Looking for commentary on some of my work

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Schonbergian
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Looking for commentary on some of my work

Post by Schonbergian » 03 Feb 2017, 02:30

New user on this forum, but been lurking for a while. As someone who's disgusted with the state of most modern "music engraving", it's refreshing to find others that actually care about craftsmanship and quality.

I'm looking for some commentary on my scores, mostly for in-house choir use so far. This example (as with all my work) is engraved using LilyPond with Abraham Lee's phenomenal Cadence music font. I've attempted to keep old traditions while embracing the best of what modern practice has to offer.
Attachments
Exaltabo Te.pdf
(131.73 KiB) Downloaded 144 times

Christof Schardt
Posts: 25
Joined: 17 Jun 2016, 10:00

Re: Looking for commentary on some of my work

Post by Christof Schardt » 03 Feb 2017, 08:36

Nice work! I particularly like the somewhat ancient appearance. Just two comments:

1. To make it perfect you could add some missing lyrics extenders (after "te" in bars 2,3 etc., after "-ne," in bars 6,10,..)

2. There is room left for an additional staff on the last page. If you would stretch it to one line more, some of the the rather dense systems (bar 15, bar 38) would probably get a more pleasant appearance. BTW: Does lilypond provide a command like "stretch to one line more" or similar?
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harpsi
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Joined: 08 Oct 2015, 10:30

Re: Looking for commentary on some of my work

Post by harpsi » 03 Feb 2017, 09:40

Your idea is to keep staff pairs in the spacing, like 1 tight 2 wide 3 tight 4 wide 5. Is that right?

Personally I would adjust that, so that it becomes less pronounced. First and second systems would get a more harmonic look (to my taste) if the whitespace between staves were more evenly distributed.

Why do you have an extra bracket for Tenor and Quintus? Just curious.

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John Ruggero
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Re: Looking for commentary on some of my work

Post by John Ruggero » 03 Feb 2017, 12:46

I agree with all of the comments thus far. It has a very nice appearance, but is a little dense and some final notes in measures are pushed too close to the bar lines.

A few others:

1. The first note in each measure seems rather close to the bar line, which adds to the dense impression.
2. The G clefs on the first system are not centered over the F clefs.
3. The straight brackets seems a little far from the left bar lines and a little too close to the braces.
4. I've never understood the logic of periods placed after titles, composer names etc., which are not sentences or abbreviations. I wish this particular old tradition would remain buried.
5. The title is too close to the music and composer name.
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Schonbergian
Posts: 147
Joined: 03 Feb 2017, 02:25
Location: Toronto

Re: Looking for commentary on some of my work

Post by Schonbergian » 03 Feb 2017, 14:50

Thanks for the comments so far, nice to get some feedback from professionals.
harpsi wrote:
03 Feb 2017, 09:40
Your idea is to keep staff pairs in the spacing, like 1 tight 2 wide 3 tight 4 wide 5. Is that right?

Personally I would adjust that, so that it becomes less pronounced. First and second systems would get a more harmonic look (to my taste) if the whitespace between staves were more evenly distributed.

Why do you have an extra bracket for Tenor and Quintus? Just curious.
For this usage Tenor and Quintus were divisi baritones and it was found to be easier to find the bracket within a group of five staves. LP does have an option to force a certain number of systems, I will look at that.

Schonbergian
Posts: 147
Joined: 03 Feb 2017, 02:25
Location: Toronto

Re: Looking for commentary on some of my work

Post by Schonbergian » 03 Feb 2017, 15:05

Here is version two with the following changes as per your recommendations:
- More space between title and music/composer name.
- Bracket removed - the StaffGroup used was causing the spacing issues pointed out by harpsi. Until I know of a way to correct that within LP the bracket will not be used.
- 9th system added to balance to 3/page.
- some lyric extenders readded. I generally am not a fan of them, especially when they seem to be overused in modern scores, but I have retained them for all of the most egregious melismata in the score. Generally, for any melismata over a bar long or with an exceptionally short syllable, I will add an extender. Open to debate on this though.
John Ruggero wrote:
03 Feb 2017, 12:46
I agree with all of the comments thus far. It has a very nice appearance, but is a little dense and some final notes in measures are pushed too close to the bar lines.

A few others:

1. The first note in each measure seems rather close to the bar line, which adds to the dense impression.
I will do some research and see if this can be fixed. Upon further examination, I do agree with you, I'm just attempting to figure out the remedy.
2. The G clefs on the first system are not centered over the F clefs.
I believe this is because LP is centering the clefs based off the left edge rather than the optical centre, and because the Cadence treble clef is slanted that far to the left it creates the illusion of not being centred. I am, at present, unsure how to fix this - perhaps tisimst (Abraham) can shed some light on the subject.
3. The straight brackets seems a little far from the left bar lines and a little too close to the braces.
Agreed, and partially remedied by the new lack of a bracket.
4. I've never understood the logic of periods placed after titles, composer names etc., which are not sentences or abbreviations. I wish this particular old tradition would remain buried.
I like the look - suppose we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.
5. The title is too close to the music and composer name.
Fixed.
Attachments
Exaltabo Te v2.pdf
(125.83 KiB) Downloaded 79 times

Christof Schardt
Posts: 25
Joined: 17 Jun 2016, 10:00

Re: Looking for commentary on some of my work

Post by Christof Schardt » 03 Feb 2017, 16:15

Lyrics extenders still missing in system one. I think it is indeed debatable for short lines (from which length on should they be drawn?).
Gut here the "te" and "ne," go over 4-5 notes, so I would not leave them out. It also would be inconsistent to other parts of the score.
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John Ruggero
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Re: Looking for commentary on some of my work

Post by John Ruggero » 05 Feb 2017, 17:53

Even better! Given the white space between the systems, you might enlarge the space between the staves themselves, which would give a little more room between the lyrics and music.

I agree with Christof about the extenders.

At first I thought it was only on the first line where the treble clefs seemed off center. I thought it had something to do with the ranges placed before the clefs. But now I see that it is just a characteristic of the clefs themselves. Probably nothing to be done except modifying the glyphs.
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

Schonbergian
Posts: 147
Joined: 03 Feb 2017, 02:25
Location: Toronto

Re: Looking for commentary on some of my work

Post by Schonbergian » 05 Feb 2017, 20:17

I'm contemplating enlarging the staves themselves. I like the current appearance without too much white space within the systems (I feel that most modern engraving is far too spaced out) but definitely see your point about the inter-system spacing.

Is this any better to your eyes? I moved the system size up one level, which I think preserves my desire for density while dealing better with the white space issue.
Attachments
Exaltabo Te v3.pdf
(127.4 KiB) Downloaded 80 times

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John Ruggero
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Re: Looking for commentary on some of my work

Post by John Ruggero » 06 Feb 2017, 02:15

Yes I do like that better. I a not convinced, however, that the lyric line should appear closer to the stave below than to the stave to which it belongs, or even be half way in between. But someone who actually does choral engraving might differ with me.
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

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