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weinberg-drums-style doesn't comply with the Guide to Standardized Notat

From: Stu McKenzie
Subject: weinberg-drums-style doesn't comply with the Guide to Standardized Notation
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2023 10:09:48 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:102.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/102.6.1

I'm referring to the web page https://lilypond.org/doc/v2.24/Documentation/changes/ where it is stated that "The drum notation style weinberg-drums-style was added. It is based on Norman Weinberg’s standardization work".

This is indeed a sterling effort on the part of the development team, which I appreciate greatly.  As Weinberg states, there is a definite need for standardization of drum scores.

There are however a few implementation and documentation issues.

The weinberg-drums-style is documented in "LilyPond — Notation Reference v2.24.0" at

Section "2.5.1 Common notation for percussion",  sub-section "Percussion staves" includes the predefined layout for "weinberg-drums-style. Based on the work of Norman Weinberg, published in his Guidelines for Drumset Notation."

On the first staff, Bass drum 1 (bd) and bass drum 2 (bda) are the same.

On the second staff, sidestick (ss) should be referred to as Cross-Stick, and should not have a cross notehead.

The Weinberg book has a section on Noteheads, where he states "The indication of the cross-stick technique should be a circled notehead".

I've been using my own notehead to date, but it would be great if someone could add a notehead to do this.

In the past, I've had to generate my own cross-stick with the following code:

CircleNoteHead =
\once \override NoteHead.stencil = #(lambda (grob)
     (let* ((note (ly:note-head::print grob))
            (combo-stencil (ly:stencil-add
                (circle-stencil note 0.1 0.2))))
           (ly:make-stencil (ly:stencil-expr combo-stencil)
             (ly:stencil-extent note X)
             (ly:stencil-extent note Y))))

CrossStickQtr = \drummode { \CircleNoteHead sn4 }

I'm sure that those who are familiar with noteheads can provide a better solution with a new notehead for this.

On the second and third staves, tom-toms are wrongly positioned.

The notation documentation example has 6 tom-toms (toms).

The Weinberg Guidelines book has a section on TOM-TOMS, where he states "The staff position for tom-toms depends upon the total number of toms required for performance".

The book has examples of from 1 to 10 toms.

The "6 Toms" example has:

 *   Tom 1 on the top line
 *   Tom 2 on the top space
 *   Tom 3 on the 2nd line
 *   Tom 4 on the middle line
 *   Tom 5 on the 3rd space
 *   Tom 6 on the 4th line

The Notation example doesn't match this configuration.

The LilyPond documentation for "weinberg-drums-style" has 6 toms, so the staff positioning should be (using the documented voice names):

 *   tommh line 1       (I would prefer tomhh)
 *   tomh  space 1      (I would prefer tomhl)
 *   tomml line 2       (I would prefer tommh)
 *   toml  line 3       (I would prefer tomml)
 *   tomfh space 3      (I would prefer tomlh or continue with tomfh)
 *   tomfl line 4       (I would prefer tomll or continue with tomfl)

A standard drum kit usually has 3 toms, so dependant on the number of toms, one could implement a different style for each, e.g. weinberg-drums-style-three-toms, or name the current version weinberg-drums-style-six-toms and authors could use a subset as required.

On the fourth staff, cymc & cymr are correctly positioned, but the others do not match the position & noteheads as detailed in the guide book.

If a standardized notation is to be defined, any variation to the standard would require a Custom percussion stave and a legend, and the ability to do that is currently available.


It seems that the weinberg-drums-style implementation does not reflect the Weinberg guide very well.  Perhaps the implementation should be corrected or removed.

Any change would require a "convertly" tool to convert existing notation to any standard defined.  One would have to supply the "from" and "to" list for the conversion.  This could be developed for the next stable release or it could be left to transcribers to work it out for themselves.

I'm willing to help in any way possible to provide a standardized notation for drumset, which has been lacking for so long.

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