Resized staff and symbol sizes

Discuss the rules of notation, standard notation practices, efficient notation practices and graphic design.
User avatar
OCTO
Posts: 1084
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 06:52
Location: Sweden

Resized staff and symbol sizes

Post by OCTO » 06 Oct 2015, 10:46

I have checked numerous (older) scores and have found one interesting thing:
In music that contains both normal and resized staff (like violin sonatas), the resized staff has embolden fonts, lines and curves. That is not true with all modern notation software, which reduce all items equally.

I find often that full and resized staff do not use the same font collection.
I think that makes a beautiful outlook...

One thing that you can use is Illustrator, where you can edit it manually.
Freelance Composer. Self-Publisher.
Finale 25 • Sibelius 8 • MuseScore 2 • Logic Pro X • Ableton Live 9 • Digital Performer 9 /// OS X El Capitan, (side system: Debian 9, Windows 7)

Vaughan
Posts: 46
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 12:37

Re: Resized staff and symbol sizes

Post by Vaughan » 06 Oct 2015, 11:34

Do you mean including the music elements, like notes, rests, clefs, staff lines, etc.? I can imagine that text expressions in reduced staves are easier to read if they're slightly heavier or proportionally larger. I'll check some editions and get back to you.

Knut
Posts: 867
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 18:07
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: Resized staff and symbol sizes

Post by Knut » 06 Oct 2015, 13:58

In traditional plate engraving, different staff sizes use different punches with an increased 'boldness' as they get smaller, to obtain an even line with across staff sizes. This is the same principal used for type setting before the advent of computers.

Many modern text fonts have different optical sizes – versions of a font dedicated to different ranges of point size. The versions for small, caption size text are generally heavier and with increased spacing compared to the versions for larger, display text.

By the same principle, Lilypond uses different font versions for different staff sizes. The new SMuFL standard is also trying to replicate this with duplicate versions of symbols, slightly heavier than their 'normal' counterparts.

User avatar
Fred G. Unn
Posts: 185
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 13:24
Location: NYCish

Re: Resized staff and symbol sizes

Post by Fred G. Unn » 06 Oct 2015, 19:40

Knut wrote: Many modern text fonts have different optical sizes – versions of a font dedicated to different ranges of point size. The versions for small, caption size text are generally heavier and with increased spacing compared to the versions for larger, display text.
Yep, and I definitely try to use these as available. Adobe had a fantastic format in the 1990s when they had "Multiple Master" fonts available. With MM fonts, you could create an "instance" of the font that would be correctly scaled for whatever size you needed. Unfortunately that format pretty much died with the adoption of OpenType.

Here's some info about MM fonts and scaling of optical size from Robert Bringhurst's excellent book "The Elements of Typographic Style"

Image
Knut wrote: By the same principle, Lilypond uses different font versions for different staff sizes. The new SMuFL standard is also trying to replicate this with duplicate versions of symbols, slightly heavier than their 'normal' counterparts.
I didn't realize Lilypond was doing this. That's pretty cool! I assume the Steinberg notation product will do this as well as they are leading the charge with SmuFL.

Vaughan
Posts: 46
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 12:37

Re: Resized staff and symbol sizes

Post by Vaughan » 06 Oct 2015, 22:04

SMuFL is supposed to become the new standard and MakeMusic is also following the developments closely. Robert Piéchaud's November font is the first commercial [music] font to be completely SMuFL compliant and it works very well in Finale 2012 and 2014. It's usable in Sibelius but the compatibility isn't as optimal.

Knut
Posts: 867
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 18:07
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: Resized staff and symbol sizes

Post by Knut » 06 Oct 2015, 22:29

Fred G. Unn wrote: I didn't realize Lilypond was doing this. That's pretty cool! I assume the Steinberg notation product will do this as well as they are leading the charge with SmuFL.
Pretty cool indeed!

