1.3.2 Expressive marks as curves

This section explains how to create various expressive marks that are curved: normal slurs, phrasing slurs, breath marks, falls, and doits.

Slurs

Slurs are entered using parentheses:

Note: In polyphonic music, a slur must be terminated in the same voice it began.

```\relative {
f''4( g a) a8 b(
a4 g2 f4)
<c e>2( <b d>2)
}
```

Slurs may be manually placed above or below the staff; see Direction and placement.

Simultaneous or overlapping slurs require special attention. Most occurences of outer slurs actually indicate phrasing, and phrasing slurs may overlap a regular slur, see Phrasing slurs. When multiple regular slurs are needed in a single `Voice`, matching slur starts and ends need to be labelled by preceding them with `\=` followed by an identifying key (a symbol or non-negative integer).

```\fixed c' {
<c~ f\=1( g\=2( >2 <c e\=1) a\=2) >
}
```

Slurs can be solid, dotted, or dashed. Solid is the default slur style:

```\relative {
c'4( e g2)
\slurDashed
g4( e c2)
\slurDotted
c4( e g2)
\slurSolid
g4( e c2)
}
```

Slurs can also be made half-dashed (the first half dashed, the second half solid) or half-solid (the first half solid, the second half dashed):

```\relative {
c'4( e g2)
\slurHalfDashed
g4( e c2)
\slurHalfSolid
c4( e g2)
\slurSolid
g4( e c2)
}
```

Custom dash patterns for slurs can be defined:

```\relative {
c'4( e g2)
\slurDashPattern #0.7 #0.75
g4( e c2)
\slurDashPattern #0.5 #2.0
c4( e g2)
\slurSolid
g4( e c2)
}
```

Predefined commands

`\slurUp`, `\slurDown`, `\slurNeutral`, `\slurDashed`, `\slurDotted`, `\slurHalfDashed`, `\slurHalfSolid`, `\slurDashPattern`, `\slurSolid`.

Using double slurs for legato chords

Some composers write two slurs when they want legato chords. This can be achieved by setting `doubleSlurs`.

```\relative c' {
\set doubleSlurs = ##t
<c e>4( <d f> <c e> <d f>)
}
```

Positioning text markups inside slurs

Text markups need to have the `outside-staff-priority` property set to false in order to be printed inside slurs.

```\relative c'' {
\override TextScript.avoid-slur = #'inside
\override TextScript.outside-staff-priority = ##f
c2(^\markup { \halign #-10 \natural } d4.) c8
}
```

Making slurs with complex dash structure

Slurs can be made with complex dash patterns by defining the `dash-definition` property. `dash-definition` is a list of `dash-elements`. A `dash-element` is a list of parameters defining the dash behavior for a segment of the slur.

The slur is defined in terms of the bezier parameter t which ranges from 0 at the left end of the slur to 1 at the right end of the slur. `dash-element` is a list `(start-t stop-t dash-fraction dash-period)`. The region of the slur from `start-t` to `stop-t` will have a fraction `dash-fraction` of each `dash-period` black. `dash-period` is defined in terms of staff spaces. `dash-fraction` is set to 1 for a solid slur.

```\relative c' {
\once \override
Slur.dash-definition = #'((0 0.3 0.1 0.75)
(0.3 0.6 1 1)
(0.65 1.0 0.4 0.75))
c4( d e f)
\once \override
Slur.dash-definition = #'((0 0.25 1 1)
(0.3 0.7 0.4 0.75)
(0.75 1.0 1 1))
c4( d e f)
}
```

Music Glossary: slur.

Learning Manual: On the un-nestedness of brackets and ties.

Notation Reference: Direction and placement, Phrasing slurs.

Snippets: Expressive marks.

Internals Reference: Slur.

