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Re: GOP2-3 - GLISS or not

From: Graham Percival
Subject: Re: GOP2-3 - GLISS or not
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2012 19:19:42 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 06:31:50PM +0100, Joseph Rushton Wakeling wrote:
> >Sounds to me like that was what Graham proposed in the first place.
> No, Graham proposed freezing a subset of _Lilypond syntax_.  I'm
> proposing that before doing any such thing it's important to look at
> Lilypond's musical coverage and ask if it is adequate enough to
> guarantee that the syntax can be stabilized.

I should add some more context.  I've just remembered that we have
a tutorial (don't ask me how I forgot), and that covers pretty
much what I was thinking about "really simple music".  This isn't
a formal proposal yet, but tomorrow or the day after I'll
officially suggest something like:

* stabilize an input syntax (not _necessarily_ the input syntax on
  these pages) for:
with the following exceptions:
  - no beaming
  - no formatting of text
  - no articulations or fingerings
  - no ties or slurs
plus a few additions:
  - setting a title and composer (but nothing else)
  - (implied) the general format of input files
  - create output in pdf and midi
* schedule 4-6 months for discussion plus infrastructure work
* after the discussion has ended, there will be a 6-month and/or
  1-stable-release-cycle waiting period before absolutely
  finalizing that syntax.

> The microtonal notation issue I highlighted is relevant in this
> respect because it's almost guaranteed to involve a rewrite of how
> LP considers pitches and pitch alterations internally.  In turn,
> that might impact all the way back up to a rewrite of LP syntax for
> those things.  And it's a completely standard part of modern musical
> notation that is currently unsupported by Lilypond.

I think we're talking about different things.  Let's put it this
way: do you think that we'll ever move away from
being a quarter note for middle C ?  That's the basic question
here.  It doesn't matter how lilypond represents c'4 internally
(whether it uses grobs or contexts or lilypond rationals or scheme
rationals or bits or trits or qubits).  All we would be committing
is that if the user enters c'4 it would produce a middle C
(notwithstanding \relative mode).  We could still have other
methods of entering pitches (such as the current language method,
or scheme methods, or chord-based stuff, etc); all we guarantee is
that this one method will work in the future.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's excellent to consider future
possibilities such as microtonal notation.  That's one of the
reasons I think we should spend months and months discussing this,
as well as having a huge "waiting period" before absolutely
committing to even the most basic input.

But whatever happens with contemporary notation, or gregorian
chants, or what have you, I think that lilypond will always
support basic classical and Romantic music, and I think that we
can safely say "we will always support c'4 ".

- Graham

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