Case of the Disappearing Slur

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John Ruggero
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Case of the Disappearing Slur

Post by John Ruggero » 01 Aug 2017, 16:55

Finale contracts the slurs over widely intervals as the notes get closer together, perhaps so that the tips of the slurs can remain centered over the note heads.

While this style can be observed in well-engraved music past and present, the alternative, normal length slurs that are not centered over the note heads, is also prevalent. I prefer the latter approach, but have to do a lot of hand work to carry it out—and the results are not consistent. What do Notatio members think about this issue and are there techniques that might make the second approach easier to implement in Finale?
Slurs.jpg
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Schonbergian
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Re: Case of the Disappearing Slur

Post by Schonbergian » 02 Aug 2017, 02:11

I find the hand-adjusted slurs to be much more pleasing and better at depicting the connection between the two notes.

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David Ward
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Re: Case of the Disappearing Slur

Post by David Ward » 02 Aug 2017, 06:51

Schonbergian wrote:
02 Aug 2017, 02:11
I find the hand-adjusted slurs to be much more pleasing and better at depicting the connection between the two notes.
I agree.

(I'm not sure how often I have encountered this in my own scores, or to what extent I have manually adjusted the result when it has occurred. Oh dear, yet another detail…)

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Re: Case of the Disappearing Slur

Post by erelievonen » 02 Aug 2017, 20:29

John's hand-adjusted slurs are definitely better!
My approach to get some consistency in such slurs has been to draw one, hand-adjust it, and then copy that slur to all similar places.

I'm not sure if it would help, but have you experimented with the Smart Slur option "Maximum slur angle in degrees"?

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John Ruggero
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Re: Case of the Disappearing Slur

Post by John Ruggero » 02 Aug 2017, 22:08

Thanks, Schonbergian David and Ere. I am glad that I am in good company in preferring the full length slurs.

Ere, your suggestions were the ones I was looking for. I had my Maximum slur angle set to 40 degrees (why, I don't remember); the Finale default is 45. Set to 90 degrees, the slurs don't shrink, no matter how large the interval or how close the notes are together. The slur must still be reshaped because the tips remain centered over the note heads, which sometimes leads to unattractive shapes, but the reshaping is slight and consistency is therefore greater. Then your first suggestion comes into effect. A single good reshaping seems applicable to all large intervals, so pasting a reshaped slur gives good results in a variety of cases.

I tried the 90 degree setting in the Slur Experiment file that I posted at:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=107

and didn't see any unfortunate side-effects. I will make this my new default setting and see what happens.

Perhaps FInale chose the 45 degree default because it simplified the design to keep the slur tips centered over the note heads and this gives decent results no matter how close the notes are to each other. What is needed is a more complex approach that allows the tips to move off to the side as the notes move closer together. But I will not make that request at MM; they have their hands full!
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Re: Case of the Disappearing Slur

Post by erelievonen » 03 Aug 2017, 10:10

John Ruggero wrote:
02 Aug 2017, 22:08
A single good reshaping seems applicable to all large intervals, so pasting a reshaped slur gives good results in a variety of cases.
And even if not, it is often enough to nudge just one end of the slur, straight up or down - which is easy with the arrow keys - one staff space (or more), without needing to adjust the curvature in any other way.
John Ruggero wrote:
02 Aug 2017, 22:08
What is needed is a more complex approach that allows the tips to move off to the side as the notes move closer together. But I will not make that request at MM; they have their hands full!
Indeed. I can't think of a simple enough algorithm to do that automatically.
This makes me curious how Dorico handles such slurs...

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John Ruggero
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Re: Case of the Disappearing Slur

Post by John Ruggero » 03 Aug 2017, 19:11

erelievonen wrote:
03 Aug 2017, 10:10
And even if not, it is often enough to nudge just one end of the slur, straight up or down - which is easy with the arrow keys - one staff space (or more), without needing to adjust the curvature in any other way.
That is a style of adjustment that I avoid in most situations since it uncenters the slur tips, but in this special case, it works well until the notes are quite close together. One would think that it is precisely this adjustment that could be used to devise an automatic mechanism.
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Re: Case of the Disappearing Slur

Post by tisimst » 03 Aug 2017, 19:46

erelievonen wrote:
03 Aug 2017, 10:10
This makes me curious how Dorico handles such slurs...
Here you go. The top image is the default. The bottom is after changing the global max allowed angle between endpoints to 90deg (default is 35deg).
Dorico-1.1-default-slur-settings.png
Dorico-1.1-default-slur-settings.png (11.32 KiB) Viewed 2334 times
Dorico-1.1-with-90deg-max angle-slur-setting.png
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John Ruggero
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Re: Case of the Disappearing Slur

Post by John Ruggero » 04 Aug 2017, 03:49

Thanks, tisimst. Looks like Dorico stayed with the Finale strategy; the result is very much the same, aside from the difference in slur thickness and proportion.
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Schonbergian
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Re: Case of the Disappearing Slur

Post by Schonbergian » 04 Aug 2017, 14:32

It unfortunately seems like the Dorico slurs inherit all of the ugliest properties of the Sibelius slurs as well. I don't find its corrected example nearly as pleasing as John's attempt in Finale.

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