Slurred tuplets

Many composers use slurs instead of brackets with tuplets. It is a bad habit grammatically, but it is not up to the note writer to decide … Moerover, it often looks qiote beautiful, those brackets give soft legato music a hard and square look.
I have tried to use ordinary legato slurs, but it easely become very tedious (in connection to ties, for example) and doesn’t allow for notating the number in the middle of the slur etc. Suggestions?


I’d second this request, esp. for handwritten style…

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Even Overture 5 can do this :open_mouth: :smiley:

I would also love to have this option. I have done a lot of accordion music where the client wants the slurred bracket tuplets. There are a ton of them in accordion music, at least in my experience. Up until now, if there aren’t too many, I’ll do them individually using slurs but it is very time consuming. If I have too many in a piece, I just go back to using Finale for that particular piece.

It takes a work-around, but it is possible.
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Elaine Gould explicitly advises against curved brackets in her book Behind Bars. Because of this, I would assume that curved brackets are not a high priority for the development team, as they have taken Behind Bars into account for many other engraving decisions.

I have to disagree with E. Gould. Of course the rounded brackets might look like slurs, but: this ambiguity might be intended by the copyist or composer. As there are so many more ways of articulating notes - besides slurring and detaching - it gives the performer two things at the same time: a headache, how the notation has been intended and 2) the freedom to use own understanding of the style and creativity to perform the music.

I f a composer (or copyist) deliberately intends ambiguity, then they can expect all the censure they get, frankly. Even the most pedantic instructions still leave room for creativity (which often extends to ignoring the instructions, of course.)


Dorico is not meant for composers only. Also publishers want to use it (and already use it), and they often need to render the notation as the composers did, be it Bach or Schumann, regardless of what seems more correct by others (or by posterity). As this is a highly common way of notating, one should have easy access to it, also in Dorico.


Yes. The need to retain the actual notation of the composer is a crucial feature of my work also.

If one wants to mimic the engraving styles of 200 years ago, then it will likely require extra work. For all we know, Bach and Schumann might well use current standards were they preparing editions today.

Perhaps some day the Dorico Team will accommodate those who want this option; it is all a question of their priorities based on the needs of many users with different needs.

They would undoubtedly be astonished by what’s technically possible nowadays. But the art of engraving in their time was not primitive, or lacking possibility of detail. It didn’t limit the choice of symbols or notational conventions at all. Their notation is entirely adequate — for them. If we struggle to interpret it, that’s our lack of understanding.


The question is: does using ‘slur-type things that aren’t actually slurs’ have a different meaning from square brackets?

If it does, then there is an argument for including it.

If not, and the latter is more widely accepted and understood, then nothing is lost by using the modern style, though the ability to recreate it might be nice for a deliberately antiquated feel.

We don’t place dots over barlines any more; singers don’t use C clefs: there are any number of conventions that are either new or absent today, when compared to that of Bach and Schumann. Or Palestrina. The Neue Bach Ausgabe is a translation, not a facsimile.

Of course, that’s different from ‘non-standard’ usage of beaming and slurring that conveys meaning in the music.

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Speak for yourself! :smiley:

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My first depping gig in London was at the Brompton Oratory. Choir of 12. Mass in 12 parts. C clefs…

And, as I am sure you quickly realised, C clefs with five-line staves are no more dififcult to read than plainchant!

The question is: does using ‘slur-type things that aren’t actually slurs’ have a different meaning from square brackets?

No, that is not the question. The question is, «is this a commonly used and accepted way of notating?»

Nice discussion, though. Yet an example of details generating more eagerness than essential stuff?

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In notation for string instruments, and others, a slur over dotted notes means portato. There is no reason why a 3 combined with this should not mean a portato triplet.


I’d prefer to see some curved bracket’s corners as an option, while the tuplet number stands in the middle way.

Non-curved Bracket:

Curved Bracket:

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