Notating the length in time of a glissando

The title might not be clear but I have two scenarios that I’m trying to notate and not sure how best to do it (writing for cello):

  1. Bar 1 has a whole note G, then a short glissando at the end down to the whole note D in bar 2. So just a quick slide between two long notes.

  2. Bar 1 begins with the G, but I want the gliss to last the whole bar so the player is constantly sliding down to the D on the first beat of the next bar.

And is there currently any way to get those two scenarios reflected in playback (latest version of Elements plus NotePerformer)?

Dorico doesn’t play continuous glissando (like a pitch bend kind of sound) as yet, so if that’s what you’re hoping to hear, I’m afraid at least for now that’s not possible.

For most instruments, players will normally interpret a glissando between two notes as being effected only at the transition point between the two notes, and they typically have pretty good intuition about what will sound good (keyboard and harp players will handle it differently, though!). So if you’re not too bothered about exactly where the glissando should start and end, you probably don’t need to notate anything particularly specific.

But if you do have very specific requirements, e.g. you want a slow glissando that occupies the whole duration of the written note, you should notate it accordingly – either by showing that the glissando starts right at the start of the note (e.g. use a series of quick rising or falling notes starting from the position where the gliss. should begin and then finish the gesture with a glissando line to show the players how it continues), or by adding a text instruction.

If you want the glissando to occur only at the end of the note within a specific duration, notate the glissando so that you have a held note of the right duration, tied to a new notehead at the position where the glissando should then begin.

Yeah the playback’s not essential, but from what I’ve read around there’s not really any other way to make the bar-length gliss obvious apart from adding some text. Although I might see how guitarists notate their whammy bar shenanigans. :slight_smile:


I’ve always thought (and Dorico playback seems to reflect) that the gliss starts at the very start of a note (as opposed to a portamento between string notes) so that Daniel’s suggestion to gliss from a tied note is the standard way to keep the gliss from starting at the start of the note.

I would even say that it’s not standard to start immediately with a gliss at the beginning of the note. Especially if it is a long note value and/or the interval isn’t big. You also often „establish“ the note.
Of course it depends of the instrument.

If you really want to the gliss immediately you might mark it with text or different notation?
If you want it late Daniels suggestion seems reasonable and clear.

Yeah, there’s a mix of gliss types and portamento within the piece, so text where appropriate is the way to go I think.

Or use different gliss lines

Just a follow up on this - I’d imported a score from Musescore via a MusicXML file, and there was a wiggly line before some notes and the playback did play some kind of portamento via NotePerformer.

I’ve attached the Dorico file and an MP3 export in case you can’t recreate it, but do you know what’s going on there? I can’t select the wiggly line as a separate object, only as part of the note, and I don’t know what setting might have made the portamento sound active.

edit - okay so looks like it may be a jazz articulation (in-plop-smooth to be specific) so will explore those to see if they work for me, even if they’re not a full-on glissando.

Cello slide.dorico (891.2 KB)

I’m not sure if this is directly related to your experience, but here it is.
A few days ago I exported, from the latest version of Sibelius, some music which I had done in Sibelius in early 2017. The resulting XML file was then imported into Dorico (so that I could re-do it in Dorico to make it look better!). Where there had been trills in the original Sibelius file, the Dorico project showed glissandi. Some of the glissando lines extended a few beats past the original end point of the trill. I have not yet had a chance to determine if the cause of this odd behaviour was in the XML file exported from Sibelius or in Dorico’s interpretation of what it found.

Resurrecting this thread to ask how I may change “gliss” to “slow gliss” in the following example. (I don’t need to hear it in playback.)

I think doing so will be sufficient in this context for a string player to understand they should use the entire value of the note for the slide. But how to do it?

I can choose “no text” for the gliss, and then attach staff text and move it into place in Engrave mode. Is that the best practice currently?

Screenshot 2024-03-20 at 9.34.49 AM