Cross-staff slur colliding with accidentals in spite of the Engraving Options settings

See this example, the slurs are colliding with the sharps completely, and with the flats way below the stem:

I’ve set all the settings in Engraving Options > Slurs as usual to avoid collisions, and while they tend to work fine, in this case they don’t.

Manually checking the Avoid Collisions box on the lower panel in Engrave mode does nothing.

Here’s the trimmed file:

dorico help.dorico (802.9 KB)


The long and short of it is that cross-staff slurs often need manual adjustment, particularly when the material under each slur is quite so asymmetric. You’ll need to fix these by hand.


I suppose moving those cross staff notes (eighths) up to the right hand staff would not be desirable? It would sound the same.

Yes, but it would indicate to the pianist to play them with his right hand, while having them written on the lower staff is one of the standard conventions if you want then played with the pianist’s left hand.

All it would take is a “R.H.” marking. You’re in bass clef on the top staff anyway.

That is neither a convention nor a standard - just a practical consequence of how many piano parts distribute the notes to be played.

I would consider moving all the RH notes down to the lower staff and leave the upper staff in treble clef and empty.

Fwiw, I find nothing unusual or offensive about the original (save the slurs, lol). It’s eminently clear how to play it. I see textures like this all the time.


As a pianist I’d be happy to see rests in the rh where the rh/lh are the same note. That does away with cross-stave beaming and solves the slur collision issue. Even though that wouldn’t indicate a slur from LH to RH, as long as the LH is held down for the indicated values it will sound connected, slurred.

I understand that personal preferences have a role, but, as a professional pianist, I would like to see this part written exactly as in this example above, except for slurs, of course. The absence of rests in the right hand conveys the information that the bass notes are at the same time part of the melodic arpeggios, which is useful to render the proper musical meaning, in my opinion (the way I would attack with my right thumb the note on the second eighth of each beat and the way I would calibrate the difference of timbre between the two hands would be different with or without the rests, in my view).
As for the slurs: adjusting manually each slur would imply to select the first one, then the last one (with Shift-click), then pressing Shift-ctrl/cmd-A to select all the in-between remaining slurs, then switching to Engraver mode, then Shift-clicking manually the slur handles (the second handle of each slur, probably), then moving them. Not immediate.
I wonder if changing the distance between the two staves would help to fix the result. Have you tried moving the left-hand staff up a little bit?