Tie collides with trill auxiliary note

See screenshot below.

I have a bunch of these, requiring a lot of manual adjustment to remove the collisions.

Could the aux trill note be included in the collision avoidance algorithm for ties in the future? Or if the angle of ties is pretty fixed, is there a solution that could involve erasing the background?

Thanks!
auxillary trill collision.png

If your score has lots of these you might consider a different notation option, for example an accidental attached to the tr mark instead of an auxiliary note.

If you start messing with the appearance of a tie, it can easily look more like a slur than a tie.

In fact that’s what happened. They look a little sketchy. I’m not the composer, but I’ll ask if he’s open to a different notation. Thanks.

The problem is that the original notation is incorrect. This is a tremolo, not a trill, and should be notated as such (IMNSHO).

Actually, I didn’t notice that auxiliary note was a 3rd above the main note not a 2nd. The leger line almost got lost in your screen shot) So accidentals on the trill aren’t really an option…

I suppose you could just flip the tie downwards. Ugly, but at least it’s out of the way.

I see what you’re saying, but the fact that a trill on larger intervals is possible in Dorico must at least mean that it is standard practice.

That doesn’t strike me as sound logic, Dan…

I don’t follow. Dorico allows trills to be notated with intervals greater than a step, so I’m assuming it has a precedent in engraving practices. That’s what I meant.

Rob’s suggestion to flip the ties looks fine, actually. Thanks!


flipped ties.png

Eh, I wouldn’t put much stock in the fact that if Dorico can do it, it must be standard. I’m sure situations will arise where I will need Dorico to do lots of non-standard notation as well. Gould says it’s “acceptable” to allow a trilling note to include wider intervals (pg 134), but many other style guides disagree. The Schirmer Manual of Style and Usage states “use a trill when the ancillary note is a whole or half step above or below,” but “use a tremolo when the ancillary note is a minor third or more away from the principal note.” (pg 84) Gardner Read also states that a trill is “the very rapid alternation of two notes a second apart,” (pg 232) and a tremolo is “a very rapid alternation of two or more notes that are further apart in pitch than a major second.” (pg 235) Stone says the trill is a “half- or whole-tone,” and “the smallest tremolo interval must be larger than a second.” (pg 74) He then says it’s ok on pg 76 for a “wide trill,” but then he uses a tremolo line instead of a trill line, something I don’t think is possible in Dorico (or at least not possible in the same file as a trill line, since you’d have to edit the music symbol). The Ken Williams book “Music Preparation: a Guide to Music Copying” also states the tremolo “is employed, in place of the trill, for alternation between notes when the interval required is a minor third or wider.” (pg 36) Ross doesn’t seem to say anything about the interval, but the majority of his tremolo examples on pgs 199-200 are minor 3rds. It may be “acceptable” according to Gould, but I still would be inclined to use a tremolo for a minor third as the majority of texts I have seem to advise against using a trill here.

Thanks Todd, that’s helpful context. I admit I was being a bit lazy in this case.

If you want to use Gould’s alternative, a little judicious adjustment will make it look correct. Simply raise the entire tie a half space or so and increase the tie hight.


Screen Shot 2019-06-25 at 10.41.28 AM.jpg
Screen Shot 2019-06-25 at 10.41.28 AM.jpg

I was also being lazy, but I’m not surprised that Todd’s research shows what it shows. Just because Dorico will allow you to do something does not mean that that something is standard practice.

I’ve worked with several composers who preferred this trill notation, and as Gould states, it’s acceptable. Depending on the composer’s style, it can simplify things, too. Personally, I’d argue that Stone (1980), Williams (1980) and especially Gardner Read (1979) are all on the conservative end of the spectrum for 2019. The G. Schirmer guide (written by Fetherolf/Holab) is nice to have, but it is also a single publisher’s opinion. As a counter-example, the Boosey & Hawkes manual (written by David Bray, 2012) does allow this; he shows examples of trill notes below the main note, and states “It is often clearer to show the correct auxiliary note with a small note, in parentheses, after the main note. This is essential where the auxiliary is something other than one step above the main note.”

It does take some manual tweaking to get it to look right. I wouldn’t flip the tie. Here are some examples from previous scores. (In a different program, I did sometimes cut out a bit of the middle of the tie to make it look right, but generally I think it’s worth it to leave the thing intact.)

It’s worth saying that the Boosey & Hawkes manual is also just a single publisher’s opinion, of course…

Where can you find the B&H style guide? So far I haven’t had any luck finding it on their website.

I believe it is for internal distribution only, and has never been publicly available. The NYC B&H rarely used Finale for anything, but I’m good friends with a woman who was a senior editor there for a decade or so, and she used to throw me some jobs where the composer used Finale and they didn’t feel like converting it to Sib (or SCORE prior to that), so I have the 2012 copy too. Not sure if it has been updated since as I haven’t done anything for them in years.

That’s why I said it was a counter-example! :slight_smile: Just that, nothing more.

(And yes, the B&H guide was only for internal distribution, and indeed I got it back when I was doing some work for them. I never found it an essential resource, but as with all these guides, I like to see a variety of opinions.)

Just for fun (and because I’m procrastinating) here are a few other lesser used texts on the subject:

Berklee Contemporary Music Notation by Jonathan Feist (2017), pg 83 - “A tremolo a whole step or half step apart is notated as a trill, as shown previously. A tremolo greater than a second is notated with slashes between the two notes, which are each of the rhythmic value of the tremolo itself.”

The Norton Manual of Music Notation by George Heussenstamm (1987), pgs 54-55 - “The most frequently encountered ornamentation sign is the trill, which calls for the rapid alternation of the written note with its upper neighbor.” “There are two kinds of tremolo: the first consists of a rapid alternation between two notes a minor third or more apart.”

Hemidemisemiquavers … and Other Such Things: A Concise Guide to Music Notation by Dale Wood (1989), pg 45 - “A trill is always executed with the secondary note being the diatonic scale step above the written note. An accidental must be included if the secondary note is other than diatonic.”

Writing Down Music: A Practical Guide to Preparing Music Manuscript by Alan Boustead (1990 reprint), pg 38 - “Trills can be notated in many ways; by far the best is to include the auxiliary note in brackets. This will take care of trilling with any interval either above or below the main note.” [printed examples show parenthesized notes both minor 3rds above and below]

Preparing Music Manuscript by Anthony Donato (1963), pg 27 - “The trilling note is always the pitch of the note immediately above the main note as determined by the diatonic scale. Any chromatic deviation from this is indicated by placing an accidental next to or above the trill sign.”

If anyone wants to try translating Herbert Chlapik’s Die Praxis des Notengraphikers here are the pages where he addresses it. As I’m just reading it with Google Translate, I’m not entirely sure if it’s relevant or not.

Most of the quoted authorities presumably didn’t look at any scores with measured tremolos with intervals of a second when they excluded them from being tremolos.

There is no such thing as a “measured trill,” so that is the only notation that exists, apart from writing out all the notes.