How to Efficiently Notate "Hanging" Slurs/Ties

• Jan 5, 2019 - 00:09

So "hanging" slurs/ties are common in percussion notation where the composer intends to let the instrument resonate or ring after being played. This is often notated with a slur or tie "hanging" off of the note (see attached image) or with the text "l.r." ("let ring") or "l.v." ("let vibrate").

I prefer "hanging" slurs/ties over text because it's more common and takes up less space, however, MuseScore 2.3.2 (I haven't checked this with ver/ 3.0) does not offer a uniform "hanging" slur in the master palette.

A way to go around this is to add a slur on a note to the following rest, and offsetting the slur to resemble a "hanging" slur. However, this is inefficient as the slur must be carefully offset to be parallel to the staff and the horizontal stretch of it is inconsistent as it is determined by the individual note, rest, and measure.

Does anyone have a better solution to notate "hanging" slurs/ties both efficiently and uniformly? Or does this feature exist but I haven't found it yet?
Thank you for your help!

Attachment Size
%22Hanging%22 Slur:Tie Example.png 32.33 KB


This is not a fix I use for I do not have the patience of Ghandi, but others have:

Under 'Arpeggios and glissandi" the curled line called a "doit". If enough care is taken it can be shaped into a hanging tie.
I've decided to use l.v. rather than learn a new craft.

I also noticed a hanging slur fouls up at the end of a system.

Hope this helps.

I usually tie it to an individual note of the same pitch/percussion type in another voice. Make the second note invisible and not play. Hint: you need to select the first note and ctrl+click the second note to tie two notes in different voices. It's best if no notes follow this while you are adding the tie, but if there are you might need to delete the extra tie(s) that may be created.

I found this topic when searching for a way to add 'let ring' tags to notes. The problem with using the "doit' is that it has to be dragged from above the note to next to the note for every single note. In the end, I found that the most efficient way to add the "articLaissezVibrerAbove" (as it's identified in a MusicXML file) was to save my score as an uncompressed MuseScore file, open it in a text editor, copy one of the doits (which had already been dragged into position), and then pasted it into the file to apply it to the other notes I wanted to tag.

This is definitely not an optimal solution.

BTW, it looks like this inside the MuseScore file:

<offset x="1.51747" y="0.872547"/>

it's that "offset" line that keeps the arc off to the right of the note rather than sitting on top.

This does seem to be a notation difficiency with MuseScore. I'm engraving a piece for harp, and wish for hanging tied to extend from all the notes of the final chord -- it's a chord, so there must be multiple curves, and it's the last measure, so there is no rest etc. to tie them to. I'll let you know if I find a fix.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks. I did read the how-to, and actually it's the "invisible grace-note" method which gave me the idea: since it's the last chord of the last bar, there isn't anything to put a grace note before--so I created it. Anyway, worked really well, and won't affect playback, since the whole idea is to extend the sound. (In other instances in the same score, I used the "slur to a rest, & adjust curve" method.)

In reply to by snarke

True, the example given in that particular article is about tying into a second ending. Other discuvssions of the topic mention the other types of applications and mention grace notes after. Sorry for the cionfusion. Anyhow, that's definitely the most recommended method, even though as I mentioned I rather prefer using the symbols. not sure what you found difficult about let right, feel free to explain in more detail.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Well, I think the simplest solution in the "how to" guide had five steps? I had hundreds of notes to denote in a recent chart, and that was going to be insanely tedious. I tried to create a new symbol by positioning the "doit" where I wanted it, then saving it to a palette, but it wouldn't retain the offset settings. That's why I ended up pasting MusicXML code into the .mcsx file itself using a text editor.

In other circumstances, I might have used "L.V." notation to indicate that all notes on that staff should be "let vibrate," but in this case, chimes and bells were on the same staff, and I wanted the chimes to ring but the bells to be damped.

In reply to by snarke

What I like about the symbol method is I can then add them to a custom palette and add them very quickly after that. Except, I end up doing factory resets or otherwise resetting my workspaces pretty often as a routine part of the testing I am always doing during development, so I keep losing useful things like that. Next time, though, I will make a point to save the palette.

Anyhow, whatever works for you is fine for now. And I don't think anyone questions that this would be a good new feature to add, it just hasn't risen to the top of anyone's priority list yet.

In reply to by snarke

I know this is super-picky, but the one thing I don't like about the "doit" is that the curve is of equal thickness, rather than the tapered ends of a tie or slur. On the other hand, with the "slur-to-rest" method, any adjustments to the slur have to be done after all the other measure spacing/stretching work is done, otherwise it entirely fouls up.

In reply to by wfazekas1

Well, what I'm currently using is the "Laissez vibrar (l.v.) above)" symbol, which I can find in the "Articulations" set in the Master Palette. It is shaped as you describe. However, MuseScore sets it squarely on top of a note, not off to one side. One can drag it into the proper position (every time you use it), but I haven't figured out how to embed the offset in the palette so it places itself properly.

In reply to by snarke

Firsty, dragging is seldom as efficient and definitely not as precise as using the cursor keys or Inspector, so I definitely recommend those. Second, a problem with using the l.v. is that MuseScore thinks it knwos how to position it but doesn't, at least not for this purpose. So that's why i recommend using the Symbol rather than the Articulation - then MuseScore will place it predictable right on top of the notehead. After doing that once, then adjusting the position (eg, Alt+Shift+E to enter edit mode, then Ctrl+Up and Ctrl+Right). But, those adjustments won't save to a palette indeed. Plus, symbols aren't resizable, and I find that small. That's why I actually enter the symbol as text (fingering, specifically) and use a custom text style. At least, that was the solution I was happiest with. Took a minute to set up, but then it's one click to add. Downside of using a custom text style is I need to repeat that for other scores, but that's the easiest part.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I am encountering quite a lot of "let ring" notations in Russian 20th century scores using the hanging slur.

