Certain accidentals

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Certain accidentals

a.l.f.r.e.d.o
Hi, everybody. 
I sometimes have to write many accidentals in a bar and was wondering if there was a way I could write the music in C major and then transpose only the notes I need to be "sharpened" or flattened. 

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Re: Certain accidentals

David Kastrup
"a.l.f.r.e.d.o" <[hidden email]> writes:

> Hi, everybody. 
> I sometimes have to write many accidentals in a bar and was wondering
> if there was a way I could write the music in C major and then
> transpose only the notes I need to be "sharpened" or flattened. 

Sure.  You just need to mark the notes you need to sharpened by
appending "is" to their name, and the notes you need flattened by
appending "es" to their name.

It's unlikely that this is what you mean, but your description is
insufficient to figure out what you are actually talking about.

--
David Kastrup

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Re: Certain accidentals

Robert Schmaus
In reply to this post by a.l.f.r.e.d.o
I think, if you don't specify a key at all, the music will always be "in C" (no accidentals at the staff's beginning). Of course the notes have all necessary accidentals.

Best, Robert

> On 18 Apr 2014, at 04:09, "a.l.f.r.e.d.o" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hi, everybody.
> I sometimes have to write many accidentals in a bar and was wondering if there was a way I could write the music in C major and then transpose only the notes I need to be "sharpened" or flattened.
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Certain accidentals

Brian Barker
In reply to this post by a.l.f.r.e.d.o
At 23:09 17/04/2014 -0300, Alfredo Noname wrote:
>I sometimes have to write many accidentals in a bar and was
>wondering if there was a way I could write the music in C major and
>then transpose only the notes I need to be "sharpened" or flattened.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean here.  Accidentals are the
additional markers that will appear where necessary in the final
engraving to show notes that vary from what the key signature
indicates.  You will want those, of course - and they are no
difficulty, since Lilypond will do the work of deciding where they
are necessary.

But perhaps you are referring to the method of textual input in
Lilypond, where notes that are named "sharp" or "flat" need to be
qualified as such, notwithstanding what the \key indication would
appear already to imply.  (In this way, Lilypond operates somewhat
counterintuitively and against normal musical thinking.)  Yes: this
means that manual construction of a .ly file is harder work when the
key requires many sharps or flats.  And in that case it is perfectly
possible to construct a file using "\key c \major" and sharp or flat
suffixes only where true accidentals will be necessary, and then to
use \transpose to convert it in a stroke to the key and
representation you actually require.

I trust this helps.

Brian Barker


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Re: Certain accidentals

Thomas Morley-2
In reply to this post by a.l.f.r.e.d.o
Hi Brian,

2014-04-18 8:26 GMT+02:00 Brian Barker <[hidden email]>:

> But perhaps you are referring to the method of textual input in Lilypond,
> where notes that are named "sharp" or "flat" need to be qualified as such,
> notwithstanding what the \key indication would appear already to imply.  (In
> this way, Lilypond operates somewhat counterintuitively and against normal
> musical thinking.)

seriously?
"against normal musical thinking"??

Look at the output of

{ \key g\major g''2. fis''4 g''1 }

Do you really _think_ g f g while playing/singing?
Can't believe that.

Imho, it's the opposite, printing fis from { \key g\major f''4 } would
be counterintuitively.

Well, it can be more typing, I don't want it different, though.

Cheers,
  Harm

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Re: Certain accidentals

David Nalesnik

Hi,

On Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 7:41 AM, Thomas Morley <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Brian,

2014-04-18 8:26 GMT+02:00 Brian Barker <[hidden email]>:

> But perhaps you are referring to the method of textual input in Lilypond,
> where notes that are named "sharp" or "flat" need to be qualified as such,
> notwithstanding what the \key indication would appear already to imply.  (In
> this way, Lilypond operates somewhat counterintuitively and against normal
> musical thinking.)

seriously?
"against normal musical thinking"??

Look at the output of

{ \key g\major g''2. fis''4 g''1 }

Do you really _think_ g f g while playing/singing?
Can't believe that.

In my experience, speaking that sort of thing--calling F-sharp "F"--goes hand in hand with a tendency to forget accidentals, to miss them when analyzing chords.  (And inwardly it makes me cringe :) )
 

Imho, it's the opposite, printing fis from { \key g\major f''4 } would
be counterintuitively.

Well, it can be more typing, I don't want it different, though.