SMuFL's approach to this is much more limited, as it only attempts to solve such cases as Octo mentioned above (where two staff sizes exists within the same score). SMuFL stipulates an optional addition of alternate glyphs designed for display at a smaller staff size (around 75% of the original) within the same font. If scoring applications choose to take advantage of these glyphs, it will be possible to have more even weights in a score with two different staff sizes (e.g. a chamber music with solo instrument and accompaniment). However, given the limited number of code points available for this purpose and the vast number of glyphs constituting SMuFL's recommended symbol set, it's unlikely that this approach will result in anything beyond two weight options for the most commonly used symbols.

Lilypond's approach is the only one which matches the quality of modern professional text typography in this regard, as the program enables the use of different font styles within the same document, and as I see it, this is the only viable solution within the present font technology. From a music font designer's perspective, however, I would certainly dread making multiple versions of my 2000+ glyph (and counting) SMuFL compliant music font in progress. :shock:

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

Re: Resized staff and symbol sizes

Post by Peter West » 09 Oct 2015, 08:30

In Finale you can create one category for main staff and one for small staff. When the parts are extracted (this can't yet be done in linked parts), change the font definition of the category appropriate to the full staff size.
Finale 2008/9/10/11/12/14, Sibelius 6/7.5, In Design CC 2015, Illustrator CS4

Knut
Posts: 867
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 18:07
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: Resized staff and symbol sizes

Post by Knut » 12 Oct 2015, 22:59

Peter West wrote:In Finale you can create one category for main staff and one for small staff. When the parts are extracted (this can't yet be done in linked parts), change the font definition of the category appropriate to the full staff size.
That's a good solution for incorporating different text fonts at different simultaneous staff sizes. There is however no way to use different music fonts in the same way, which would be the equivalent to Lilypond.

User avatar
wess-music
Posts: 51
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 10:40

Re: Resized staff and symbol sizes

Post by wess-music » 30 Oct 2015, 22:37

Dear colleagues,

I agree with Knut, because what one can do is only to apply different font for the note heads. Many months ago I analysed this problem in Make Music forum.
Yesterday night I dedicated to Lilypond videos. My first impression is that this program is not form me considering that if I have to work on it I will need at least a month or even more to get use it and then to persuade my customers to have it and learn it, which will be the real problem. One more thing that is a first problem I see – the reason that for very large score there is not enough place. However, I bit the billet!
There are almost endless possibilities, considering the samples I've seen. Even though, many details remain below my aesthetic perception for a good engraved score. If you need something really very special the first help is Illustrator or Inkscape.

Very long time I dedicated to find plugin for Illustrator to select particular font that has been used within the project.
Thus man can select for instance the 75% size font (i.e. Maestro) and to apply outline on it.

I made an experiment within Illustrator with Finale output as a PDF file.
Within Finale I set for Default music font "custom music font" which is much thiner than any regular one. This font was set for the normal (100%) staff and for the (65-75%) solo or cue staff. Then in Illustrator I selected "Text object and applied "outline".The result was marvellous! There consisted layout for both (small and normal) staves.

Exactly in this moment I am considering another experiment and when its don I will place the result as PDF.

User avatar
OCTO
Posts: 1084
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 06:52
Location: Sweden

Re: Resized staff and symbol sizes

Post by OCTO » 30 Oct 2015, 23:45

wess-music wrote: I made an experiment within Illustrator with Finale output as a PDF file.
Within Finale I set for Default music font "custom music font" which is much thiner than any regular one. This font was set for the normal (100%) staff and for the (65-75%) solo or cue staff. Then in Illustrator I selected "Text object and applied "outline".The result was marvellous! There consisted layout for both (small and normal) staves.
This is one of the topics I want to start in Digital Notation Tools, exactly that about using Illustrator in the way you have described now, and it is the same way that I have learned from YOU.

I agree, the result is absolutely astonishing.
I have tried something similar with Inkscape, and time permitting, I will share it once here as well.
O
Freelance Composer. Self-Publisher.
Finale 25 • Sibelius 8 • MuseScore 2 • Logic Pro X • Ableton Live 9 • Digital Performer 9 /// OS X El Capitan, (side system: Debian 9, Windows 7)

Post Reply