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Topic: is it slur or tie (Read 203 times) previous topic - next topic

is it slur or tie

Hello, I am keying manually from the score song sheet in order for us to learn/practice our church quartet. How do I differentiate between the slur or tie, because both look the same like curve.

Thank you

Re: is it slur or tie

Reply #1
<snip> How do I differentiate between the slur or tie, because both look the same like curve.
Hi Frank,
a tie is flatter, or not so curvy, and will only go from notehead to notehead.  It will span from AFTER the first notehead to BEFORE the second notehead, and both ends will be close to, and on the same level as the horizontal centreline of the noteheads.

It will never span multiple noteheads.  The notes MUST be the same pitch and notes tied over a barline will be the same pitch even if the first note has an accidental and the second does not (this is normal, dare I say "correct", engraving practice).  The second note will almost never be articulated (there are some odd exceptions to this but generally no articulations is the norm). 

A slur has a very variable curve, normally "higher" than a tie and need not start or finish* at a notehead, but can extend to or from a position along the stem, or even the end of the stem, and it can span many noteheads if required. 

If the slur starts or finishes at a notehead it should be in line with the vertical centreline of the notehead. The notes included in the slur may or may not be the same pitch. 

They will also be articulated.  Normally the articulation will be a soft legato style, but this is not necessarily always the case.  The important thing is that there is no** cessation of sound between slurred notes.  An exception to this is slurred staccato notes: in this case the notes are separated but not as much as a normal staccato.  Or at least that's one interpretation...  Somewhat similar to staccato and tenuto on the same note: separate the notes but not quite as much and "lean" on them a little...

* Strangely enough, though it breaks accepted engraving practice, a slur can also start or finish at a rest, or even in empty space.  A tie cannot do this. 
A slur ending on a rest or in space is called a "let ring" slur.  Starting a slur like this is extremely uncommon and I only recall seeing it in a very few jazz charts.  It is my interpretation that such a slur implies an indefinite starting time for the note.

**Slurs are often used to define phrasing.  In this case it is not important to avoid a cessation of sound, but any gaps should not imply a new phrase.  This is an exercise for the musician  ;)

Further discussion:
A slur can span tied notes, but a tie cannot span slurred notes.  If a slur includes tied notes at the start or end of a passage then it is good engraving practice to include both tied notes within the slur.  E.G. if the end of a slurred passage has tied notes then do not end the slur on the first note of the tied pair, end it on the last one.

Slurs and ties should NEVER cross stems.

That's probably way more than you're asking...  My "keyboard diarrhoea" has struck again  ;D
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals, youfonymums 'n tubies.

Re: is it slur or tie

Reply #2
How do I differentiate between the slur or tie
Very short answer: If the "curve" connects exactly two notes of the same "pitch" (notes on the same height in the staff) and there is no rest or other note between the two, it's a tie. Otherwise, it's a slur.

There are exceptions to this (with tied chords; and sometimes equal pairs of notes with a slur), but they are quite rare; and not used in vocal music, exactly because they might be confusing.


Re: is it slur or tie

Reply #3
Thanks to all of you. your explanation will help me a lot. As you can see in my YouTube  channel, although my skill is not enough, but I tried my best, but as you can see in the attached video in my YouTube channel , there are a lot of notes, the eight look like the sixteenth after layering. Anyone can explain how can we just it, or should we just do trial and error. We adjusted then we layer, we see if the flags still not yet looked combined we unlayered than we adjust again?

Again Thanks very much to all of you, I will still have many questions.


Re: is it slur or tie

Reply #4
When you have layers and the flags don't line up, you can lengthen (or shorten) the stems of the notes on one of the layers, so that the flags are aligned. But in your case, I would ask whether you might instead enter the two parts as chords on a single staff. Then you don't need to use layers, and the flags will automatically be combined.

Re: is it slur or tie

Reply #5
In choral writing on separate staves, you will always have the stems oriented into opposite directions. I wrote the first line of your song like that (using my choral template) - see attachment ChoralA.nwctxt; with a screenshot of the editing windows in ChoralA_Edit.JPG. If you press F11, you get a view that is near to the print result - see ChoralA_F11.JPG (of course, you can also use Alt-F V to get a print preview).

To orient the stems, highlight all the notes on a staff (go to the beginning and press Ctrl-End), and then press Ctrl-Uparrow to force all stems pointing upwards, or Ctrl-Downarrow to force all stems downwards (if you press the same keys again with notes highlighted, the stems will "forget" the forced orientation and "behave as usual" - some up, some down).

Four remarks:
  • The slur at "mansions" should be above the noteheads, i.e. on the same side as the stems. NWC, by default, puts it opposite the stems, so you have to change that in the note properties ("Slur Direction: Upward");
  • At the end, I made the soprano and alto voices cross each other; I don't know whether this is so in your score, but just for demonstration I added it, and marked the two notes in the soprano voice with a different color: The stems have to show which voice sings which notes, by going "the other way". In such cases, it is customary to offset the two notes by a tiny distance so that is optically clear which stem goes to which head - see ChoralA_CrossingVoices.JPG. Sometimes, this is tricky - as with the dots on the "thee" notes, where I tried to slip the upwards stem between the note and the dot of the B, using an "Extra Note Spacing" of 0.1.
    An "Extra Dot Spacing" of 0.1 on the B in the alto staff would be even nicer (I forgot it), as the two dots are then again aligned exactly above each other.
  • Do not repeat the lyrics on staves that are layered - you will get muddled text, as in your example at "mansions". Use the staff with more notes, if possible; and/or adjust lyrics with _ (underscores) which are shown as spaces.
  • The beginning of my choral template has a number of various user plugin objects - just ignore them, or check them out :-) (one of them is a BarCounter.hmm, which puts measure numbers at every second bar; I find that very helpful in rehearsals, because no-one has to do this "counting from the left margin", which only wastes time; I learned that from brass band scores).


Re: is it slur or tie

Reply #6
But in your case, I would ask whether you might instead enter the two parts as chords on a single staff. Then you don't need to use layers, and the flags will automatically be combined.

Mike, no, I entered it in different staff because my ultimate purpose is to let the members be able to learn each voice, so I will play it in YouTube for each voice, and they can hear it. But for printing so that it looks like the songbook, I need to layer it, As you can see in my YouTube channel, I posting my video for each voice, and the member can see each staff being played and listen to it.
Thank you for explaining the way to make the flags line up.


Re: is it slur or tie

Reply #7
This tool will create an offset if the upper note (stems up) and lower note (stems down) are too close. If both parts have slurs or ties and they look like a lens or a fish, use the link on the first line.
Since 1998

Re: is it slur or tie

Reply #8
Just came back from a rehearsal last night and now have a wonderful example of bad vs good slurs.

The piece this comes from is full of 'em, and they really are harder to read than good engraving.  I immediately remembered this thread and thought I'd post this image:

I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals, youfonymums 'n tubies.