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Topic: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request (Read 14174 times) previous topic - next topic

Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
G'day all,
this thread https://forum.noteworthycomposer.com/?topic=6175.0 suggests an enhancement that NWC2 would benefit from.  I know it's come up before but I thought I'd stick another AUD $0.02 worth in :)
 
Some rudimentary line drawing capability - I'm not suggesting a "paint" type facility, but rather the ability to set some endpoints and instruct the software to "draw a line between these points". 

If the line could also have 1, 2 or even 3 "off curve" points or handles we could also have controllable curves.  Some of the same code could probably be used to give control over slur shape too.  This would surely be a bonus.

In the case of the thread referred to above, it would give us tha ability to draw the melody flow between hands, a "free standing" curve would allow for phrase marking - a line "type" option would even allow us to have dashed slurs, and dare I suggest it, ties for those times when subsequents repeats of a passage are subtley different.

In reference to another thread discussing ties and slurs broken over system breaks, it would possibly give the ability to manage those better too.

  • Last Edit: 2007-10-03 01:41 am by Lawrie Pardy
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #1
Sounds good to me. If line type included broken lines (as Lawrie suggests) it would also allow us to draw 8va brackets - something I've wanted for a long time.

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #2
G'day William,
Sounds good to me. If line type included broken lines (as Lawrie suggests) it would also allow us to draw 8va brackets - something I've wanted for a long time.

Thankyou :)

In the meantime, for 8va brackets, see my *Dings suites.  E.G. SwingDings has 3 characters just for this:

Starting "bracket": - chr 0118 = v
Dashed "line" character: - chr 0242 = ò
Ending "bracket": - chr 0119 = w

The start and end bracket were originally from Boxmarks.  These are designed to be above the staff, I overlooked creating characters for below the staff...
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #3
Thanks for the suggestion, Lawrie. I currently use Boxmarks brackets plus a line of hyphens inserted as a text object, but that isn't really satisfactory. I guess it's time I looked into your fonts.

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #4
G'day William,
I used to do that to but wasn't happy with the result - my "dash" character is designed to correctly line up with the brackets and to allow overlapping without "filling in the gaps".  Doesn't work perfectly every time, but it ain't too bad.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #5
This would certainly make life easier for me, too. It would be good if these lines could be drawn between staves. One application would be dashed lines showing that the vocal melody is passed from one voice to another.

-Christian
NWC on Ubuntu Linux/Wine

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #6
This would also be quite useful for indicating glissandi, and I don't think it would be too hard to implement.

But what would we use as measurements?

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #7
But what would we use as measurements?

Hmm, how about a justification option a la text entries for the horizontal position - with a spacing option similar to the current extra note spacing options.

For vertical placement we already have a Pos parameter that everything else uses.

However, this would really benefit from the fractional Pos numerics that have been raised elswhere - that would also apply to the horizontal placements too.

Remember, these lines should ideally only need endpoint and optionally curve shaping point locations which could be accociated with other staff elements so that if/when staff metrics or system breaks etc. occur they automagically compensate - up to a point...
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #8
This would also be quite useful for indicating glissandi, and I don't think it would be too hard to implement.
You can't just take a glyph an stretch it. NWC2 would need to figure how many "~~~~"'s were needed to cover the diagonal and rotate it. doable, but non-trivial.
But what would we use as measurements?
The existing |Pos: parameter allowing decimals would work vertically.
For this new object to be useful, and overall width would be needed. This would need to be a decimal times the duration of a quarter note (or something that could be resolved to a MIDI PPQN.) Then there would need to ±decimal offsets from the start and end.

What happens with this new object at a SysBreak? Does it:
  • stop at the staff?
  • stop at the right paper edge
  • wrap to the next system?
If the latter, does it:
  • start after the signature?
  • pass through the signature?
  • try to avoid the signature?

If this object is to be used to simulate multi-measure rests and brackets, text would need to placed at its center at a fixed distance above or below it. Simply using text would require adjustments every time the justification changes.

I'd rather see the time spent fixing slur defaults.
Registered user since 1996

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #9
G'day Rick,
Quote
For this new object to be useful, and overall width would be needed

Umm, what I had in mind was a relatively simple line...  Not very unlike a staff line.  Set a couple of points and "join the dots".  This way no matter what happens in the staff, no matter how many bars are added or deleted, the line still "joins the dots".  Not terribly unlike the way a slur or tie works now...  Those lines are rendered from one horizontal position to another, they just happen to be anchored to notes rather than points.  I'm certainly not suggesting a glyph...

