References on harmonic analysis.

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Knut
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References on harmonic analysis.

Post by Knut » 01 Dec 2016, 20:45

For a while I've been very interested in creating a text font capable of correct typographical representation of function theory and chord symbols in a simple word processor setting. This is not an easy feat within current technological parameters, but I am not content with any solutions I've seen thus far, which generally involves a lot of zero width glyphs inputted in a specific order, without the ability to accommodate the German/Scandinavian system, where bass notes go directly beneath the functional indication.

I'm not yet entirely sure how to solve all the issues involved, but I am pretty sure it will have to involve a font with an enormous amount of precomposed glyphs, triggered with the help of OpenType features.

To figure out the appropriate scope (i.e., the number of needed glyphs) of such a font, I will need to consult some thorough references on harmonic terminology.

For common practices on chord spelling, I think I am covered, but my library is lacking with regard to functional and roman numeral analysis. I have several books on harmony which lays out parts of either the roman numeral system or the European function theory system, but nothing which goes through the entire scope of either one, laying out all variations and explaining it's semantics.

Does any one know which books would be worth looking into to get a more complete understanding of these two very different systems of harmonic analysis and the number of symbols involved in each of them?

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OCTO
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Re: References on harmonic analysis.

Post by OCTO » 02 Dec 2016, 03:45

I think it is hard to find such one book, since they are completely different systems.
Also, the functional analysis differs from region to region, and it can also be confusing. Very.
This book doesn't compare but it is worth to have:
https://www.amazon.de/Lexikon-Harmoniel ... 3476020827
...and it uses the both systems.
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Knut
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Re: References on harmonic analysis.

Post by Knut » 02 Dec 2016, 13:22

Thanks, OCTO! I'm well aware of some regional differences, particularly those between the German and Scandinavian systems. Surely it would be hard to accommodate all of them, but I would like to give as broad a support as possible. I would never expect to find a single source that would cover both the functional and the roman numeral systems in all it's regional forms, but I would like advice on sources that are as comprehensive as possible within reasonable limits.

The book you suggest seems to be exactly such a source from a German perspective. I'm looking into buying it, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be widely available for purchase outside Germany. I've contacted one seller in hopes of making an exception, so we'll see.

Maybe some of the English or American forum members could point me in the direction of a good source text on the roman numeral system?

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OCTO
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Re: References on harmonic analysis.

Post by OCTO » 02 Dec 2016, 13:27

I have bought the book in Vienna, but check bookdepository.com
I have also tried to make my own font to facilite making my teaching examples, but it is to complex.... I have found out that using latex is easiest way to accomplish that task. But learning latex is not either so easy.
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Knut
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Re: References on harmonic analysis.

Post by Knut » 02 Dec 2016, 13:42

OCTO wrote:I have bought the book in Vienna, but check bookdepository.com
Thanks, I'll do that.
OCTO wrote:I have also tried to make my own font to facilite making my teaching examples, but it is to complex.... I have found out that using latex is easiest way to accomplish that task. But learning latex is not either so easy.
I know you have. It is indeed very complex if you are relying exclusively on zero width glyphs and the 'what you type is what you get' principle. I do, however, think that it could be manageable from a design perspective, and certainly a lot more user friendly, if relying on ligatures and other OpenType technology. The main problem with this method, however, apart from the huge workload on the designer, is that it would allow very little flexibility with regard to character leading and vertical spacing, so this would need to be worked out in advance. However, if the font is well put together, I don't see any particular need for such flexibilities. And much of the workload could probably be reduced with some clever Python scripting, which I've been wanting to learn anyway.

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OCTO
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Re: References on harmonic analysis.

Post by OCTO » 03 Dec 2016, 04:56

Once I find my font I can attach it here. It was designed for finale 2011, pre-unicode. I have used symbols that I needed, particularly in the media nuts category. I had a lot of trouble with numerous low and high scripts....
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Knut
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Re: References on harmonic analysis.

Post by Knut » 03 Dec 2016, 11:53

OCTO wrote:Once I find my font I can attach it here. It was designed for finale 2011, pre-unicode. I have used symbols that I needed, particularly in the media nuts category. I had a lot of trouble with numerous low and high scripts....
No need, OCTO. I found your fonts in our old discussion about this on the MM Forum here:
http://forum.makemusic.com/default.aspx?f=6&m=439467

You referenced Lexikon der Harmonielehre even then. I have now (finally) ordered that book, and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can come up with on the font side.

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OCTO
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Re: References on harmonic analysis.

Post by OCTO » 03 Dec 2016, 11:59

Oh, I have completely forgotten this. I will need to prin out that thread in the case MM removes it with their forum lock (Smart music forum has completely vanished).
Now I remember I used Math magic... it was demo so I completely forgotten about it.


Here these two fonts attached. I am not sure how I used them, you might inspect the glyphs.
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Knut
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Re: References on harmonic analysis.

Post by Knut » 03 Dec 2016, 12:36

OCTO wrote:Here these two fonts attached. I am not sure how I used them, you might inspect the glyphs.
Thanks. I did, and the glyphs are typically zero width, which I'm trying to avoid. They are impractical from a design perspective, and they are prone to display issues, as pointed out in another thread.

Instead, I would rely on kerning pairs and a vast catalogue of precomposed glyphs to be called from the keyboard using some kind of code scheme. For instance, if you wanted the a dominant 9th chord with the 3rd in the bass displayed in typical function theory you could type D\i{3}^{9}{7}. In this case i refers to infra script, my own term for centering the number below the function D, and ^ refers to super script, as it's used in LaTex.

The entered code would call upon a series of precomposed glyphs, typically one for D with a 3rd below, and one for the 9/7 stack. The scheme could probably be simplified, but you would need to keep the different plains of script separate, and the whole thing well structured.

It would be interesting to hear from tisimst whether he thinks this might be doable or not.

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tisimst
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Re: References on harmonic analysis.

Post by tisimst » 04 Dec 2016, 07:31

Knut wrote:I would rely on kerning pairs and a vast catalogue of precomposed glyphs to be called from the keyboard using some kind of code scheme...

The entered code would call upon a series of precomposed glyphs, ...

The scheme could probably be simplified, but you would need to keep the different plains of script separate, and the whole thing well structured.
Solely relying upon OpenType functionality, I don't think there's really any other way than what you have described: lots of precomposed composite glyphs and a bunch of well-defined substitution rules. You wouldn't be able to create arbitrary composite glyphs on the fly, so you'd need to work out all the sensible permutations before hand. Thankfully, creating the glyphs isn't very hard. Just takes some time to set it up properly and requires a word processor that will follow the prescribed substitution rules.
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