Multiple-voice grace note alignment

Hi all,

Wondering if this has been addressed before. I’m working on a score in which there are many grace notes appearing on the beat. I’m using the method of showing the overall duration in one voice, and the grace notes in another, as a hidden tuplet; it all works beautifully (and even plays back fine!) but I just can’t get the grace-note stem to align to the edge of the large notehead. It doesn’t seem to be a feature in Engrave Mode either, as far as I can see - adjusting note spacing moves both items. Appreciate this might be a bit of a niche request, but wondered if anyone knew of a way to handle it. Thanks in advance, as always.

EDIT - Here’s what I’m getting:
Screenshot 2023-09-08 at 12.46.54

If you made the “grace notes” real notes in a separate voice and reduced all but the first notehead to grace-note size in Properties, the first would line up.


That said, I’m not sure I would handle the situation the way you did; I would think either the grace notes are normal grace notes (more or less unmeasured) or they are measured (real notes). Is making them appear as grace notes a way to suggest that the performer needs to handle them with less emphasis than the target note following?

1 Like

Thanks Derrek, that actually gets me very close to where I wanted to be - the only thing is that the staccato appears full-size (I am being very fussy now, I know). I guess if no other solution is out there (and there is no way to decrease the size of the staccato), I may be able to fake that one staccato dot.

In answer to your question, it’s more a shorthand for a particular type of articulation. I see that the example I cited is actually missing the grace note slash, too, which should be there in the finished version.

It is an intriguing technical problem to solve, and my approach takes some doing to arrange and hide the tuplets. As I said, I probably wouldn’t notate it that way, but certainly you should be able to do so if you feel it conveys something specific to the performer.

It is fortunately not too prevalent or it would take some time, I think. I have managed to part-automate it by recording macros for the processes of 1) Converting to tuplets, and 2) remove tuplet number/bracket. It would be nice if macros could be assigned to keyboard shortcuts, but I think this is not yet implemented.

One way to obtain the alignment you want is to have the down-stem note and the first grace note occur at different rhythmic positions:


Hide the upper tuplet and the rests therein. Then use note spacing in engrave mode to move the first grace note to the left:


Using the above method, you could actually start in the same rhythmic position. Select the upstem “grace notes”. Then in engrave mode, Notes and Rests, make Voice column index=1 before shifting the notes back with Note Spacing, Voice column spacing offset. This also preserves playback.

1 Like

I have to say, if those are grace notes in ANYTHING but an incredibly, painfully, lethargically slow tempo, those staccato dots are entirely pointless.