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Re: Organ pedal marks and substitution

From: Reilly
Subject: Re: Organ pedal marks and substitution
Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2007 09:37:17 -0500


On Dec 26, 2007, at 9:07 AM, address@hidden wrote:

Does anyone have a suggestion as how to show substitution of feet in an
organ pedal voice? It could be when shifting from right toe to right heel on
the same note, or it could be substituting the left toe with the right toe,
still on the same note.

I am not sure whether your question is

(a) what is the proper notation for substitution on the pedalboard? or
(b) how do I code Lilypond?

Nomenclature (general practice):

^ = toe, above note = right, below note = left
u or o (little "oh") = heel, above note = right, below note = left

Note 1: I prefer the notation which places all pedal marks above the staff refer to the right foot (above = right); all marks below the staff refer to the left foot (below = left).
Note 2: there is variation in published music. Sometime v is used for toe instead of ^; likewise, o, u, or "n" (an inverted u) is used for heel. (Sorry, I am not sure how to insert the correct symbols into an email, so I am using the letters u (you), v (vee) and n (en) as substitutes.
Note 3: I disagree with the notation illustrated in the 2.10 Lilypond manual where "right" and "left" are indicated by the orientation of the pedal marks. Here is a reference:
Note 4: My organ notation reference is "A practical guide to playing the organ" by Anne Marsden Thomas published by Cramer Music, Englanad. This is an excellent book.

Notation Solutions:

If (a), there are two kinds of substitution:

(a1) toe to heel or heel to toe on the SAME foot

write "^/u" or "u/^" using the proper lilypond code

That is: use a slash to indicate the substitution (slash = substitution). If you accept the pedal notation listed in the Lilypond manual (where "orientation of the symbol indicates the foot", this approach will cover all substitutions.

(a2) toe to toe (heel, etc) on DIFFERENT feet

Conceptually the notation for foot substitution is straight forward. Place the starting notation, say ^, above the note. Place the ending notation, say ^, below the staff and displaced to the right. Connect the two pedal marks with a diagonal line (sort of like a gliss line) through the staff from the upper pedal mark to the lower pedal mark. Here is vaguely what the result should look like:


I've never coded anything like this in lilypond, so someone else will have to suggest the correct code for the diagonal line.

All organ notation from Thomas: Practical Guide: sections 7.6, and

Hope this helps.


ps: to Lilypond Users group: My apologies for posting message twice. I'm still working out proper protocol for threading replies.
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