Correct Gliss Start Point Entry

A gliss lasts the length of the note from which it starts. Thus I think you’ll agree that ‘A’, ‘B’ & ‘D’ are not the same as ‘C’ in the examples below:

When I try to notate such glisses in Dorico, clicking the start note for the gliss in a tied note set, automatically selects all of the tied notes. Enter a gliss, and Dorico seems always to place it as running from the end of the last tied note.

The only solution is then manually to edit the gliss using the technique described here:

Is there a way to make Dorico respect the start-point for a glissando emanating from the (correct) place in a line of tied notes?

Put the note that you want to start the gliss movement into a different voice and then Click, CTRL/CMD+Click to tie that note back to the preceding (sustained) note.

Slice 1

(Why does a Slice exported directly from Dorico not save in color no matter the setting asked for? :triumph:)

The rule is that a gliss lasts for the duration of the note from which it comes.

When a gliss emanates from a tied note, Dorico automatically selects both note heads of any starting note, and then inserts the gliss from the end point. This is not necessarily right. E.g. this:


…might more properly appear like this, with the gliss starting from the red arrow in the above:


I know about this:

…but is there a way in Dorico of specifying from the get-go, from wherence the gliss should emanate, when this is as part of two or more tied notes?

Please feel free to add further thoughts to existing threads, rather than starting new threads on the same topic. It helps keep discussions together.

I think I disagree, I was taught to position glissandi between noteheads, and if that needed to span a tie chain, use noteheadless noteheads inbetween the start and end notes, with the stems positioned so they look like they’re attached to the glissando line, like a beam. Other methods are available.

In any case, Dorico doesn’t do what you’re asking (glissando lines starting from the first note in a tie chain) automatically.


Your way is elegant Lillie, at least it doesn’t strike gliss lines through stems (b4):

…though I’m not sure how players would know that headless stems were crotchets.

Sorry about not keeping threads together, my original post disappeared temporarily from the forum board. I’ll try to link to others’ threads on the same topics.

If you gliss during a tie, one could argue the meaning is ambiguous: are you holding a constant pitch during that time, or is the pitch changing? The headless noteheads aligning with the glissando line convey both rhythmic duration and pitch inflection.

The clue that they’re crotchets is the straight stem – for smaller durations you can have flags or beams of course, and because a straight stem could be crotchet or minim, accepted practice (or my understanding of it at least) is not to use minims and always have crotchets as the largest “denomination” within a gliss. Although it’s often also fairly clear from context.

Lillie is correct here and her method is established practice in both notation guides and orchestration texts.

Gould - Behind Bars

Walter Piston - Orchestration

If you want to convey to the performer that the gliss starts from the first note, performers will expect something like Lillie’s example or the above texts.


Has someone just thrown the book at me?

I’ve merged this thread with the other (I think identical?) thread you started at the same time. If you have problems finding existing threads you’ve created on the forum, go to your profile page by clicking your avatar at the top right-hand corner of the site, then click the little person icon in the menu that appears, then click Activity, from where you can see all of the threads you’ve started, all your replies, all your “likes”, etc.

If you deliberately started two identical threads, perhaps because you were concerned you hadn’t received a reply quickly enough to the first: please don’t do that. It’s considered impolite on this forum to “bump”, i.e. to reply to your own thread to try to draw renewed attention to it, and it’s considered even more impolite to bump by duplicating a thread and posting it again.

But I expect this was simply a case of not being able to find the existing post, so hopefully the tip of finding your Activity page will help in future. Thanks!

LOL! I was just pointing out that you were making claims like “the rule is that a gliss lasts for the duration of the note from which it comes” without citation, when in most published music that is most definitely not the rule, so I cited a couple of sources. Obviously I’m not an expert on all styles and genres, so it’s certainly possible you are correct in some types of performance practice, but the Lillie/Gould/Piston way is how I’m used to seeing glisses notated and interpreted, and I don’t recall any notation or orchestration guides stating otherwise.

1 Like

Thanks dspreadbury, I did try to link my post to the thread at:

but the above disappeared from the Dorico forum board temporarily, so I had to start another. I value the importance of keeping threads together so that they can be seared and helpful to future users.

Hi FredGUnn,

Sorry for being too prescriptive (“the rule is that” :melting_face:). I learned from Gardner Read’s books: ‘Music Notation’ and ‘Modern Rhythmic Notation’ + my teacher. My philosophy (which might not be shared by others), is to go with the clearest notation for a player so as to avoid explaining new notation during rehearsals, and to avoid using new notations when old ones will do.

The Lillie/Gould/Piston way is a clear and elegant alternative, which I learned from and appreciate.

Thanks for this workaround Derrek.

I have both of the Read books too and they are great! I quickly looked through Music Notation and he does have the following example on page 73:

The main gliss section on pages 243-245 he doesn’t seem to specifically address your issue though.

I stand corrected.