Feature request: Straight arpeggio line (and suggestions on how to make this work now?)

Hi, I’m hoping we might get the ability in the future to format an arpeggio line as a straight line with arrow — a common way to show showing the direction of string arpeggiation). I’m attaching the relevant example from Gould.

In the meantime, does anybody have any idea of the best way to do this currently? I’m thinking about the “strum down” playing technique, but there’s a lot of manual work involved and it’s sort of short and stubby to serve this purpose.


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I think the best option is to create a few arrows as custom Playing Techniques. There are arrows in Bravura and fonts by the competition… you must adjust the placement in Engrave, and may have to adjust note spacing as well.

Those aren’t really arpeggio signs in the true sense of the word, are they? They indicate double/triple/quadruple stopping but they don’t indicate that the chord should be played back “rolled”.

We certainly plan to add lines of various kinds in future, including lines that can attach to chords, and I expect that this kind of thing will be easy to achieve once we have them.

I don’t have any solution if you want both straight lines AND the usual lines at the same time in one document.
But if you want only straight lines in one document here is a solution: in the “Edit Muisc Symbol” editor change the glyphs used for the symbols “Arpeggiato arrowhead up” and “Arpeggiato wiggle segment, upwards”.

To achieve this go to “Engrave / Music Symbols”
In the “Edit Music Symbol” window choose the Category “Arpeggios”
Select “Arpeggiato arrowhead up” to change the used glyph and in the right side of the window choose:
Glyph / Font: Bravura / Range: Arrows and arrowheads / arrowBlackRight (instead of the glyph name you will see the glyph itself)
Click “Add Glyph” and in the graphic editor window delete the original glyph and place the new one accordingly

Select “Arpeggiato wiggle segment, upwards” and choose the following Glyph:
Glyph / Font: Bravura / Range: Articulation / Tenuto (choose above or below)
Click “Add Glyph” and in the graphic editor window delete the original glyph and place the new one accordingly

Do the same for Arpeggiato down with the appropriate Glyphs.

Now this will be available in the current document.
You can save this as default if you click on the “Star” symbol on the bottom left side of the window

building on teacue’s suggestion, you could also replace e.g. an articulation that you’re not likely to use, in the Music Symbols editor. I just tried it with stressed… if you put (properly placed) arrows in both stress above and stress below it may conveniently give you arrow up and arrow down using the Flip command…

I guess you’re right, Daniel; they aren’t exactly equivalent to the wiggly arpeggiation lines (which mean specifically to play each note in succession). If we’re talking about literal symbols, it would be nice to have the baroque arpeggiation symbol as another option (the little slash through the upward or downward stem showing which direction the chord is rolled).

It just seems like I could get what I wanted if there were the option to straighten out the wiggly arpeggio lines… but yes, it’s not semantically quite right.

I do think string players think of this as “rolling the chord,” even in this 2+2 way. For example, modern-trained string players will play Bach’s quadruple-stop chords 2 notes + 2 notes, and historical performers will arpeggiate the chord note-by-note. Gould says this is “the convention” but I’d say it’s just one modern performance practice of arpeggios on string instruments.

Anyway, I guess one hope is that eventually we’ll have some magic line editor (like the Playing Techniques editor) where I could just create a new (second!) Arpeggio Line style and make it look however I wanted. I know someday my prince will come—I think that’s Daniel. Or is he our fairy godmother?

Thanks for the suggestions, fratveno and teacue. Teacue, those look perfect but unfortunately, I do need a million normal arpeggio lines in this opera (and in a different thread I’m still wishing for more detailed spacing controls around those) so I can’t just replace the wiggly line, but I can make a new playing technique and manually position it. It’s just whenever I start adjusting note spacing in a big piece, it’s asking for trouble later on. Even just switching from Galley view to Engrave mode in this gigantic opera score is deathly slow, so I’m trying to minimize Engrave mode work at the moment. Thank you, though, there’s clearly a way to make it work, manually!

I wanted to follow up on this if anybody else is looking for a straight vertical line. Unfortunately, Playing Techniques weren’t feasible because (unless I’m missing something) there’s no way to turn off collision avoidance for an individual item. When I made a nice tall arrow as a Playing Technique, placing it added tons of vertical space to the staff. I don’t want to turn off collision avoidance for the whole layout, and I definitely don’t want to have to manually correct for this on every page that needs an arrow, so instead I’m using text objects. It’s really annoying, but it looks pretty good.