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## Re: Pitch notation

 From: Carl Sorensen Subject: Re: Pitch notation Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2007 18:37:15 +0000 (UTC) User-agent: Loom/3.14 (http://gmane.org/)

```Hans Aberg wrote:
> There is really a mixture of ideas. The relative notation should be
> there in order to simplify input. There, I tend to think about the
> melody line in a local region, rather than just related to the note
> before. In tonal music, this note may often be the tonic then, but if
> the melody crosses below it, one may need to shift region without
> indices, simply because it is tiresome to writ them. So that is the
>
> The other is just to use a numbering 0-9 to label the octaves (with 4
> being the middle one), used for indicating absolute pitches. This is
> just a more modern system of the older that LilyPond. It is not new,
> though: I have a book from 1975 using it, Robert Dick, "The other
> flute". But thinking on it over some time, I start to think it is
> quite convenient: just one symbol to indicate the octave. Then, if
> such numbering should be used, it should not conflict with writing
> chords and the like, therefore the prefix notation. I have extracted
> this latter idea from some ideas I have on notating more general
> scales and chords, where such notational conflicts also must be avoided.

It would be a very simple task for a programmer to write a preprocessor that
would take notation in the syntax you describe and convert it to Lilypond in
absolute notation.

One fundamental difference between your proposed mixed relative and absolute
notation (if a number is there, it's absolute; if the number is not there it's
in the same octave as the last given note) is that Lilypond gives you a relative
based on the previous note.  This is very convenient for notating music, as you
can ignore the octave except for two places -- at the start of a piece and when
you have a jump of a fifth or more.  Your proposed syntax would require a change
of octave every time notes crossed an octave boundary, which can happen quite
frequently in many keys.

I suppose that it would be possible to introduce a third way of entering notes.
But I wouldn't want to replace lilypond's current entry method with the one
you've proposed.

Carl Sorensen

```