How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

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David Ward
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How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by David Ward » 20 Mar 2016, 09:48

I think it is generally agreed that in modern notation three slashes is the preferred notation to indicate unmeasured tremolos when not beamed; but what about when they are beamed?

In the thread Repeated tone abbreviations Part 2
MJCube wrote:
I was told by a composer many years ago that in modern notation unmeasured tremolos should always have 3 slashes, regardless of the tempo or the number of beams.
But is this correct? Elaine Gould on pages 224–225 appears to suggest otherwise. The addition of the direction ‘trem.’ helps to clarify.

Maybe the use of different slash thicknesses, angles and lengths for measured and unmeasured tremolos (as discussed elsewhere on this forum) is the smartest way to avoid any potential measured/unmeasured confusion. However, unless this becomes an integral part of the various music typesetting softwares (whether or not via applying an appropriate plug-in), I doubt that composers, as opposed to high powered engravers, will find it easy …
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OCTO
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Re: How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by OCTO » 20 Mar 2016, 12:17

The question is valid. If you have beamed :1 or beamed :0 what tremolo should be used to represent unmeasured tremolo?
Here are some variants, but these are contemporary, from 1900, maybe this is the correct solution.
Unmeasured:
E22D.png
E22D.png (1.45 KiB) Viewed 6916 times
Unmeasured simple:
E22C.png
E22C.png (1.52 KiB) Viewed 6916 times
Penderecki-unmeasured:
E22B.png
E22B.png (1.7 KiB) Viewed 6916 times
/*/*/*/
(Penderecki should not be mixed with buzz-symbol for woodwinds:
E22A.png
E22A.png (802 Bytes) Viewed 6915 times
/*/*/*/
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Re: How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by Knut » 20 Mar 2016, 17:53

OCTO wrote: (Penderecki should not be mixed with buzz-symbol for woodwinds:
E22A.png
/*/*/*/
Isn't the buzz roll symbol actually meant for the percussion section?

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Re: RE: Re: How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by OCTO » 20 Mar 2016, 18:03

Knut wrote:
OCTO wrote: (Penderecki should not be mixed with buzz-symbol for woodwinds:
E22A.png
/*/*/*/
Isn't the buzz roll symbol actually meant for the percussion section?
Maybe. But I have seen this within the reed instruments (oboe and bassoon).

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Re: RE: Re: How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by Knut » 20 Mar 2016, 19:25

OCTO wrote:
Knut wrote:
OCTO wrote: (Penderecki should not be mixed with buzz-symbol for woodwinds:
E22A.png
/*/*/*/
Isn't the buzz roll symbol actually meant for the percussion section?
Maybe. But I have seen this within the reed instruments (oboe and bassoon).

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Do you know how it would sound for double reed instruments? Somewhat like a flutter tongue, perhaps?

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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by OCTO » 20 Mar 2016, 20:37

Knut wrote:
OCTO wrote:
Knut wrote:
Isn't the buzz roll symbol actually meant for the percussion section?
Maybe. But I have seen this within the reed instruments (oboe and bassoon).

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk
Do you know how it would sound for double reed instruments? Somewhat like a flutter tongue, perhaps?
Oh, flutter would be nice (but almost impossible on the double reeds).
This one sounds as if to catch the goose neck when she yells loudly.
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Re: How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by Knut » 20 Mar 2016, 20:42

Thanks! Excellent description. :)

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John Ruggero
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Re: How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by John Ruggero » 20 Mar 2016, 22:08

Would the following rules clarify the repeated note/tremolo ambiguity and avoid the necessity for new symbols?

A. For all beamed or flagged notes:

1. one slash = measured repeated notes
2. two or more slashes = unmeasured tremolo

Examples:
1/8-note(s) + 1 slash = repeated 16ths, 1/16-note(s) + 1 slash = repeated 32nds etc.
1/8-note(s)+ 2 slashes = tremolo, 1/16-note(s) + 2 slashes = tremolo etc.

B. For all unbeamed notes:

1. one or two slashes = measured repeated 1/8- or 16th-notes
2. three or more slashes = tremolo
3. three or more slashes with "non trem." indication = measured 32nd- 64th etc. repeated notes
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Re: How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by Knut » 20 Mar 2016, 22:57

John Ruggero wrote:Would the following rules clarify the repeated note/tremolo ambiguity and avoid the necessity for new symbols?

A. For all beamed or flagged notes:

1. one slash = measured repeated notes
2. two or more slashes = unmeasured tremolo

Examples:
1/8-note(s) + 1 slash = repeated 16ths, 1/16-note(s) + 1 slash = repeated 32nds etc.
1/8-note(s)+ 2 slashes = tremolo, 1/16-note(s) + 2 slashes = tremolo etc.

B. For all unbeamed notes:

1. one or two slashes = measured repeated 1/8- or 16th-notes
2. three or more slashes = tremolo
3. three or more slashes with "non trem." indication = measured 32nd- 64th etc. repeated notes
I think Kurt Stone's opening passage about unmeasured tremolos (or what he calls repeat tremolos as opposed to trill- or finger tremolos) give clear guidelines, pliable enough to allow allow an indication based on musical and practical judgement, albeit with some minor clarifications:
The rules of measured tremolos [i.e., the notes show the duration (and pitch) of the tremolo, while the tremolo bars show the duration of the repeated notes] also apply here, except that the tremolo bars should always convey a relatively [or rather, sufficiently] fast tempo, from two in fast music to a maximum of four in very slow tempos.

In addition, the abbreviation trem. may be placed above the first tremolo in an extended passage.
Beyond this, I would probably go for one of the alternate symbols for unmeasured tremolo presented by OCTO above.

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John Ruggero
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Re: How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by John Ruggero » 21 Mar 2016, 02:55

Knut, I don't have Kurt Stone's book and I don't have enough context to really understand the quote, but if his system is based on tempo and context, I think that this too indefinite and open to confusion.

So I need someone to tell me what is wrong with the simple system outlined above.
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