Topic: Number notation tool (Read 7735 times)

## Number notation tool

##### 2017-05-01 09:16 am
This tool inserts a 'number notation staff' above the active staff. The inserted staff doesn't have ledger lines and has the notes made invisible.

* Each note is then represented with a number from 1 to 7 (a rest = 0). Notes with accidentals are denoted with a '/' (sharp) or '\' (flat) strikethrough. A dot above or under the number means an octave higher or lower.

* The plain number represents a quarter note. Each dash above the number halves the note length: one dash represents an eighth note, two represent a sixteenth note, and so on (analogous to the number of flags and beaming). Dots after a note lengthen it, each dot by the length of a quarter note (these dots are also used for slured notes).

* If a key signature is present, you have to choose between two base methods to assign numbers to the notes:
1. '1=C', that means 2=D, 3=E, ... . In this method, every accidental according to the key signature is denoted by a strikethrough number.
2. 'According to Key Signature'. In this method the base number is chosen thru a transposition. The key signature is indicated by '1=x' for a major signature, '6=x' for a minor one. The transposition is determined in a way that only the explicit accidentals need a strikethrough number.
Remark: In both methods the distance between 3 and 4, resp. 7 and 1 is a semitone.

* You also have the option to make the active staff invisible. In that case, the lyrics are copied to the created number notation staff. If you choose to leave the active staff visible, the lyrics are moved above the staff (unless they are placed already there).

*Two special typefaces are needed:
° for dots and dashes, a 'Symbol' typeface of size 16
° for the strikethrough, the same typeface as for the numbers (i.e. StaffLyric), but with a larger size (+3)
Therefor,  unless they are  already present, the tool will set such fonts in 2 unused 'User Fonts'.  If no free user font can be found, an error message will be displayed.

Remark: Chords are not supported.

02/05/2017: Modification: removing of previously created number notation staff.
08/05/2017: I fixed a bug in my latest version: when recreating a number notation staff, the old one was removed (OK) but the new created one was for the staff following the active staff (not OK).
Always look on the bright side of life!

## Re: Number notation tool

##### Reply #1 – 2017-05-01 12:24 pm
While I'm not familiar with the number notation (outside of a previous mention of it in a post a few weeks ago), I installed and ran the tool on the "Jingle Bells" sample score, to see what it did. It seemed to run correctly and display the intended notes, but I had a couple of questions:

• I noticed that running the tool a second time (for example, after making changes to the source staff), it will insert an additional number notation staff, rather than replace the previous one. I assume that is intended behavior, and that the user would need to manually delete the staff added by the tool's previous invocation.
• I am curious why you elected the user tool approach for this add-on, instead of perhaps creating this with a StaffSig plugin object.  On the surface, it seems to me that such an object could be created that would render the number notation above the existing notes automatically, and would effectively auto-refresh whenever changes were made to the underlying notation.

All in all, it is an interesting tool, thank you for sharing it with the community.

## Re: Number notation tool

##### Reply #2 – 2017-05-01 06:31 pm
• I noticed that running the tool a second time (for example, after making changes to the source staff), it will insert an additional number notation staff, rather than replace the previous one. I assume that is intended behavior, and that the user would need to manually delete the staff added by the tool's previous invocation.
• I am curious why you elected the user tool approach for this add-on, instead of perhaps creating this with a StaffSig plugin object.  On the surface, it seems to me that such an object could be created that would render the number notation above the existing notes automatically, and would effectively auto-refresh whenever changes were made to the underlying notation.

• I made a change to automatically delete a previous created number notation staff.
• That crossed my mind, but I'm not ver experienced in writing user object plugins. I would have to find out how to draw everything with keeping the alignment above the lyrics. Maybe it's not that difficult, but that's something you would know better than me.

Always look on the bright side of life!

## Re: Number notation tool

##### Reply #3 – 2017-05-02 09:49 am
I replaced the file in the original post with an updated version to automatically replace a previously created number notation staff (instead of adding a new one)
Always look on the bright side of life!

## Re: Number notation tool / Bug fix!

##### Reply #4 – 2017-05-08 09:26 am
I fixed a bug in my latest version: when recreating a number notation staff, the old one was removed (OK) but the new created one was for the staff following the active staff (not OK).
New version in original post
Always look on the bright side of life!