Be nice to add "off curve" points to enable some curvature control - same code may be able to be applied to slurs to help overcome some of the limitations that have frustrated us there...  Just as "end point" "handles" on slurs would allow for start and finish positioning.

Don't see any need for a MIDI event to be associated to it at all...  Nor any kind of durational reality.  E.G. Note stems and bar lines don't have duration.

For you to raise some of the points you have makes me feel I must have missed something, do you see some possibilities that have escaped me?

System breaks are still a challenge, but perhaps this "manual curve" can overcome the automation limitations we currently have...

Certainly it should wrap if the end point is on the next system, and I would expect signature avoidance...  However, if this doesn't work in the first iteration then at a system break we simply make 2 lines - one before and one after the system break - messy, will need reworking on occasion, but better than nothing...

Ahh, now there's an idea - what if a system "wrap" resulted in virtual end points that could be adjusted.  These endpoints would move along the curve if the point at which the system wrapped moved - hmm...  Maybe getting too complex here...  Still, the thought of a controllable curve for slurs really appeals to me...

As for the gliss example - while I personally use the wavy style, I've seen 'em with straight lines too.

Quote
I'd rather see the time spent fixing slur defaults.

That's what I rather see this fixing...  By giving greater control...
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #10
Don't see any need for a MIDI event to be associated to it at all...  Nor any kind of durational reality.  E.G. Note stems and bar lines don't have duration.
Note stems and bar line are vertical elements. Horizontal objects need an adjustable width. No MIDI event need be generated, but a duration or a "notes to span" or "=First/=End" paradigm is needed. Take Special Ending as an example. It is one measure long. It would do little good to define it as some # of notewidths or inches. That would have to be adjusted on each page reformat.

To draw a line showing a voice change to another staff, the line begins after a note and ends before the next note. That width depends on the entire system and cannot be expressed in some # of notewidths.

To make a multi-measure rest, the width is in measures. It must not cross a SysBreak without renumbering. It needs a number centered on it. How is that position found?

An 8va · · · · ¬ must cross a SysBreak and extend for a duration or note range. If all you can specify is some # of notewidths, you might as well use a User Font and digital whiteout.

As for slurs, I'd rather use a slur, not a simulation of one.
Registered user since 1996

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #11
You can't just take a glyph an stretch it. NWC2 would need to figure how many "~~~~"'s were needed to cover the diagonal and rotate it. doable, but non-trivial.

What about just a straight line, or a non-straight line determined by the program or user specifications rather than a glyph?

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #12
Rick, I think you're making this too complicated. What I hear Lawrie suggesting is specifiying anchor points and asking the program to dynamically draw the line. The anchor points would be the objects, not the line. It seems to me as though an anchor point (a) wouldn't need width or MIDI characteristics, and (b) could easily be specified in relation to other objects in the score, e.g., after a given note (rest, barline....) and before the next.  Vertical position of each anchor point would be specified in relation to the staff, as it is for all other objects. The program is drawing dynamic lines now (e.g., slurs and ties), so the code shouldn't be too hard to generate. Am I missing something?

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #13
What about just a straight line, or a non-straight line
As a piano player, I wouldn't interpret a line as a gliss.
I can create a skewed line by layering these 2 clips:
Quote
!NoteWorthyComposerClip(2.0,Single)
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:-6
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1
!NoteWorthyComposerClip-End

!NoteWorthyComposerClip(2.0,Single)
|Rest|Dur:4th|Opts:VertOffset=2000|Visibility:Never
|Note|Dur:8th,Grace|Pos:-5z|Opts:Stem=Up,StemLength=1,Beam=First,NoLegerLines,Muted
|Note|Dur:8th,Grace|Pos:0z|Opts:Stem=Up,StemLength=1,Beam=End,NoLegerLines,Muted
|Rest|Dur:4th|Opts:VertOffset=2000|Visibility:Never
!NoteWorthyComposerClip-End
Registered user since 1996

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #14
Very interesting idea, Rick - using an eighth-note beam as a line. Looks like what Lawrie is asking for, except that you have to put it on a layered staff and kludge the anchor points. Wouldn't it be easier for the program as well as the user if you were able to simply place anchor points instead of creating them out of headless, stemless, muted notes on another staff?

But I will begin making lines this way, and thank you.

