Unable to add a glissando between two grace notes.

• Feb 18, 2018 - 21:48
S5 - Suggestion

The Glissando Tool works fine when applied to two main notes, or to a main note and an adjacent grace note. However, when I apply it to a grace note which is followed by another grace note, and then a main note, the glissando connects the first grace note with the main note, skipping over the grace note in between.

Reason: We are using MuseScore for an academic research project of folk music where this sort of a "micro-glissando" has to be notated.

I would personally opt for making this the default behaviour (as there is probably no such thing as a glissando spanning multiple notated values - a glissando is essentially a non-distinct move between two distinct endpoints. If there is a glissando series, the distinct notes are normally connected with individual glissandi between each of them). However, if there is any rationale in keeping the present behaviour, a configuration option should be added for the Glissando Element.


There are many odd folk music notations out there. It is difficult to account for every one such as the glissando between grace notes.

If playback is not an issue, you can insert a glissando from the first grace note to the main note, select the glissando, press ctrl+e to put it in edit mode and use either ctrl+arrows or dragging with the mouse to make it look right. Due to the closeness of the notes when dealing with grace notes, I would always suggest using ctrl+e to put it in edit mode. All other methods for putting it in edit mode will be hit and miss and probably frustrate you. You can then put the glissando from the second grace note to the main note, edit it and so on until all glissandos are entered and displayed properly.

I would not recommend using alternative methods for proper playback, such as invisible notes, with these glissandos. My recommendations are only that since there are alternatives.

In reply to by mike320

Thank you, Mike, this is actually a valid solution for nearly all our use cases. Playback is, of course, not an issue, as no computer can recreate these subtleties of folk music that are in question here.

However, we have some pieces where this two-grace-note glissando formula appears right at the end of the song. In such a case the Glissando Tool just silently fails if it is pulled onto the first grace note at the very end.

This, too, can be circumvented by using a resized "pull/slide" symbol, but it is quite cumbersome to resize them all the time. So even though ours is admittedly a special use case, I think when there are two adjacent grace notes and no main note after them, the worst thing the Glissando Tool could do is to silently fail...

What do you think?

P.s. What is the rationale behind the Glissando Tool requiring at least one non-grace note to attach? What is the point in having a Note grace{gliss grace Note}endgliss formula? Would anybody ever want to write that? Wouldn't it make sense to change the behaviour of the Glissando Tool so that it would simply connect two adjacent notes, regardless of whether any of those is a grace?

In reply to by Velősy Péter

Severity S4 - Minor S5 - Suggestion

I am not a programmer, that is why I only commented on the possibility of working around the limitations of the program. Having said that, you will notice that if you select a measure with grace notes and look at the inspector you will have the option of selecting the rest, notes or grace notes. None of these appear to be the the same to MuseScore internally. That is the extent of my knowledge of how these work.

Currently, all grace notes after are silent. This is a shortcoming which has had many requests to fix, and I have hope that this will one day happen. I think this is what you are talking about when you mention the grace note and the very end.

I am changing this into a feature request, because I believe up to the soon to be released version 2.2 this behavior is by design. Perhaps at some point in the future someone will agree with you that the feature needs to be implemented with the ability to make it happen.

I am sorry, but I don't agree to marking this as a feature request, even though I am fully aware that grace notes and main notes are treated differently by MuseScore. I have attached a screenshot showing what happens if you try to add a glissando between two grace notes, Nobody would ever want to write that. Not only is it counterintuitive but it is also musically insensible, which classifies this behaviour as a bug.

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glissando_error.jpg 9.32 KB

In reply to by Velősy Péter

I'm guessing you selected the first grace note and added a glissando to it. If you double click the glissando and select the start box and then the end box you will see it is anchored (the red dotted line) to the first grace note and the note it is attached to, not to the two grace notes. This is not what anyone would want, but the developers did not think anyone would put a glissando between grace notes, I've never seen a glissando between grace notes, but I'll admit I haven't seen everything. Since glissandos have no effect on playback of grace notes, you can adjust its display to make it look like it's attached to the two grace notes if you need to. The results will be the same as if it were actually attached to the grace notes.

In reply to by mike320

Yes, I am currently using this workaround, but it is very cumbersome to do when there is a lot of music to be transcribed.

In my exact case, - yes, I admit that it is a fairly special one - I am transcribing with folk music of a given region, for which a notable forerunner has established this way of notating a specific vocal ornament (see attachment). This is what I would like to recreate with computer notation, using open source technologies as far as possible.

By the way, as folk music transcription is an area where it is customary to invent new notation symbols, adding an option to import custom vector graphic files into MuseScore with definable anchor points would be a huge benefit for such use cases. These symbols then could be compiled into the MuseScore file to ensure scores are portable. As faithfully playing back these micro-ornaments is probably not a requirement for most of us dealing with such scores, such a feature would open up huge possibilities for using MuseScore for folk music research and transcription.

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glissando_sample.png 82.15 KB

In reply to by Velősy Péter

I should have thought about this being folk music that you are working on. Folk music often causes some of the biggest challenges to notation. This is not the first discussion I've had with someone trying to do something unconventional that turned out to be due to regional folk music. I wish there were a programmer who would dedicate himself to adding folk notation when these requests arise, but that doesn't seem to be likely. Ultimately if one of the programmers considered it a bug, they would have changed the status and someone might work on it, but unforunately it would still be a low priority. I hope for your sake that I'm wrong.

FWIW, it's a feature request in that this is something we don't support and there is a request that we do :-). The fact that if you try it, something weird happens doesn't necessarily make it a bug. But to the extent it does, then a perfectly correct fix for the bug would be to alter it to do nothing, which is the normal behavior when you try to do something unsupported. Or we could make it so attaching a gliss to any grace note automatically made it start from the last grace note in the sequence. But of course neither of those are what anyone wants - people actually want the new feature. So let's keep the focus on the desired behavior.

Anyhow, note that it is possible to import your own graphics into MuseScore and add them to a custom palette. See the Handbook under "Images" and also "Custom palette". Note sure if you were aware of that. But it doesn't really solve the problem here because you'd need to do some fiddling around to get it to layout as expected. In the end, might not be better than the current workarounds.