## Re: Number notation tool

##### Reply #5 – 2017-05-08 09:41 am

I'm not sure I understand the purpose or usage of number notation, but that doesn't matter.

I gather a whole note is created with a plain number followed by three dots and a half note is a plain number with one dot following it.

Does this type of notation provide for double sharps and double flats?

## Re: Number notation tool

##### Reply #6 – 2017-05-08 10:20 am
I'm not sure I understand the purpose or usage of number notation, but that doesn't matter.
I gather a whole note is created with a plain number followed by three dots and a half note is a plain number with one dot following it.
Does this type of notation provide for double sharps and double flats?

I didn't know myself of any number notation method until recently, when a new member joined our choir. He's also singing in another choir for many years and they use this number notation for learning their songs. So for the songs of our choir, he had to write himself  the number notation above the staff of his voice, since he's not familiar to sing from a 'normal' score.
When I noticed his notations, I was intrigued and asked him to explain it to me. I then wrote a first version of my tool. I received also feedback from the director of his other choir, which finally lead to a version  believed I could share with the NWC community.

You're right about the whole and halve notes.

Double sharps and double flats are indeed not supported (and I don't think they occur in any of our songs).

Always look on the bright side of life!

## Re: Number notation tool

##### Reply #8 – 2017-05-08 05:18 pm
I looked at the Wikipedia link and was intrigued. It has a section on software. Is this tool significantly robust to add NWC to that section? I did notice that they seemed to use traditional flats and sharps, rather than the / and \.

## Re: Number notation tool

##### Reply #9 – 2017-05-08 05:38 pm
I looked at the Wikipedia link and was intrigued.

I also looked at the Wikipedia article but I was not intrigued.   I was bewildered about how anyone could come up with such a system and peddle it as an alternative to traditional notation.  Looking at the score submitted, it looked like a complex collection of numbers and dots.  Why go for this method when the traditional method withstood the test of time (about 1000 years or so).  And what about the huge corpus of music available in traditional notation?  IMHO, this numeric system may be OK to teach newbies the first concepts of time and pitch but that's just about it.

## Re: Number notation tool

##### Reply #10 – 2017-05-08 08:20 pm
I also looked at the Wikipedia article but I was not intrigued.
So do I.
I had to read some Chinese scores and I found it just a way to convey much less informations than the usual notation. Maybe ok for beginners, but nothing more.

I also read a very similarly notated ancient score from "Libro de cifra nueva" of 1557 (see image) and don't liked it.
Please note that it's not a tablature but instead a four voices numbered score.
And note also one of my pet peeves: the abused adjective "nueva"...

## Re: Number notation tool

##### Reply #11 – 2017-05-08 08:30 pm
I didn't say I liked it or would use it; only that I was intrigued. But it is apparently useful to at least a couple of people.
But my point was: Could NWC be considered as "supporting" this notation? If so, that information could be added to the Software section of the wiki article.

## Re: Number notation tool

##### Reply #12 – 2017-05-10 08:31 am
I thought this was an interesting statement in the Wiki article:
Quote
The same system or very similar systems are used to some extent in some other countries such as Japan (with 7th being si), Indonesia, Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States and English-speaking Canada.
I've lived in English-speaking Canada my whole life, have been reading music for about 55 years, and have never encountered this system.  I must lead a very sheltered life.     But then, I don't think I ever noticed guitar tablature until encountering it in this forum some years ago.

I don't feel a compelling need to learn the system, but more power to you, Opagust.

## Re: Number notation tool

##### Reply #13 – 2017-05-10 12:44 pm
I didn't say I liked it or would use it; only that I was intrigued. But it is apparently useful to at least a couple of people.
But my point was: Could NWC be considered as "supporting" this notation? If so, that information could be added to the Software section of the wiki article.
I suppose if the tool has passed muster here and at least one or two people can report it works correctly for them, there shouldn't be a problem listing it in that article. The more publicity and exposure for NWC, the better.

## Re: Number notation tool

##### Reply #14 – 2017-05-10 07:36 pm
Quote
I suppose if the tool has passed muster here and at least one or two people can report it works correctly for them, there shouldn't be a problem listing it in that article.
I'm not sure I agree.  I would think that a programme (NWC) only supports another (number-notation) if it can exchange information accurately between them (Open or Import AND Save As or Export).

