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Re: Kievan "hatchet" notes for lilypond?

From: Juergen Reuter
Subject: Re: Kievan "hatchet" notes for lilypond?
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2006 12:01:40 +0100 (CET)

Hello, Panteleimon!

I fear the task of fully implementing kievan chant notation is more than just a question of adding thirteen glyphs. In your example, I believe to recognize at least pes ligatures (those pairwise stacked rhombic glyphs) and clivis ligatures (e.g. the third glyph in the last line of the long example). To me, the notation looks structurally quite similar to gothic (also called "hufnagel") chant notation, though the glyphs are somewhat different. For a full implementation, beyond the glyphs, a proper ligature engraver would have to be implemented. I guess, it's implementation would look quite close to that of gothic notation, which is on my TODO list, but I probably will not be able to start working on it earlier than in late 2008. And the horizontal spacing problems, which vaticana ligatures currently have, will probably also apply to kievan ligatures (but I will definitely work on this problem).

Still, adding those glyphs that are not part of ligatures (sole note heads, clefs, custos, accidentals, etc.) would be a good starting point (any volunteers?).


On Wed, 29 Nov 2006, Monk Panteleimon wrote:

Hello, developers of Lilypond.

I submitted to the lilypond-user list a queru regarding the possibilty of
adding symbols for kievan chant notation to lilyponds "feta" font.
I got no response, but thought I'd try the developers, specifically those
involved with older notations.

I have counted thirteen symbols that would need adding to lilypond's font
(presumably as "noteheads,"  with their stems included, two "dots" and
one "clef") in order to enable lilypond to imitate the Chant-books of the
Russian Orthodox Church. I have no idea how to make such characters, or how
to fit them into lilypond, so I'm asking this to be added as a sponsored

Being a monk I have no personal money, but if the lilypond-developers can give
me an estimated cost of sponsorship for the addition of these symbols, then I
believe that I may be able find several people interested enough to support
the feature, even if they are not already lilypond-users. I am thinking of
some Russian Chant enthusiasts and people already developing ways to
digitally reproduce Russian Liturgical books.

I have attached 2 images, one extracted from a pdf-scan of a Russian Chant
book from 1909, another being someone's attempt to reproduce this using a ttf
that is typed in to a word-processor. It should be obvious which is which. If
you like I can point out the short-comings of the ttf version.
I can also tell you what the symbols are and point you to some online
explanations of this simple notation, although I would warn you that there
are two practices of interpreting the durations of these notes, of which
practices the less accurate is the more common.

If for some reason you are adverse to adding these symbols to lilypond's
vocabulary, please let me know.
You can download complete books in kievan notation in .pdf from this page:

Thank you for your time.

Monk Panteleimon
Hermitage of the Holy Cross
Wayne, WV USA

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