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Topic: Tweaking the "audit enharmonics" function (Read 3064 times) previous topic - next topic

Tweaking the "audit enharmonics" function
Is anyone else bothered by the fact that Audit Enharmonics always returns sharps only? Whether appropriate or not?

I'm transposing a long string quartet passage from E minor to Bb minor (NOT A# minor!) The Transpose Staff function gets most of the accidentals right; that is, the transposed parts have mostly flats in them. However, there are also numerous double flats, double sharps, F flats, etc. And I am faced with a quandary: either go through and correct all those by hand, or use Audit Enharmonics and then go through and convert all the A#s, D#s, etc., back to Bbs, Ebs, etc., by hand.

This is highly chromatic music, written without a key signature, and while putting one in might solve the current problem, it would lead to more problems down the line than it would solve now. And I really do want Bb minor, not A# minor: in strings, they have an entirely different sound.

Eric, is it too much to ask that Audit Enharmonics be tweaked so that it only modifies double flats, double sharps, and the white note half-note pairs (E#-Fb and B#-Cb)? Could be just an option....

Thanks for listening,

Bill

Re: Tweaking the "audit enharmonics" function
Reply #1
Could be a job for Global_Mod....
E.G. B## (Bx) to C#
Note,Pos==x0o Pos=#1o

Or G## (Gx) to A
Note,Pos==x-2o Pos=-1o

Might be a little tedious but do-able, and easier than one by one through the score
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Tweaking the "audit enharmonics" function
Reply #2
Could be a job for Global_Mod....
nwsw_PitchMod.php is easier and less error prone.
Registered user since 1996

Re: Tweaking the "audit enharmonics" function
Reply #3
I'm not sure if this could be a part of it, but I constantly hear that you should never have "no key signature." You should always (I'm told) put in a C major key signature, which will be hidden.

Re: Tweaking the "audit enharmonics" function
Reply #4
I'm not sure if this could be a part of it, but I constantly hear that you should never have "no key signature." You should always (I'm told) put in a C major key signature, which will be hidden.

Nope. The reason for putting in a hidden C Major key sig is to force the transposition function to create the proper signature for the transposed staff. I don't WANT a key signature on the transposed staff, so I leave the C sig off.

Re: Tweaking the "audit enharmonics" function
Reply #5
I'm transposing a long string quartet passage from E minor to Bb minor (NOT A# minor!)
You might want a transposition from "E minor to Bb minor (NOT A# minor!)", but NWC only understands that you want to transpose +/- so many semitones. Perhaps, if NWC knew that the piece was in E minor, it might do a better job. You deny it that information. Little wonder that you are disappointed in the result.
Registered user since 1996

Re: Tweaking the "audit enharmonics" function
Reply #6
Actually, the piece isn't IN Bb minor so much as it's ON it. (I stole that terminology from Bartok, by the way.) It's an atonal piece with a strong FEELING of Bb minor, but it isn't IN Bb minor. Key signatures are fine for common-practice-era music. This isn't the common practice era, and for many contemporary pieces, a signature only gets in the way of the performers' interpretation. If I put one in to do the transposition, I'd have to take it out again afterward, and that is at least as much work as what I'm doing now.

And the key is irrelevant anyway. The point is that NWC has a convention of changing flats to sharps during transposition whether they ought to be changed or not. That creates extra unnecessary work for the user, who then needs to change them back. And yes, they do need to be changed back, because of the tendency of performers, especially string players, to follow the accidental. Sharps are nudged upward and flats are nudged downward. Also, if you write C - Bb, it looks like the whole step that it is; if you write C - A#, it looks like a minor third. This confuses performers who may be sight reading, or almost sight reading, at the performance, as many professional musicians are. (Not lack of diligence - lack of practice time, especially if you're working with several pick-up ensembles, which is usually the case in small markets.)

OK - rant over. Just remember that we don't all prefer the same style of music, or use NWC in the same way, and when a request for a change in the way the program operates is made, it isn't necessarily useful to try to point out ways to work around what you perceive to be the difficulty. Sometimes a proposed solution isn't actually related to the problem one thinks it is aimed at.

