Ligature in French style

It s possible to have the ligature that do
s not pass through the bars like in french style.

No, at the present time Dorico does not support so-called French beams, but it is something we may well add in a future version of the software.

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Thank you Daniel,
Pesornally it’s not for me as this practice has been abandoned.
It’s just ideas for future updates.

To me, they look like a bad printing job, or a copy of a copy of a copy, or the toner is running out on your printer. Absolutely useless!

Woodwind players at least are really familiar with this style as it was the house style for Alphonse Leduc (who published Bozza, Ibert, Mule, Lacour, Moyse, Bonneau, Taffanel/Gaubert, etc). Meh. It might be a nice feature for historical purposes, but that’s a practice I’m happy to see abandoned.

50 years ago I was a serious trombone student, so I had many of the french etude books (Leduc). I never remember noticing the 16th note beaming which probably says a lot about its usefulness. My music library is long gone into better hands so I can’t check.

One thing I know for sure, if you mention the etude book by Marcel Bitsch, my reply is “Yes they were”.

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Just went into my practice room and pulled all the Leduc woodwind etude/pieces I had on the shelf. I currently have 23 of them out plus maybe more in boxes or elsewhere. (My music isn’t super organized.)

The 32nds look particularly odd to me in this style. Here’s a page from a Bozza flute duet:

You can see there are a few instances where the engraver punched the stem too long or too short as well so it’s a bit inconsistent.


Good morning all,
I would be very happy to see this French specificity in Dorico, as was the case in Sibelius, a few years ago.
For several reasons :

  • first of all because it is a specific feature of French engraving;
  • because it significantly lightens the score by removing unnecessary black;
  • then because it is a practice that is absolutely not abandoned …
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Finale does currently support this, although I’ve never had the need to use it. It certainly isn’t commonly found among US publishers, but if it’s not an abandoned style and some publishers still use it, it seems like a reasonable request for Dorico to handle it. Finale’s implementation of it shows the staff lines though, while the Leduc publications seem to hide the staff lines if they would cross a beam. Here’s Finale:

Would you prefer the staff lines show in the beam or be hidden like the Leduc publications?

If Dorico could hide the staff lines, that would be wonderful!

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For whatever reason, I’ve never come across this before (or noticed it when I did). I confess it strikes my eye as quite odd. Quite odd. The engraver would have had to go to quite a lot of trouble to prevent the staff lines from crossing too.

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Just speculating, but I think the staff lines are etched first and then the engraver goes back and somehow “erases” them by filling them in between the beams. Looking closely at the above example you can faintly see the staff lines in some spots. I’m not sure what their new publications look like, but all of the classic Alphonse Leduc works I have are engraved like this. I have no idea how many other publishers used this style, but much of the quintessential flute and saxophone repertoire is published by Leduc, so woodwind players are used to seeing it anyway.

Especially with 3 beams, I think it can get slightly disorienting when you can’t see the staff lines cross. Perhaps Leduc uses particularly heavy ledger lines in order to help account for this. The “French Beaming” option to create this style has been possible in Finale for a long time and I’ve never once wanted to use it. :man_shrugging:

Here’s a new engraving by Leduc (Sibelius, I assume?) where they no longer employ that type of beaming:

This is from their compilation French Music for Flute which was edited and compiled by Sonora Slocum, principal flute of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Fun trivia fact for jazz fans is that she is the daughter of the very influential drummer Ralph Peterson and bassist Melissa Slocum.

So I went back and fished out an old edition of Dupré (infamous “annotated” edition) that I bought in Paris many years ago; sure enough it has “french beaming”. I was young when I played from this edition, however, and this was long before I started engraving myself. It’s funny to me to notice it now. Once you see it you can’t unsee it.

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Don’t worry: as one grows older and older, unseeing becomes easier and easier until it is almost automatic, like it or not. :grimacing:

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Sorry to be that guy, but I think it’s Sonora Slocum, daughter of Melissa. Do correct me if I’m wrong though …

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Oops, you’re right, typo! I fixed it now. I don’t know how much he was around as she was growing up, but Ralph was super proud of her. She got that principal flute gig when she was only 22. I bought that book after he told me about her editing it.

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I recall having been taught to write like this when I was a child. I didn’t study in France, but my teacher did, albeit he’s not French. I did write like that for some time, until I saw it wasn’t common practice. Now it makes sense!

Oscar’s brother? :wink:

LOL, as far as I know there was no relation. Ralph was also really incredible at a young age though. Here he is in Japan at age 24. Or soloing at quarter note = 350 at age 25.