E. Gould and the Double-staffed Multi-measure Rest

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John Ruggero
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E. Gould and the Double-staffed Multi-measure Rest

Post by John Ruggero » 08 Dec 2015, 22:51

E. Gould makes no mention of the standard double-staffed multi-measure rest in her book, Behind Bars, and a single example occurs on page 358, where it is almost obliterated by harp pedaling. This curious situation was first pointed out on the MakeMusic Forum:
http://forum.makemusic.com/default.aspx?f=6&m=462676

A page by Debussy illustrating many of these rests is attached.

A Lua plugin by Charles Lawrence is now available that allows easy insertion of this style of rest into Finale, not only for double staves, but triple and beyond. It may be found as a file attachment at the end of the thread given above.
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Debussy Harp1.pdf
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tisimst
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Re: E. Gould and the Double-staffed Multi-measure Rest

Post by tisimst » 09 Dec 2015, 04:33

Doing this in LilyPond is pretty straightforward. What does a triple/quadruple/+ staff MMR look like? Does it do the same kind of thing by putting the numeral between each set of staves?
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Peter West
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Re: E. Gould and the Double-staffed Multi-measure Rest

Post by Peter West » 09 Dec 2015, 10:21

Interestingly, some publishers prefer the centred number and some prefer the number above each staff.

I have the numbers 1-20 set up in my template for those publishers that want them, as expressions set to centre below the staff at a default that automatically positions most of them correctly. I then go through and add them with metals, then change the position of the default MMR rest numbers using a macro on a MIDI controller using Keyboard Maestro.

For me this is preferable to using code that I don't know how to control or override, even if it works fine. I prefer to keep as close as possible to standard functions in Finale.
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Re: E. Gould and the Double-staffed Multi-measure Rest

Post by Knut » 09 Dec 2015, 10:36

Peter West wrote: For me this is preferable to using code that I don't know how to control or override, even if it works fine. I prefer to keep as close as possible to standard functions in Finale.
I see your point. An additional problem is that the plug-in John mentioned (as far as I know) is font dependent. Certain very helpful plug-ins, like Jari's tremolo plug-in for instance, doesn't allow you to use custom fonts, and are therefore unusable for those of us that do, unfortunately.

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Re: E. Gould and the Double-staffed Multi-measure Rest

Post by John Ruggero » 09 Dec 2015, 23:00

tisimst wrote:
What does a triple/quadruple/+ staff MMR look like? Does it do the same kind of thing by putting the numeral between each set of staves?
For triple- or quadruple-staffed parts, it places numbers between every staff, i.e, 2 or 3 numbers respectively. Staff groups in pairs are required to do this.

For a pair of double-staffed parts as in a two-piano score, it puts a single number within each pair only, i. e. 2 total.
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Re: E. Gould and the Double-staffed Multi-measure Rest

Post by John Ruggero » 09 Dec 2015, 23:29

Peter West wrote:
Interestingly, some publishers prefer the centred number and some prefer the number above each staff.
I think this is an example of how computer limitations sometimes create a new standard. The single number has been standard for a very long time, but Finale is unable to cope with it because it cannot center an expression between two staves so that it will recenter automatically. The plugin centers the expression, but it must be rerun every time the distance between the staves is changed. This is actually very easy and efficient.

Knut wrote:
I see your point. An additional problem is that the plug-in John mentioned (as far as I know) is font dependent. Certain very helpful plug-ins, like Jari's tremolo plug-in for instance, doesn't allow you to use custom fonts, and are therefore unusable for those of us that do, unfortunately.
One can edit the number as an expression once it is inserted, and any font or size may be used. However, each number must be edited individually.
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Re: E. Gould and the Double-staffed Multi-measure Rest

Post by Knut » 10 Dec 2015, 12:04

OK, to dismiss this particular plug-in as 'useless' is unfair. Not all font dependent plug-ins allows for this kind of work around, though, and should ideally provide customization options to accommodate font specific variations. This would probably be more complicated for plug-in developers, so I don't mean to complain, just to point out the limitations of this approach.

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Re: E. Gould and the Double-staffed Multi-measure Rest

Post by John Ruggero » 10 Dec 2015, 18:10

Yes, this plug-in is far from useless and will save anyone who wishes to use the standard MM rests a lot of time, since it can process all the MM rests in a large work at once.

In any case, does anyone have a theory as to why E. Gould did not discuss this rest in her book?
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Re: E. Gould and the Double-staffed Multi-measure Rest

Post by Knut » 10 Dec 2015, 21:03

John Ruggero wrote:Yes, this plug-in is far from useless and will save anyone who wishes to use the standard MM rests a lot of time, since it can process all the MM rests in a large work at once.
Just to be clear, I didn't mean in general, just for the few of us who use unsupported third party fonts. Nor did I mean this plug-in exclusively.

Anyway, as for Gould's lack of discussion about the multi-measure rests in the context of the grand staff, I'm sure it's simply an oversight. There is a musical example featuring a double staffed flute part on p. 583, showing multi-rest numbers over each staff. Since many divisi parts also feature a centered number between staves for multiple rests, I would guess Gould is advocating this practice for grand staves as well.

As far as I can remember, this particular issue is not discussed in Kurt Stone's or Ted Ross' books either. This is at best an explanation, however, not an excuse for Gould not to mention it at all.

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Re: E. Gould and the Double-staffed Multi-measure Rest

Post by John Ruggero » 10 Dec 2015, 22:10

Knut, you are probably correct in that it is just an oversight. But I don't think she is advocates the other style for grand staves, because of page 358. It looks bad enough for double-staffed instrumental parts.

My pet theory is that she preferred to ignore the issue because it was so cumbersome to implement in Finale. (I don't know about Sibelius.) Perhaps she hoped that Finale and/or Sibelius would eventually add the capability and then she could explain it in the second edition. Or Finale and or Sibelius would never add it, it would die a peaceful death, and she would never have to explain it.
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