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RE: [Best Practices] instrument changes

From: James Lowe
Subject: RE: [Best Practices] instrument changes
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2011 20:58:07 +0000

From: Kieren MacMillan address@hidden
Sent: 28 June 2011 16:39
To: James Lowe
Cc: Lilypond-User Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Best Practices] instrument changes

Q1: When you have a doubler-switch in the middle of a passage, do you use two 
different variables and combine them [sequentially] later, or do you have a 
single variable with \instrumentSwitch?

A1: Well I did look at that when I first started using LP in anger a year or so 
ago - I'd only been setting simple stuff before that for my own use - I looked 
at \instrumentSwitch and it looked, frankly, a bit over complicated for what I 

I hadn't really thought about it again until your last response, I had in the 
past either used quotes or cue notes explicitly in the parts - I find it easier 
to create specific cue/quote parts within the same .ly file rather than 
cue/quote from a whole ly file (I know this sounds like double the work) but 
usually I am only cueing or quoting max of 10 measures so it's easier for me in 
the short run to handle the cue/quote in such a small fragment  - I just add 
R*[X] before the quote using bar numbers as my R*[X] reference (if that makes 

Q2: Do you use \tag for things like clef differences (e.g., bass clarinet 
showing in treble clef in the part, but bass clef in the conductor's C score)? 
I'm trying to avoid \tag when possible -- since it mixes presentation in with 
my content -- but it seems unavoidable.  =(

A2: Not personally no. Again it is/seems a bit overly complicated for my needs. 
I just use cue/quote in the appropriate clef and with \cueClef commands. It 
will depend on the player but also on the conductor I guess.

I only work with one conductor and she is very good at transposing / 
transcribing on the fly - so it is always driven by the player's capability 

I'm sure there are people reading this shaking their heads about how 
inefficient this probably is :) - all that duplication - but I am not usually 
writing my own full score from scratch but either copying a score for multiple 
parts and in this case the conductor will guide me - sometimes I will simply be 
asked to put in a second voice for a passage or two and I'll just use <<  /  >> 
and accidentals if I need to (i.e. if not in the same pitch) and add a \markup 
to indicate the instrument, or I resort to my cue/quote method. Or in the above 
case were I to get it (Bass clarinet in Treble part) and depending on the 
player I'd either use cues/quotes or see if the player could handle a bass in a 
treble clef part or vice versa (depending on the range of the notes). If not 
I'd just think about if the music variable needed no clef and to put the clef 
in the \score { } as well.

But that is the flexibility of LilyPond.


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