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Re: ottava signs

From: Malte Meyn
Subject: Re: ottava signs
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2019 08:45:14 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.1.1

Am 01.10.19 um 23:13 schrieb Joram:
1. ottava for arbitrary octavations (>2)

This currently produces broken output:
{ \ottava #3 a }
The warning in your patch¹ addresses that and the patch extends the
default range up to ± 4 which seems enough (I am not sure how far the
…ma naming works correctly in italian). The code below does it for any

Off-topic comment (enclosed in %%%) first: Instead of using nested “if”s you could use cond:

\set Staff.ottavation =
       ((= octave +0) #f)
       ((= octave -1) #{ \markup \concat { "8" \fontsize #-2 "va" } #})
       ((= octave +1) #{ \markup \concat {
         "8" \fontsize #-2
         \translate-scaled #'(0 . 0.85) "va"
         } #})
       ((< octave -1) #{ \markup \concat {
         #(number->string (+ 1 (* -7 octave)))
         \fontsize #-2 "ma"
         } #})
       (else #{ \markup \concat {
         #(number->string (+ 1 (* 7 octave)))
         \fontsize #-2
         \translate-scaled #'(0 . 0.85) "ma"
         } #}))

I’m not 100% sure about the italian either but I think it’s

        8th = ottava → 8va
        15th = quindicesima → 15ma
        22nd = ventiduesima → 22ma
        29th = ventinovesima → 29ma

Gould recommends 22da, perhaps for ventiseconda or something similar inspired by english?

2. nice line spanners (top- or bottom-aligned, dotted etc.)

Thanks for the dotted edges. Very much appreciated. Can they be
top-aligned above the staff and bottom-aligned below the staff? That’s
what I would prefer (cf. your question to foxfanfare in the last mail).

That’s what Gould recommends, yes. But I’m not sure how to implement this: One could

a) use a single number/direction for “alta” ottavations and mirror it for “bassa” → somehow inflexible and if you use a direction, it’s also confusing. b) use a pair of numbers/directions → looks complicated but IMO better than a). c) don’t have a grob property for that at all but just take the “natural” alignment of the markup. You then would need to set everything different from bottom-aligned by hand as in
        \set Staff.ottavation = \markup \general-align #Y #UP "15"

For cases a) and b) we would need a good name for that grob property. Any ideas? I find case c) the most elegant *iff* you don’t set ottavation by hand. This would also need a good convert-ly rule for those who set it by hand in the past.

However, the reasoning in the SMuFL 1.3 specifications ("Implementation
notes") about "ma" vs. "mb" convinced me that 15mb does not make sense
and I’d suggest to use 15ma etc. as default setting.

Hm … Gould recommends 15ma and 22da (see above for 22ma vs. 22da) and lists 8va, 8ba, 8va bassa as alternatives but not 8vb. I’ll search for real-world engraved examples.

I would even change the style to bold italic.

This has nothing to do with ottavationMarkups, you can \override Staff.OttavaBracket.font-series = #'bold and it will show the desired effect. But maybe we should make this the default, yes.

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