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Re: MIDI dynamics parsing error

From: Phil Holmes
Subject: Re: MIDI dynamics parsing error
Date: Fri, 16 May 2014 17:15:25 +0100

Well, LilyPond has the same problem as a performer would.  If you're crescendoing, at what dynamic are you starting from?

Phil Holmes
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, May 16, 2014 3:21 PM
Subject: MIDI dynamics parsing error

Short Description: I get an error from LilyPond that it can't figure out the MIDI volume to start a crescendo with in some situations.

Details:  The error message is...

(De)crescendo with unspecified starting volume in MIDI.
    { bf4 %{ \mf %} 
                    \< a16 ( \sf gf' f ef ) bf4 %{ \mf %} \< a16 ( \sf gf' f ef ) }

programming error: Impossible or ambiguous (de)crescendo in MIDI.
continuing, cross fingers

The source code is...

\version "2.18.2"
\language "english"

upper = \relative c'''' {
  | gf16-. \f ef-. df-. cf-. bf ( \sf df cf af )
    gf-. \sf ef-. df-. cf-. bf ( \sf df cf af )
    { bf4 %{ \mf %} \< a16 ( \sf gf' f ef ) bf4 %{ \mf %} \< a16 ( \sf gf' f ef ) }
    { <af, f>16 q q q a4 <af f>16 q q q a4 }

\score {
  \new Staff = "up" {
    \clef treble
  \layout {
  \midi {
    \tempo 4 = 120

If you uncomment the \mf in line nine, the problem goes away.  At first I thought this was because of the two voices, but when I compile the \relative part by itself, that is, no \score section, there is no warning.

I'm assuming this is a bug in LilyPond and adding the \mf dynamic mark is a workaround. If not, please show me the correct way to do this.

Since Mussorgsky didn't write the \mf, I want to hide it, but \hide Dynamics doesn't seem to work.  How would I do this, or is there a better way around this problem?

Knute Snortum
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