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Topic: slurs across system breaks (Read 3874 times) previous topic - next topic

slurs across system breaks
One thing I would very much like to see fixed soon in NWC is the handling of slurs across system breaks. Currently, a slur that begins in one system and continues to the next is treated as two slurs, one from the first note you want slurred to the end of the first system and the other beginning at the start of the next system and ending at the note where you've chosen to end your (single) slur. The broken slur needs to begin and end "in the air," instead, so that if the beginning and ending barlines were placed together the slur would make a continuous curve. This is not just a matter of aesthetics: the current method makes it far too easy to confuse a slur with a tie, and thus misread the music. On a scale of one to ten, I would rank the need to get this one fixed as a ten. You can sort of kludge around it with headless, stemless, muted notes on a layered staff, but it's a pain to construct and it doesn't really work very well.

Re: slurs across system breaks
Reply #1
Agreed. For openers,  these slurs should never be flat, i.e. starting and ending at the same vertical position. This will cure the problem of being mistaken for ties. A slur coming into a new system should try to avoid the Clef and Key objects.

NoteWorthy is not alone in this. LilyPond has problems with this. The workaround for NoteWorthy took a few minutes, the workaround for LilyPond, a few hours.

NoteWorthy is very good about rendering slurs and ties differently, but when I am performing a piece, I am not thinking about what process/program was used to produce the music. When I see a "flat" arc, my first guess is that it is a tie.
Registered user since 1996

Re: slurs across system breaks
Reply #2
Quote
The broken slur needs to begin and end "in the air," instead, so that if the beginning and ending barlines were placed together the slur would make a continuous curve

That simply isn't true.

Quote
the current method makes it far too easy to confuse a slur with a tie

Not really. A tie goes to the notehead; a slur goes to the end of the staff.A tie goes to the notehead; a slur goes to the end of the staff.[ A tie goes from nearly the side of the notehead; the slur from above.
  • Last Edit: 2007-10-02 06:14 pm by Peter Edwards

Re: slurs across system breaks
Reply #3
"The broken slur needs to begin and end "in the air," 
should read
The broken slur needs to end in the air, and begin in the air again in the next system.
Maybe that was the reason for this little misunderstanding.

Re: slurs across system breaks
Reply #4
Peter, please read Rick's reply, directly above yours. The music I write or transcirbe in NWC is full of what he calls "flat arcs" in the last measure of a system. Some are ties across the system break, and some are slurs across the system break, and it is very difficult to tell them apart, as both go to the barline at the end of the system. If there are both a tie and a slur across a system break, you get two parallel flat arcs, both ending at the barline. A proper slur across a system break ends at the break in the middle of what would be its normal arc across the note grouping it encloses, and simply picks up the same arc again at the beginning of the next system. It's difficult to describe this in words, so please paste this into a blank NWC score:

!NoteWorthyComposerClip(2.0,Single)
|Clef|Type:Treble
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Bar
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Bar
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Bar
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0^
|Bar|SysBreak:Y
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Bar
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Bar
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Bar
|Note|Dur:Whole,Slur|Pos:0
|Bar|SysBreak:Y
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:5
!NoteWorthyComposerClip-End

If you look at this "music" (I use the word advisedly) in print preview, you'll see the problem. The b-b tie in m. 4-5 and the b-g slur in m. 8-9 don't look exactly alike - the slur has a higher arc - but they both begin and end at about the same vertical position on the staff. The slur should be rising, and should end "in the air" above the barline at the end of the second system, to prepare to come down to the g.

Note that the tie itself is also wrong: it should come into the second system at the top of a flat arc, so that it ties to something from outside the system. Instead, it ties to the barline at the beginning of the system. But this is much less problematic than the behavior of the slur.

Re: slurs across system breaks
Reply #5
momentary lapse of concentration over the tie - now edited to make more sense. I agree that they can be confused but if the slur would appear be flat if it were all on one system, then it is still flat when split over two systems. You don't artificially tilt it up and down.

I also agree that a slur should not be flat over two systems if it is not over one - that is a bug. It can be fixed:

Quote
!NoteWorthyComposerClip(2.0,Single)
|Clef|Type:Treble
|TimeSig|Signature:4/4
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Bar
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Bar
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Bar
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Bar
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Bar
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Bar
|RestChord|Dur:Half,Dotted,Slur|Opts:Stem=Down,Slur=Upward,ArticulationsOnStem,VertOffset=2000|Dur2:Whole|Pos2:0
|Rest|Dur:4th,Slur|Opts:Stem=Down|Visibility:Never
|Bar|SysBreak:Y
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:5
!NoteWorthyComposerClip-End

Intriguingly an invisible rest actually alters the position of the slur.

