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Re: Microrhythm

From: Torsten Hämmerle
Subject: Re: Microrhythm
Date: Sat, 19 May 2018 03:13:40 -0700 (MST)

Dave Tremblay wrote
> However, I wonder if it would be possible to make it play, or at least
> display, microrhythms, [...]

Hi Dave,

MIDI playback of microrhythms (including interpolation between the two
notated extremes by applying time-dependent percentages) surely will not be
possible to achieve out-of-the-box.

But, as a starting point, notating microrhythms (and notation is the main
purpose of LilyPond, for "realistic" output one might be better off with a
DAW software), there are several possibilities.
Just one approach:

*Rhythmic spacing (!?)*
When looking at the examples specified, it is clearly visible that the
quavers (eighth notes) in the main stave are using a standard spacing and
the stems (!) of the rhythmic stave are at the exact same horizontal
Therefore, a solution using an 11:14 tuplet will not work out, because the
rhythmic stems would be spaced in a rhythmically correct way and thus they
will never co-incide with the "ordinary" quavers.
Remark: As soon as one of the main stave stems has downward direction, it
starts getting funny because, as I can see it from the examples given, the
stem positions of rhythmic and main stave should match.

*Rhythmic Stave*
Therefore, I used scaled all the notes in the rhythmic stave in a way that,
technically, they all have a duration of quavers in order to be graphically
synchronized with the main stave quavers.
This can be done by writing a semiquaver (sixteenth note) and multiplying
its duration by 2 (i.e. 16*2) so that it looks like a semiquaver but has the
duration of a quaver.
The 11 tuplet marking is obtained by simply using a "fake" \tuplet 11/11
(because the actual durations of the rhythmic stave will have to match the
durations of the main stave in order to get the positioning right, therefore
me must not use a rhythmically correct 11:14 tuplet notation!).

The note-heads of the rhythmic stave have been hidden (but they take up
space in order to get the correct beam positioning).
Some cosmetic tweaking to beam thicknesses, stem lengths etc.
By setting the basic-distance of VerticalAxisGroup.staff-staff-spacing to 0,
rhythmic and main stave move closely together.

*Brackets for grouping*
The brackets for marking the groups of five resp. groups of four have been
created by using analysis brackets.

I didn't use a proper upbeat because in the lower stave (not shown here),
there is a full measure rest.
I don't know whether this is on purpose or the notation software (or the
user) used couldn't deal with it in a standard way.


\version "2.19.81"

\score {
    \new RhythmicStaff \with {
      \remove "Staff_symbol_engraver"
      \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
      \hide NoteHead
      \override Stem.length-fraction = 0.65
      \override Stem.thickness = #0.75
      \override Beam.length-fraction = 0.65
      \override Beam.beam-thickness = 0.34
      \override VerticalAxisGroup.staff-staff-spacing.basic-distance = 0
      s2. s8 |
      \repeat unfold 4 \tuplet 11/11 { 8[ 16*2 16*2 8 8 16*2 8] } |
    \new Staff \new Voice \with {
      \consists "Horizontal_bracket_engraver"
      \override HorizontalBracket.bracket-flare = #'(0 . 0)
    \relative {
      \key as \major
      \time 7/8
      \set Staff.beatStructure = 4,3
      \override HorizontalBracketText.text = "5"
      s2. c'8\startGroup |
      \repeat volta 2 {
        f bes es, as\stopGroup c,\startGroup f bes |
        es, as\stopGroup c,\startGroup f bes es, as\stopGroup |
        c,\startGroup f bes es, as\stopGroup
        \override HorizontalBracketText.text = "4"
        bes,\startGroup f' |
        bes f\stopGroup bes,\startGroup f' bes f\stopGroup c |


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