Phrasing slurs

Phrasing slurs (or phrasing marks) that indicate a musical sentence are written using the commands `\(` and `\)` respectively:

```\relative {
c''4\( d( e) f(
e2) d\)
}
```

Typographically, a phrasing slur behaves almost exactly like a normal slur. However, they are treated as different objects; a `\slurUp` will have no effect on a phrasing slur. Phrasing may be manually placed above or below the staff; see Direction and placement.

Simultaneous or overlapping phrasing slurs are entered using `\=` as with regular slurs, see Slurs.

Phrasing slurs can be solid, dotted, or dashed. Solid is the default style for phrasing slurs:

```\relative {
c'4\( e g2\)
\phrasingSlurDashed
g4\( e c2\)
\phrasingSlurDotted
c4\( e g2\)
\phrasingSlurSolid
g4\( e c2\)
}
```

Phrasing slurs can also be made half-dashed (the first half dashed, the second half solid) or half-solid (the first half solid, the second half dashed):

```\relative {
c'4\( e g2\)
\phrasingSlurHalfDashed
g4\( e c2\)
\phrasingSlurHalfSolid
c4\( e g2\)
\phrasingSlurSolid
g4\( e c2\)
}
```

Custom dash patterns for phrasing slurs can be defined:

```\relative {
c'4\( e g2\)
\phrasingSlurDashPattern #0.7 #0.75
g4\( e c2\)
\phrasingSlurDashPattern #0.5 #2.0
c4\( e g2\)
\phrasingSlurSolid
g4\( e c2\)
}
```

Dash pattern definitions for phrasing slurs have the same structure as dash pattern definitions for slurs. For more information about complex dash patterns, see the snippets under Slurs.

Predefined commands

`\phrasingSlurUp`, `\phrasingSlurDown`, `\phrasingSlurNeutral`, `\phrasingSlurDashed`, `\phrasingSlurDotted`, `\phrasingSlurHalfDashed`, `\phrasingSlurHalfSolid`, `\phrasingSlurDashPattern`, `\phrasingSlurSolid`.

Learning Manual: On the un-nestedness of brackets and ties.

Notation Reference: Direction and placement, Slurs.

Snippets: Expressive marks.

Internals Reference: PhrasingSlur.

Breath marks

The `\breathe` command calls for the performer to shorten the previous note to take a breath.

```\fixed c'' { c2. \breathe d4 }
```

For a short break in sound that is not taken away from the the previous note, see Caesuras.

Unlike other expressive marks, a breath mark is treated as a separate music event; therefore, any expressive marks pertaining to the preceding note, and any brackets indicating manual beams, slurs, or phrasing slurs, must be placed before `\breathe`. `\breathe` does not accept articulations itself, but see Caesuras.

A breath mark ends an automatic beam; to override this, see Manual beams.

```\fixed c'' { c8 \breathe d e f g2 }
```

The `breathMarkType` context property controls which of several predefined breath marks the `\breathe` command creates. See List of breath marks.

```\fixed c'' {
\set breathMarkType = #'tickmark
c2. \breathe d4
}
```

Music Glossary: breath mark.

Notation Reference: Caesuras, Divisiones.

Snippets: Expressive marks.

Internals Reference: BreathingEvent, BreathingSign, Breathing_sign_engraver.

Falls and doits

Falls and doits can be added to notes using the `\bendAfter` command. The direction of the fall or doit is indicated with a plus or minus (up or down). The number indicates the pitch interval that the fall or doit will extend beyond the main note.

```\relative c'' {
c2\bendAfter #+4
c2\bendAfter #-4
c2\bendAfter #+6.5
c2\bendAfter #-6.5
c2\bendAfter #+8
c2\bendAfter #-8
}
```

Adjusting the shape of falls and doits

The `shortest-duration-space` property may be tweaked to adjust the shape of falls and doits.

```\relative c'' {
\override Score.SpacingSpanner.shortest-duration-space = #4.0
c2-\bendAfter #5
c2-\bendAfter #-4.75
c2-\bendAfter #8.5
c2-\bendAfter #-6
}
```