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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: Fri, 31 Dec 2010 12:59:57 +0100

2010/12/31 Carl Sorensen <address@hidden>:
> On 12/29/10 4:32 PM, "Janek Warchoł" <address@hidden>
> wrote:
>> 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).
> I don't like the fact that the beam on the 8th notes lies at the same level
> as the space between the beams on the 16th notes in B.  That seems wrong to
> me.

That's funny, because currently LilyPond engraves beams of 8th and
16th notes just like that :) See the attachment, it was made with
default settings.

> Before we junk the existing engraving rules, I want to be sure that we have
> a *very* good reason for doing it.  I will grant you that flags were stamps,
> and they couldn't easily have lots of different flags.  But stems were
> engraved, and could be engraved to any desired length.

Yes... But maybe the differencies were too small for them to measure
and execute (despite being big enough to be noticeable for the eye)?
For example, we are discussing whether the stem on a middle-line note
should be 3.25 (B) or 3.33 (C) staff spaces long. The difference is
1/12 staff space, that's about 0.15 mm on the regular-sized score!
Human eye can see this difference, but i doubt any human would be able
to execute it consistently *by hand* (and within the limited time -
after all they didn't make one score per lifetime)! I suppose this is
the reason why engravers used more general rules like "the stem ends
should rise and fall with their respective noteheads" which worked
fine for them (perhaps also because printing technologies were less
precise back then).
Therefore, i think we can do even better then engravers in this area too :)
Nevertheless, i won't push it. Let's wait until more people give their opinions.

2010/12/31 Xavier Scheuer <address@hidden>:
> I have a general thought, Janek.
> All the examples you show us are very simple minimal examples consisting
> of repeating the same note and/or scales.
> In real-life scores there is a melody and notes are usually going up
> and down (not randomly but you see what I mean).  Also we usually have
> a mix of beamed and unbeamed, sometimes mix of single voice / polyphony
> and I'm not sure your minimal examples take this into account.

Ok, it's a valid concern. Ideally i'd implement my solutions into a
experimental version and you'd test in on a large body of scores.
However before this can be done, what about you posting me some
examples and i'll manually tweak them to show how my proposals will
look in real life?
(preferably with the pitches in absolute mode).


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