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Re: half-dot

From: Trevor Bača
Subject: Re: half-dot
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2005 15:29:49 -0500

On 9/21/05, address@hidden <address@hidden> wrote:
> >-- Original Message --
> >Subject: half-dot
> >From: David Bobroff <address@hidden>
> >To: address@hidden
> >Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2005 15:09:12 +0000
> >Reply-To: address@hidden
> >
> >
> >Just posting this as general interest.
> >
> >Next week we (Iceland Symphony) will be playing Kalevi Aho's flute
> >concerto.  I noticed an odd notation.  In a 5/4 measure there was a
> >whole note immediately followed by a small x (looks more like a
> >multiplication symbol) and no other notes in the measure.  I wondered
> >what it was.  I thought perhaps it was a 'half-dot'.  Then I saw a 5/8
> >measure with a half-note immediately followed by the same little x.
> >Obviously it's a 'half-dot.'  I've never seen nor heard of such a thing.
> Hi,
> just few weeks ago, I saw this notation in the music of Veli-Matti Puumala,
> another finnish composer (like Aho).
> I don't think it's so popular to become a standard, and also the piece in
> which I saw the symbol is handwritten.. Personally I never used this notation
> and I've asked to some composers and nobody use it.
> >I think this music was prepared with either Sibelius or Finale but I'm
> >not sure which (one clue; when slurs/ties pass through time signatures
> >they 'white out' as they cross them).
> So, in my experience, is not Sibelius for sure. I don't remember Finale so
> well but I don't think it has this feature.
> > I used to use Finale but I never
> >encountered this sign before.
> >
> >Just thought I'd toss this out there.  If it is, or is becoming, a
> >standard notation perhaps LilyPond ought to be able to do it, too.
> >
> >-David
> >
> >
> >
> >_______________________________________________
> >lilypond-user mailing list
> >address@hidden
> >

FWIW I used to use a *left* dot (rather than a dot on the right) to
indicate "exactly a quarter of the rhythmic value of something" in my
own music. Like the Finnish x-dot you're describing, the left-dot had
the advantage of letting you notate 5 of something without ties.

But it was impractical.

Performers may or may not read the score prefaces and how do left- and
right-dots interac? To say nothing of the engraving difficulties of
ties between possibly left- and right-dotted notes ...

Then there's the issue of generality: if you're going to create a
glyph to stand for "exactly an additional quarter of the rhythmic
value of something" then why not a glyph for "exactly an addition
third of the rhythmic value of something" or a 1/9th or 2/11th, etc
... better to do something more general ... a good job for numbers,
not glyphs.

Trevor Bača

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