Academic Research on Notation

Discuss the rules of notation, standard notation practices, efficient notation practices and graphic design.
DatOrganistTho
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Academic Research on Notation

Post by DatOrganistTho » 16 Apr 2017, 01:55

Has there been any academic research regarding music notation to this date that anyone knows of? I'm looking into a few sources, but I would like to know if any of you might know of something tucked away somewhere.
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Re: Academic Research on Notation

Post by benwiggy » 16 Apr 2017, 07:55

What sort of research exactly? Do you mean the History of notation? Or computer representation of notation? Or something else?

There is a huge wealth of research into historical forms and the development of Western notation (and I dare say other types). I'd be surprised if you couldn't find a considerable amount on that.

For computer representation, Donald Byrd is considered "the father of notational algorithms", and most of his work is online.
http://homes.soic.indiana.edu/donbyrd/DonPapers.htm

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Re: Academic Research on Notation

Post by DatOrganistTho » 16 Apr 2017, 23:13

benwiggy wrote:
16 Apr 2017, 07:55
What sort of research exactly? Do you mean the History of notation? Or computer representation of notation? Or something else?

There is a huge wealth of research into historical forms and the development of Western notation (and I dare say other types). I'd be surprised if you couldn't find a considerable amount on that.

For computer representation, Donald Byrd is considered "the father of notational algorithms", and most of his work is online.
http://homes.soic.indiana.edu/donbyrd/DonPapers.htm
Not so much the history of western notation but rather the history of typesetting standards. Does that make sense?
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Re: Academic Research on Notation

Post by John Ruggero » 17 Apr 2017, 12:17

DatOrganistTho wrote:
16 Apr 2017, 23:13
Not so much the history of western notation but rather the history of typesetting standards
That may well be a book that has yet to be written. There may be a few scholarly articles in the various musicological journals that you could investigate if you have access to JSTOR through a university.
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Re: Academic Research on Notation

Post by benwiggy » 18 Apr 2017, 15:20

DatOrganistTho wrote:
16 Apr 2017, 23:13
Not so much the history of western notation but rather the history of typesetting standards. Does that make sense?
"The great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from." ;)

Ted Ross's book, coupled with House Style Guides from various publishing houses, would be a good start. William Gamble wrote "Music engraving and printing: A historical and technical treatise" in 1923, which has some remarks about style. You may also glean some information from general music notation texts like Gardner Read's.

JSTOR contains over 16,000 articles on music notation. Skimming the titles of the first few hundred does not show anything particularly geared towards typesetting or the layout of the notation, but rather they are more concerned with the meaning of the symbols.

A detailed survey of music engraving standards would be a lifetime in compilation and a struggle to find a commercial publisher. Definitely several volumes in a slip-case, with academic discount.

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Re: Academic Research on Notation

Post by Fred G. Unn » 18 Apr 2017, 17:17

In addition to the above mentioned books, you may find "The Printed Note: 500 Years of Music Printing and Engraving" by A. Beverly Barksdale useful too. It was originally printed in 1957 as a "textbook-catalog" to accompany an exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art. (I have the 1981 reprint.) While the complete exhibition isn't included, lots of images and their descriptions are. Is that sort of what you are looking for?

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Re: Academic Research on Notation

Post by DatOrganistTho » 19 Apr 2017, 00:50

Fred G. Unn wrote:
18 Apr 2017, 17:17
In addition to the above mentioned books, you may find "The Printed Note: 500 Years of Music Printing and Engraving" by A. Beverly Barksdale useful too. It was originally printed in 1957 as a "textbook-catalog" to accompany an exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art. (I have the 1981 reprint.) While the complete exhibition isn't included, lots of images and their descriptions are. Is that sort of what you are looking for?
I actually saw that book and was very interested in reading it. I can't seem to find one close by. I'll see if I can find it.
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Re: Academic Research on Notation

Post by DatOrganistTho » 19 Apr 2017, 00:50

benwiggy wrote:
18 Apr 2017, 15:20
DatOrganistTho wrote:
16 Apr 2017, 23:13
Not so much the history of western notation but rather the history of typesetting standards. Does that make sense?
"The great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from." ;)

Ted Ross's book, coupled with House Style Guides from various publishing houses, would be a good start. William Gamble wrote "Music engraving and printing: A historical and technical treatise" in 1923, which has some remarks about style. You may also glean some information from general music notation texts like Gardner Read's.

JSTOR contains over 16,000 articles on music notation. Skimming the titles of the first few hundred does not show anything particularly geared towards typesetting or the layout of the notation, but rather they are more concerned with the meaning of the symbols.

A detailed survey of music engraving standards would be a lifetime in compilation and a struggle to find a commercial publisher. Definitely several volumes in a slip-case, with academic discount.

This is helpful and possible the start of a dissertation or series!
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Re: Academic Research on Notation

Post by benwiggy » 19 Apr 2017, 10:10

The British Library also publishes a slim volume on the history of music printing, though this doesn't cover the minutiae of style and practice.

There may well be literature in German, French and Italian about native publishing practices, which have been as idiomatic over the years as the music they have portrayed.

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Re: Academic Research on Notation

Post by Fred G. Unn » 19 Apr 2017, 14:45

DatOrganistTho wrote:
19 Apr 2017, 00:50
I can't seem to find one close by. I'll see if I can find it.
You can find copies for around $10 on Amazon, eBay, Abe Books, etc. If there's something in particular you are interested in, I could scan a couple of pages.

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