+1000

-David

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Re: Certain accidentals

Brian Barker
In reply to this post by Thomas Morley-2
At 14:41 18/04/2014 +0200, Thomas Morley wrote:
>2014-04-18 8:26 GMT+02:00 Brian Barker:
>>But perhaps you are referring to the method of textual input in
>>Lilypond, where notes that are named "sharp" or "flat" need to be
>>qualified as such, notwithstanding what the \key indication would
>>appear already to imply.  (In this way, Lilypond operates somewhat
>>counterintuitively and against normal musical thinking.)
>
>seriously?
>"against normal musical thinking"??

Certainly!  I might not have made myself clear, and no-one needs to
take this as a criticism.

But yes: as we all know, in musical notation, once the key signature
has appeared, the meaning of the lines and spaces on the stave are
redefined to the appropriate sharpened and flattened versions of
their natural values.  In the Lilypond text file, after a \key
indication, the names of the notes still indicate natural
versions.  In musical notation, sharps and flats are indicated only
as accidentals; in Lilypond input notation, they always need indicating.

The Learning Manual says: "New users are often confused by
[accidentals and key signatures]" and "The key signature only affects
the printed accidentals, not the note's pitch! This is a feature that
often causes confusion to newcomers, ...".  I was merely referring to
this difficulty.

>Look at the output of
>
>{ \key g\major g''2. fis''4 g''1 }
>
>Do you really _think_ g f g while playing/singing? Can't believe that.

No - certainly not (though I know people who do!).  You are quite
right not to believe I could be that foolish.  But there is still a
difference in the representations: in musical notation, a note on the
F line after a key signature of G major represents an F#; in Lilypond
notation, an F after \key g\major represents F natural.  Why else
would the manual suggest this might "cause confusion"?

>Well, it can be more typing, I don't want it different, though.

I also made no suggestion of any change.

Brian Barker  


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Re: Certain accidentals

Brian Barker
In reply to this post by David Nalesnik
At 07:57 18/04/2014 -0500, David Nalesnik wrote:
>In my experience, speaking that sort of thing--calling F-sharp "F" ...

Sorry, but who made that suggestion, please?  This was about
notation, not description!

>On Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 7:41 AM, Thomas Morley wrote:
>>... I don't want it different, though.
>
>+1000

It's unfortunate that you should invent a straw man: I didn't suggest
any change.  Nor, in also mentioning the possible confusion, does the manual.

By the way, if you get to have a thousand times as many votes as I
do, I'll make a note not to bother competing with you in any future
dispute.  ;^)

Brian Barker  


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Re: Certain accidentals

Urs Liska
In reply to this post by Brian Barker
Am 18.04.2014 15:38, schrieb Brian Barker:

> At 14:41 18/04/2014 +0200, Thomas Morley wrote:
>> 2014-04-18 8:26 GMT+02:00 Brian Barker:
>>> But perhaps you are referring to the method of textual input in
>>> Lilypond, where notes that are named "sharp" or "flat" need to be
>>> qualified as such, notwithstanding what the \key indication would
>>> appear already to imply.  (In this way, Lilypond operates somewhat
>>> counterintuitively and against normal musical thinking.)
>>
>> seriously?
>> "against normal musical thinking"??
>
> Certainly!  I might not have made myself clear, and no-one needs to take
> this as a criticism.
>
> But yes: as we all know, in musical notation, once the key signature has
> appeared, the meaning of the lines and spaces on the stave are redefined
> to the appropriate sharpened and flattened versions of their natural
> values.  In the Lilypond text file, after a \key indication, the names
> of the notes still indicate natural versions.  In musical notation,
> sharps and flats are indicated only as accidentals; in Lilypond input
> notation, they always need indicating.
>
> The Learning Manual says: "New users are often confused by [accidentals
> and key signatures]" and "The key signature only affects the printed
> accidentals, not the note's pitch! This is a feature that often causes
> confusion to newcomers, ...".  I was merely referring to this difficulty.
>
>> Look at the output of
>>
>> { \key g\major g''2. fis''4 g''1 }
>>
>> Do you really _think_ g f g while playing/singing? Can't believe that.
>
> No - certainly not (though I know people who do!).  You are quite right
> not to believe I could be that foolish.  But there is still a difference
> in the representations: in musical notation, a note on the F line after
> a key signature of G major represents an F#; in Lilypond notation, an F
> after \key g\major represents F natural.

This is because the score is already a graphical representation. So
actually it's _this_ part that's causing the confusion: a notehead on
the first staff space can represent an f, a fes, a fis - or even a
completely different pitch governed by the clef or a generally active
transposition. In that sense musical notation is highly ambiguous.

