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Re: Suggestion: spacing for swing music?

From: bb
Subject: Re: Suggestion: spacing for swing music?
Date: Sun, 04 Aug 2013 14:02:46 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:17.0) Gecko/20130623 Thunderbird/17.0.7

Am 03.08.2013 13:44, schrieb bb:
Am 03.08.2013 08:42, schrieb Federico Bruni:
2013/7/13 Steve Burgondy <address@hidden>


Proportional spacing can be of great help to understand music and to
associate "visual space" to "time space". It can be useful for beginners, but also in general. It is very important in tablatures, especially when
full tab notation is not used.

Currently in Lilypond, if we want to have an accurate "visual space"
representation in the specific case of "swing music", it is required to
enter music in 12/8 mode (this implies dotted notes and so on).

Has anyone thought of implementing "swing spacing" with a 4/4 mode

Would this be hard to achieve?

Hi Steve

AFAICS nobody replied  to your questions.
I'm not a developer so I cannot say if this can be achieved or not (but I
have a feeling that it's not easy for sure).
I'm putting the bug-lilypond list in CC.

There's an analog issue with sound (MIDI):
bug-lilypond mailing list
Mayy be I misunderstand your question?
But have you tried

proportionalNotationDuration = #(ly:make-moment 1 32)

I found it needs a high number (here 32) to work proper with "short notes" and "pointed short notes". I found the music print becomes longer (broader) with rising number.


bug-lilypond mailing list

In ternary/triplet Music like Blues, Swing and Boogie the accent is on the 2 and 4. (whereas Classic, Latin, Rock and Folk do have the accent on beat 1 and 3. I found that topic interesting for me as well (for blues notation) and did some experiments with possible notations. Some I have seen in sheet music, not musically perfect. The second line is an example of Gershwin " I Got Rhythm ", the first two bars :

\version "2.16.2"

\paper {

indent = 0

line-width = #100

tagline = ##f


\layout {

\context {


\override NonMusicalPaperColumn #'line-break-permission = ##f

proportionalNotationDuration = #(ly:make-moment 1 32)



\header {

title = "possible swing notation "

composer = "last Line Gershwin: I Got Rhythm "



swing = {

\relative c'' {

\key bes \major


\times 2/3 {g8 g g}

% \times 2/3 {(g8 g) g}

\times 2/3 {g8. g8 g16}

% \times 2/3 {[g8 g16]}

\times 2/3 {g4 g8}





r4 bes2 bes4 bes4. bes8 (bes2)







\new Staff {





It is impossible to set slurs inside triples. Is a widely used practice to mark swing rhythm. And I found it impossible to beam an eighth with a sixteenth note. (it is often used, where the second note. the sixteenth note does have a short additional (sixteenth) beam - may be my knowledge of lilypond does not have the necessary depths for such a construct?)

May be you can convince the developers to allow slurs in triplets to mark the swing rhythm? (I do not try it, because my ideas usually are disliked.)

BTW I do not think this is a bug, it simply is not implemented. BTW I am not sure that the bug blog is the correct place for this topic?

Regards BB

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