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Re: Patch: figured bass. [Comments wanted]
Re: Patch: figured bass. [Comments wanted]
Mon, 10 Sep 2001 17:13:07 +0200
>> I'll be plain and simple. You are right, as I've explained
>> previously, figures indicate chords relative to the note in
>> the continuo (which is indeed, in most case the lowest note
>> BUT not always: I have examples of hands meant to cross).
JR> That's interesting. I've never heard of that.
>> They're just there to tell to you which
>> harmonies to use, but then, it's left to the player to im-
>> provise his own right hand (usually by inspiring himself
>> from the tunes he is accompaning).
JR> Of course, but are you sure that freedom reaches so far as to play notes
JR> below the bass note? Why then is it called *basso* continuo or figured
You're right. All treates explicitly give rules to apply, to
be sure hands NEVER have the cross. Never the less, I've
heard people successfully crossed hands, and having the
right hand take the function as a continuo, while the left
executed the figures (not exactly that way). Also possible
is having figures on lyrics (this is a very specific case).
JR> I totally agree. I just wanted to say that, from a technical point of
JR> view, if a lilypond user puts in ornaments, they would have to be somehow
JR> stripped off before generating figures.
I don't understand why we have to suppose that anybody would
be putting ornaments in a *figure*. It just seems that some-
body that would have the courage to typeset figured bass (it
is a deadly task, trust me), would also be somebody who'd
have a little knowledge about what he's doing. I wouldn't
have dare thought about typesetting the figures, if I didn't
have little experience playing it (of course this is only
true for more advanced things as figured bass, that require
editorial thoughts, rather than plain copying). If ever or-
naments were to be put, it would be on the continuo.
>> I'm against,
>> and always will be converting notes into figures. Most peo-
>> ple (including me) will want to directly include their fi-
>> gures (and note pass my some imprecise second mean).
JR> I agree in so far, as composers of the baroque period most probably
JR> thought in terms of figured bass rather than in terms of what finally come
JR> out during performance.
No composers did think of figured bass in terms of resulting
music. Maybe I'm just telling you something you know, or
maybe I'm not, but figured bas was invented by composers who
didn't have the time to compose the bass in beetween two
compositions (if they had, there would be twice as less mu-
sic from them), so they indicated basic harmonic instruc-
tions to assist the performer in his act.
It was then those same composers (who were already making a
big ruckous on the liberty tooken with ornaments), that de-
cided it was giving too much liberty to the performers.
This is partly why you've seen less and less symbolic orna-
ments (I mean that are indicated by anything different than
actual notes), and figured bass. Though the former also dis-
appeared because they were no longer needed thanks to the
new keyboard instrument, that could play "piano" and also
"forte", and were notes lasted longer, thus deleting any
real need for "agréments".
JR> In particular, the piano part (or cembalo part,
JR> if you like) mostly contains a fully written-out version that has been
JR> added by some editor, while the original manuscripts almost always
JR> contained the figured bass only. However, it might be an interesting
JR> challenge to enter both, a figured bass and a fully-fledged cembalo part,
JR> and to let lily it automatically check the cembalo part against the
JR> figured bass for consistency. This is, why converting notes into figures
JR> may be intersting.
I see your point clearly, put surely, there isn't a real
need to convert notes into the figures, to have Lilypond
understand it. It would much easier to have a Figure con-
text, attached to a Voice context. Lilypond than calculates
the chords from the intervals and the notes: generating a
fully fledged harpsichord part. Put this in my opinion as a
SECOND step. I thinki we should about getting the implemen-
tation graphically available before having Lilypond take it
in account as real notes.