staccato on tied note

Dorico allows me to add a staccato to the end of a tied note (it also allows a staccato tenuto, but interestingly not just a tenuto)

I’m not entirely sure how I’d perform this. I assume it’s acceptable and not a bug. I guess you’d perform it as if the rhythmic duration of the second tied note is a 16th note. What do you guys think?

My guess is that since Dorico really consider tied notes as the same note (for example, that G is a quarter note, not two tied eighth notes) articulations that apply to the beginning of the note (different types of attacks, like accents, marcato and tenuto) are shown on the first tied notes and articulations that apply to the end of the note (like staccato, that shortens the duration) are shown on the second tied note.

That makes sense. But is this a dorico specific thing, or is this a standard? i.e. have you seen this elsewhere?

Well, I’m using something like it to make my fake orchestra behave at times - It doesn’t affect my libraries with a tie, but with a slur I can do things like that to get a clearer separation on the attack without shortening the note. Using a “tenuto” instead of a staccato on the end though.

I would say that’s a Dorico thing. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a staccato on a tied note. Why tie a note to make it longer and then use staccato to make it shorter, right? But Dorico isn’t making a distinction between a quarter note and two tied eighth notes.

If you don’t like it, change it!

Thanks Leo. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, I was just wondering how you might play it and if it was common.

“By default, articulations of force and stress are shown on the first note/chord in tie chains, while articulations of duration are shown on the last note/chord.”

Well how would you play a staccato on the first note of a tie chain? I’d argue Dorico’s default is preferable…

Haha, true!

The staccato dot has also been used as a mild accent mark. See Beethoven op. 10 no 2. 4th mov. measures 39-40, op. 13 1st mov. ms 93-, op. 14 no. 1 3rd mov. ms. 47- etc. While these examples all involve short untied notes, one can also imagine cases where tied notes might receive a mild accent. So hopefully Dorico doesn’t “forbid” placing a staccato on the first note of a tied group.

Adding a final short staccato note of a tied pair or group might be used by some composers to insure that a note is held full value, since long notes tend to be shortened by many performers. There is a discussion of the practice of adding on such tied notes at

If I encountered the notation in the original example, I would make a very precise release of the note exactly on the second 16th of the beat.

Dorico certainly doesn’t “forbid” placing a staccato on the first note of a tied group. There’s a global Engraving Option, and it can be overridden with a local property.

I interpret a staccato on a tied note as the note being held over to the next beat but cut off immediately.

In jazz charts, it is fairly common to write staccato quarter notes to reduce the number of rests the player has to account for. If the quarter notes are off-beats that extend through the half-bar or into the next measure, then they can show us as tied 8ths. I think that is a matter of the arranger’s prerogative to decide which makes the chart more readable: staccato quarter or an eighth note coupled with an eighth rest. If it is a long run of offbeats, then I will typically make them all staccato quarters, even across the bar line. If it is a less repetitive pattern, then I’ll start the second measure with an eighth rest.

The fewer rests, the better, IMHO. Staccato is our friend.

Craig, which end of the tie chain would you put the staccato, and why?

I’m really torn on that one. It is easier to see (i.e. the physics of vision) at the end. But personally I find that a little counter-intuitive because by the time you get to the second eighth note of the tied pair, the note is already over, because it was supposed to be short.

I guess I go for the staccato at the end mainly because it is easier to see – and it does make the player think. As I said above, if it is crossing the bar, then I am more likely to start the new bar with an eighth rest. But if it is a long run of offbeat quarters, then there is a good argument for showing them all the same (i.e. all as staccato quarters or as a staccato pair of tied eighths.

Sorry that I’m taking a cop-out position. It really doesn’t come up very often in the stuff I write. I guess I just look at t, at if it looks really goofy, I try it the other way.

I’ll just say that in jazz charts, this is an area that is confusing to musicians, especially those who are not very experienced. That is to say, note lengths are very important in jazz, and people are easily confused about the arranger’s intention. For example, I played a chart the other day with a series of quarter notes that I am certain was intended to be long-short-long-short. The arranger notated those as accent-marcato-accent-marcato and most of the band played them all short. It would have been much more obvious to write it as tenuto-staccao-tenuto-staccato. That would not indicate a hard attack, but it would get the lengths right and halfway experienced players would know how hard to attack. There is a psychology to making these charts play right. It is not a perfect science.

Thank you - that’s valuable input.