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RE: Line-breaking with non-aligned barlines - again!

From: Mark Stephen Mrotek
Subject: RE: Line-breaking with non-aligned barlines - again!
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2018 10:17:43 -0800


How about marking the part "ad libitum?"
Or perhaps making it bar-less as in a cadenza?


-----Original Message-----
From: lilypond-user [mailto:address@hidden On Behalf Of David Sumbler
Sent: Friday, December 07, 2018 9:24 AM
To: address@hidden
Subject: Line-breaking with non-aligned barlines - again!

A few weeks back I wrote asking about a problem with a passage where one 
instrument is playing at a different speed from the rest, and with barlines 
that do not align with those in the other instruments.

Now I have a similar passage, but it has thrown up another difficulty, which I 
can't so far find a solution to.

In this passage, one instrument (harpsichord) plays 8 bars in 4/4 time, 
consisting mainly of semiquavers (sixteenths).  It has to be played in strict 
time at its own tempo (4 = 108) which is quicker than the rest of the orchestra 
is playing.

Although the harpsichord part must appear in the score, it is important that it 
is clear that it doesn't "fit" with the other instruments.  It starts at a 
common barline, but thereafter it does its own thing, so the positioning of the 
notes in the score is merely a suggestion of what is going on: in performance 
it won't necessarily fit precisely as it is shown in the score, and does not 
need to.

By using scaled durations etc. I can get roughly the effect I want. 
But is it spoiled by one thing: there is a 4/4 time signature in all 
instruments (including the harpsichord) at the beginning of the passage, but 
there are also a couple of further time changes in the orchestra only.  It is 
easy enough to prevent these from appearing in the harpsichord part; but 
because Lilypond is actually synchronising things vertically (just as one wants 
it to 99.99% of the time) in this case it ruins the effect.  There is a gap 
between successive notes in the harpsichord to allow for the time signature 
displayed in all the other staves.

I can illustrate the problem with the code below.

\version "2.19.82"

\paper {
  ragged-right = ##f }

harps = { \time 2/4
          \scaleDurations 8/11 { b16[ b b b] b[ b b b] \bar "|"
\noBreak b[ b b \bar"" }
      \override Staff.TimeSignature.stencil = ##f
      \time 3/8
      \scaleDurations 3/4 { b16] b[ b b b] \bar "|" \noBreak b[ b b \bar"" }
      \time 5/8
      \scaleDurations 10/13 { b16] b[ b b b] \bar"|" \noBreak  b[ b b b] b[ b b 
b] } }

\score {
  \new Staff {
    \time 2/4 \repeat unfold 32 b16 } }

\score {
  \new Staff { \harps } }

\score {
  << \new Staff { \harps }
      \new Staff {
        \time 2/4 b4 b |
        \time 3/8 b4 b8 |
        \time 5/8 b4 b b8 | }
  \layout {
    \context { \Score
               \remove "Timing_translator"
               \remove "Default_bar_line_engraver"
    \context {
      \consists "Timing_translator"
      \consists "Default_bar_line_engraver"

I attach a png file of the output of the above code.

The first line of the output shows how I would like it to appear.  The second 
line shows how it appears when I apply the scaled durations - this also is 
entirely satisfactory: the slight differences in positioning would be 
unnoticeable without the preceding line for comparison.

The final version shows what happens when the "orchestra" lines are added.  
This is not satisfactory, because the distortions in the upper line suggest 
that the notes in the upper line should be precisely synchronised with the 
other line, which is not the case at all.  Of course I can put a verbal 
instruction in the score (and the parts), but it would be nice to illustrate 
this more clearly in the musical notation.

Can anyone think of a way of getting Lilypond to space the harpsichord
line(s) over the width between margins on each page - or possibly from barline 
to barline of the lower stave(s) if that is easier - without regard to the 
detail of what is happening in those other staves?

The only approach I can think of at the moment is to treat the line of 
harpsichord notes as a completely separate score from the rest, and then 
somehow join them into one system with a vertical line at the left.  This would 
make generating the score for this passage very complicated, even if I knew how 
to do it!

Am hoping for Lilypond to do something which it can't possibly be made to do?


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