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Re: flags, beams and stem length in forced directions - output improveme

From: Carl Sorensen
Subject: Re: flags, beams and stem length in forced directions - output improvement
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2010 12:18:13 -0700

On 12/27/10 9:48 AM, "Janek Warchoł" <address@hidden>

> 2010/12/27 Carl Sorensen <address@hidden>:
>> On 12/27/10 9:01 AM, "Janek Warchoł" <address@hidden>
>> wrote:
>>> i understand that your answer to this particular question is "compress
>>> the flag" in case of downstem notes :)
>> No, that is not my answer.  I don't have an answer yet.  But my current
>> thought (without yet reviewing my engraving books) is "lengthen the stem".
>> That is, I (tentatively) reject the idea that there is such thing as a
>> smaller-than-regular-stem whose length is not subject to change in order to
>> accommodate beams and flags.  IIRC, the answer to the problem in the
>> reference books is to lengthen the stem to accommodate beams and flags.
> Ok. I'll wait. Thanks,

I have now reviewed the engraving books.  I will give the answers that they

Ross, 1970 edition, p. 127:

"The flag is slightly longer than 3 spaces from end to end and extends from
the top of the stem to nearly a point opposite the middle of the notehead
when  the stem isup.  When the stem is down, the falag extends from the
bottom of the stem upwards and makes a slight contact with the notehead.  A
noremal 3 1/2 space stem will accommodate a single flag, although a flag may
be used with a 3 space stem (he then shows an example of a 3 space stem; the
flag is the same as for a normal stem).  The double flag can be treated just
as the single flag although dies are sometimes cut different and slight
alterations have to be made (he then shows an example with the stem
lengthened by about 1 mm compared to the single flag; this stem length is
the same as the 3.5 space stem).  For each flag added beyond two, 1 space
should be added to the stem."

Stone, 1980 edition, p. 49:

"For eighth notes and sixteenth notes the length of the stems should remain
the same as for unflagged stems.  From three flags on, however, the stem
must be lengthened to accommodate the additional flag(s).


In double stemming, the stems are usually shortened by 1/2 to 1 space, i.e.,
from an octave to a seventh or sixth, except in multiple beaming, where such
reductions would bring the secondary beam(s) too close to the notes.  There
also are other situations that do not permit shortening of the stems, such
as when tremolo bars are drawn through the stems."

He then shows an example of a shortened stem which has a modified flag.  See
short-stem-stone.png, compare with normal-stem-stone.png.

He aslso shows an example on page 47 (where he is talking about rests) that
appears to use modified flags. (see "stone p 7.png", compare the flg on the
f and the b in the second measure; also compare the flag on the f in the
first measure with the c in the first measure and the d in the second

Read, 2nd edition (1969):

p. 67

"If one or two flags (see also pages 79080) are joined to the stem, the
length of the stem remains the same as for half notes and quarter notes.
Three flags (for the 32nd note) require an even longer stem.  Generally
speaking, for each additional flag beyond the eighth-note or sixteenth-note
forms, the stem is lengthened by two staff degrees."

 p. 79-80

"The flag of the modern eighth-note is made as a thin curved line that
flares from slightly below the top of an upward stem to just opposite the
middle of the note-head (left-hand note in the example below). ...
On a downward stem the curved line, which here goes up, barely touches the
bottom of the note-head (right-hand note below).  For each additional flag
beyond two, the stem is extended by two staff degrees, and the new flag is
drawn parallel to the previous one(s), with the additional curved line
joining the curved line of the first flag."

He doesn't give any consistent examples that I feel good about scanning.

The bottom line, for me?  I think there should be separate single and double
flags for 3-space stems.  I don't think they should be scaled from the
existing flags.  I think they should be designed separately and added to the
font.  But in order to get this to happen, I think we need some examples
from well-engraved scores.  And I don't have a good collection.



Attachment: Stone p 47.png
Description: Stone p 47.png

Attachment: normal-stem-stone.png
Description: normal-stem-stone.png

Attachment: short-stem-stone.png
Description: short-stem-stone.png

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