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Re: TimeSignature with note in denominator

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: TimeSignature with note in denominator
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2021 20:01:06 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Carl Sorensen <> writes:

> On 11/14/21, 9:33 AM, "David Kastrup" <> wrote:
>     Kieren MacMillan <> writes:
>     > Hi David,
>     >
>     >> How is that uniquely identified?  Why couldn't it be
>     > subscripted with 10 instead of 5?
>     >
>     > I suppose it could. It could also be subscripted with a π or a √2. I
>     > can’t stop people from doing what they want to do.
>     >
>     > Simultaneously true is the fact that the musical duration “one
>     > quintuplet-sixteenth” has one and only one visual representation,
>     > regardless of what Lilypond thinks or is told to do.
>     Again you are evading the stated problem.  The question was about the
>     representation of time signature 8/20, not about "one
>     quintuplet-sixteenth".  8/20 does not specify more than the basic
>     subdivision for expressing beats (not necessarily identical with the
>     number of beats as signatures like 9/8 show) and how much material fits
>     a bar.  It does not identify how that material may be structured or
>     expressed, in opposition to your and Carl's statements about what
>     meaning the parts of a time signature are supposed to inherently have,
>     leading to a proposal of generally changing the current representation
>     by involving musical durations for the denominator.
> David,
> Do disagree with the statement that "The 20 on the bottom of the time
> signature indicates a duration of 1/20 of a whole note"?

In LilyPond terms, 1/20 of a whole note is not a duration.  It can be a

> If you disagree with this, what do you think the 20 on the bottom of
> the time signature means?

1/20 of the length of a whole note.  Which is not a duration as such in
LilyPond and thus cannot be properly represented by one.

David Kastrup

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