Augmentation dots should follow stem direction, not voice number.

• Apr 3, 2020 - 23:03

The top bar of the attached shows what I understand to be the proper placement of the augmentation dot on the note on a line. The dot is placed in the space above the line because the stem is down. This uses voice 1.

The lower bar uses 2 voices with the 2 voice below.

As one can see there is a different placement of the dot. The top bar showing the dot placed in the space above, the bottom showing the dot in the space below. Both stems are down.

If one changes the stem direction in any voice the dot stays in that position.

So, I suggest the dot should be ties to stem direction.

If the stem direction doesn't matter, then why is the dot no constant in all circumstances? :)
Augmentation dot.PNG


It's considered correct according to standard rules of notation to position dots in this way. If you have some special reason to override the standard, you can use the Inspector for that, but I don't recommend this. It tends to make the music harder to read when it isn't set up the way we are used to reading it.

In reply to by xavierjazz

Not so much to indicate them, but the positioning is designed so that when the voices coincide in ways where one voice is dotted and the other isn’t, it’s immediately clear which note the dot applies to.

Consider for instance a case of top voice middle line B, bottom voice second line G. Put a dot on the space between them. Without consistent placement of voice 1 above, voice 2 below, you’d have no idea which voice this applies to. It then also helps avoid collisions in more complex cases.

In reply to by xavierjazz

The point is, if the rule didn’t apply predictably, you’d still have to guess when these situations occur. Anyhow, I don’t make the rules, I just write the code to make sure we do the correct thing by default whoever possible, and this is definitely a case where what we do is correct according alto all published standards I know.

In reply to by xavierjazz

You wrote:
That's fine where voices coincide but what about my example?

Your example could use more context, but consider:

While it is true that an augmentation dot is normally placed in the space above for a line note, one would not expect the augmentation dots on the 'not coincident' (with voice 1) notes to be moved to the space above at that spot in the score.

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In reply to by Jm6stringer

Unfortunately, Gould doesn't cover this topic fully. She says that the dot on the lower note should drop to the lower space when there are two notes that coincide, but doesn't say anything about what happens when a voice has non-coincident dotted notes.

I did a quick trawl through some pieces I have to hand and found that it is most common for the dot to be dropped even when the lower voice notes are not coincident - i.e. what happens in MuseScore now. There are some oddities though.

Here are the examples I found.

  1. published by Novello

  2. Publsihed by Peters

  3. Published by Schirmer (odd because the dot is dropped even with a single voice)

  4. Not sure of the publisher but probably Chester Music. (Very odd as we have both dropped and undropped dots in the same situations.)

I did not find any examples (other than the inconsistent Chester Music example) of dots not being dropped in lower voices, but I have only looked at a very small sample. More investigation is needed, but until compelling evidence of not dropping dots in lower voices is found I think we should keep the MuseScore house style as it currently is.

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