Slur placement relative to grace notes

There are specific placement rules that affect slurs when they start from a grace note and end on a normal note immediately following the grace note.

These rules are:

  • Slurs connect noteheads rather than stems.

  • Slurs are scaled to match the proportions of grace notes.

  • Slurs must not obscure ledger lines.

  • Slurs are placed above notes if they would collide with the accidental of a standard note when placed below the notes.

You can adjust the values for the different parameters of the special placement rules. For example, you can change the vertical and horizontal offsets for the right-hand end of a grace note slur relative to the standard, full-sized notehead to which it is attached in the Grace Notes section of the Slurs page in Engraving Options.


These rules do not apply when slurs attach to a standard note at any rhythmic position beyond the note immediately following the grace note.

Due to the general placement conventions of grace notes, slurs in Dorico Pro appear below grace notes and curve downwards by default. Slurs starting from grace notes only appear above notes and curve upwards in up-stem voices in multiple-voice contexts.

Figure 1. Slur curvature direction on grace notes in a single-voice context
Figure 2. Slur curvature direction on grace notes in a multiple-voice context

You can change the automatic placement of grace note slurs by changing the stem direction of a grace note, changing the direction of a slur, and using the slur handles in Engrave mode to adjust the position of a slur in finer detail.