But the main point I was making is that the slur is not simply cut in two at the system break. It dips down at the end of the first system and rises at the start of the second; just as if it were two slurs.

Re: slurs across system breaks
Reply #6
Thanks for the clarification, Peter. The invisible-rest idea is new to me, and I may start using it (didn't know that when you make a rest invisible you also take away its effect on the length of the measure - that's a good trick to have handy).

However, it doesn't correct the misdrawn slur at the beginning of the next system. If you use an invisible rest there, you simply void the slur (no matter whether the rest is slurred with the note or not). That's because a slur drawn from an invisible object is itself invisible. Any ideas for that one? I've been using a layer with a headless, stemless, muted note, but there may be a better way.

As for the dip in the slur across the end of the system in published music - good observation. I hadn't looked closely enough at published scores, and when I did I realized that engravers do dip slurs at system breaks. But the dip doesn't drop all the way to the barline, and then start again at the beginning barline on the next system, as NWC has it doing. I suspect Eric just has the program treat the barline as the final object in the slur in the first system and the first object in the slur in the second. A good first approximation, but I think it might be time to refine it a little.

Re: slurs across system breaks
Reply #7
Example from: 51 Piano Pieces from the modern repertoire attached.

I would argue that Carl Deis should have insisted on a bit more downward slope to the slur at the end of the last system.
The beginning of the last system shows that slurs pass through accidentals, another thing NWC2 needs to learn.

This is, I think, the easiest solution for outbound slurs:
Quote
!NoteWorthyComposerClip(2.0,Single)
|Clef|Type:Treble
|Key|Signature:Bb,Eb,Ab,Db,Gb
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:Whole,Slur|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:Whole,Grace|Pos:5z^|Visibility:Never
|Bar|SysBreak:Y
|Note|Dur:Whole,Grace|Pos:5z^|Visibility:Never
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:5
!NoteWorthyComposerClip-End
Playback is correct if the first note in the 2nd system is a 16th or longer.
I know of no easy fix for inbound slurs.

I agree that they can be confused but if the slur would appear be flat if it were all on one system, then it is still flat when split over two systems. You don't artificially tilt it up and down.
I would say that you do tilt it if you want it to be played as a slur.

Quote from: Rick G. (paraphrasing Barry Goldwater)
Exaggeration in pursuit of clarity is no vice.
  • Last Edit: 2007-10-02 09:09 pm by Rick G.
Registered user since 1996

Re: slurs across system breaks
Reply #8
Quote
when you make a rest invisible you also take away its effect on the length of the measure

No! Please don't do that. I made the note in that bar into a RestChord with a dotted minim rest attached (at infinity). The rest has the same effect visible or invisible.

The gracenote approach is certainly much simpler but note that with an invisible rest you can move the slur up or down.

It's probably already been mentioned, but If you use just the one grace note (before the bar) then NWC hides the outbound tie but prints the inbound tie (whoops!).

Re: slurs across system breaks
Reply #9
The gracenote approach is certainly much simpler but note that with an invisible rest you can move the slur up or down.
Life would be much simpler if muted grace notes were ignored during playback or MIDI export. One could simply write:
Quote
!NoteWorthyComposerClip(2.0,Single)
|Clef|Type:Treble
|Key|Signature:Bb,Eb,Ab,Db,Gb
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:Whole,Slur|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:4th,Grace|Pos:2z|Opts:NoLegerLines,Muted|Visibility:Never
|Bar|SysBreak:Y
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:5
!NoteWorthyComposerClip-End
This small change would help slurs in many situations and allow for a much easier simulation of grace notes before the beat.

Edit 2009/10/09: muted grace notes are now ignored during playback or MIDI export making the above workaround useful.
  • Last Edit: 2009-09-05 08:48 pm by Rick G.
Registered user since 1996

Re: slurs across system breaks
Reply #10
Quote
when you make a rest invisible you also take away its effect on the length of the measure--
Quote
No! Please don't do that...

Maybe everyone's needs would be met if an invisible item has a preserve width option? 

Now I'm going to try not to comment more on anything until I've checked out the new version 2.20 - can't wait!