Tied chords

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John Ruggero
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Re: Tied chords

Post by John Ruggero » 04 May 2017, 18:47

Thanks, Knut. I am glad the ties can be adjusted by hand. I am sure that you have done the best that can be done with those ties in Dorico, yet to me they stand out too much and overwhelm the noteheads.

I just noticed that the top chord in measure 2 did not stay over the bottom one when the pedal tone was moved to the other side. But maybe it is to much to ask software to keep up with something like that.
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Re: Tied chords

Post by Knut » 04 May 2017, 19:40

John Ruggero wrote:
04 May 2017, 18:47
Thanks, Knut. I am glad the ties can be adjusted by hand. I am sure that you have done the best that can be done with those ties in Dorico, yet to me they stand out too much and overwhelm the noteheads.
I just made the ends thinner. If you don't mind thinner ties over all, the proportions might be improved. To me, however, ties of this length need to be this thick in the center to give sufficient contrast. My problem with the Dorico ties is that the tapering doesn't go all the way to the ends, which makes them look rather unnatural.
John Ruggero wrote:
04 May 2017, 18:47
I just noticed that the top chord in measure 2 did not stay over the bottom one when the pedal tone was moved to the other side. But maybe it is to much to ask software to keep up with something like that.
I've discussed this with Daniel previously. You are correct in that this is at least not a trivial issue to fix, since it is dependent on both staves being intelligently aware of each other's spacing. It might be solved at some point, but I wouldn't hold my breath. That said, the example from the printed edition that Ben posted is apparently spaced the same way. Personally, I don't mind it that much in this case, since the stems go in opposite directions.

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Re: Tied chords

Post by John Ruggero » 04 May 2017, 23:14

Knut wrote:
04 May 2017, 19:40
To me, however, ties of this length need to be this thick in the center to give sufficient contrast. My problem with the Dorico ties is that the tapering doesn't go all the way to the ends, which makes them look rather unnatural.
Thanks for that explanation, Knut, which accords completely with and explains my intuitive reaction. A tie or slur needs delicacy but also enough heft in the middle to make it visible.
Knut wrote:
04 May 2017, 19:40
I've discussed this with Daniel previously.
Yes, we had a previous discussion regarding the positioning of the chords over each other in Chopin's Etude no. 2
Knut wrote:
04 May 2017, 19:40
at said, the example from the printed edition that Ben posted is apparently spaced the same way. Personally, I don't mind it that much in this case, since the stems go in opposite directions.
As much as one can be sure of such things, I don't think that I have seen that kind of positioning in good editions of piano music. Looking through a couple of editions (again Chopin Scherzi in Wiener Urtext and Paderewski) all cases where a note (or notes) is offset either before or after a chord, the parts that are similar in some way, for example, in rhythm or (if the rhythm is the same) similar in the number of notes or because they are the most important voices, are always directly over each other so that the parts that properly belong together, are together.
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Re: Tied chords

Post by Knut » 05 May 2017, 11:25

John Ruggero wrote:
04 May 2017, 23:14
As much as one can be sure of such things, I don't think that I have seen that kind of positioning in good editions of piano music. Looking through a couple of editions (again Chopin Scherzi in Wiener Urtext and Paderewski) all cases where a note (or notes) is offset either before or after a chord, the parts that are similar in some way, for example, in rhythm or (if the rhythm is the same) similar in the number of notes or because they are the most important voices, are always directly over each other so that the parts that properly belong together, are together.
Given the overwhelming representation of the "conventional", context-independent spacing of offset notes, I think you might be a bit too strict in your characterization that no good edition employs this kind of spacing. Surely there must be some that are still otherwise good editions, even if this aspect is overlooked.

Even so, after some more thought, Here's another solution, which seems to me to be the least obtrusive:

Skjermbilde 2017-05-05 kl. 13.13.56.png
Skjermbilde 2017-05-05 kl. 13.13.56.png (98.33 KiB) Viewed 2004 times

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Re: Tied chords

Post by John Ruggero » 05 May 2017, 13:28

Knut, I didn't mean to say that good editions never use this distribution, just that I don't remember ever seeing it and only found the other system in the editions I consulted, so I concluded that it was more rare. As far as your last version, I think that the version with the pedal tone placed at the beginning of the measure, where we expect it, is more natural because then the tied chord does not visually interrupt the moving voice as much.
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Re: Tied chords

Post by Knut » 05 May 2017, 14:09

John Ruggero wrote:
05 May 2017, 13:28
Knut, I didn't mean to say that good editions never use this distribution, just that I don't remember ever seeing it and only found the other system in the editions I consulted, so I concluded that it was more rare. As far as your last version, I think that the version with the pedal tone placed at the beginning of the measure, where we expect it, is more natural because then the tied chord does not visually interrupt the moving voice as much.
OK, I understand.