NWC uses double sharps and double flats, and number-notation doesn't.  An NWC-generated staccatto dot will be misinterpreted by the number-notation system as well, unless care is taken to change the location, weight and perhaps shape of the symbol
Quote
Special attention has to be paid on the staccato dot since it looks like the octave changer...
So it would be wrong to suggest NWC files can export a file accurately to number-notation.

As to inputting, have we seen anything that allows NWC to import or open a number-notation file?

The Sibelius plug-in seems to produce decent output to numbered-notation (see http://www.slsgzs.com/jpcj.html), but that example doesn't include double sharps and flats.  I also can't tell if Sibelius can read numbered-notation.

To add a reference to NWC in the Wiki article would mislead users, and I strongly suspect would result in few, if any, new NWC users.

I would never suggest that Opagust shouldn't continue developing his tool, but I'd hate to see Eric distracted from his further and continuing development of NWC.

## Re: Number notation tool

##### Reply #15 – 2017-05-10 10:31 pm
Hi David,

I didn't mean to imply that NWC "supported" number notation, especially from a loading/saving perspective. I only meant that it did allow someone to create the notation in a fairly straight-forward manner, from an existing NWC melody line. So someone who wants to embellish a score with number notation can simply run the tool and it will add the notation, as text, to their score.  If they change the actual notes in the score, they can rerun the tool and it will refresh the number notation staff. Maybe not optimal, but it works.  The point is that if someone reading the Wikipedia article wants to create a score with number notation, they would know that it's possible to create it with NWC by using Opagust's tool.

It would be a similar question if someone asked "does NWC support arpeggios?"  Today, I would say "yes, via a plug-in", even though it's not a native NWC feature (yet).

## Re: Number notation tool

##### Reply #16 – 2017-05-11 08:18 am
As I explained in an earlier reply, I didn't know about number notation until recently and I wrote this tool based on the explanation by a fellow choir member. So I don't have any written documentation. (The wikipedia link describes 1 version, but it doesn't correspond in all details to the method used in my tool.)
So my tool is just what it is: it's written for the persons that are using that particular method and eliminates the need to rewrite a classical score by hand. If you don't need it, you don't have to download and use it.
But if you do, I would be happy to receive suggestions for improvements.
Quote
NWC uses double sharps and double flats, and number-notation doesn't
Double sharps and double flats could be added ('//' and '\\' ?), if needed.
Quote
Special attention has to be paid on the staccato dot since it looks like the octave changer...
Staccato is designated by a single quote above the number.
Always look on the bright side of life!

## Re: Number notation tool

##### Reply #17 – 2017-05-11 10:01 am
Double sharps and double flats are indeed not supported (and I don't think they occur in any of our songs).

As far as i understand the explanation on the wiki-page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbered_musical_notation - thank you, Mike), double flats and sharps are not necessary in number notation.
It would surprise me if there is music where you should be able to lower/higher a note twice. That doesn't make any sense (I think).

In "normal" scores double flats and sharps are necessary to lower/higher a note that already has a flat or a sharp in its key signature. But since number notation transposes everything to C major (or A minor), there is no initial note alteration, and therefore one flat or sharp is enough (again, I think).

Did anyone ever see a double sharp or flat in a C Major or A minor score ?

But this leads to another thought:
How does the user tool cope with modulation? In that case the base for the number notation changes during the song.
And what if the key signature is "actually" constantly changing - but not notated - (for instance in songs like "You'll never walk alone" or barbershop)?

## Re: Number notation tool

##### Reply #18 – 2017-05-12 08:42 pm
... number notation transposes everything to C major (or A minor),...

The sample on the Asian language site defined 1 at the beginning.  I imagine that means 1 could be defined as any note.  If so, perhaps the modulation could be handled simply be adding a new definition later in the score.

The more I look at the Wiki article, the more I scratch my head, but that's probably because the theory is beyond my ken - many things are.

(Despite all my comments, Opagust, more power to you.  I have questions about the system, but I have no problem with you creating a tool for it.  Mike, I buy what you say, too.)

## Re: Number notation tool

##### Reply #19 – 2022-11-22 11:03 pm
I haven't used this tool myself for a long time, but when i did today, I discovered some bugs.
You can find a new version in the original post.
Always look on the bright side of life!