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Re: Why don't we get rid of \chordmode?

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Why don't we get rid of \chordmode?
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2010 19:01:34 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Reinhold Kainhofer <address@hidden> writes:

> Am Mittwoch, 28. April 2010 18:02:56 schrieb David Kastrup:
>> Anyway, here is how I would do this: Chords are much more common than
>> tremolos, so changing notation for the latter seems like the better
>> choice.  
> Oh, really??? 


> In all the classical orchestra scores that I have looked at (and I
> have looked at a lot), I have not seen a single chord, but there are
> several tremolo shorthand notations (to save space, i.e. instead of
> g8[ g g g] g[ g g g] , they write g2:8 g:8) in about every
> violin/viola/cello score.

Well, in my violin solo sonatas and partitas by Bach, there is not a
single tremolo shorthand, but quite a lot of chords.  Granted, the
particular stacking/inversion is rarely suitable for chord notation

> It really depends on the type of music you are using. In pop music,
> chords are more common, but in classical music, tremolo notation is
> just as essential!

That question is sort of academical.  The important thing is that yes,
colon notation is already being used in Lilypond music, and so
integrating chord colon notation into music as is requires a
downward-incompatible syntax change and conversion rules.

The ultimate goal of my proposal is to obliterate \chordmode
completely.  As an intermediate step, it would still be present in its
current form as an alternative.

So there are basically two ways forward for getting non-ambiguous
tremolo and chord syntax:

a) change the syntax of tremolos.  I already proposed c4/8 which looks
   nice enough in my opinion.  It still requires an incompatible syntax

b) change the syntax of chords when used used in-score.  How?  One could
   write them uppercase, but I think that is a bad idea since C is the
   German name for c, actually.  And accordion notation uses lowercase
   letters for chords, uppercase for bass notes.  Having to input this
   just the other way round is not going to be particularly legible.

   There are not that many characters left.  Writing c/m for c minor
   would be conceivable, but the chord inversion c/m/g or even c//g does
   not get more readable.

I really can't think of a good syntax for b), so my personal favorite
remains solution a).  Which is an actual improvement over c4:8 I should
rather think, but then I might be biased.

But I am aware that having a downward compatible proposal would greatly
improve the chances of this becoming reality in a mostly painless
manner, so I am open to suggestions.

David Kastrup

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