Algorithms of accidental spacings

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Fred G. Unn
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Re: Algorithms of accidental spacings

Post by Fred G. Unn » 21 Oct 2015, 15:29

Kinda OT, so maybe I should start a new thread, but does anyone else think the beaming of the first beat in the Steinberg example is just wrong? It doesn't even seem consistent within the program as compared to beat one of the second bar. (Different distances from middle line, I know, but still ...) I don't have time to dive into all the Ross and Gould beaming rules right now, but I can't imagine a grouping going up a third, then down a second, then up again to the same note should have a beam angle of a whole space. It looks like the Steinberg secondary beam is straddle-straddle (with the invisible ledger line). I'm pretty sure I'd prefer either sit-sit, or straddle-sit. I'll investigate more tonight but here are all 3 of those possibilities:
BeamingVsSteinberg.jpg
BeamingVsSteinberg.jpg (81.96 KiB) Viewed 2864 times

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OCTO
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Re: Algorithms of accidental spacings

Post by OCTO » 21 Oct 2015, 15:36

OT answer: Daniel S had just pointed about it in his post.
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Fred G. Unn
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Re: Algorithms of accidental spacings

Post by Fred G. Unn » 21 Oct 2015, 15:50

D'oh! Jeez, I need to read more carefully. I guess I got wrapped up in the accidental stuff and just skimmed over it.

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OCTO
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Re: Algorithms of accidental spacings

Post by OCTO » 21 Oct 2015, 18:08

dspreadbury wrote: * Distance between rightmost accidental and note; separate controls for flats, sharps, naturals, and then a fallback value for other accidental types
* Distance between successive columns of accidentals; separate controls for columns that can kern with each other (e.g. where a column can tuck in closer to the column to its right because of the shapes of the individual accidentals), and for columns that cannot kern (where the shapes prevent it), plus an extra control for the amount of *additional* space to add in the case of successive columns with very strong vertical lines (e.g. two columns of naturals next to each other, or naturals with flats to their right).
* The amount by which successive columns can overlap in the event that kerning is possible.
* Distance between the leftmost accidental and the preceding note/chord.
Thank you for a such detailed explanation. I beg pardon for asking this again, maybe it is because of my insufficient English skills.
A question that arises: except the settings explained above, does that "tool" incorporate accidental-spacing similar to note-spacing? What I mean, is it fixed or flexible? If it is flexible, by what mean it is?

Here are all :n from the example you provided.
Screen shot 2015-10-21 at 7.16.09 PM.png
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Screen shot 2015-10-21 at 7.16.25 PM.png
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Screen shot 2015-10-21 at 7.16.41 PM.png
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Screen shot 2015-10-21 at 7.16.59 PM.png
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Screen shot 2015-10-21 at 7.17.10 PM.png
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Screen shot 2015-10-21 at 7.17.24 PM.png
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This is at 1000% zoom. If I had a vector graphic file, it could be calculated better.
Only the first :n has wider accidental-spacing. How is that done, by what mean and what calculus? And just why that one (because the stem is up?)?
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dspreadbury
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Re: Algorithms of accidental spacings

Post by dspreadbury » 21 Oct 2015, 22:00

All of the naturals have the same spacing: they are 1/4 space away from the left-hand side of the notehead. Perhaps there are some rounding errors in the PNG file. I've attached both a graphic with our diagnostic drawing of spacing columns switched on, which you might find helpful (I think perhaps the apparent difference between up-stem and down-stem notes is an optical illusion because of the position of the stem, if it's not just a rounding error in the graphic), and a PDF file which you can take a closer look at if you wish.
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lacour.pdf
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lacour-columns.png
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John Ruggero
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Re: Algorithms of accidental spacings

Post by John Ruggero » 21 Oct 2015, 22:46

dspreadbury, I was in the midst of writing the following when you made your post:

OCTO, all of the naturals in the Steinberg example look closer to the following noteheads than the flats and appear too close for my taste. Is this an illusion because of the shape of natural? In any case, I think that the naturals need more space. The shape of the flats makes them more forgiving.

Fred, I was planning to start another on beaming when this one dies down. (Unless you want to start one.)

I prefer the middle gently sloping beam in your example. However, I think that there are times when an almost horizontal beam or even completely horizontal might be better; it depends on the musical situation. For example, if the pattern were repeated several times, it might be better as an almost horizontal beam to show that the melody is entirely static at that point. Whereas if the pattern travels on, as in the Steinberg, more slope would be better. A steep slope is unmusical because the music is not rising from the first note to the last. It has achieved a new height on the second sixteenth and is static from that point on.

