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

From: Janek Warchoł
Subject: Re: flags, beams and stem length in forced directions - output improvement
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2010 00:32:50 +0100

2010/12/29 Carl Sorensen <address@hidden>:
> In such a case, there are different standards, we apply both, with a
> variable to choose between the different behaviors.  That's why we have
> different accidental behaviors.

And that's very good indeed! But still one of these behaviours is the
default one, and the default one will always be the dominant one.
Look: so many people don't care to correct even the most basic and
hideous Finale mistakes! I don't believe they will care to change any
of LilyPond's defaults if they use LilyPond.

>> LilyPond rarely puts the beam parallel to
>> the noteheads.
> LilyPond follows the recommended practice in Stone (IIRC).  And I prefer
> LilyPond's beam to any of those in the example you've pointed to
> [in ].

Ok, you are right that LilyPond is not exactly like the one labeled
And yeah, i like the LilyPond version the most too :)

>> This leads me to another related question i was going to ask. Look at
>> the attachment and tell me which line looks best for you? (i'm asking
>> this question to anyone who is still following this thread - by the
>> way, is there anyone else? :) )
> I like A the least.

Me too :)

> I'm ambivalent between B and C.  Either one looks fine to me.

I like C best, because the ends of the stems are clearly on different
levels (in my opinion the differencies in B are a little too small).
Also the stems on e and its neighbors look more balanced in my

> I'm afraid that C would greatly complicate the engraver, requiring a look at
> a lot of notes ahead and behind the current note, and that the benefit of
> doing that would not be worth the cost.

Fortunately that is not the case :)
C is made with a simple rule: each stem after "a" is 1/6 space
shorter, until they reach 2.5 space length. See the following code
that i used to make C:

% \override Stem #'length = #7 (this one is redundant)
\override Stem #'length = #6.66
\override Stem #'length = #6.33
\override Stem #'length = #6
\override Stem #'length = #5.66
\override Stem #'length = #5.33
\override Stem #'length = #5

I think this is the best that we can find. The transition is smooth,
the stems are balanced, and the lengths doesn't depend on neighbor
notes so the rule is simple.

Ok, here is my penultimate question in this topic:
Should the stems of the 8th and 16th notes be longer than the stems of
the unflagged ones, and how much longer?
Currently they are 0.5 spaces longer, and this in my opinion leads to
unsatysfying results, see attachment1 (the quarter "a" is a higher
note than 8th and 16th "g" but it's stem ends on the same level as "g"
flagged stems).
In my opinion the difference should not be greater than 0.25 spaces.
I see three possible solutions, see attachment2:
(A) don't make any difference between 8th, 16th and unflagged notes
(B) make the stem of the 8th notes the same length as unflagged stems,
but the stem of the 16th notes 0.25 space longer
(C) make the stem of the 8th and 16th notes 0.25 space longer than
unflagged stems.

I prefer B because it is the most balanced one - the 16ths don't look
cramped, and the 8ths don't look 'airy' when compared to 16ths
(especially the beamed variant. I think that beamed and flagged stems
of the same rhythmic values should have the same length, unlike the
current LilyPond behaviour).


Attachment: attachment1.png
Description: PNG image

Attachment: attachment2.png
Description: PNG image

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