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #15
What I hear Lawrie suggesting is specifiying anchor points and asking the program to dynamically draw the line. The anchor points would be the objects, not the line. Am I missing something?
Possibly. Two objects, one specifing the beginning, another the end. That's two diamond anchors (so they can be selected) cluttering the editor. Nesting these would be a nightmare. Between these two anchors is a duration and a # of notes.

I'd rather have one object and tell it what this duration or # of notes is. Less clutter and no nesting problems.
  • Last Edit: 2007-10-03 06:31 pm by Rick G.
Registered user since 1996

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #16
Good point about nesting. Might have to use layered staves to do nested lines without compromising program efficiency. But I don't see an extra diamond anchor as clutter if it's doing a job I want done. :-)

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #17
What if it says gliss. at the end of it?

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #18
G'day Rick,
mate, William has the right of it.

I'm simply suggesting a line drawing feature - specify end points - draw dynamic line between 'em.  That way it can have slope.

With off curve points it can have adjustable curvature.

If we can adjust curvature we can use said line as a phrase marker and similar.

If these new characteristics can also be applied to slurs we now have control over slur shape - not a slur alternative, but a real slur we can adjust...  Most of the code must already be there for drawing slurs and ties...  I'm just suggesting making the end points and hopefully some control points adjustable...

Finally, if the line type can be dashed as well as solid we have some additional applications, like broken slurs...  Add a line shape E.G. ~~~ and we can have proper gliss', at least in appearance - I would prefer the gliss to be treated seperately and actually work in playback.

I do take the point about nesting problems...  Not sure how to address that...
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #19
Quote
gliss example - while I personally use the wavy style, I've seen 'em with straight lines too
Isn't that a smear?  To me a glissando is what we hear in the Rhapsody in Blue clarinet solo.  It is normally written with a wavy angled line.  However, in jazz, we see straight lines leading up to or down from notes, and I'm not sure what the difference is.

Also, can a piano do a glissando, or is that simulated with an arpeggiated chord or chromatic run?

Quote
Take Special Ending as an example. It is one measure long.
That's a problem.  Seldom do I see first endings of only 1 measure - 2 up to perhaps 6 bars are not uncommon.  We need to be able to set an end point for the special ending horizontal line.

Quote
To make a multi-measure rest, the width is in measures. It must not cross a SysBreak without renumbering.
A multi-measure rest should not cross a system break.  Sometimes you will want to have more than one MMR to assist the reader in counting rests by following phrases, but if you had this with a system break, you'd simply write one MMR before the break and one after. 

However, I'm being pedantic.  If we are to have native MMRs, I agree there will be times you want them to be long and other times you want them short.  I like the idea of making the space between the beginning and ending bar line controllable, with the rest line automatically filling a certain portion of the length, and the number should be placed above the centre of that line.

Quote
An 8va · · · · ¬ must cross a SysBreak and extend for a duration or note range.
I guess this depends on the duration.  A dotted line is fine for a few bars, but for longer passages I think it's better just to signify the beginning and ending with 8va and loco.  But I'm being picky again.



Quote
I'd rather have one object and tell it what this duration or # of notes is. Less clutter and no nesting problems
I prefer the anchors or some other grabbable end points.  The difficulty with setting the parameters is learning the appropriate commands, and perhaps having the flexibility needed when adding or deleting notes or rests from the group.

Quote
Nesting these would be a nightmare.
No more so than when you add text in the score like this:

!NoteWorthyComposerClip(2.0,Single)
|Note|Dur:4th,Slur|Pos:-6|Opts:Slur=Upward
|Text|Text:"Harmon mute x2"|Font:StaffItalic|Pos:11
|Text|Text:"Straight mute x3"|Font:StaffItalic|Pos:7
|Text|Text:"Cup mute x1"|Font:StaffItalic|Pos:15
|Note|Dur:Half,Dotted|Pos:1
!NoteWorthyComposerClip-End


  • Last Edit: 2007-10-04 02:27 am by David Palmquist

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #20
Quote
Also, can a piano do a glissando, or is that simulated with an arpeggiated chord or chromatic run?

I think that what a piano does IS a glissando.  What a trombone or violin does is portomento.

From the Harvard Dictionary of Music:

Portomento [It/. carrying] A special manner of singing, with the voice gliding gradually from one tone to the next through all the intermediate pitches.  A similar effect, frequently but erroneously galled glissando, is possible on violin and on the trombone....

