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Re: Figured bass, Was: Re[2]: using 'flat' or # in a title

From: Christian Mondrup
Subject: Re: Figured bass, Was: Re[2]: using 'flat' or # in a title
Date: Tue, 07 Aug 2001 12:38:05 +0200

address@hidden wrote:
> Mats> It would be easy to add a new chord style that outputs figures,
> Mats> but I definitely doubt that anyone would be happy about it.
> Laura> I can imagine an implementation of a chord style that would realize
> a
> Laura> figured bass in the MIDI output, but I certainly don't know enough
> to
> Laura> write it.
> Mats> Agreed that this would be nice.
> An implementation of figured bass in the MIDI output would be swell,
> but to do it properly, I feel it should be independent - or as you
> say Mats, "intelligent" - of the input.
> Maybe with a "database" of chords presets, he then tries to decide
> which one suits the current figure best.
> But it would be incoherent to have this done, bu not implementation
> of chords (is there), and ornaments.
> Mats> The reason is that the chord implementation internally represents
> Mats> each chord as a list of notes, which than is translated into the
> Mats> corresponding chord symbol. We have had long discussions on the
> Mats> lists on all the different standards for chord notation and I think
> Mats> the figured bass notation in baroque music is even less
> standardized.

I can only confirm that. Upon years of experience with publishing
baroque music including figured bass settings (avaliable from the Werner
Icking Archive) I've learned that you can't expect any 'standard'
figuring from the composers. For example figures are often totally
missing in works by J.S.Bach. Basically you have to read the score in
order to come out with a reasonable basso continuo arrangement.
Furthermore general harmony voice leading rules must be taken into
account, you must be careful to adapt chord 'strums' to the overall
rhythmic flow of the composition in question and you should every now
and then reflect motive elements from the score in your arrangement. All
that wouldn't be more than hard to implement in the case of some
'automatic' chord generator. 

Christian Mondrup, Computer Programmer
Scandiatransplant, Skejby Hospital, University Hospital of Aarhus
Brendstrupgaardsvej, DK 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark
Phone: +45 89 49 53 01 -

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