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Re: Substitute for s1*0

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Substitute for s1*0
Date: Mon, 07 May 2012 09:13:13 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.1.50 (gnu/linux)

Keith OHara <address@hidden> writes:

> Trevor Daniels <t.daniels <at>> writes:
>> My point really is that <> exists now, so there ought to
>> be a short note in the section where chords are introduced
>> to say that an empty chord takes no time, whatever the
>> current duration happens to be.  
> I agree with Trevor.  And with David in liking <>
> s1*0 is useful for markup at the beginning of a 
> multimeasure rest, quote, or cue, or at the end of a music 
> as in "D.S.alCoda".  In these cases, the next note needs 
> an explicit duration anyway.

It's not like <> would not work there as well, is it?

> Some people write triplets without the '3' as {c8*2/3 d e} 
> so they depend on LilyPond remembering the *n/m with the 
> duration.

I have no idea who "some people" are, but that does seem like a valid
use pattern.

> <> is less transparent, because a thoughtful user would 
> expect it to have the same duration of the previous note 
> or chord, or to be a syntax error.

The question is whether <> is recognizable as a chord at all or _does_
look like, say, an Ada boxcar
<URL:>.  Now
\displayLilyMusic will show <c d e>4 as < c d e >4, so there is a
reasonable case for letting <> display as < > in order not to hand the
"it's a bird, it's a plane, it's a token" fans more than the legally
required amount of support.

Since \displayLilyMusic is probably mostly intended as an educational
tool and because of the mentioned consistency, I am sympathetic to
changing its output.

For the manual, I am more skeptical.  This reflects human usage, and
a) we do write <c e g> everywhere, so < > seems inconsistent
b) between < and > is an awful place to wrap lines, probably one of the
   reasons for a)
c) <>\footnote ... makes for a more consistent visual unit than <
   >\footnote ..., I mean < >\footnote ..., though indeed < and > still
   have considerable optical power to form a unit even with a space in

David Kastrup

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