Repeated tone abbreviation standards

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Peter West
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Re: Repeated tone abbreviation standards

Post by Peter West » 07 Mar 2016, 15:13

John Ruggero wrote:Peter West wrote:
I think it is a little presumptuous to consider an old engraving that one likes to be, per se, good engraving, and another option to be somehow bad, or by implication lazy.
I hope that it was not I who was being presumptuous, because I agree with you completely. That is why I posed the question: is it a simplification caused by computer programming issues (not laziness) or is it a house style? I never said that the newer convention was bad, but did quietly voice my preference.
Presumptuous would be too strong a word. Is there a milder version like mezzo-presumptuous? ;)
Maybe I misinterpreted the last sentence of your original post. I inferred, probably erroneously, that you thought the old form had died out because of computer setting limitations (explicit) and that this is a lowering of standards (implicit, but perhaps wrongly inferred.)

Certainly in the 1980's and 1990's when I was using `Notaset', the same convention that is currently used in Finale and Sibelius by default was used then. I have recently seen manuscripts presented with tremolo beams angled parallel to the beams and have been instructed explicitly not to do that.

Parallel to the beams is quite difficult to achieve in either programme, though fixed angle in the same direction would not be too difficult.
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John Ruggero
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Re: Repeated tone abbreviation standards

Post by John Ruggero » 07 Mar 2016, 21:31

Peter, your first inference is correct, but I really don't think it was being presumptuous, mezzo-presumptuous, or even pochissimo presumptuous to suggest that "an old form ' may have died out "because of computer limitations" OR that it might simply be a matter of house style. I was simply posing a couple of possible explanations for an interesting phenomenon.

However, it wouldn't be the first time that computer limitations have affected an engraving standard. Finale could not produce an automatically centered multi-measure rest for double-staffed instruments until very recently, and only now with a Lua plug-in (thanks to Charles Lawrence) that requires re-centering when a staff is moved. http://forum.makemusic.com/default.aspx?f=6&m=462676

During the same period, we accepted as a standard something that was much less standard until recently: numbers on both staves of a double-staffed multi-measure rest.

Could there be a connection?

If there is a connection, a standard preferred by excellent publishers for well over a century has been discarded because Finale cannot automatically center expressions between the staves. (It is this limitation that causes someone writing for double-staffed instruments to constantly recenter dynamics between the staves during page layout.)

I don't think that it is being presumptuous to say that I prefer this older system for double-staffed MM rests. To me, it is more economical and more visually pleasing.

I also prefer the older style for measured repeated note abbreviation. For me, the Brahms 4th example with contemporary slashes is ugly. Beams and sub-beams of simple repeated patterns even when abbreviated should follow note direction, not clash with it.

However, the unmeasured tremolo may be a different animal because of all the slashes involved. In this case, the modern system might be the better choice. It is unfortunate that the abbreviated measured repeated note and the unmeasured tremolo find themselves in the same soup. They are different phenomena and probably deserve different treatment.

The actual reason for the change in both measured repetition and tremolo style has yet to be determined. Knut's information about Kurt Stone's handling of this in his book from the 1980s and your information regarding Notaset from the same period is intriguing.

As a power user of Notaset, would you say that it would have been practical to produce the older style with Notaset?
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