12/8 Question

Discuss the rules of notation, standard notation practices, efficient notation practices and graphic design.
Peter West
Posts: 129
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 18:26
Location: Cornwall, England
Contact:

Re: 12/8 Question

Post by Peter West » 10 Oct 2015, 16:21

Maybe his was not the best example, but it was the one most easily to hand on a busy day. however, the notation applies in 12/8 too, this example could be read as 12/8 with triplets removed and the notation would be the same, for this composer for Boosey at least.
Finale 2008/9/10/11/12/14, Sibelius 6/7.5, In Design CC 2015, Illustrator CS4

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1304
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: 12/8 Question

Post by John Ruggero » 10 Oct 2015, 20:55

But the notation would not be the same because the bracket notation for these triplets DOESN'T usually apply in 12/8.

My point was that the composer might very well have used 4/4 with triplets precisely because it let him use all those brackets to clarify the beats which were not available to him in 12/8. Arnstein used brackets for such "triplets" in 12/8 as well as 4/4 when there was a danger of confusion.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

Peter West
Posts: 129
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 18:26
Location: Cornwall, England
Contact:

Re: 12/8 Question

Post by Peter West » 12 Oct 2015, 07:20

John, I understand your point, but IN THIS SPECIFIC EXAMPLE I think you are over-analysing. The composer knows that his publisher will ask me to notate it this way for 4/4 or 12/8. In this specific example it is not relevant. For this composer we use crotchet rest at the head of the beat and two quaver rests at the tail of the beat whether in triplets or in 12/8, though this is contrary to the Boosey style sheet.

That is really the point I was making, that the style sheets are not totally inviolable if clarity is at risk by sticking to them.
Finale 2008/9/10/11/12/14, Sibelius 6/7.5, In Design CC 2015, Illustrator CS4

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1304
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: 12/8 Question

Post by John Ruggero » 12 Oct 2015, 15:39

I understand your point about Boosey's flexibility, Peter, but I am not clear as to what the normal Boosey mode is for 12/8 or 4/4 time in triplets. Would it normally exclude all quarter-rests like Arnstein? There was only an example for 3/8 in a post above concerning the Boosey style. Sorry if I missed something.

Here is part of your example notated in five ways. All are legible, but I think that Arnstein's would be foolproof for an orchestra player reading at sight.
12-8 example 2.jpg
Last edited by John Ruggero on 12 Oct 2015, 20:03, edited 1 time in total.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

User avatar
OCTO
Posts: 1110
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 06:52
Location: Sweden

Re: 12/8 Question

Post by OCTO » 12 Oct 2015, 16:30

John, interesting.
About no 2: triplet brackets are above music, while not completely correct in the frame of notation, is that the way Arnstein does for better legibility?
Freelance Composer. Self-Publisher.
Finale 25 • Sibelius 2018 • MuseScore 2 • Logic Pro X • Ableton Live 9 • Digital Performer 9 /// OS X El Capitan, (side system: Debian 9, Windows 10)

Peter West
Posts: 129
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 18:26
Location: Cornwall, England
Contact:

Re: 12/8 Question

Post by Peter West » 12 Oct 2015, 18:54

The brackets in 12/8 (Arnstein) do add to the clarity, and certainly would help a session player sight reading. This is in fact a Concerto solo part, which is a bit different, of course.

Generally I think (though I cannot speak for the senior Editor at Boosey) that there is a move towards the use of the quarter rest since David originally wrote the style guide. The style Guide was an attempt to rationalise the style of Boosey soon after he arrived so that engravers and proof readers working for him had a style set in print. However, both he and his successor remain flexible when some aspect of the style sheet does not work.

I think that generally speaking we can say that 1 and 3 are now the norm and have superceded the printed style sheet.

After moving to Durand/Salabert David created a style sheet for them based on their current general practice (2012). This style guide definitely shows a preference for the quarter rest at the head of the beat.
Finale 2008/9/10/11/12/14, Sibelius 6/7.5, In Design CC 2015, Illustrator CS4

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1304
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: 12/8 Question

Post by John Ruggero » 12 Oct 2015, 20:02

I am glad that you found that interesting, OCTO. Yes, the bracket placement is what I remember from Arnstein. I find it more legible in some cases, and it is therefore what I do today when appropriate.

Peter, Arnstein had devised various notational techniques to help quick comprehension of the music for pressure situations. I am going to mention them in this Forum as the situations arise.

It is interesting that Boosey used also the "Arnstein" system for 12/8 etc. at some point. Arnstein did quite a bit of work for Boosey, and I wonder if he had an influence. One of my high points as a copyist was doing the solo piano part to Ginestera's Piano Concerto no. 2. I think that it was semi-autography, and I either laid the solo part in the score for Ginesetera to orchestrate around, or it was a fair copy of the two piano score. I remember thinking that he was such a kind, gentle person.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

Peter West
Posts: 129
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 18:26
Location: Cornwall, England
Contact:

Re: 12/8 Question

Post by Peter West » 14 Oct 2015, 09:23

I just hunted down the relevant phrase in the Durand Salabert style sheet (also by David Bray who compiled the Boosey style sheet):

"on peut grouper les silences au début du group, mais pas à la fin."
Finale 2008/9/10/11/12/14, Sibelius 6/7.5, In Design CC 2015, Illustrator CS4

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1304
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: 12/8 Question

Post by John Ruggero » 14 Oct 2015, 21:17

Peter, as you know, the quarter rest to the front and not to the rear is the traditional one seen at "Brahms" in the example. The logic is clear: the more natural rhythm is quarter-eighth, not the syncopated eighth-quarter: see Y1 and Y2. The quarter rest is thus always placed on a downbeat and this greatly helps predictability and thus legibility.

This system is predicated on excluding the dotted quarter rest in favor of the quarter rest. The reason for not using both is shown at X1 and Y1: the quarter rest and the dotted quarter rest can be mistaken for each other, especially in the hand copying days. The reason for using the quarter rest and not two eighth-rests before the eighth note is shown at X2: there may be too many eight rests in a row. This is less of a problem with trailing eighth rests, because in many cases, a quarter rest will intervene, as in Brahms' second measure.

The Arnstein's "genius" was in realizing that by excluding the quarter rest, the dotted quarter rest could now be included, and this would clarify rhythm in meters like 6/8 9/8 12/8 in which there can be a myriad of rests. As with the traditional scheme, one is never unsure of the position of the quarter rest, it always falls on a strong beat, but there is no danger of mistaking it for quarter rest, since those are excluded, and we have the added advantage of a single symbol representing a complete group of three. This more clearly compartmentalizes the measure into its parts. The difference in clarity can be seen by comparing Brahms to Arnstein in the example. For me, Arnstein wins, even though both use three rest symbols in the first measure, and Arnstein uses few symbols in the second.
Brahms Sym 1 Rests.jpg
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

Peter West
Posts: 129
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 18:26
Location: Cornwall, England
Contact:

Re: 12/8 Question

Post by Peter West » 14 Oct 2015, 21:30

Sure, I understand the logic of how the various systems arose. It is interesting, I think, now that hand copying is almost obsolete, that the current generally preferred method is a mixture of methods, that is to say (ref your example above) X1 combined with Ornstein bar 2
Finale 2008/9/10/11/12/14, Sibelius 6/7.5, In Design CC 2015, Illustrator CS4

Post Reply