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AW: Keys won't display as text in saxophone diagram

From: torsten.haemmerle
Subject: AW: Keys won't display as text in saxophone diagram
Date: Sat, 23 May 2020 12:28:47 +0200

Hi Valentin,


I didn't have time to follow the SourceForge -> GitLab transition and so I'm 
currently trying to keep track.

I didn't even manage to post to nabble using nabble anymore... (???)


If you don't mind, I'll try to insert an one-line change into your merge 
request - it' s about the second textual diagram crash I know about:

When switching from graphical to textual representation, tin-whistle will also 

I know that this is rather pointless, as tin whistles don't have any special 
keys/holes, not even a thumb hole, but, nevertheless, LilyPond should not crash.


The tin whistle crash can be easily produced by just switching off graphical 

\markup \override #'(graphical . #f) { 


  #'tin-whistle % saxophone 

  #'((cc . ()) (lh . ()) (rh . ())) 



The cause is in



(define (generate-tin-whistle-family-entry tin-whistle-name)





                              . ,(make-central-column-hole-addresses



where it should really be CENTRAL-COLUMN-HOLE-LIST (without the additional "-H" 
in it)




Anyway, I think it a good idea to work on some historic shortcomings of the 
woodwind diagrams.


I don't play woodwind instruments myself, either, but some of my closest 
friends play clarinet and saxophone, representing a rather full range of these 
instruments.  And, thanks to Corona (long story), I happen to currently have 
all of these instruments sitting in my living room. 😊


As the original post was about saxophones, I'll stick to the saxophone family 
(for the time being).


Instruments at hand:

- Baritone Saxophone

- Tenor Saxophones (several)

- Alto Saxophones  (several)

- Soprano Saxophone

No bass saxophone or below, though (sorry), and the sopranino is several 
hundred kilometers away, no sopranissimo. No C melody.


As not all of us (and especially people programming all these woodwind 
diagrams) play or technically know all of these instruments, I'll just quickly 
outline the special sax situation, if you don't mind.

Saxophone fingering


Saxophones are transposing instruments and the layout of keys and thus the 
fingering is the independent of the type of saxophone:.

Same written note means same fingering.


That's why the LilyPond woodwind diagrams for soprano, alto and tenor 
saxophones just refer to one and the same plain 'saxophone  definition.

There's only one exception for the baritone saxophone: Many baritone saxophones 
have an additional key to extend the range down to low A (usually, Bb is the 
lowest written note on a saxophone).


Yesterday, I just took a side-by-side photograph of a baritone saxophone 
(Selmer Super Action 80, with low A key) and an alto (Selmer Mark VI, without 
low A key, of course) and marked the low A key (green) or the place where it 
would be (red). The black thumb rest can be used for orientation: The low A key 
is directly opposite the octave key, both surrounding the left hand thumb rest.


One reason why I attached the photo is that probably not too many people may 
ever have seen a low A key.

But the other, more important reason is that I'd prefer to have some suitable 
kind of graphical representation of this key (instead of just printing "lowA" 
or a circled "lowA" for low-aT.


Perhaps somebody has a nice design idea.  Unfortunately, most saxophone 
fingering charts (even for baritone sax) omit the low A extension.




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