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Re: Broken beams' slopes

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Broken beams' slopes
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2011 17:42:05 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Mike Solomon <address@hidden> writes:

> Hey all,
> I'll be leaving on vacation in a week-ish, and as my summer-of-lily
> comes to a close, I can likely do one more medium-scale thing before I
> have to start correcting parallel fifths.
> I'd like to work on broken beam slopes such that a beam can break
> across lines and pick up where it left off at the same slope and
> y-offset

The problem I see with this approach is that one does not, in general,
want the same slope and y-offset because it does not make sense to view
the broken beam as a single visual entity.  Creating a single visual
entity often means compromises like having over-long or -short stems in
between.  When "in between" moves right adjacent to the break, you don't
want the stems there to be overlong and overshort just to make y
positions match those of the next line.  The next line is far away.

So you will generally want to preserve the beam slope roughly, and
preferably the beam orientation.  That means that if the unbroken beam
would have a _knee_ at the break, you would, when splitting it, tend to
prefer _unkneed_ beams with similar slope, even though that would mean a
significant jump in y-offset.  But that makes the visual connection
easier to make than a jump in beaming direction.

So thea esthetic decisions need to work under different constraints than
in the unbroken case.

We have the same "almost, but not quite as if unbroken" situation with
slurs and ties.  And it does not just occur with line breaks, but also
in connection with repeats and da capo.

Do we have a sound general strategy for tackling this sort of controlled
discontinuity?  Maybe it would be worth thinking about.

David Kastrup

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