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Re: guitarist: how write chord names like Gadd5

From: Tim McNamara
Subject: Re: guitarist: how write chord names like Gadd5
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2011 17:50:12 -0600

On Feb 3, 2011, at 5:01 PM, Jan Warchoł wrote:

> 2011/2/1 Tim McNamara <address@hidden>
>> Jazz guitarist and Lilypond user here.  I would call that a G(no 3rd)
> I'd say that it's a Gsus chord. It means basically the same: a chord
> with no third.
> Usually the third is replaced by a fourth or a second:
> Gsus2 = <g a d>,
> Gsus4 = <g c d>,

The 3rd is replaced by either the major 2nd or the perfect 4th; that is part of 
the definition of a sus chord which needs to specify which note is being added 
in place of the 3rd.

> So to me it seems perfectly natural to write
> Gsus = <g d>.

But incorrect.  <g d> is not a chord, it is a double stop.

> LilyPond accepts g:sus as an input, but prints G as the name of the
> chord, without "sus".

As it should, since the note replacing the 3rd should be specified.  "Gsus" is 
an incomplete chord name.

> 2011/2/3 David Raleigh Arnold <address@hidden>:
>> The whole idea of chord names is that one "G" is the same as
>> another. A few extensions have come in over the years, the most
>> important being the slash bass.
> So, because there is a need to distinguish between G and G/B (they
> sound quite different!),
> i'd say that there is a reason to distinguish between <g b d> and <g b d d'>.
> I'd even say that it would make sense to write explicit treble notes
> in superscript,
> for example C^E would mean <c e g e'>.
>> Either populate your score with diagrams or tab or write out what
>> you want. There is no need to mess with the regular chord names.
>> You will find that useless innovations which are doomed to
>> obsolescence are not appreciated, and even less appreciated if
>> they require explanation.
> ?
> At least on the guitar, Gadd5, G5, G12 are self-explanatory!
> In my opinion it's obvious that they mean: "add a fifth somewhere in
> the treble range".

Gadd5, G5 and G12 seem like nonsense to me aimed at accommodating rock "power 
chords" which aren't really chords.  I don't think it does any service to have 
Lilypond perpetuate incorrect nomenclature.

If the user wants chord charts that show the explicit voicing desired, then 
IMHO that voicing should be written out in proper chord form <g, b d g d' g'> 
and Lilypond should place those notes in the diagram correctly.  This is much 
simpler than trying to make Lilypond guess what is meant by some non-standard 
nomenclature like g1:add5.  That way lies madness for the people writing the 
Lilypond code base.

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