A "fis" in LilyPond syntax is a fis, regardless where it will appear in
a score.

> Why else would the manual
> suggest this might "cause confusion"?
>
>> Well, it can be more typing, I don't want it different, though.
>
> I also made no suggestion of any change.

Actually I'm currently in a discussion with a (highly) professional
engraver using Amadeus (a Unix/Linux program that has been out of
development for 15 years now but is still used by a number of
professionals). Amadeus is a text-compiling program that has a number of
striking similarities to LilyPond, but also a number of striking
differences.
Among others, in Amadeus you'll write the pitch you _see_ and not the
one you hear. That is when you're in D major you'll write "F" to get a
fis, you'd only write fis if you want an extra accidental.

I find that very annoying, but he insists that it is in no way ambiguous
(because you always _see_ the score fragment you're working on and the
editor also always shows you the effective key). And he insists that it
is much more efficient simply because he has to type less.

I also would not ever want to change LilyPond's behaviour in that
respect, but I write this to show that there _are_ people (who have to
be taken seriously) who would consider the other approach superior.

Best
Urs

>
> Brian Barker
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Certain accidentals

David Nalesnik
In reply to this post by David Nalesnik
Hi Brian,


On Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 8:43 AM, Brian Barker <[hidden email]> wrote:
At 07:57 18/04/2014 -0500, David Nalesnik wrote:
In my experience, speaking that sort of thing--calling F-sharp "F" ...

Sorry, but who made that suggestion, please?  This was about notation, not description!

But LilyPond proceeds from a description of the note, and I'm simply saying that the proper description of the note is "F-sharp" rather than "F," regardless of the key signature.
 

On Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 7:41 AM, Thomas Morley wrote:
... I don't want it different, though.

+1000

It's unfortunate that you should invent a straw man: I didn't suggest any change.  Nor, in also mentioning the possible confusion, does the manual.

 
I'm simply replying to Harm's comments and to your remark that  "Lilypond operates somewhat counterintuitively and against normal musical thinking".

 
By the way, if you get to have a thousand times as many votes as I do, I'll make a note not to bother competing with you in any future dispute.  ;^)


Not sure how to take that, but I certainly meant no offense.

Best,
David 


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Re: Certain accidentals

Brian Barker
At 08:58 18/04/2014 -0500, David Nalesnik wrote:
>On Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 8:43 AM, Brian Barker wrote:
>>By the way, if you get to have a thousand times as many votes as I
>>do, I'll make a note not to bother competing with you in any future
>>dispute. ;^)
>
>Not sure how to take that, but I certainly meant no offense.

Oh, none taken - hence my wink!

Brian Barker


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Re: Certain accidentals

Brian Barker
In reply to this post by Urs Liska
At 15:48 18/04/2014 +0200, Urs Liska wrote:
>Am 18.04.2014 15:38, schrieb Brian Barker:
>>No - certainly not (though I know people who do!).  You are quite
>>right not to believe I could be that foolish.  But there is still a
>>difference in the representations: in musical notation, a note on
>>the F line after a key signature of G major represents an F#; in
>>Lilypond notation, an F after \key g\major represents F natural.
>
>This is because the score is already a graphical representation.

No - that surely makes no difference?  Both musical notation and
Lilypond notation *could* work the other way around - if anyone were
to prefer this.  (Note that I've expressed no such preference!)

>... in Amadeus you'll write the pitch you _see_ and not the one you hear.
>I also would not ever want to change LilyPond's behaviour in that
>respect, but I write this to show that there _are_ people (who have
>to be taken seriously) who would consider the other approach superior.

Exactly (but I'm still fence-sitting).

Brian Barker  


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Re: Certain accidentals

David Kastrup
In reply to this post by Urs Liska
Urs Liska <[hidden email]> writes:

> I find that very annoying, but he insists that it is in no way
> ambiguous (because you always _see_ the score fragment you're working
> on and the editor also always shows you the effective key). And he
> insists that it is much more efficient simply because he has to type
> less.

It's rather error-prone since it means that you cannot ever use
copy-and-paste for any piece of music since its meaning will change
depending on where you copy it.  I assume that you are _not_ typing what
gets typeset but instead a version relative to the current key in
effect.  If you are _indeed_ typing what gets typeset, the meaning of a
phrase would change even when just repeating it displaced by non-whole
measures.  Irrespective of that, you cannot copy into a different key,
or move a key change across some passage to make it scan better.

