
Schubert D780-6.jpg 134.55 KB

In reply to by KHS

Classical music schools can be very conservative. As a matter of fact, I also studied in one of them.

Protecting original writing is due to the fact that the people who worked on the originals wanted to see the notes they worked on exactly the same as before. *1 *2

In this case, I think Musescore will want to respond to their wishes as soon as possible. (This is my personal opinion.)

Of course,
There will be some people who want to rewrite these notes (without the need for a lot of explanatory text).
Being open to this proposal will open the way for development.

*1) Still, teachers can not get themselves to write a lot of extra text and signs on students' sheet-notes. :)
*2) If My teacher saw a new score that was written more clearly, he would have ripped it off.
Because: it is not original !.

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tieslur.png 23.89 KB

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

Many thanks for your answer!

Yes, you are right: there is much conservatism in classical music. But I'm not surprised by this fact as we engage in music which has several hundreds of years. And our intention is to discover the original meaning of the composer. Therefore we hold on the original printing. My teacher always told me: "Look, it was so much work for the composer to draw all these slurs so exactly. Why do you neglect them?"

Yes, I must confess: I'm also a teacher who would rip off scores that are printed in a modern, clear style, even the information would be the same. But that's typical for classical music: Why do we still use transposing instruments in the score? Why do we still use so many different keys? - I think the answer is: to read music is to have an internal feeling and this feeling depends on the known patterns.

I think - if it's possible once - MuseScore should offer the alternative to print conservative scores as well as modern ones.

In reply to by KHS

Thanks for the information. To me it would be less important to understand the context if I thought it would be *easy* to re-implement slurs in a way that allowed them to be attached to individual notes. I'm sure it's *possible*, but probably not without significant changes to the internal structure of things, and to figure out how to present this in the UI so people don't accidentally create these unusual special-purpose note-attached slurs when they meant the standard type, etc.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Yes, exactly that's the problem I have also been aware in the back of my head. I already see the forum full of questions why some slurs behave in that special way.

I'm no programmer but what do you think about the following idea:
1) When the user selects one single note the slur is drawn from the chord to the next chord.
2) When the user selects 2 notes that are situated in adjacent chords the slur is drawn between these two note heads.
3) When the user selects 2 notes that are not situated in adjacent chords the slur is drawn between these chords.

Could this way be practical or would this be too confusing for the users?

Or another idea:
1) First the user draws a slur between two adjacent chords (select one note and [s]).
2) Then the user selects an option in the inspector that switches the slur from chord-modus to note-head-modus, whereby the slur gets anchored to the topmost note heads.
3) Then the user pulls the ends of the slur to the note heads where the slur should be anchored, one at a time.

Or a third idea:
1) First the user draws a slur between two chords (select one note and [s]).
2) Then the user pulls one end of the slur to one note head - this becomes colored (blue or green etc.) - and drops the anchor of the slur to this note head. Thus the slur switches from chord-modus to note-head-modus and the second end of the slur gets anchored to the topmost note head of the second chord.
3) Then the user pulls the second end to the second note head if necessary.

Yes, I see, that's really complicated. Perhaps professional programmers have much better ideas how to design the user interface of MuseScore.

And I see other difficulties:
1) There must be a proper distance to the note heads. If there are ties involved they also have to have this distance.
2) If there are dots at the left note head the slurs/ties must not overwrite them.
3) If there are accidentals at the right note head the slurs/ties must respect them.
4) Both note-head-slurs and ties should have a flatter curve.

And at last but not least I can imagine that's not trivial to install a second modus for slurs.

In reply to by KHS

You're definitely seeing some of the complexity here :-). If/when we go to look at implementing this I'm sure we'll be studying these suggestions in more detail. If you haven't already, could you file a formal feature request via the issue tracker?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi, i am lutenist using MuseScore long time a also I am waiting for this functionality - connected noteheads with slurs no ties - for years. It not usable only for piano, but for every harmonic continuo instrumets. In polyfonic continuo realizations is very important to know which voice of the chord lead to which voice of the next chord. So this is absolutely legal and correct requst! Write the chords for lutes/theorbos/guitars as four voices in one staff is not applicable way.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Your link leads to ability of "ties" between noteheads of notes of the same pitch inside chords.
But the discusion is abou !!!"slurs"!!! between separate notes of another pitch inside chords.
And yes, it is very very very sad, that even after 7 years this is still imposible!

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Yes, possible by a lot of effort of manual adjusting of slurs - which is often lost for example in part or after wrapping the line - and is needed to do it again...
Sorry, but you still say, that it is "unusual". But it is very legal request in a lot of situations specially in older music, for example in baroque basso continuo realizations.
In this discusion also in linked threads there are peoples citing many other situations and examples in which are multiple slurs between chords desirable.
So please let go of the idea that it is something bad and undesirable!

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Yes, in my situation for example this - see photo - simple slurs in french tablature in "down" directions from "chord" is adjusting horror. Left end of slur is "jumping away" if one is traing to adjust it. Autopositioning need to be switched off. After made wrap of staff later, the slur is again bad and have to be adjusted again.

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