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Re: Repeated durations: pitches vs rests

From: David Wright
Subject: Re: Repeated durations: pitches vs rests
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2021 11:35:20 -0600
User-agent: Mutt/1.10.1 (2018-07-13)

On Mon 22 Feb 2021 at 00:07:56 (-0800), David Bellows wrote:
> Right, so I'm not asking for two rests to actually be tied. I was just
> hoping that the behavior of a lone duration value would repeat the
> rest right before it and not skip back till it finds a note.

Why does your software want to emit a lone duration? Does it not know
what pitch, or silence, is required at that point? Why is this
information not immediately to hand?

> For example, instead of {c4 r4 16} resulting in "C, rest, C", it would
> be "C, rest, rest" with no ties anywhere.

At a stroke, this destroys the documented intent of the isolated
duration notation:

   "Isolated durations in music sequences now stand for unpitched
    notes. This may be useful for specifying rhythms to music or
    scheme functions. When encountered in the final score, the pitches
    are provided by the preceding note or chord."

Rhythmic sequences, of course, need to be able to include rests,
and their inclusion shouldn't cause LP to throw away all the pitch
information that's being duplicated.

> My software can handle all normal durations including dotted ones. But
> a quarter tied to a 16th can only be notated with a tie. There is no
> other simple way to notate it which means I need two notes or two
> rests in my LilyPond file.

That's right: Music Notation 101. We all learn to deal with that.

> I'm sure I can eventually figure out how to make LilyPond's current
> behavior work with my software, it's just that it will take a lot of
> work.

No, don't do that. Go back and redesign how your software codifies the
music, and how it generates LP code from that, using an absolute pitch
and duration for each note, chord and rest. Short-cuts are for humans.

> If a lone duration would use a previous rest instead of going
> back to find a note, then it would be much easier for me to implement.

… and a lot more typing for people. (That's ignoring any consideration
of preexisting LP and scheme code that would need conversion.) Any
short-cut is a trade-off, \relative being one of the more discussed
examples on this list, but the benefits of this particular one might
not be obvious to someone who writes only melodies, for example.


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