tied quavers everywhere!

Discuss the rules of notation, standard notation practices, efficient notation practices and graphic design.
benwiggy
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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by benwiggy » 20 Oct 2017, 06:38

Knut wrote:
19 Oct 2017, 23:05
I remember discussing it on the Finale forum in the past, but I'm unable to track down the thread.
We've discussed it before and you (!) recommended Berthold City Light Italic as the closest match. It's not perfect, but I've not been able to find anything closer since. Novello used the same font for a few other directions, but I doubt you'll get a complete alphabet.
The engraving in both examples is pretty poor. The other one is Stainer & Bell.
Schonbergian wrote:
19 Oct 2017, 22:24
At least in early 20th century English music, the final consonant is "placed" on the quaver. I haven't often seen this when the word ends with a vowel.
When you say "on the quaver", you mean "at the end of"? As I say, it often makes it rather precious and a bit silly to sing:
"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa <beat> aTTT!"
Every choir I know either puts the consonant on the beat (as they would if it weren't there), or exactly on the following half-beat in a King's Singers excessively precise way.

Knut
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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by Knut » 20 Oct 2017, 10:40

benwiggy wrote:
20 Oct 2017, 06:38
Knut wrote:
19 Oct 2017, 23:05
I remember discussing it on the Finale forum in the past, but I'm unable to track down the thread.
We've discussed it before and you (!) recommended Berthold City Light Italic as the closest match. It's not perfect, but I've not been able to find anything closer since. Novello used the same font for a few other directions, but I doubt you'll get a complete alphabet
Thanks, Ben! The contents of that discussion, as well as Berthold, has completely slipped my mind, even though I remember participating in it.
Given the simplicity of the forms, creating a font, even without a complete source symbol set, is fairly easy. But I would be curious to know if anyone here would consider using such a font if I were to create it.

Schonbergian
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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by Schonbergian » 20 Oct 2017, 14:19

benwiggy wrote:
20 Oct 2017, 06:38
Knut wrote:
19 Oct 2017, 23:05
I remember discussing it on the Finale forum in the past, but I'm unable to track down the thread.
We've discussed it before and you (!) recommended Berthold City Light Italic as the closest match. It's not perfect, but I've not been able to find anything closer since. Novello used the same font for a few other directions, but I doubt you'll get a complete alphabet.
The engraving in both examples is pretty poor. The other one is Stainer & Bell.
Schonbergian wrote:
19 Oct 2017, 22:24
At least in early 20th century English music, the final consonant is "placed" on the quaver. I haven't often seen this when the word ends with a vowel.
When you say "on the quaver", you mean "at the end of"? As I say, it often makes it rather precious and a bit silly to sing:
"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa <beat> aTTT!"
Every choir I know either puts the consonant on the beat (as they would if it weren't there), or exactly on the following half-beat in a King's Singers excessively precise way.
We would sing just the vowel sound for the full notated duration, and then end the word with the consonant sound on the downbeat (therefore completely ending the sound right on the quaver) In music without the tied quaver, we would normally subtract a quaver from the notated duration and end the singing "within" the notated duration; adding the quaver clarifies that the vowel is to be held throughout the bar.

benwiggy
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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by benwiggy » 20 Oct 2017, 16:02

In other words, that kind of confirms that it's not really a quaver, and most English choirs should (or would) sing it as if it were'nt there.

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John Ruggero
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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by John Ruggero » 20 Oct 2017, 16:08

On the OT. If actual overlaps are wanted, which I think is the case in some of the tied eighths in the example, then I think that tied quarter notes would be less fussy-looking and also more "accurate". That is what Beethoven etc. did when he wanted a tapered ending that overlaps other voices. The eighth note-eighth rest version suggests some kind of precise, clear-cut release on the "and" of the beat, which is exactly what it means in Beethoven, but is certainly not intended in the example.

