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Re: Chord Naming

From: Carl D. Sorensen
Subject: Re: Chord Naming
Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2009 08:10:15 -0700

On 1/24/09 4:02 AM, "Tao Cumplido" <address@hidden> wrote:

> I never use fret diagrams so I don't know how this predefined exceptions work.

You can get a description of how the predefined fretboards work, including
the addition of new diagrams, by looking in the Notation Reference, Section
2.4.1 Common notation for fretted strings under Automatic fret diagrams.

> If I understand it right you want to make a list of all possibillities named
> on so that everyone can pick his/her favourite way?!

Not quite.  I want to make a facility that makes it easy for everyone to
create their favorite way, if one of the defaults isn't what is wanted.  And just provides a list of the predefined chords.  Any extra
chords would have to be defined by the user.

> In my opinion the main problem is that chord symbols are linked to actual
> notes. This probably works well for simple folkloric structures but becomes
> problematic in complex jazz constructions. A jazz chord symbol is rather
> linked to a scale than a chord but in most cases isn't limited to a single
> scale, e.g. G7alt. can mean to play G mixolydian b13, G altered
> (superlocrian), HTWT or HTWT. Even Cmaj7 isn't limited to ionian but can also
> mean lydian since the perfect fourth is an avoid tone in maj7.

This is hard for me to understand.  Do you mean that in a jazz leadsheet, if
the chord symbol says G7alt. the musician is free to choose any of the
options you present?

Even if this is true, as long as you only want the ChordNames output, there
is no harm in defining a particular set of notes that will give you Cmaj7 as
a symbol.  The ChordNames output won't have any notes, just text.  And as
long as the input is as simple as c:maj7 to get Cmaj7 as an output, I think
the system works.

> I think the best solution would be to make the suffix of a chord symbol, i.e.
> everything after the root, plain text. This would allow everyone to choose
> his/her favourite suffix by just typing standard characters.

If one only cares about the ChordNames context, then what you propose works.
If, on the other hand, one wants to be able to use the same music expression
for notes, FretBoards, and ChordNames (which at least I do), then picking a
root plus a freely chosen suffix doesn't work anymore.

> I already do something similar. I use a tweaked font to display my chord
> symbols in a Lyrics context above the Staff. This doesn't let me transpose
> though and I always have to create transposed parts manually but I still
> prefer it to the current function of LP because it allows easy displaying of
> chord symbols to my like.

Since all you want is text, the Lyrics method works.  And you would be able
to continue to use it under my proposal.

> Also defining exceptions in advance would become unnecessary because all
> exceptions are stored to different characters and one has only to learn
> his/her favourite way of displaying chords once.

The same is true under my proposal.  Exceptions (I don't really like the
term; I'd prefer to just call them chord names) are stored as different
characters, and one only had to learn to display them once.  And if one has
additional chord names that are not

> Whatever way you want to go, is still missing some common
> exceptions and variations and I'd be happy to help out with expanding your
> exceptions list.
Thanks for the feedback, and for the offer of help,


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