Re: Tweaking the "audit enharmonics" function
Reply #7
Hi Bill,
you've probably tried this but just the same....

Why not put in a key sig of whatever minor key it's currently "on", do the transposition to Bbm (the transposition dialogue allows you to specify to favour sharp or flat keys "in ambiguous cases"), force accidentals, remove the key sig. and Audit accidentals.

An audit enharmonic spelling will still take you back to a bunch of sharps, but the above process should leave you with all the flats you could ask for ;)

That said, an enharmonic audit that allows preference of flats or sharps is not a bad idea at all.

I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Tweaking the "audit enharmonics" function
Reply #8
Thanks, Lawrie - hadn't thought of that particular sequence. Might be worth a try.

And having an option to choose your preference between sharps and flats during Audit Enharmonics would be helpful. But I still think the algorithm should simply leave an accidental alone if it doesn't correct to a natural note (e.g., correct E# to F  and A## to B, but do NOT correct Bb to A# or Gb to F#).

Re: Tweaking the "audit enharmonics" function
Reply #9
Hmm, tricky that.  E.G. I've had situations where using a double sharp/flat or other enharmonic equivalent has resulted in much easier notation and reading.

E.G. a run of |B, Bb, Bnat, Bb, Bnat, Bb, Bnat, Bb| is much easier to notate as |Cb, Bb, C, B, C, B, C, B| and allow the accidentals at the start of the bar to get the right pitches throughout - the enharmonic audit you propose would muck that up by returning it to the first example I would expect...
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Tweaking the "audit enharmonics" function
Reply #10
Registered user since 1996

Re: Tweaking the "audit enharmonics" function
Reply #11
Hmm, tricky that.  E.G. I've had situations where using a double sharp/flat or other enharmonic equivalent has resulted in much easier notation and reading.

E.G. a run of |B, Bb, Bnat, Bb, Bnat, Bb, Bnat, Bb| is much easier to notate as |Cb, Bb, C, B, C, B, C, B| and allow the accidentals at the start of the bar to get the right pitches throughout - the enharmonic audit you propose would muck that up by returning it to the first example I would expect...

Agreed. I think it would be less of a problem to identify and correct those than to do the work I currently have to do, though. And there might be ways to handle it. Making the method I suggest optional, rather than required, would be one way: I wouldn't object if the current way were the default, as long as the other was an option. Another way would be to have the loop pause and request input before taking each action. That sounds like a lot of work for the user, perhaps, but I suspect it wouldn't be as much as it sounds: I'm pretty sure double flats, etc, are significantly rarer than straight accidentals after a transposition has been done.

Rick, thanks for pointing to the earlier discussion. I had a hunch this had come up before....

Bill

Re: Tweaking the "audit enharmonics" function
Reply #12
is it too much to ask that Audit Enharmonics be tweaked so that it only modifies double flats, double sharps, and the white note half-note pairs (E#-Fb and B#-Cb)?
The "tweak" you are asking for is a single invocation of Pitch Mod (nwsw)

To create and use the invocation:
Copy the User Tool Pitch Mod (nwsw) to a group of your choice. Give it a name. I called mine Bill's Respell
For the Command:
Replace:
Quote
"<PROMPT:Enter pitch mod expression:=*help>"
With:
Quote
Ax/pos+=1,acc=n Bx/pos+=1,acc=# Cx/pos+=1,acc=n Dx/pos+=1,acc=n Ex/pos+=1,acc=# Fx/pos+=1,acc=n Gx/pos+=1,acc=n Abb/pos-=1,acc=n Bbb/pos-=1,acc=n Cbb/pos-=1,acc=b  Dbb/pos-=1,acc=n Ebb/pos-=1,acc=n Fbb/pos-=1,acc=b Gbb/pos-=1,acc=n Cb/pos-=1,acc=n Fb/pos-=1,acc=n E#/pos+=1,acc=n B#/pos+=1,acc=n
Force accidentals before use. Results may be erratic for chords which should not be a problem for string parts.
Registered user since 1996