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Re: PATCH: Arrowed accidentals for microtone notation

From: Graham Breed
Subject: Re: PATCH: Arrowed accidentals for microtone notation
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2008 18:52:28 +0800

On Sat, 2008-10-25 at 18:41 -0400, Trevor Bača wrote:
> 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.
Are you keeping track?  I could use arrowed accidentals, especially if
there's no alternative for the small intervals.

>         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)?
I'd have thought

- copy the file with a name that suits you
- edit the file and change

#(define-public ARROW 1/12)

  to your preferred tone division.

- tell Lilypond to use the new file with pieces that require this

There's a more general problem for more general tone systems that isn't
solved for printing either.  Supplying a font and something like would work if we could work out how to support third-party
fonts (which I still haven't got round to).  That still leave complex JI
systems where you need more than one accidental glyph per note, or
open-ended systems where you can't list all possible notes.

> 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
> etc.
A sharp dividing into two quarters is a fait accompli, I take it?

Nice to see arrows with the half-sharps anyway.  Do they also work with

> 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.
Defining your own names isn't a big deal.

> 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.
But that's why third parties should be able to supply fonts and init
files.  There are fonts out there for 72-equal (12th tones, which you
get when you mix quartertones with third-tones).  Changing a list of
names in an init file isn't a daunting programming task.

> 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).
I think I can make a good case for contemporary scores using *inexact*
quartertones.  I can dig out a reference if you like.

> 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.
Would 12th tones be a good default?
> Did that help answer the question, Valentin? I kinda feel like I may
> have missed the actual question. If so, please correct!

I've been following this from the gallery.  The patch is to add some
more glyphs to the standard font, which doesn't help my wider goals.
But I hope it gets accepted anyway.  Is it in?


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