Courtesy accidental for tied notes on line break

• Mar 11, 2015 - 11:29

The part highlighted in red could be implemented, maybe with a On/Off option in the Style settings.

Especially useful in complex music with lots of accidentals.


That's a good idea. I'm afraid it might not be all that easy, since at the point where we are deciding what accidentals, we don't know if the measures are on different systems or not - in fact, we can't know for sure until after we've placed all the accidentals, since they affect spacing.

On the other hand, right now, I don't see a way to do this even manually. Adding a courtesy accidental to the second note deletes the tie, and adding the tie back deletes the courtesy accidental. That much seems like a bug and should be fixed at some point.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I don't understand why it is a good idea to have a courtesy accidental within the tied group, no matter where it is on the staff. A tied note is not re-articulated so it seems completely unnecessary.

If you are talking about the note AFTER the tied note, an accidental will be necessary if it is an altered note because it is over a bar line and no longer active, but that doesn't appear to be the point being discussed here, Adding an accidental to an untied note will not disrupt a previous tied note. Perhaps I am missing something?

In reply to by xavierjazz

I don't think you misunderstand - unless I too have misunderstood!

My understanding (per the original post and discussion so far): the original poster feels it desirable - and cites an unnamed source for support) to have a courtesy accidental on a tied note ... but only in the context where the tie goes over a system break and the tied note, therefore, is the first note on the next system. Presumably, in that context, one might overlook the tie and forget that an accidental had been applied to the note in the previous measure (at the end of the system directly above).

That said, my 'understanding' only extends to the situation presented - not to the need for a courtesy accidental in this situation. As you say, xavierjazz, the note is not re-articulated - so the presence or absence of the accidental symbol is in a way irrelevant unless one has failed to recognize the tie for what it is. (That could happen, of course, but it would indicate a problem with sight-reading - not with notation. And it wouldn't be remedied by adding a courtesy accidental.)

@255: what is the notation reference that appears in your original post that says it's 'often desirable'?

In reply to by xavierjazz

The source is
Can't really comment or assure you on the reliability of the document. However I'm 100% sure I've seen it in some scores, especially with naturals.

@xavierjazz: just to be sure, we're talking here about the case where the tie is broken into two rows, what MS calls a line break. In other cases it's wrong, as the non-highlighted-in-red part says in the image.

In reply to by xavierjazz

It's page 8. I wouldnb't say this is a common recommendation, but it does indeed exist in this one. An easier method than manually positioning a symbol does seem like it would be nice. Not sure I'd go so far as an option to display it automatically, but at least, fixing the bug where explicit courtesy accidentals get removed by a tie or vice versa seems reasonable to me.

In reply to by xavierjazz

I think you are right! The picture mislead me; I read too hastily.

Then I definitely don't support an automatic option to show an accidental on the first note. But still think it might be ncie if it were possible to add one without resorting to symbols. Much less important than when I thought it was actually a recommendation from an established source, though.

In reply to by xavierjazz

I do not agree.
The sentence inside the parenthesis is a sentence which explains in which case the above statement is not true. It talks about a special case, where "line" is not the bar line but a line of music.

In fact, it is not OFTEN PREFERABLE, it's mandatory to repeat the accidental.
What is OFTEN PREFERABLE it's what I'm talking in the title and in the OP. Which is indeed something optional, and therefore "preferable" or "non-preferable".

Anyway, regardless of that document and my interpretation of it, I'll try to post some scores examples that can support this feature request.

In reply to by xavierjazz

Page 17.
First line.
The E natural in the left hand is tied to the next line and the natural is repeated for clarity.

I picked up the first complex piano piece that came to my mind and I found an example of this just at the 17th page. So as you see it is not uncommon in complex piano music.

Page 4.
Second line.
C flat on right hand is tied to the next line with courtesy accidental.
Page 14.
Second line.
C sharp in the left hand is tied to the next line with courtesy sharp.
Last page.
Second to last line.
E sharp in the left hand is tied to the next line with courtesy sharp.

Well, I stop here, got bored. XD

In reply to by 255

Yes, those examples do have the markings you are discussing.

To me that looks like a convention that could be supported, although the only reason I could see for them really is if you want to practise a phrase starting on that note. Once one could play through it I can't see it being useful.

Even if one were a sight-reader capable of reading it, the clutter added wouldn't help.

I am neither for nor against the idea, although I generally prefer as minimal markings as necessary.

Thanks for the links. Great music.

In reply to by xavierjazz

I don't think so, @xavierjazz, as that second note - i.e., the first one after the tied note - would require an accidental in any case. It's not a 'courtesy' accidental in that position; it's obligatory in all contexts (regardless of whether there is a line break preceding it or not).

I also had the same problem in a recent score...

I want to include a bracketed accidental just as a matter of courtesy and also to remind the musician that the accidental will continue to apply to the tied measure. It was only necessary because there was a line break.

And like you said, if I put in a courtesy accidental, it negated the tie. If I put in the tie, it refused to reiterate the accidental.

Because it's a final layout issue, it's the kind of thing that should only be activated manually; it doesn't hafta be an automatic function, AFAIC.

In reply to by harbinger

Maybe not by default, but I think it should be set by the user to be automatic if he wants.
Exactly because it's about the layout: if you're writing a piece from scratch (not transcribing from some existing source), you may not know where a line break will happen.
So you can't be expected to put the symbol manually and/or remove it everytime the layout changes.

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