The only viable alternative that I can see for the lower staff is this, which rubs me the wrong way because of the noehead's interaction with the two ties:
Skjermbilde 2017-05-05 kl. 15.55.22.png
Skjermbilde 2017-05-05 kl. 15.55.22.png (72.26 KiB) Viewed 1987 times
There's another reason not to care that much whether the half notes are vertically aligned, though. Given that they are tied/held this seems to me to be a matter of aesthetics only. If one or more notes were moving and to be acted upon, alignment would be much more important.

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Re: Tied chords

Post by John Ruggero » 05 May 2017, 15:42

Knut wrote:
05 May 2017, 14:09
The only viable alternative that I can see for the lower staff is this, which rubs me the wrong way because of the noehead's interaction with the two ties:
I agree about the ties and notehead, but the upper tie doesn't have to be so close to the notehead, and if they are Finale ties, they are much less of problem. See the version I posted at the beginning. I think that it is a very tangible illustration of why Finale ties Finale are superior to Dorico ties: The taper gets them out of the way of the note heads.
Knut wrote:
05 May 2017, 14:09
Given that they are tied/held this seems to me to be a matter of aesthetics only. If one or more notes were moving and to be acted upon, alignment would be much more important.
That had occurred to me as well. But even were this a piano piece, where the LH chord would be held by the sustaining pedal, the visual dissonance would still bother me while playing, especially since it looks unfamiliar. It would actually bother me a lot more than the situation in the Chopin Etude, because in cases like that one has encountered both versions, and there are no ties involved.
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Re: Tied chords

Post by Knut » 05 May 2017, 20:50

John Ruggero wrote:
05 May 2017, 15:42
I agree about the ties and notehead, but the upper tie doesn't have to be so close to the notehead, and if they are Finale ties, they are much less of problem. See the version I posted at the beginning. I think that it is a very tangible illustration of why Finale ties Finale are superior to Dorico ties: The taper gets them out of the way of the note heads.
Your version is certainly better, but I'm still bothered by the ties there. Somehow. moving the the r.h. chord on beat one just for the sake of alignment also bothers me, because of the gap left after the barline. I would appreciate seeing more examples of this practice if you have any.
John Ruggero wrote:
05 May 2017, 15:42
That had occurred to me as well. But even were this a piano piece, where the LH chord would be held by the sustaining pedal, the visual dissonance would still bother me while playing, especially since it looks unfamiliar. It would actually bother me a lot more than the situation in the Chopin Etude, because in cases like that one has encountered both versions, and there are no ties involved.
That's interesting. I'm quite sure I've encountered the version you disapprove of in cases like this as well. I'll try to find some examples.

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Re: Tied chords

Post by John Ruggero » 06 May 2017, 01:18

Here is an example that is a feast of similar instances starting on page one and running throughout:

http://ks.imslp.net/files/imglnks/usimg ... 4_scan.pdf

Schirmer's engraving of this period, whoever did it, is a high point for me. And there is a good page turn on every right page, not always easy to accomplish given the constraints. Yet the appearance is generally restful and uncrowded. As in so much fine engraving, one sees the indentation of the note in measures that contain only a single note. That may be why the gap in the OP example doesn't bother me at all.
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Re: Tied chords

Post by Knut » 06 May 2017, 10:23

Thanks John! This is indeed a feast, as you say. I'm not that used to reading piano scores with such an aggressive push of full measure notes (even right of center in some cases), so that may have something to do with this seeming somewhat unfamiliar to me. In most cases I would expect the alignment to be made by the horizontal order of the overlapping notes only, but when the measures consists of single note value chords on multiple stems, there's no reason not to make use of the gap towards the left barline when offsetting notes.

In this particular score, the horizontal stacking of chords are also largely dependent on the chords being written on more than two stems. This makes for some interesting cases where even your principles aren't followed:
Skjermbilde 2017-05-06 kl. 11.55.27.png
Skjermbilde 2017-05-06 kl. 11.55.27.png (131.18 KiB) Viewed 1945 times
Looking through the Debussy Preludes to get another take on this, it is quite clear that this is not an aspect of piano music engraving to which I've paid close enough attention. Even if the rule that 'similar note values or moving parts should be aligned vertically' is followed in many cases here as well, the engraving does not seem entirely consistent in this regard. I'll start another thread to discuss some of my findings, so as not to completely sidetrack and hijack this one (which probably is too late already).

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