Can't draw line between 2 notes, one in each stave of a piano system

I’d like to draw a dashed line between a grace note and a normal note to indicate that the grace note must be played on the beat:

I can draw the line between any other two notes, but not if they are on the same beat. Any ideas?

Here’s the project, just in case:

dorico help.dorico (784.0 KB)


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Out of curiosity, what would the line signify?

This is common in piano music. It indicates that the grace note is to played on the beat with the left hand note (as opposed to most grace notes that are played before the beat).

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Use any line and adjust the end points in engrave. (You will have to adjust every layout that the line appears on)

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it can’t be all that common.
my first reaction would be to see the grace as a voice going from upper staff to lower.
in 50 years of piano, I’ve never come across this indication.
If it’s meant to be played on the beat, then I’d far rather see the grace notes displayed as real notes, with whatever speed value will give the best effect.


I also think the diagonal line is non-standard and slightly confusing. Why not use a short trill instead? From the 19th century onwards, it has been the notation of choice for what you want to achieve.
Schermafbeelding 2022-06-23 om 23.40.39


It’s all over some editions I have of Mozart and Haydn piano sonatas. Here’s an example of Haydn’s sonata No.35.

Yes, but I think that’ll get messed up if I change the system breaks or anything that changes the horizontal spacing of these measures.

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You have to use a horizontal line and change the attachment points to noteheads. Then shift/command click each noteheads to highlight them both at the same time and voila.

Since you aren’t reprinting a period edition and writing music that is fairly recent, I would suggest sticking to contemporary notation markings.

I’ve played a LOT of 20th century music, and the only time I’ve seen dashed lines skipping from one staff to the next like this is when it was used to indicate a voice moving from one hand to another.

Regardless of whether some editions of Haydn use that notation, it’s not applicable in your case. Write it the way a modern edition would notate it. It is permitted to use text for this type of thing, for example “on the beat”. Or indicate it as a footnote.

How do we know Haydn intended the grace notes to be played with the lefthand chord?

… I’d agree, except this does not work when one note is a grace.

My Wiener Urtext Edition notates with much less ambiguity.


It worked just fine for me…

Note: when it first inserts the line, it is very small, so you do have to adjust it in engrave mode, but you very much can anchor the line properly.

(Although I very much agree with @lafin that the Weiner Urtext is much easier to read.)

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I simply think that, used properly, a line between staves, especially for piano scores, is an important useful feature.

Music literature is full of correct examples.

There’s no doubt that these lines are helpful, especially for dense counterpoint where voices cross staves.

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Romanos, if I read Weiner I have to think of a sausage :wink:
Wiener Urtext
Wien (Austria) :austria:

Sure! And in many educational scores…

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I know. I just accidentally swapped the vowels. I’ve been to Wien twice. Just forgot how it’s spelled since it’s been a decade and I apparently didn’t read Lafin’s post closely enough. :disguised_face:

It seems to be a global issue:

I was quite surprised when I - in Australia :australia: - spotted white wine bottles, labelled Reisling (so to get the pronunciation of the Riesling wine correct).