Short Slurs (Octaves)

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sethm
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Short Slurs (Octaves)

Post by sethm » 14 Aug 2018, 21:06

Hi all,

I'm new to engraving, and I'm having trouble with short slurs. This is the passage that I'm currently having trouble with:
short-slurs-octaves.png
short-slurs-octaves.png (42.89 KiB) Viewed 658 times
A is Dorico's default. B is my best attempt so far. My main question is: am I on the right track? I've found that when I place the slurs exactly from the center of each notehead, the curve of the slurs look terrible (at least when I do it). I've been looking at music with short slurs, and the hand engraved music doesn't aim to have every slur precisely with each end at the center of noteheads. They seem more interested in keeping a good shape to the slur.

C is an alternate attempt where I flipped the stems of the first two beats. That is a separate question, but I am curious as to your thoughts about flipping the stems so that the melody has beams all facing the same way.

Thanks for your input!

MalteM
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Re: Short Slurs (Octaves)

Post by MalteM » 15 Aug 2018, 07:14

I’m not an slur expert but have a slightly off-topic suggestion: The clef change should be at a full beat, i. e. an eight later after the g. Apart from the beat it would also make clearer that it’s f♯ g f♯ e d … and not f♯ e d …

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OCTO
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Re: Short Slurs (Octaves)

Post by OCTO » 15 Aug 2018, 10:35

Personally, I don't like Dorico-slurs (default). There is something odd with that, likewise with Sibelius - keeping in mind that same people developed it. Default slurs (if they are these above) are ugly, and I haven't seen these shapes in the older music literature. Such small slurs were punched, not drawn.

The stems should not be flipped but kept as they are. The only odd thing I see here (B & C) is that some of the slurs start before the notehead. I see it as a mistake. However the shapes are much better.
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sethm
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Re: Short Slurs (Octaves)

Post by sethm » 15 Aug 2018, 14:44

Thanks for the feedback! I also posted this in the Facebook Music Engraving Tips group and I got very similar feedback.

Just a comment about the clef change — I have changed it to be an eighth later, but my intention had been to show the change the split in phrase since the G until the end of the bar is basically a pickup. It seems that was overkill and gets in the way of reading.

Regarding the slurs, since I'm new at this, I'm having a hard time giving the slurs a good shape while starting at the center of the note. Just to make sure I understand you correctly, is your criticism that many slurs are aligned with the left side of the notehead, or that some are starting even further to the left than that?

Other than the silly place I put the clef change, everything about A is Dorico's defaults.

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John Ruggero
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Re: Short Slurs (Octaves)

Post by John Ruggero » 16 Aug 2018, 02:03

I hope this example is self-explanatory. I prefer the older style of splitting passages like this between the staves.
Example.jpg
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Schonbergian
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Re: Short Slurs (Octaves)

Post by Schonbergian » 17 Aug 2018, 15:04

In general, Dorico's slurs, like Sibelius's, need less "lift" in the middle. Possibly a bit more than John's, to my eyes. Right now even your slurs direct attention too far away from the notes themselves. They should point more closely to the noteheads.

sethm
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Re: Short Slurs (Octaves)

Post by sethm » 21 Aug 2018, 04:57

Thank you both. This has been very helpful!

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John Ruggero
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Re: Short Slurs (Octaves)

Post by John Ruggero » 21 Aug 2018, 17:56

You are very welcome, sethm. I agree completely with Schonbergian's principle that the slurs should always point to the note heads.

It should be noted that Dorico's default style A in the OP is a legitimate way to handle this situation and often seen. However, I myself allow the slur ends to move away from the note heads only as a last resort to maintain a graceful slur shape. Such situations occur when more than two notes are involved.
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