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Slurs over systems

Posted: 09 Oct 2019, 10:48
by benwiggy
Has there been a discussion about the best way to break slurs at systems?

Elaine Gould wisely says that "The incomplete slur should look clearly open-ended, or each side of the system break will appear to take a separate slur." I definitely agree.

I find Finale and Dorico's capabilities for slurs over system breaks to be limited. What's your suggestion/recommendation/preference for the shape of a slur break?

Possible solutions then might be that the slur should just be 'bisected' (as if a galley had been cut and pasted); or the slur should reach its apogee at the margin, (even if the continued matter is much shorter).

Re: Slurs over systems

Posted: 09 Oct 2019, 16:44
by John Ruggero
I try to preserve the normal shape of a slur as much as possible for both slurs, while still making it clear that the slur is continuing on, which is pretty easy to do by simply continuing the slur on past final note head or stem sufficiently. Long initial or ending slur halves are easiest and require little adaptation in many cases. The hardest situation is for short slurs on the stem ends, for notes that are low on the staff.

This is what I see in the engraving I admire, such as that in the Breitkopf Brahms Complete Works. I don't care for a lot of white space between slurs and notes and do my best to avoid the very high arched look that one sees on page 112 in Gould.

Re: Slurs over systems

Posted: 10 Oct 2019, 11:04
by OCTO
benwiggy wrote:
09 Oct 2019, 10:48
I find Finale and Dorico's capabilities for slurs over system breaks to be limited. What's your suggestion/recommendation/preference for the shape of a slur break?
I think that it depends from case to case. The most common approach is to visualise the complete phrase and the slur over it; so that the slur follows the direction of melody.
Open slur end is of course the way, but I would rather prefer doing that by myself than letting any software do it by default (I have aversion for all defaults).
benwiggy wrote:
09 Oct 2019, 10:48
Possible solutions then might be that the slur should just be 'bisected' (as if a galley had been cut and pasted)
That is also an option, but in my opinion not so common in the old music editions.

I would prefer just open slurs. Handmade.

Re: Slurs over systems

Posted: 11 Oct 2019, 13:14
by teacue
@John Ruggero and @ OCTO
I find your suggestions very usefull.

Would you mind to post some pictures of how you design such slurs?

Right now I have to edit such slurs-breaks in Dorico (which has in my view for this specific case a not so nice default behaviour) and it would help a lot to see real examples of what you both mean.

Re: Slurs over systems

Posted: 12 Oct 2019, 18:17
by John Ruggero
Gould:
Gould 1.jpeg
Gould 1.jpeg (24.98 KiB) Viewed 275 times
I prefer:
Slur 1.jpeg
Slur 1.jpeg (13.79 KiB) Viewed 275 times
Slur 2.jpeg
Slur 2.jpeg (15.21 KiB) Viewed 275 times
For single note endings I prefer A and B. I avoid C.
Slur 3.jpeg
Slur 3.jpeg (30.85 KiB) Viewed 275 times

Re: Slurs over systems

Posted: 13 Oct 2019, 09:00
by teacue
@ John Ruggero
Thank you for your examples.

Re: Slurs over systems

Posted: 13 Oct 2019, 18:59
by OCTO
I prefer exactly as John did, it is superior to Gould.

John, in the example "Slur 3.jpeg", when the situation is to tight, I use to expand the space before first note. Do you think it is valid?
Particularly these expanded spaces I use when I there are multiple ties to the first note(s).

Re: Slurs over systems

Posted: 13 Oct 2019, 19:36
by John Ruggero
OCTO wrote:
13 Oct 2019, 18:59
I prefer exactly as John did, it is superior to Gould.
Thank you very much, OCTO!
OCTO wrote:
13 Oct 2019, 18:59
John, in the example "Slur 3.jpeg", when the situation is to tight, I use to expand the space before first note. Do you think it is valid?
Particularly these expanded spaces I use when I there are multiple ties to the first note(s).
I do the same. In Finale, the ties from a previous system are sometimes much too short (sometimes almost invisible!) and expanding the space often corrects that.

Re: Slurs over systems

Posted: 14 Oct 2019, 15:14
by benwiggy
Thanks, John for the examples. I can see the clarity in your examples.

FWIW, that style should actually be easy to match in Dorico. If the computer can do it for me, then I see no reason to do it by hand!

Re: Slurs over systems

Posted: 14 Oct 2019, 15:37
by John Ruggero
Thanks so much, Ben. I'm doing another trial of Dorico and will experiment as well. I agree about the computer vs. by hand. My settings for slurs in Finale do a pretty good job in most cases, so I don't do a lot of hand work. But I find it very satisfying to try to come up with something that handles the tricky cases by hand.