Slurs again

Discuss the rules of notation, standard notation practices, efficient notation practices and graphic design.
benwiggy
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Slurs again

Post by benwiggy » 14 Aug 2017, 21:18

Can anyone give me some advice on how best to present slurs like this? Should they be more curved? And where best to anchor them?
And which of the two positions is better/worse?

Thanks
Screen Shot 4.png
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Knut
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Re: Slurs again

Post by Knut » 15 Aug 2017, 00:33

Under such cramped conditions I'd probably use S shaped slurs going between staves from stem to stem. That way, you'll avoid any interference with rests.

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John Ruggero
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Re: Slurs again

Post by John Ruggero » 15 Aug 2017, 02:42

If this is a piano piece, I would vote for the slur in m. 2 for technical reasons: it mimics the arm motion used in playing this pattern. For this reason, I wouldn't use an S-slur in this case (as much as like S-slurs); but it certainly wouldn't be incorrect to do so.

It is best practice to eliminate the quarter rests in the lower staff, since the LH is playing on both staves. This would affect the impression of the slurs,whatever style you use. The slurs could also have a little more arch; moving the quarter rest in the second measure up into its default position would help this and be more correct in any case.
Last edited by John Ruggero on 15 Aug 2017, 11:37, edited 2 times in total.
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benwiggy
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Re: Slurs again

Post by benwiggy » 15 Aug 2017, 06:24

Thanks, both. That's really useful.

I'm re-engraving a song with piano, and the original is quite poor. (Curwen, 1925.) It uses a faux hand-written style, a bit like Golden Age. There's loads of actual mistakes and questionable matter.

Knut
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Re: Slurs again

Post by Knut » 15 Aug 2017, 09:08

Upon taking another look, I agree with John that the second measure is probably the best solution. However, while he's right that hiding the rests in the bottom staves is customary in this case, this won't have any favorable impact on the slur in this case. Instead you could move the quarter rest in the upper staff a little higher to avoid collision with the slur.

Also, keep in mind that the slur should not be drawn from notehead to notehead in this case; it should go from the stem of the lower voice to the notehead of the second voice:
Skjermbilde 2017-08-15 kl. 10.53.01.png
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benwiggy
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Re: Slurs again

Post by benwiggy » 15 Aug 2017, 10:11

Love your Tenuto, Knut. Finale's default settings are not great.

Knut
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Re: Slurs again

Post by Knut » 15 Aug 2017, 15:13

benwiggy wrote:
15 Aug 2017, 10:11
Love your Tenuto, Knut. Finale's default settings are not great.
Thanks! Although, this was done in Dorico using the Bravura font.

Interestingly, while I agree that Finale's defaults are not good in this case, Dorico seems to handle it much worse, at least when relying on default settings:
Skjermbilde 2017-08-15 kl. 17.05.46.png
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Indeed, as mentioned in several other threads, Dorico's slurs seems to be one of it's weaker points, in spite of the extensive number of options and settings available.

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John Ruggero
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Re: Slurs again

Post by John Ruggero » 15 Aug 2017, 16:28

It is ironic that the slurs were what I was really looking forward to in Dorico. Also, the Bravura font looks heavy to me including that nicely-centered tenuto. Perhaps this can be modified. I would definitely need a SMuFL Maestro for Dorico.
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Schonbergian
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Re: Slurs again

Post by Schonbergian » 15 Aug 2017, 17:12

I find the shape of Knut's solution the most aesthetically pleasing so far (excepting the various visual issues with Dorico slurs), but it shouldn't curve backwards in my opinion.

Knut
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Re: Slurs again

Post by Knut » 15 Aug 2017, 19:25

Schonbergian wrote:
15 Aug 2017, 17:12
I find the shape of Knut's solution the most aesthetically pleasing so far (excepting the various visual issues with Dorico slurs), but it shouldn't curve backwards in my opinion.
Technically, I think it is optional which way the slur curves in a case like this. Nevertheless, based on Ben's excerpt, I do prefer placing the slur above because (a) it is the default way to place a slur in cases of mixed stem directions, and (b) it gives a more open ended, more progressive impression. I'm not entirely sure, though, and I would probably have to see it in a wider context to make the right decision.

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