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Re: Auto-transposition

From: Kieren MacMillan
Subject: Re: Auto-transposition
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2017 10:08:39 -0500

Hi Saul,

> \resetRelativeOctave belongs IMO always as part of the definition of a music 
> expression, ideally on the line directly preceding note entry.


> Personally, I think it is preferable to define all of the music for each 
> context by explicitly typing it in a single variable. Using music variables 
> for fragments or phrases which are then transformed or combined is a recipe 
> for code that is difficult to read and debug, and IMO virtually never helps 
> the compositional process in the long run. There may be use cases where that 
> sort of thing is appropriate, but I imagine they must be very far from the 
> kind of work I do.

Hmm… Essentially every form of music that I compose and engrave benefits from 
using and combining music variables:
  1. pop and musical theatre forms (repeats, transposed last verses, etc.);
  2. choral music (choral unisons, strict counterpoint, etc.);
  3. new concert music (row manipulations, etc.);
  4. orchestral works (repeats, counterpoint, doublings, etc.).

Explicitly typing everything into a single variable for each context is 
time-consuming and error-prone (though admittedly Frescobaldi has *some* tools 
that alleviate *some* of those issues). I suppose I could use single variables 
more if Lilypond had better "at runtime" methods of reusing material (e.g., 
inline variable definition) — but given the current toolbox, I shudder to think 
how much less efficient my work would be if I was limited to single variables 
per context.


Kieren MacMillan, composer
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