Tie symbol unfriendly

• Mar 1, 2010 - 18:01
Graphical (UI)
S4 - Minor

Hi. I spended a long time looking for the "tie" function until I found that it was the "+" symbol next to the notes and dots. I can now see why it is a plus, but that is not what you look for when the rest of the symbols are the same graphically on the buttons as on the score. I mean if the tie is "+" then a quarter note should be "1/4". I propose that the symbol be changed to a small tie (like this ")" but horizontal) or two small notes tied. Keeping of course the + key as a shortcut.

Keep it going MS rules!


I propose keeping the current tie symbol. Here is why:

  • An icon with an actual tie symbol also looks like a slur. Since it is more prominently displayed than the slur people will (mis)use it instead of a slur
  • The current interface means that people are more likely to look up how to add a tie/slur in the documentation. In the process they learn that the difference between slurs and ties matters to MuseScore
  • For evidence of this look at any number of printouts from Finale by amateurs. You are sure to come across examples of people using ties instead of slurs (or vis versa)

In the past I have suggested that MuseScore be more lenient in its distinction between slurs and ties. Although this would need to be done carefully and would need to consider all the use cases I think it is the best solution.

Hi David.
The confusion between ties and slurs is always going to be present just because they look the same. But it is really a lot more possible for a person to use slurs as ties (*) than ties as slurs basically because 1) ties wont (& shouldn't) stick to a note witch is not the same 2) shouldn't occupy longer than a pair of notes. and 3) just the way museScore works: rather than automatically insert the tie with nothing ahead as Finale and Sibelius (witch could lead to confusion), it adds the selected duration to the note.
Slurs CAN do all that but you will hear the the instruments attacking the note. people could think that that is just a bug, A BUG!! and why??? because they didn't find the tie!! hahaha
As I said before I understand why a "+" symbol would be there, but it is just not what you look for when you want a tie. Everybody will find it and get used to it if it isn't changed, but this is a matter of "friendliness" ....

*I did it on a run to print out a friend´s work using museScore... no time to check on the manual.

It looks so happy! I'd vote for it but would prefer that the first note be excluded since the function would not actually enter this note--sooo a curvy line, then a single note. This would reinforce that it adds to what is already entered and would make the button a little less of a blur on low resolution screens... maybe.

+1 for this! It was a huge WTF for me when after minutes of search, I learned that the tie was represented by a +...

Hi lasconic:
Your second proposition gives a more accurate description of what the function does and it also includes the "+" sign. Witch is great, but, may be it shows to much information for a tiny button.
The only thing i can think of right now would be like the first one you presented but with the first note in a gray tone so it would imply hat it adds a tied note. (a + sign could be added but we are back on the same problem)
Sorry to be such a pain!
Both of your propositions work great for me.

#8 is a big improvement. #10 is good too, but may be hard to read because butons that have greyed out images/text are usually unavailable in the given context. I don't know if having a half-greyed image would cause confusion or not, since I'm never confused myself. :-)

I do prefer also 8. Besides when we get to write music, there is no difference between slur and tie. The difference appears when playing.

  • If you have two or many notes of the same pitch slurred/tied, they will be played as a single sound (as far as your breath, bow, keystroke can sustain).
  • If the slurred/tied notes have different pitch, they will be played like slurred.
  • If there are notes of different pitch and also contiguous notes of the same pitch in the same slur/tie, they should be played like a slur.

Said that, which I dare to accept as always true, I propose putting the house upside down. That's to say, use only one symbol to represent tie/slur, and teach Musescore to chose the right interpretation. That would be very easy from the point of view of the user, wich wouldn't need anymore to deal with slurs and ties, and also for the translators :)

I can imagine that it is quite hard to achieve that, but it would be great! I would try something like an is_slur boolean set to TRUE as long as the read note is equal to the first one. In case it is not, set it to FALSE. Then make articulation of the sound dependent of the value of is_slur.

I have no idea how MuseScore plays the file, and if there is something related to articulation consideration, but I remember a post wich already spoke long about that: //musescore.org/node/4193

alkayata, as I already mentioned above I would be desirable if MuseScore was more lenient about the distinctions.

"If you have two or many notes of the same pitch slurred/tied, they will be played as a single sound (as far as your breath, bow, keystroke can sustain). "

If there are two notes of the same pitch then it is a tie. If there are more than two notes it is a slur not a tie and should not be played as a single sound.

