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Re: PATCH: Arrowed accidentals for microtone notation

From: Trevor Bača
Subject: Re: PATCH: Arrowed accidentals for microtone notation
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 2008 18:41:28 -0400

2008/10/24 Valentin Villenave <address@hidden>
2008/10/24 Trevor Bača <address@hidden>:

> If we're keeping track (informally) of user requests for certain features,
> you can add my name to the list of users who'll make good use of arrowed
> accidentals.

Yeah, I had the feeling you'd be interested :-)



However, the other feature request I mentioned in the tracker (same
link) was the support for non-quartertones micro-intervals. Han Wen
made me realize this was already possible (and used in for
instance), but from a user's point of view, we have'nt convenient
shortcuts/interface/implementation/whatever to specify, say a
third-tone or a sixth-tone whenever you need it.

So, this side of the question remains: how would *you* be able to use
microtones, without typing lines of Scheme code? Do you have any
concept in mind (code-wise)?

Good point.

OK, ideally I'd like something like this added to

  cs'16  % normal C-sharp
  csu'16 % C-sharp with up-arrow
  csd'16 % C-sharp with down-arrow

  bf'16 % normal B-flat
  bfu'16 % B-flat with up-arrow
  bfd'16 % B-flat with down-arrow

and also ...
 cqs'16 % normal (ie, exact) C-quartersharp
 cqsu'16 % C-quartersharp with up-arrow
 cqsd'16 % C-quatersharp with down-arrow


That's how I would, ideally, like to access the arrowed accidentals. Would be very slick, indeed. Just a -d (for 'down') or -u (for 'up') appended to the complete set of all existing accidental input names.

Third-tones, sixth-tones, eighth-tones and the like are a different matter. There's no generally accepted set of glyphs for exact microtones other than quartertones (at least at the moment). And I think that fact -- which has to do with the current state of contemporary scores and contemporary notation (rather than with the state of LilyPond development) -- will make it difficult to decide what a LilyPond input scheme should look like for those values.

So I don't have any snappy ideas in mind for what input syntax for sixth-tones and eighth-tones might look like. I'd just be thrilled if we could get the arrowed accidentals in there using some input system like the one above.

Oh, and two sidenotes:

1. When I use arrowed accidentals in my own scores, I use them to mean "ever so slightly sharp (flat) of the specified pitch". That is, I use arrowed accidentals as *inexact* (and small) inflections of pitch. Other composers use arrowed accidentals differently (sometimes, for example, electing -- confusingly -- to use arrowed accidentals to represent *exact* quartertone values). But I think we can make a pretty good case that the growing consensus in contemporary scores is to use Lily's existing microtone glyphs for *exact* quartertone values (and to use arrowed accidentals as inexact inflections).

2. I don't personally care about the MIDI realization of arrowed accidentals. This falls out of #1, above, because I'm using the arrowed glyphs as inflectional values only.

Did that help answer the question, Valentin? I kinda feel like I may have missed the actual question. If so, please correct!


Trevor Bača

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