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Re: Figured bass

From: jeremie . lumbroso
Subject: Re: Figured bass
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 00:33:56 +0200

Hi Mats,

Jérémie> [...]
Jérémie>       The  most  flexible  way  I've  found  for typesetting
Jérémie>       figured bass is your way : text markups. Though it's a
Jérémie>       lot of code for three numbers.
Jérémie>         ex:   7
Jérémie>               2
Jérémie>               3
Jérémie>             becomes : a_#'(finger (lines "7", "2", "3"))
Mats> Why make it so complicated? You should get exactly the same
Mats> result from a_7_2_3

The answer isn't very technical. Your solution is surely as efficient
as mine, but I just kept that syntax because I use after too... To have
a certain coherence in my methods.

Jérémie>              #5
Jérémie>               2
Jérémie>             becomes : d_#'(columns (lines
((font-relative-size . -2) ((raise .
Jérémie>                       0.35) (music "accidentals-1"))), " ")
(finger (lines "5", "2")))

Mats> Using the definitions of my previous mail, you could reduce it to
Mats> d_#`(rows ,text-sharp " 5") _"  2"

I actually used the definition in your previous mail, but I don't know
why using text-sharp wouldn't work... I just had to past the whole thing.

Mats> However, the horizontal alignment brings up an interesting problem.

The reason I used so much is space is to be *sure* that 5 and 2 get verti-
cally aligned and that the sharp comes before the 5.

Mats> In many cases, you want to align the chord changes to a certain beat
Mats> which is easier using a lyrics line where you can assign the duration
Mats> of each "syllable". If you use text scripts, you may have to insert
Mats> spacing notes parallel to the base note to get something to align
Mats> the new chord to. In many handwritten manuscripts, the horizontal
Mats> alignment of the chord changes isn't specified, so below a whole note
Mats> you could find
Mats> 7 6 5
Mats> 4 5 3
Mats> and as an editor you have to decide either to typeset them as in the
Mats> manuscript with just a single space between the numbers or to specify
Mats> at which beat to typeset the change. Personally, I don't want to make
Mats> that decision as an editor and stick to the former alternative. 

This is kind of like the rules you mentionned in the message to Laura.
Either way, the performer will choose the way he wants to play it.
Some composers were very frustrated about that - they were too uptight
to let anybody "transform" their art - that's why some of them prefered
spending half their life composing a full-fledged bass, rather than
giving that liberty to the performer.

It's veyr likely that the performer will change is bass with the beat,
if the left hand requires it, or when he wants, if there isn't any other

All the babble to point out that you're right, and that the first solution
seems the best to me too.

Jérémie>       The   symbols  are lacking, but it's a good base. What
Jérémie>       could   help  is  to  have  this  'thing'  calculated
Jérémie>       automatically.
Jérémie>         ex: a_bass(7,2,3)
Jérémie>             d_bass(5is, 2)
Mats> I've seen at least three different ways of typesetting a 5is:
Mats> #
Mats> 5, #5 or 5 with a dash, but you could have a property to determine
Mats> the desired style.

I've never noted that those were all alike, but I guess you're right.
Though it's possible - and I'm speculating - that this is determined
by the situation.

I really think that having this kind of entry would be the simplest,
and the most flexible.

Have a nice day,

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