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Wish: Syntax of text spanners

From: Martín Rincón Botero
Subject: Wish: Syntax of text spanners
Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2020 23:28:09 +0200

Hey all,

this is a feature request. I'm sorry, if this is already being discussed or if a solution is coming behind the scenes. I couldn't find any message other than a mention to I find the lack of a proper text spanner syntax uncomfortable. Using overrides is in my opinion very inefficient (and most importantly, not very musical nor readable). Since we already have some spanners with a more musical syntax (\startTrillSpan, for example), I think something like this should be common practice for text spanners as well.

I propose to use a syntax that contains the text and the style of the line in the function, while allowing for custom text formatting. It would be a type of \markup called \markupSpan. For example
\markupSpan { "sul pont." \arrow "sul tasto" }

The new \startMarkupSpan would replace \startTextSpan. This \markupSpan should combine ordinary markup text styles with line styles as in:
\markupSpan { \italic "vib." \dashed-line }

This would logically require renaming in general TextSpanner to MarkupSpanner, but would tremendously improve usability and readability, in my opinion. A tempo spanner would still be required if a markup spanner is to be used simultaneously (so that the spanner that goes with the tempo aligns with the next tempo automatically). 

That being said, even more complex markup spanners would be possible using \column:
\markupSpan {
\column {
\line { "sul pont." \arrow "sul tasto" }
\line {"vib." \dashed-line }

If all this could be combined with a \tempoSpan, it would be awesome!


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