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Re: ottava signs

From: Joram
Subject: Re: ottava signs
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2019 11:27:55 +0200

Dear Malte,

> … Instead of using nested “if”s you could use cond:

Thank you.

> 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

According to
(ok, not the best references, but consistent) it goes on with
-simo/-sima. Probably more constrained by the instruments than by the
italian language :)


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

IIUC, c) is too fragile as you don’t know what the user defines for his
markup. There are different vertical line positions in and even though the bassa
variants are not listed, I guess a pair of numbers is the better,
because more flexible solution.

Here are some naming propositions just from the top of my head:

OttavaBracket.line-positions (plural hints at the pair of numbers)
OttavaBracket.alignment-of-line-relative-to-label-when-raising-octaves¹ :)


>> 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.

Well, which is consistent with the above resoning, isn’t it?
8va/15ma also for bassa. Alternatively, 8ba or 8va bassa. But not
8vb/15mb even if it exists.

>> 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.

Yes, "… by default" was missing in my sentence. Of course, it’s easy to
change as you say and I would not let the "bold italic by default"
decision interfere with the other good changes you propose.

> Combining these findings with those by John Ruggero
> ( I’d vote for numbers only as
> a default. I’ll make another patch set.

+1 for numbers as default. That’s also what I found in scores (Schott,
Boosey & Hawkes) when I looked for it some time ago.

Will the new patch allow for easy way (without manually specifying all
the markups) to switch to suffixed numbers (8va etc.)?


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