As far as using this device to mean "hold full value", we already had such a notation in the 18th century: "ten." over the note. Then it was supplanted by an even better notation, the tenuto mark — . But then everything got messed up when composers started using the tenuto mark as an accent mark. Now composers are reduced to cumbersome, and really ugly notation like the above. And all because, we lack a good symbol for a mild emphasis. Someone invent one, please, and let's go back to using the tenuto mark to mean tenuto.
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OCTO
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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by OCTO » 20 Oct 2017, 18:31

Being to much in the contemporary music myself, I think this has become a fashion. Composers today are taking to much responsibility, leaving nothing to the performers.
I have seen not only tied to :3 but also tied to :1 - and that note is usually :piano :piano :piano :piano
And often that kind of ties are written by composers who never mastered any instrument, nor performed live on a concert.

In the old good times composers wrote just p espress. and one :5 note should be held the full length - without discussion.
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Knut
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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by Knut » 20 Oct 2017, 20:00

I can't really speak to this in the specific context of vocal music, but from a general instrumental point of view, I disagree that this is a needless notation perpetuated by certain control-freak composers. It seems very logical to me that ending a note between beats is much less conspicuous than ending it on the beat, simply because the pause becomes less heavy in the same way a note would. If that is indeed the effect you want, it makes sense that the notation would reflect it, rather than relying on the musician's awareness of any transitional passage he involved with.

Here's an interesting example from the beginning of the second movement of Ravel's Valses Nobles et Sentimentales:
Skjermbilde 2017-10-20 kl. 20.02.12.png
Skjermbilde 2017-10-20 kl. 20.02.12.png (524.69 KiB) Viewed 1758 times
Ending the horns slightly before the oboes and bassoons ensures a lighter touch to the end of the chords than what one might risk by letting all three instruments end simultaneously.

Ravel also uses this notation to great success whenever he wants a line to transition between instruments without notice. I doubt very much wether you would get the same effect without employing this specific notation.

As with virtually all somewhat advanced notational phenomenon, I am sure that this one is being misused by some composers. There is a time and place for everything, and I am certainly not advocating for using this notation without good reason. While tying to a sixteenth note might seem like an illustration of this fact, as OCTO suggests, it's legitimacy would depend on the meter and the tempo at hand.

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John Ruggero
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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by John Ruggero » 20 Oct 2017, 21:57

Knut, your example is exactly the kind of a special case where such a notation should be used since no musician would know to do it without help. And Ravel negates the impact of the eighth note—eighth rest as an abrupt, precise release by means of the hairpin.

But the normal tapering of notes is something musicians do as a matter of course. Trying to notate it in some exact way is absurd.
Last edited by John Ruggero on 20 Oct 2017, 22:11, edited 2 times in total.
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John Ruggero
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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by John Ruggero » 20 Oct 2017, 22:06

OCTO. perhaps implied in your post is that computer-composers have to notate everything literally for exact computer playback. Then they treat musicians iike computers. "Music" like this should stay on computers for other computers to listen to.
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David Ward
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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by David Ward » 21 Oct 2017, 09:56

John Ruggero wrote:
20 Oct 2017, 22:06
OCTO. perhaps implied in your post is that computer-composers have to notate everything literally for exact computer playback. Then they treat musicians like computers… …
Sometimes a real problem, I think.

That said, there are striking instances from the past of great pianist composers who have not necessarily written ideally for orchestra and are sometimes inconsiderate or even downright impractical in their demands on real live orchestral musicians. The piano, on which a few have perhaps over relied in the past, had the potential to be as misleading in relation to orchestral reality as is today's computer playback. A sensitive inner ear, if possible aided by practical experience, helps.

I find myself troubled by this in reverse when trying to concoct (and that is the best word) a piano reduction vocal score, but needs must…

(I've substantially edited what I posted here, as my first version was more than a little incoherent.)
Last edited by David Ward on 21 Oct 2017, 14:25, edited 1 time in total.

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