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Jazz notation

From: Carl Youngblood
Subject: Jazz notation
Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2004 18:39:26 -0700
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The subject of what it would take to get lilypond to do jazz notation was brought up a while back (in Sep. 2003, I believe). I think this is an important discussion that shouldn't be treated so lightly. I have hardly seen a single jazz chart that isn't done in this style, and both Finale and Igor engraver (and probably other packages) support it. Check out these links for an idea of what it looks like if you are not familiar with it: (The screenshot under Guitar Tablature)

This is THE style to use if you are writing jazz charts. It's just the thing to do. I think that if major aspects of lilypond would need to be changed to support this style, then perhaps such a thing needs to be considered, in order for lilypond to be flexible enough to support a wide variety of notation standards. These settings should be modifiable with simple (or complex, as the case may require) text commands rather than being hard-wired into the code. This would have the added advantage of allowing lilypond to support more choices in notation style than just the modern ones we're used to.

The comment was made "If you want to have a handwritten style, why not write it by hand?" This is, of course, disingenuous. There are many advantages in having a reproduceable machine copy of your notation that can be modified and re-rendered at will. There is nothing inherently worse about the jazz notation style. It merits just as high regard as the great work that has been done so far in lilypond. It's just different.

Carl Youngblood

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