Slurs on chords

From Haydn. How to have slurs as this on chords? Why is this difficult? It’s a standard notation been around for centuries.

Maybe I simply cant find it in the manual?

If I do it with two voices I get this:


Can’t be right.

You can do it with notes in the same voice, you just need to input two slurs then flip one of the slurs manually (select the slur, press F).

Lillie got there first, as usual!

(You might want to increase the stem-side vertical offset in engraving options to get the slur tighter to the noteheads)

The reason why it is so difficult is because it’s not recommended any more (Gould). One slur should be enough. This has been reported many times in the early days of Dorico :wink:

So Gould thinks Haydn was wrong. I am sorry, I disagree.

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There is much about Gould I disagree with.

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Dorico generally follows Gould (along with sometimes other widely used conventions) which explains Marc’s comment and Dorico’s automatic behavior. If one fancies himself Haydn, then a little extra work is needed (and I think Haydn would agree), and Dorico allows one to add and position the second slur with little extra effort.

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No. She merely documents conventions. Which happen to have changed since the time of Haydn.


There’s a difference between saying something is “wrong” and “this is recommended modern practice”. It’s primarily the latter that Gould does.

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Gould’s Behind Bars is like a grammar book: grammar is an essential guide for people to understand each other, but the end is understanding rather than the rules themselves. When adapting Gould makes an unusual situation clearer, then one should opt for clarity. If reproducing Haydn exactly is the goal, I see no problem with the double slur, but reproducing Haydn isn’t necessarily a universal enough goal that Gould or Dorico should change.

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As a string player, albeit an ancient one, I prefer the Haydn practice. I know @Andro is working on quartets, but the situation is also common in orchestral parts where many will make the decision to play divisi (in the interests of intonation), even if not explicitly marked. In those circumstances the two slurs definitely help the brain.

It is possible (though uncommon) to play double stops where notes on one string are slurred (played legato), and notes on the other string are not. I disagree with Gould here: there are two voices, and both should be slurred, even when sharing stems. Omitting one slur is not by definition an equivalent notation. Some (in fact, most) historical notations were not superfluous. Where do you stop re-interpreting and modernising the composer’s intentions? Let’s first assume everything was notated with a reason, before discarding it as being outdated.


@PjotrB precisely. I totally agree. I was about to make the same point re string playing.

…non vedo il problema, si può fare benissimo, ecco il risultato:Allegato

I don’t think there is any emotional intent behind the choice. There has to be a default way the software works, and following modern practice seems to mean (by definition) doing it the way that most people will require. Dorico might allow you to specify a different preference as it does for other things. Or if not, you can ask the team to add that as a feature.

Exactly, the point is moot, this notation is already possible in Dorico, as Lillie mention long ago in this thread.

The edition used in the image posted may well have been engraved in the early twentieth century and will reflect the conventions used at the time of engraving. As far as Haydn is concerned, we would have to see what Haydn did in his autograph, which most probably will reflect the practice of his time. Even a modern critical edition is likely to use current conventions to match the expectations of modern performers. Examples of comparable adaptations are tuplet numbers on the beam rather than the note side, slur direction, or instrumental beaming of vocal parts.