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Re: How to emphasize downbeats

From: Graham Percival
Subject: Re: How to emphasize downbeats
Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2003 15:55:58 -0800

On Sun, 26 Jan 2003 18:27:51 -0500
Daniel Ashton <address@hidden> wrote:
> I'd like to prepare music for a less experienced player.  As this
> person approaches music, I recommend that they start by playing the
> downbeats (to keep up with the ensemble), and then more of the quarter
> notes, and later add the eighth notes.
> My thought is to print the downbeats in black but the intervening
> notes in gray.  Or perhaps to use larger and smaller notes to help the
> eye focus on the stronger beats.  Or perhaps to omit the in-between
> notes.

If you want to do larger and smaller notes, that's entirely possible.
Use \small and \normalsize (or even \tiny) to change the size of notes.

Printing multiple copies, with various parts removed, is probably the
easiest solution for the beginner, but it means that you have to
maintain multiple versions.

I'd probably take a yellow highlighter and highlight the downbeats, then
tell the beginner to make sure he plays those notes.  (I highly
recommend the use of highlighters of various colours for beginners --
say, green for key changes, yellow for dynamics, orange for time
changes; whatever works -- because the human eye is highly evolved in
order to distinguish colours.  Only using black and white is like using
a 486 when you have a perfectly good 686 CPU lying around.

(of course, when the beginner gets better, you should stop using
highlighters, since all normal sheet music is black and white.)

BTW, are you using a big font (like 23 or even 26)?  Sometimes beginners
have problem just seeing the notes within the lines, or counting ledger
lines, and the like.  As long as using a huge font doesn't make a piece longer
than two pages (which would require page turns), it could be very helpful to
make a copy at size 26.

- Graham

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