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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: Thu, 29 Apr 2010 07:21:54 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Graham Percival <address@hidden> writes:

> On Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 12:45:10AM +0200, David Kastrup wrote:
>> c4;7 does not really look anything like a chord.  Neither does c4:7, to
>> be honest.  So at best slightly worse.
> Trying to channel Han-Wen here, I think the discussion is going in
> the wrong direction.  It started off with a few negatives of
> chordmode:
>   - can't combine voices
>   - can't write chords and bass notes together
>   - can't put non-chorded material in between
>   - no relative mode
> I'm not going to pretend to understand why this is so (I've never
> used chords), but are we certain that it's impossible to solve
> these in other ways?  I mean, isn't the "combining voices" a
> limitation of the scheme/c++ implementation of chordmode, not a
> fundamental property of the input syntax?

I think I already answered that: I think that basically pulling all the
(extensive) functionality of music mode into \chordmode with a slightly
different syntax and duplicating all the accessors is a maintenance and
user complexity sin as compared to pulling all (limited) functionality
of \chordmode into music mode with a slightly different syntax and
reducing it to none.

> Non-chorded material would probably require an additional command like
> \normalMusic { ... }, but again, I don't see why we need to eliminate
> chordmode to solve these problems.

Because we can.

> I'm also not enthralled by the various perlifications being
> proposed.  The more punctuation we use, the less readable the
> format gets.  \chordmode{ }  is easy for somebody to understand...
> they might not know what the "mode" means, but if I see
> \chordmode { c1 g c }   I'm pretty certain I'll see a C-major,
> G-major, and C-major chord in the output.

That's certainly the case for \repeat tremolo as well: you know what
you'll get.

And what if you see \chordmode { c,4:1/c c g,:1/g c } in the input
(which is basically how you put bass notes in now if you really must)?

> If we do something like |C| |G| |C| or C:: or C; or C$ ... well, those
> don't look like anything in particular.

If we make a separate mode for all the simplest cases of music input,
then try to fit in all the complexity for the harder cases in different
ways, I don't see that we win.  Lilypond has a _lot_ of material, having
to learn it a dozen times in different ways for the sake of making a few
isolated cases _look_ simple helps nobody.

>> In contrast, ; appears like it could dodge the issue until GLISS.
> I don't think it's worth introducing a temporary change to a
> different punctuation symbol if there's a good chance it would
> change in 12-18 months anyway.

There is currently no sane way of entering bass/chord sequences and
chord combinations.  That's not something I want to leave untreated for
prospected 12-18 months.  I am acutely embarrassed that there is no
reasonably efficient and natural way to enter accordion music in

David Kastrup

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