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Breathing spaces

   Choral singing is full of punctuation, and sometimes this is where the singers are expected to snatch a breath.

   In my NWC 1.75 Choral Rehearsal Files I usually deal with this - providing a shortened note, and so leaving breathing room in the sound output but without actually deviating too much from the Score notation - by marking the note staccato but at the same time slurring it to the next note.  This lengthens the note sound to something longer than staccato but a little shorter that plain "semplice", with a significant gap before the next note. 

   This simple and easily-applicable technique provides a resulting breathing space gap that has a length that depends on the length of the basic note.  Generally it sounds fine, though some modification may be needed if the basic note is long - a semibreve, say - while the breathing space is required to be quite short.  I usually cope with this by splitting the long basic note into two shorter notes tied together, and then applying the slurred staccato technique to the second of the two.

   A problem arising from using this technique is that the NWC Score then looks rather odd/messy - which I don't usually mind, because I'm really only interested in what it sounds like, but it must be rather irrtating to the rest of us who perhaps want to print the Score out, and have to "clean" it up first.  So: can anyone suggest an alternative  (simple) method to achieve the desired breathing-space effect that leaves the Score looking OK?

   MusicJohn, 15/Jul/15

Re: Breathing spaces
Reply #1
John
Perhaps I'm missing something, but why don't you use the Breath Mark with its pause of multiple 16ths as required?

Bill D.

Re: Breathing spaces
Reply #2
   Hi, Bill.

   You say: "Perhaps I'm missing something, but why don't you use the Breath Mark with its pause of multiple 16ths as required?"

   Because (a) it puts a real pause in the playing, which then upsets the flow of the music (which is no good if all you want to do is use the punctuation as an opportunity to take a breath), and (b) because it doesn't transfer to Midi (all my output is destined for my Website in Midi format, for use as Rehearsal Files on any machine more or less independent of OS and software).

   MusicJohn, 15/Jul/15


Re: Breathing spaces
Reply #3
can anyone suggest an alternative  (simple) method to achieve the desired breathing-space effect that leaves the Score looking OK?
Simplicity varies, but this produces a variety of "breathing spaces":
Code: (nwc) [Select · Download]
!NoteWorthyComposer(2.51)
|PgSetup|TitlePage:N|DurationPadding:N
|AddStaff|Name:"Staff"
|StaffProperties|EndingBar:Open (hidden)
|Note|Dur:4th,Grace,Tenuto|Pos:0^|Visibility:Never
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:0
|RestChord|Dur:8th|Opts:Stem=Up,HideRest|Dur2:4th|Pos2:0
|Note|Dur:4th,Grace|Pos:0^|Opts:Muted|Visibility:Never
|Note|Dur:4th,Grace|Pos:0|Visibility:Never
|Rest|Dur:8th|Opts:Stem=Down|Visibility:Never
|RestChord|Dur:8th|Opts:Stem=Up,HideRest|Dur2:4th|Pos2:0
|Note|Dur:4th,Grace,Staccato|Pos:0^|Opts:Muted|Visibility:Never
|Note|Dur:4th,Grace|Pos:0|Visibility:Never
|Rest|Dur:8th|Opts:Stem=Down|Visibility:Never
|Bar
!NoteWorthyComposer-End
Registered user since 1996

  • Bart
  • NWC2 User
Re: Breathing spaces
Reply #4
MusicJohn,

With the example given by Rick and with your own explanation, I suppose, that you could try
  • inserting a zero-delay breath mark (for the visual effect)
  • inserting (hidden) performance style changes - sostenuto seems to be usable since it is somewhere between tenuto and staccato - (for the musical effect)
I admit that it only works for certain instruments like flutes or violins and that it is hardly audible for piano - I suspect the specific piano Attack,Decay,Sustain,Release envelope for obscuring this effect - http://making-music.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Envelopes-ADSR.jpg, but you could give it a try.

Your question (as I understand):
Code: (nwc) [Select · Download]
!NoteWorthyComposerClip(2.51,Single)
|PerformanceStyle|Style:Tenuto|Pos:5|Visibility:Never
|Instrument|Name:"Violin"|Patch:40|Trans:0|DynVel:10,30,45,60,75,92,108,127|Pos:10|Wide:Y
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:4th,Staccato,Slur|Pos:0
|TempoVariance|Style:Breath Mark|Pause:0|Pos:9
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:0
|Bar
|Note|Dur:4th,Dotted|Pos:2
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:1
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:-2
!NoteWorthyComposerClip-End

My (approximate) "solution"
Code: (nwc) [Select · Download]
!NoteWorthyComposerClip(2.51,Single)
|PerformanceStyle|Style:Tenuto|Pos:-8|Visibility:Never
|Instrument|Name:"Violin"|Patch:40|Trans:0|DynVel:10,30,45,60,75,92,108,127|Pos:10|Wide:Y
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:0
|PerformanceStyle|Style:Sostenuto|Pos:-12|Visibility:Never
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:0
|TempoVariance|Style:Breath Mark|Pause:0|Pos:9
|PerformanceStyle|Style:Tenuto|Pos:-8|Visibility:Never
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:0
|Bar
|Note|Dur:4th,Dotted|Pos:2
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:1
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:0
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:-2
!NoteWorthyComposerClip-End

Bart

  • Bart
  • NWC2 User
Re: Breathing spaces
Reply #5
Addendum:

Futher checks prove that I loose these "hacks" when exporting and importing via midi-format.
So maybe not really what you are looking for.

Bart

Re: Breathing spaces
Reply #6
   Hi, Bill, Rick, Bart.

   Thanks for your input.

   The problem is to provide a simple way which keeps the score looking the same, and overall playing the same, but still gives the "breathing" gaps indicated by the Score's punctuation.

   Rick's cunning use of hidden grace notes is interesting, but somewhat less "simple" than dotting and slurring.  Good, though, and worth thinking about if you really need to keep the appearance right while also having it sound right.

   Bill's breath marks with a real length insert a real pause, which unacceptably disturbs the flow of the music.  And they don't transfer to Midi.  And anyway it's the _punctuation_ which defines the breathing space.

   Bart's suggestion of a zero-length breath mark and a sostenuto performance style marking is, in the circumstances, of little help; the punctuation indicates where the singer should breath (so a breath mark is unnecessary), while "sostenuto" doesn't do anything special either in Noteworthy or in Midi (as he subsequently notes).

   So I may have to stick with a slurred staccato/staccatissimo.  But thanks anyway.

   Incidentally, I see that the sounding length of notes in NWC2.5 - as opposed to 1.75; sorry, Richard - increases in the following sequence (which may be of use to someone):-

   Staccatissimo
   Staccato
   Slurred staccatissimo
   Slurred staccato
   Semplice (or one of the other performance styles which has no effect, such as Marcato)
   Tenuto/Legato

   Thanks again.

   MusicJohn, 16/Jul/15



   

Re: Breathing spaces
Reply #7
Hi John, FWIW I would use a hidden, sounding staff and mute the visible one...
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next