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Re: To nest or not to nest?

From: Heikki Johannes Junes
Subject: Re: To nest or not to nest?
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2003 00:17:46 +0300 (EEST)

On Tue, 22 Jul 2003, Han-Wen Nienhuys wrote:

> address@hidden writes:
> > >> Slurs shouldn't nest at all, but it is still supported by
> > >> LilyPond. This functionality will be removed soon (I guess in 2.0).
> >
> > I can think of a situation where what I *think* are slurs nest.
> >
> > Consider a slur across a passage of several notes indicating an
> > overall legato feel for the passage while, within the passage,
> > pairs or triples of notes are slurred to provide a sense of
> > pulsation within the legato.
> >
> > Perhaps this is something seen only in vocal music.
> We have phrasing slurs for that.

There was made an issue of nesting slurs, when context dependent syntax
tables in Emacs mode were introduced. We have parentheses <>, <<>> and {}
which should nest in respect to each other. Then there are [], (), \[\] and
\(\) parentheses, which need not nest. Emacs' people then asked that
should, e.g., [] be nested in respect to themselves, like [ [ ] ]. I
answere yes, knowing that these slurs were used often exceptionally.

That was the introduction. The thing is that whether we should restrict
the number of slurs used to two. In vocal music one may really need at
least three levels of slur:

- melisma, i.e., notes sung glued with the same vowel, i.e, without
  "ladder-like" changing of the tone
- ()-slurs in the usual sense for
- \(\)-slurs used as phrasing slurs

In the above example, if melisma has a slur, it is sung as a-a-a-a, but if
not, it could be sung as a-ha-ha-ha, with breath-like consonants between.
For example in one of Missa brevis from Mozart, melismas were sung with two
different ways depending on the context.

I can imagine that a composer may want to invent an own meaning for a slur,
which refers to the tone of an instrument, like melisma for a voice. It
that case, only two types of slurs is not enough.

  Heikki Junes

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