There is contention regarding the beaming of this pattern. I looked at several versions of Bach's Invention no. 8 which features it in repetition. The two original MSs differ: in one the beams are sharply angled, in the other they are horizontal. The Busoni edition has horizontal beams, the Bach-Gesellschaft has gently sloping beams.
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Re: Algorithms of accidental spacings

Post by OCTO » 22 Oct 2015, 07:29

John Ruggero wrote: Fred, I was planning to start another on beaming when this one dies down.
Yes, please!!
/////
dspreadbury wrote:All of the naturals have the same spacing: they are 1/4 space away from the left-hand side of the notehead. Perhaps there are some rounding errors in the PNG file.
I see now better. Yes, they are the same.
Screen shot 2015-10-22 at 8.41.19 AM.png
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Screen shot 2015-10-22 at 8.42.26 AM.png
Screen shot 2015-10-22 at 8.42.26 AM.png (29.25 KiB) Viewed 2843 times
Q: regarding earlier posts, shouldn't the accidental-spacing differ between crowded and loose note-spacings?
There is an example in another thread with very dense page which would involve more dense accidental-spacings. I cannot judge how this tool works (notation software), since here are equally spread :2 .

////

Here is example from my earlier post above.
Look at these :n - all of them look differently spaced. Third measure, RH; they are much more compressed than in the first two measures. Also the first :n in the third measure: it is placed under :1r
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Screen shot 2015-10-22 at 9.26.04 AM.png
SCRIABIN - SONATA 5 (E PETERS)
Screen shot 2015-10-22 at 9.26.04 AM.png (85.98 KiB) Viewed 2843 times
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dspreadbury
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Re: Algorithms of accidental spacings

Post by dspreadbury » 22 Oct 2015, 08:12

As erelievonen pointed out earlier in the thread, it's no surprise that in manually engraved scores (whether via plate or stencil or hand) there is less consistency about the distance of accidentals from notes, given that the engraver would have positioned the punch (or stencil or pen) by hand for every single one. I'm sure that practice concerning the tightness and looseness of accidentals relative to their notes differed widely among different engravers.

In the Scriabin example you just posted, Djuro, the two naturals in the left-hand, third bar are very differently positioned relative to their notes, which isn't obviously due to the overall tightness of the spacing. It does seem pretty likely, though, that engravers would have sometimes chosen to make accidentals tighter on their notes in very tight conditions: however, I've never had this directly expressed to me by any of the handful of plate engravers I've had the privilege to know, and nor have I seen it written in any of the standard texts on engraving.

At the moment, our application doesn't tighten accidental spacing relative to notes in tight conditions automatically. It's something we could consider in a future version, though I think it is probably also something that the program should not do fully automatically in any case: perhaps, one day, the user could designate a particular passage and opt to tighten or loosen all of the accidentals in that passage at once.

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Re: Algorithms of accidental spacings

Post by Vaughan » 22 Oct 2015, 10:13

Very interesting thread. I'm glad to hear that the Steinberg program is trying to take the intricacies of accidental spacing, stacking and kerning into account. Excellent idea to shorten the left ledger lines on notes with accidentals. The problem I see in the example is that the amount of space allotted to the flat comes across as being pleasant whereas that for the natural seems cramped, perhaps due to the inherent shape of the different accidentals. Too bad there aren't a few sharps in there somewhere! I very much like the ability of the program to kern the flat at the beginning of the third beat of measure 3 so that it's practically over the ledger line of the Bb before it. Strangely, due to the ledger lines, the amount of space before the naturals in the third measure seems excessive and inconsistent with the other measures.
As far as the beam in the first beat of the first measure is concerned, I definitely prefer sloping according to the extreme note (making it flat in this case). The only exception I've even made to this rule would be in piano music with left and right hands playing a similar figure and with the RH passage stems down and the LH passage stems up, putting the beams close to one another. This rule of slope beaming according to extreme note might flatten one beam while sloping the other. This would look rather strange in this particular situation.
In the Scriabin example, I like the engraver's tucking the natural under the rest in the RH of measure 3. That's the kind of thing I like to do if I have the time to spend!

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John Ruggero
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Re: Algorithms of accidental spacings

Post by John Ruggero » 22 Oct 2015, 13:15

The naturals in most of the Scriabin example are inconsistent but pleasant to read. However the ones in the LH of measure 3 are too close to the following note heads for no reason other than bad engraving.

Vaughan, what does "sloping according to the extreme note" mean?
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