I like the idea, lets think some theory.
a tie working as a tie, should happen only when two consecutive notes with the same pitch are "slurred"
If more notes are to be tied they must all be tied to the next/previous one. Al the rest possible uses of a curve line between notes are slurs.
EXCEPTIONS: There are only two I can think about at the moment.

1* If two notes with the same pitch are tied/slurred and have a staccato dot or any other short-note articulation on the first note that would mean on a string instrument that the 2nd note will be attacked but with the same direction of the bow as the 1st. (for museScore that would be a slur or nothing at all)
2* "Tie to nothing": On guitar, guitar-like instruments and sometime string pizz a little tie to nothing even in a group of different notes means something like a "sustain". It indicates the musician to keep the fingers in place so that the note continues as long as it can.
That means that if an intelligent tie/slur is applied it should allow not to connect the notes (and hopefully understand this function as sustain for guitar) or create a new symbol for this functionality.

Anyone else can think of more exceptions?

This "tie to nothing" is important to me.

I do not use it for guitar.

I use it in the case where the phrase has an attack the first time through, but is anticipated in the 1st ending for the repeat.

My third option also exists, when you have two contiguous notes of the same pitch in the middle of a slur with many notes with different pitch they should be played slurred, not tied.

David, that is a truly conflictive one.
We could say that there is a

* 3rd Exception to the rule: If a note is tied to the same note on a chord it is interpreted as a TIE regardless of the any notes between.

But what if I want to SLUR the first note of a scale (lets say from A to E) to a chord that includes that note (lets say Am) . If I where to write it myself (on a notation software or by hand) I`d make sure that the slur gets to the extreme note of the chord that weren't the the note I started the slur with. If most people were to do that It means that this exception is not conflictive so it is also possible to include and be interpreted by the program.
...Any way as cool as it would be to solve this. This one in particular is not solved on any notation software I know. We all write slurs and hope a human play ties.

...any how the new issue we are discussing may take a while until it gets settled and even more time to be developed if it is decided to do so. So going back to the basics:

I think that changing the TIE ICON to something more recognizable would save time and effort to new users of museScore, it is a very basic function and one of the first you have to know to write music, if a person gets frustrated looking for something so basic it`s like starting with the wrong foot... And it is something that can be done for the next prerelease ¿or even a new revision of 0.9.5?

We all seem to agree on lasconic´s #8 so far. It has the graphic tie, and the + so its functionality is well explained.

I tried to open the "tie_icon_in_context.jpg" attachment
and this came out:

Fatal error: Call to undefined function project_issue_state() in /persistent/html/pressflow/sites/all/modules/project_issue/views/handlers/project_issue_handler_filter_issue_status.inc on line 30

A plugin to correct missused slurs is a good idea. If a plug in could act as firefox`s add-ons that once installed could act all the time without having to be asked to do so by the user. ¿is that possible?
Any way the name would have to be different. something like "same note SLURS to TIES Plugin" because a person that already uses slurs as ties doesn't know he is missusing them.

I'm all for changing the icon, particularly the design put forth in comment #8--Pretty smart. As far as people mis-using slurs and ties, Musescore already has a simple and elegant method for educating users about the details of the program--namely the handbook. Am I the only one who thinks it is not unreasonable to give the documentation a skim when using unfamiliar software for the first time???
I tend to prefer that a program be as powerful and flexable as possible, but this is often at the expense of an intuitive interface.

I can see it now.
IT LOOKS GREAT!! #25 (ex #8) is the way to go for me.
You definitively have mi vote!

Stirring the pot...
Since this thread really is about icons, I wonder how hard it would be to change that rest symbol to the value currently selected instead of just being a quarter rest all the time.

I really appreciate the work put into the new button for tie, but unfortunately the new solution doesn't match the antialiased look of symbols on other buttons on Linux. The new tie symbol is also too big for the standard button size (it should have some padding).

Assuming MuseScore deserves an thorough overhaul of its artwork anyway, this is not a big issue, but adds one more dissonance to its appearance. Screenshot attached.

Attachment Size
tie_symbol_contrast.png 7.42 KB
Status (old) active fixed

Maybe fixed is the wrong word, but certainly tweaked to satisfaction. I'll be bold and mark it as fixed, though, I'd like to mention that the icon size may look slightly better if it is the size of the 'N' or "flip stems" icon.