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Re: Lilypond and Jazz chords

From: Tim McNamara
Subject: Re: Lilypond and Jazz chords
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 18:19:50 -0500

On Jun 23, 2009, at 12:24 PM, Carl D. Sorensen wrote:

On 6/23/09 9:16 AM, "Grammostola Rosea" <address@hidden> wrote:

Tim McNamara wrote:

On Jun 15, 2009, at 2:00 PM, Kieren MacMillan wrote:

Wol et al:

Would it be reasonable to separate the functions of putting notes on
the staff and chord names above the staff, and let the user spell out
the chord names separately from the notes on the staff?  Doing so
might really simplify this discussion and result in better control of
the final output.
To me (but I'm not a real experienced jazz musician or lilypond user) I
agree with this comment.
Keep things simple!?

But this facility
a) doesn't exist in LilyPond
b) would require changes to the parser, and
c) has nobody who is willing to pursue doing it.

I think I may have written my comment poorly. What I meant was having LilyPond *not* parse <c e g b> into a Cmaj7 chord name above the staff at all. The parser is just going to run into trouble trying to interpret something like <e c e ges bes d> as C9b5/E because it can't read the intent of the user, only the notes in the bracket about which it can only make its best guess. It would probably come up with Em7b5sus4 or something which is not the same thing in terms of musical intent, and musical intent is what the musician playing the piece wants to know.

I would recommend requiring the user to write the chord names out in a text entry format (e.g., c1:9.5-/e or something like that) *if* they want chord names above the staff and not parsing note entry to get chord names (if indeed LilyPond can do this at all, I've never looked into it). This makes the most sense to me (and I hope my intent is clearer).

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