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Re: Add option to indicate frets by letters in tablature (issue16406

From: demery
Subject: Re: Add option to indicate frets by letters in tablature (issue164063)
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 2009 19:23:15 -0500 (EST)
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>> Fret 3 was lettered as ɣ, which was rendered in some contemporary
>> engravings
>> to look a bit like a fancy r, so some modern transcriptions of the
>> tablature
>> turn it into an r.  If we're going to re-render ɣ, why not do it as c,
>> and
>> keep the logical letter sequence. 
> My preference would be to render it as gamma.  Let's do it correctly.
> Thanks for pointing this out.

'c' marks fret 2 in French tab.

Correct is to think of it as 'c', employ that concept internally, and in
any documentation.  Draw it as a gamma-like glyph in fonts emulating those
hands and fonts which do so historically; but encode it in those fonts as
the 'c' it is.

This list is the first place I have seen mention of the concept of it
being a gamma, the citations i gave in an earlier email are the scholarly
references for tablature notation, I own Apel and have it open now, but
Wolf is hard to come by outside of a good music library.  Apel takes time
to discuss the development of some symbols, clefs for instance, but not
these, no mention of gamma at all in his discussion of the symbols of
french tabulature.  He illustrates Granjons pretty font in a 1568
publication, the 'c' in that font is a combination of both, the lower
curve of a 'c', the upper flattened arm of a gamma.  The hand  of gaultier
as seen in the Hamburg codex is also shown, there the 'c' (as labeled by
Apel) is indeed a gamma, very rectilinear modern 'r'.  But, my point here
is that Apel labels it 'c', and says nothing about it resembling a gamma.

The omission of j will be curious to anyone writing analytical software,
but that is enough strangeness (gotta have at least one point of

Please note that Pierre Attaignant (first printer of french tabulature
notation) used ROMAN MAJISCULE letter forms in his 1528 and 1530 editions,
C was a C for his readers.  I wish I had the material from my survey of
french tab printers fonts handy, I am sure there are others whose letter
forms were more italianate than courthand.

Dana Emery

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