--
David Kastrup

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Re: Certain accidentals

Paul Morris
In reply to this post by a.l.f.r.e.d.o
a.l.f.r.e.d.o wrote
Hi, everybody. I sometimes have to write many accidentals in a bar and was wondering if there was a way I could write the music in C major and then transpose only the notes I need to be "sharpened" or flattened. 
Hi, I wouldn't recommend this, but if you're determined to try and make this work...  you could:

1. enter notes with just the note's letter: a b c d e f g  (for example, in the key of G major, enter f instead of fis for an f-sharp note)  

2. do a find/replace for each sharp or flat in the key signature (replacing say f with fis).  But make sure you don't change other letters that aren't notes in the process. (for example \f is a dynamic indication)

3. the problem is that this doesn't distinguish between an f-sharp and an f-natural (accidental note).  Both would end up being fis.  So you'd have to deal with that manually, changing any accidentals back from fis to f...  not so great.


BTW, an "accidental" only refers to notes falling _outside_ of the current key.  There are sharp and flat notes that are not accidentals and there are natural notes that are accidentals.  (Sorry this is a bit of a pet peeve of mine.)

HTH,
-Paul
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Re: Certain accidentals

Paul Morris
In reply to this post by Urs Liska
Urs Liska wrote
So actually it's _this_ part that's causing the confusion: a notehead on
the first staff space can represent an f, a fes, a fis - or even a
completely different pitch governed by the clef or a generally active
transposition. In that sense musical notation is highly ambiguous.
Indeed.  Should anyone be interested in learning about a less ambiguous approach, kindly allow me to refer to Clairnote, an alternative music notation system: http://clairnote.org/  It has a 1-to-1 mapping between staff position and pitch (rather than 1-to-many).  

-Paul
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Re: Certain accidentals

Christ van Willegen
In reply to this post by Urs Liska
On Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 3:48 PM, Urs Liska <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Actually I'm currently in a discussion with a (highly) professional engraver
> using Amadeus (a Unix/Linux program that has been out of development for 15
> years now but is still used by a number of professionals). Amadeus is a
> text-compiling program that has a number of striking similarities to
> LilyPond, but also a number of striking differences.
> Among others, in Amadeus you'll write the pitch you _see_ and not the one
> you hear. That is when you're in D major you'll write "F" to get a fis,
> you'd only write fis if you want an extra accidental.

And if you'd life to get an F-natural in the key of D major, how would
you write that?

Christ van Willegen
--
09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

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Re: Certain accidentals

Urs Liska
I'll look that up, I have got the manual.

Christ van Willegen <[hidden email]> schrieb am 19.04.2014:
On Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 3:48 PM, Urs Liska <[hidden email]> wrote:
Actually I'm currently in a discussion with a (highly) professional engraver
using Amadeus (a Unix/Linux program that has been out of development for 15
years now but is still used by a number of professionals). Amadeus is a
text-compiling program that has a number of striking similarities to
LilyPond, but also a number of striking differences.
Among others, in Amadeus you'll write the pitch you _see_ and not the one
you hear. That is when you're in D major you'll write "F" to get a fis,
you'd only write fis if you want an extra accidental.

And if you'd life to get an F-natural in the key of D major, how would
you write that?

Christ van Willegen

-- Diese Nachricht wurde mit K-@ Mail gesendet.
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Re: Certain accidentals

David Kastrup
Urs Liska <[hidden email]> writes:

>> Christ van Willegen <[hidden email]> schrieb:

[Amadeus]

>>>And if you'd life to get an F-natural in the key of D major, how would
>>>you write that?
>
> I'll look that up, I have got the manual.

My guess would be something like fn or its equivalent according to
Amadeus' input conventions (that would go nicely with fs/ff for
f sharp/f flat)

--
David Kastrup

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Re: Certain accidentals

Brian Barker
In reply to this post by Christ van Willegen
At 15:41 19/04/2014 +0200, Christ van Willegen wrote:
>And if you'd life to get an F-natural in the key of D major, how
>would you write that?

Clearly, following normal musical notation, you'd annotate the F in
some way as being not the expected F in D major (F#) - using
something such as fn.

Brian Barker  


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Re: Certain accidentals

Kieren MacMillan
Hi Brian,

Since you are [ostensibly] sitting on the fence…  ;)
This is my “+1” for the cut-and-pastability (and, by extension, variable-referencibility, etc.) of Lily-code as noted by David K.
Having engraved hundreds of Lilypond scores in the past 11 years — many with dozens of movements, 50+ staves, etc., and perhaps half of which include transposing instruments — I can’t imagine the nightmare that would ensue if the code was entered without explicit alteration(s).

All the best,
Kieren.

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