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RE: Articulation mark & slur placement

From: Mark Stephen Mrotek
Subject: RE: Articulation mark & slur placement
Date: Sun, 20 Dec 2020 08:16:10 -0800


Not sure how Gould became the be all and end all of music engraving. 
My position is readability. .
In your snippet I prefer the marcato to be above the note. Placed next to the 
head it competes with the head for my vision.


-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Seifert [] 
Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2020 7:31 AM
To: Mark Stephen Mrotek <>
Subject: Re: Articulation mark & slur placement

        Well, if we’re doing everything the way Elaine Gould wants us to, then:

        - articulation should go generally go next to the notehead, not next to 
the stem; but  
        - the marcato mark usually goes above the staff, regardless of stem 
direction.  (Note: not directly above the stemm, but above the staff).

So one could fix the problem for up-stemmed notes simply by putting the marcato 
accent above the staff (and tweaking its vertical placement.)  But the problem 
would remain for the same snippet an octave higher, with down-stemmed notes.

        Interestingly, the accent mark > *does* behave the way I want it to in 
the code below.  Effectively, I want the marcato mark (and the “staccato 
wedge”) to behave like the accent mark in the code below, rather than behaving 
like the staccato or tenuto marks.

\relative c' {
d'4-^( e4 f4-.) r4
d4->( e4 f4-.) r4
d4-.( e4 f4-.) r4
d4--( e4 f4-.) r4
d4-!( e4 f4-.) r4

        Mike Seifert 

> On Dec 19, 2020, at 7:49 PM, Mark Stephen Mrotek <> wrote:
> Mike
> Any requirement that the marcato to be below the note?
> Mark
> -----Original Message-----
> From: lilypond-user 
> [] On Behalf Of 
> Michael Seifert
> Sent: Saturday, December 19, 2020 3:10 PM
> To:
> Subject: Articulation mark & slur placement
> The following code
> \relative c' {
> d4-^( e4 f4-.) r4
> }
> produces a slur with all articulation marks “inside” the slur.  Typically, 
> however, articulation marks are supposed to go “outside” the first note of a 
> slur:  “Usually, only tenuto lines and staccato marks may go inside of the 
> first and the last notes of a slur.”  (“Behind Bars”, p. 121)  If we follow 
> this guideline in the excerpt above, the endpoint of the slur should be 
> closer to the notehead than the marcato accent is.  The staccato mark, on the 
> other hand, is correctly placed.
> Is there a way to make it so that the “usual” placement occurs by default?  
> Or do I need to tweak this manually for each articulation mark (other than 
> staccato and tenuto) that begins a phrase?
> Mike Seifert 

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