Glissando [F. Glisser, to slide].  The execution of rapid scales by a sliding movement.  In piano-playing, the nail of the thumb or that of the third finger is drawn rapidly over the white keys. ... [the definition then goes into details of glissandos in thirds and octaves] ... Glissando is much used in the playing of the harp.  On the violin the glissando is a difficult virtuoso effect produced by a rapid succession of minute distinct movements of the hand.  This effect should not be confused with the portamento, which is easily produced by a continuous movement of the hand.  The so-called glissando of the trombones practically always is a portamento.

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #21
Glissando [F. Glisser, to slide].  The execution of rapid scales by a sliding movement.  In piano-playing, the nail of the thumb or that of the third finger is drawn rapidly over the white keys. ...
Correct. A left hand gliss is very rare. With the right hand, the thumbnail is used going down, the 3rd finger going up. Good way to lose a cuticle, especially on a Steinway. On many keyboards, some organs, and a few pianos, the side of the thumb can be used to go up. On a foreign instrument, one needs to try this gently, in advance. It is easy to tear enough skin to cause bleeding.
Registered user since 1996

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #22
Thank you both.  I didn't know what a glissando on piano is. 

Now we come to, I guess, dialects for different disciplines, or perhaps the evolution of language.  A word meaning one thing (glissando) for one group of people (pianists) may mean something else to another group (wind players, tympanists?). 

I've been playing since the early 1960s, and have seldom heard anyone refer to portamento, but glissando is not uncommon.  Dolmetsch defines Portamento as
Quote
  • (Spanish m., Italian m., literally 'carrying') very legato, carrying a vocal or instrumental line without gaps
  • on stringed instruments, an expressive device, a slide from one pitch to another, usually stopping for moment either above or below the destination pitch, which was very popular in the 19th- and early 20th-centuries, but has more recently fallen into disuse
  • when Chopin wanted the kind of rubato that is a gentle lingering over a few of the notes, he indicated this by writing dots over each of the notes under a slur. This kind of notation for the piano is called portamento
    a term is sometimes applied to the mezzo-staccato touch employed on the piano
  • synonymous with appoggiatura



Dolmetsch also defines Glissando (with my emphasis):
Quote
    also glissato
    • glissicando or glissicato, a continuous slide in pitch.
    • On the violin, the left hand finger is placed on the string and then, as the note is played, the finger slides up or down the finger board. The beginning and end note of the glissando are written and connected by either a straight or a wavy line. Usually the word gliss. or glissando will be written above
    • on the piano, to run the nail or a finger or the back of the thumb along the keyboard over many notes, see glissant, glisser 
    • on the timpani, using  taps or pedals, the pitch of the note is changed while it sounds

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #23
Think Jerry Lee Lewis, in Great Balls of Fire.
He used them quite a lot (well, not exactly on a piano, but you get the idea)
cheers, Rob.

Re: Lines and controllable slurs - a suggestion/request
Reply #24
I got curious about this, so I pulled out my copy of the Harvard Dictionary, and Cyril is right: Willi Apel defines a glissando in piano style (i.e., the individual notes have to be sounded) and calls the trombone version portamento, "frequently but erroneously called glissando." Being an old reference librarian, though - and having written an encyclopedia of my own (in another field) - I decided to check two other sources. My shelves also hold Arthur Jacobs' New Dictionary of Music and Westrup and Harrison's New College Encyclopedia of Music, and both of them disagree with Apel. Here are Jacobs's succinct definitions:

Quote
GLISSANDO: sliding up and down on the scale, i.e., making a quick uninterrupted passage up or down the scale, e.g., on the piano, harp, xylophone, trombone. The effect of portamento on stringed instruments is not comparable, since it implies only the smooth linking of two notes, not the deliberate sounding of the notes in between.

PORTAMENTO: the "carrying" of a sound - e.g., on a voice or a stringed instrument, the transition from one note to another higher or lower without any break in the sound.

Westrup and Harrison say the same thing, only much wordier. Which definition is correct? As a trained vocalist who also plays a bit of piano and harp, I'd have to say: perhaps both. Are you emphasizing the notes at the beginning and end? Probably a portamento. Are you emphasizing the slide itself? Probably a glissando. The relevant point for this thread - getting back to business - is the symbol you place in the score. Although this is not always true, custom suggests a straight line for a portamento and a wavy line for a glissando. So, ideally, we should have the line type option that Lawrie suggests, and one of the options should be wavy. But I'll settle simply for the ability to draw lines at all.