Tying a note to a harmonic

In this example, I would like to tie the lower note throughout the tuplet, adding the harmonic only on the second tuplet. Dorico doesn’t let me do it, also when the duration is locked- if I tie the lower note, the harmonic is gone. What should I do in such a case? Many thanks!

Screenshot 2021-05-13 at 19.27.35

Hi Matan — you could just enter a slur instead of a tie.

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but this is a workaround- I would need to hide the accidental, move the slur in engraving mode and also it would sound wrong in playback. Isn’t there another way?

Tie the note before putting the harmonic in. Add the harmonic. Does it stay tied?

If I tie the note before putting the harmonic in, when I put the harmonic it applies also to the note before that…

Not really. The pitch changes when you apply the harmonic, does it not?

Perhaps you could change the harmonic style to “single notehead (stopped)”, move it, and change the partial to 3?


That’s the best solution, thank you! Still, I wish that Dorico would allow an easier fix in the future.

Hi there

It’s good Dorico can be persuaded to make this notation. In general I want music software to be able to manage any notation that my pencil can.

I have some problems with the use of the tie here, though. These are the hidden corners of notational convention that interest me. After giving it a fair amount of thought, I don’t think a tie is the right notation for this situation.

As I see it, this tie is intended to show what the player does with one finger (leaving it down). On the face of it, it doesn’t seem to be unhelpful. But it also must mean (as with any tie) that the bow shouldn’t change direction, which is properly the meaning of a slur.

I am a cellist: I would certainly prefer to see a slur and not a tie, since I expect notation to describe the resulting sound first and foremost.

I would therefore abandon any attempt to have the notation describe the mechanics of fingering (ie tablature-like notation) and instead show a proper slur over the two notes.


Right or wrong, the notation with a tie is standard in scores where this kind of flickering harmonic is common (e.g. Furrer, Saariaho, Parra, Posadas, and many many more) . Dorico’s prescriptive approach to ties isn’t very helpful here.

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It’s a little bit of a fudge, because you can’t beam notes in different voices in one beam, but you can use different/alternating voices to do this - you can tie notes in different voices together but they’re not automatically treated as “one note” the way tied notes in the same voice are.

In this example, the middle harmonic note is in a down-stem voice, the outer notes in an up-stem voice. Down-stem tuplet is hidden, rests removed in that beat. All notes “beamed together”, but the partial beam on the middle note (separate from the outer notes) is moved in Engrave mode to be tucked behind the outer beam. I also nudged the 2nd tie in the triplet a bit to match the first.

(Without colours and signposts - )