Using grace-notes has its limitations in terms of efficiency because
a) I cannot easily select an entire grace-chord to make it invisible - every note head , stem etc has to be made invisible individually.
b) note clusters have their slur-lines altered when the grace notes are made invisible (see screen shot)
b) when I edit the slur lines to be shorter than the lengths generated by the grace-notes, the lengths do not survive copy paste. (Disabling the "automatic placement" property for the slur lines has no effect.)

The attached screen shot shows a case where the 2nd chord has been copied to the 4th location and all the slur lengths are reset. In addition the E in the grace-chord is totally hidden when made invisible so the E slur line moves vertically.

In some cases, I've left the notation off some pages of continuous chords with a "continue thus" note. I still have to re-introduce the notations as the indication comes and goes through the score, especially with repeated passages. The inability to copy paste earlier measures is a frustration.

Attachment Size
musescore let ring copy.jpg 16.39 KB

In reply to by memeweaver

a) Make the grace notes whole notes. Select one and press 7, you can then only need to make the noteheads invisible (still one at a time) by selecting it and pressing v but you no longer have to try to click stems or flags that are elusive.

b) use ties not slurs. Slurs rules are different and you have to move them to connect multiple notes, ties can have as many ties as there are both notes and grace notes with no more work than pressing + or clicking the tie icon on the toolbar.

Though it is difficult to see the difference on the page, MuseScore treats slurs and ties very differently

In reply to by memeweaver

I find that when I have a grace note with both a stem and flag I have difficulty selecting both items so I use whole notes. I never have a problem clicking a notehead. Strange.

It sounds like you are doing something besides what you are describing for the ties. If you attach a score with a measure you've altered I'll look at it to see if I can see something different to do.

In reply to by mike320

The notehead selections are difficult because when you have a series of chord notes that are a tone or less apart, making them invisible requires either a) clicking every one of them first, which can be awkward at regular zoom levels, or b) selecting each and then v, in which case the noteheads move or as shown in the screen-shot are totally hidden.

I have since played around with editing the grace note(s) ' chord X-offset, but as this is calculated off the next note, the results are still highly variable, so have to be re-edited after copy-pasting.

I've attached a score extract that shows examples of pasted hanging-ties that end up with very long ties or with almost zero-length ties. Same again for X-offset adjusted gracenotes.

The grace-note solution is also extremely fragile in that re-laying out measures will also reset the lengths of the ties.

Attachment Size
Hanging tie sample.mscz 9.98 KB

In reply to by memeweaver

It sounded like you were using grace notes before the next note to make the tie rather than a grace note after the note with a hanging tie. Of course any edit you make can affect other notes on the same system, especially the position of the very next note/chord.

I will tell you that I'd really like to see a let it ring capability independent of any other notes and even asked for it to be added in #311381: Provide a better "let ring", or an open ended slur/tie. Having said that, I think the current process is not that difficult and I probably wouldn't have even asked for let it ring if it weren't for my work with creating braille friendly scores. One thing I haven't mentioned to make this easier is that you can put the tie in edit mode. Click an end box and use ctrl+arrow for large adjustments or just arrows for small adjustments. Left and right arrows move the end points independent of the notes.

In reply to by mike320

The screenshot I provided shows that they are after-notes not before (at least the final note demonstrates this).

I know the ties can be edited - my original post described the difficulties associated with editing them, and the fact that those edits do not survive copy-paste.

Has any consideration been given to providing an explicit feature for this? Hanging ties are extremely common, and I wouldn't have thought should be a hassle. E.g. why can't I just tie a note to a rest? And even early versions of Encore supported ties for volta endings reasonably well.
For now I've gone with invisible notes but then it requires mucking around with voices to get the actual rests to show as expected.

In reply to by Dylan Nicholson1

It's one of those things everyone agree should be possible, and is trivial to support in terms of layout (there is code already there in fact), but no one has proposed a design for how it should actually work. Consider, btw, that tying to a rest isn't really the same thing at all, there's no guarantee a rest would be present in the cases where one-side ties or slurs might be useful.

As for workarounds, invisible grace notes are one common method. I usually just add the symbol from the Symbols or Special Characters palettes (the latter has the advantage of being sizable) and position manually.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

For the volta case surely it's just what should happen automatically, assuming the 2nd/3rd etc time measure starts with notes of the same pitch?
An l.v. "tie" should just be a separate type of line you can add.
Agree that tying to a rest isn't the right solution, it's just what happened to make sense in my case where I wanted the hanging tie to extend to the start of the next (empty) measure.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The invisible grace notes don't work in many situations where grace notes are already broken, e.g. when there is a mid-measure clef after the hanging-note. This and other situations cause after grace notes to render before the desired note. Notes of voices that cross staves cause similar issues.

It's not worth filing these as bugs: there are simply so many grace note and stave-crossing issues already that it would be like going down a rabbit hole.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Proposed design:
Create an option for the curved line [in the tie or slur Inspector window]:
• "Only attach start of line". The line length can be set at some default length, and can be adjusted.

An extension of this is:
•• "Only attach end of line", which is useful in scores where ties are indicated as two small curved lines separated by a space in the middle.

There are a variety of Symbols (Master Palette) you can attach to notes and then move as needed; I ended up using this one:
(no audio playback of course)

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