Slurs over system breaks

For me, slurs are one of those areas in Dorico where the engraving options provide a lot of options to enable me to get very close to what I want. A little work with the adjustments goes a long way and the slurs look really good.

However there are two issues that I come up against. One only happens very occasionally - when an end of a slur is displaced well below the notehead / stem because of a rest in another voice. I don’t know if it’s possible to give priority to the slur in those circumstances, but that strikes me as the ideal arrangement.

The second issue happens more often - slurs over system breaks. I would like to have some control over the vertical rise / fall of both the slurs either side of the system break.

I am aware that Gould says that the slurs must be angled in the direction of the final pitch but in my opinion Dorico can make the angle too acute. If you want an example of how how Dorico can overemphasise a slur, enter Gould’s example (p112, no 3 (E to E) to see the difference.

I think a slur over a system break looks better if a more gentle indication is applied. The start and the end of the slur needs to give the right indication - but not massively so.

Dorico can also enter slurs at the beginning of a new system that ignore the principle of angle of direction.


Slurs over system breaks are something that the development team have promised they’ll fix, when they have time.

Excellent news.

Thanks Leo.

Update, in case anyone was wondering. Seems like it’s still in the works?
Screenshot 2022-07-22 143552

Slurs over system breaks are in the general case much improved, but there remain a couple of edge cases, particularly the illustrated case where the slur ends on the first note of the system.


For me, it’s when the curve passes the endpoint horizontally, that it looks really bad. Obviously I have no idea of the complexity involved in coding this, but if there could be a setting to never let the middle of the curve extend horizontally beyond the endpoint, that would go a long way towards fixing these. Perhaps there could even be a simple setting to allow the endpoint to move vertically to avoid this, although maybe that might introduce other issues. Here’s Boosey’s take on this from pg 46 of their house style guide:


That’s not specific to the situation of slurs crossing system breaks, of course. And yes, I agree that when slur endpoints appear to curve “inwards” it looks bad, and it is something that we have explored as an automatic improvement, but we’ve not to date come up with an approach that’s reliable enough.