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Re: Breve with double lines on each side

From: Alexander Kobel
Subject: Re: Breve with double lines on each side
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2009 23:05:36 +0200
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20090817)

Reinhold Kainhofer wrote:
A while ago we had that discussion about a user wanting two vertical lines on each side of the breve instead of one. I have now prepared a patch for our font, which adds such a "noteheads.sM1double" glyph:

Woah, great! Praise you! :-)

Regarding the single- vs. double-line breve: I have not yet found a reference to the single-line breve. Only the double-lined breve can be found practically everywhere:

I know the double-line shape very well, but I've seen the single-line version, too, in some transscriptions of Gregorian-inspired choral works, e.g. Samuel Barber's "Agnus Dei", edition by G. Schirmer, 1967, and several others.

But the single-line version is especially often encountered in "Psalmtönen", i.e. the semi-modern transscriptions of short Gregorian melodys, e.g. in the "Gotteslob", the German Catholic church choral books. In this context, it is used to denote the main note (tenor) of the melody, which is to be repeated arbitrarily often depending on the number of syllables in the verse. (See e.g.

And, while you're at it: there is also a solid node head (quarter note head?) with single vertical lines, which basically means the same, but is only used for notes at the end of a line, not to be repeated too often, to adapt the melody to the stresses of the lyrics (finalis or flexa or something like that, IIRC). I'd greatly appreciate a method to enter these without fancy scheme tweaks! ;-)

One thing I notice is that the vertical lines are usually a bit larger than the notehead. This would also change the default breve glyph, so I haven't included that in the patch. What do you think about this issue?

In the mentioned "Gotteslob", the single-line version (both the brevis and the one with the solid note head) are larger than the note head - as a rough guess, they extend about 1/4 to 1/3 staff space above and below. And, by the way, the lines are horizontally tight on the note head, not like the brevis in e.g.,_William)
If you want me to, I can make some scans tomorrow.

The same holds for some instances of the double-line variant I've checked in my songbooks; although I think the shape in the scores of Byrd's mass (with horizontal space between note head and lines) looks more elegant, the tight version seems to be more common.


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