A modern looking score in 2018?

Have your scores reviewed by other users. Comment on old and new published scores and on publishers.
User avatar
tisimst
Posts: 308
Joined: 08 Oct 2015, 17:57
Location: UT, USA
Contact:

Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by tisimst » 20 Jun 2018, 20:20

OCTO wrote:
20 Jun 2018, 19:01
Simply said, a good serif font is in a harmony with musical environment.
That being said, the unanswered question is, does such a “sans serif” design exist for music that maintains that cohesiveness with a nice sans serif text font?

What else should be considered about the general typography? What do we do or expect differently now than what was done in the previous century? Have we improved? What have we lost in the process of becoming “modern”? What is different about laying out music on a page versus text? Are there things we could be taking advantage of that we aren’t? Comparing music and text isn’t completely fair because text can be used in much more isolated, fragmented contexts (like a logo with four letters). Since music is 99% functional and less about grabbing attention, I suppose it would be best to compare a music score with books of text and instruction manuals.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of cultural inertia as to what people expect a page of music to look like. It’s hard to change direction (or even be accepted) without some really compelling motivation.

Sorry for no answers, but I think those are important questions to consider in this thread beyond the sans vs. serif discussion.
Music Typeface Designer & Engraver - LilyPond | Sibelius | Finale | MuseScore | Dorico | SMuFL | Inkscape | FontForge
http://www.musictypefoundry.com

teacue
Posts: 12
Joined: 19 Dec 2017, 21:23

Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by teacue » 20 Jun 2018, 21:44

John Ruggero wrote:Braces and clefs are neutral, unchanging elements that should not call attention to themselves as they do in the example. Like most fonts that imitate handwriting, I think that the LSalgueiro example is too active and informal to produce a well-balanced page of engraved polyphonic music that looks like a finished product rather than an improvisation.
I find your comment interesting and I indeed can follow the term "improvisation".
I do hope that with your cultivated and pertinent sense for engraving you will at some point make suggestions for non-traditional fonts for text in a score.

odod wrote:.. i am more of a custom music fonts guy, i dislike maestro and opus or any other default fonts from engraving software. The fact that i’ve collected so many samples from old plate engraving had the intention of learning how those beautiful engraving was done. I mean how they put all the notes and everything evenly without computer is just a masterpiece of a stylistic mind.
Having read several of your threads I like the thoughts you share with your approach and your search and they are usefull to me.
And yes I also find that some old engraving are real piece of art.
On the other side I like that art is changing and I am really curious to see how the engraving art can evolve.
odod wrote:The point is how to make your score easily readable even though its a “complex” composition, but how to put all the pieces together into an art and fits the composers or client’s needs that is all what you need.
Creating art and fitting clients needs sound to me like finding the philosophal stone ;)

tisimst" wrote:That being said, the unanswered question is, does such a “sans serif” design exist for music that maintains that cohesiveness with a nice sans serif text font?
Thanks a lot for this question.
You express what I am asking and searching in a much clearer way than I do :)
tisimst" wrote:What else should be considered about the general typography? What do we do or expect differently now than what was done in the previous century? Have we improved? What have we lost in the process of becoming “modern”? What is different about laying out music on a page versus text? Are there things we could be taking advantage of that we aren’t? Comparing music and text isn’t completely fair because text can be used in much more isolated, fragmented contexts (like a logo with four letters). Since music is 99% functional and less about grabbing attention, I suppose it would be best to compare a music score with books of text and instruction manuals.
Thanks also for all these questions, again you exactly point to what I try to find out!
tisimst" wrote:Unfortunately, there is a lot of cultural inertia as to what people expect a page of music to look like. It’s hard to change direction (or even be accepted) without some really compelling motivation.
I believe that creating something new that was never there before can be motivation for others to use or to ask for.
If you don't know what can exist then you probably do not ask for it.

Some parts of my music cannot be written in a traditional way because it makes use of some electronic instruments and effects.
Most of the time it is not worth the effort for a client to try to reproduce this kind of music and it is easier to use an audio playback.
Then I notate a staff in the score with instructions like Start Playback or Stop Playback.
But there are some electronic music parts which are sometimes not so difficult to reproduce and for this I think sometimes about finding a (new) way to notate the use of filters, delays and all this kind of sound manipulation.


Trying to be a little pragmatic I spend hours today to search for fonts (sans serif!) for lyrics and for dynamics.
BTW I find this very difficult!
But I noticed something curious: the act of searching and testing did influence very strongly my perception of serif fonts!
My mind was so concentrated on a nice and not to hard looking sans serif font that each time I inadvertantly selected a serif font I was schocked and it was as if the serif font was much too loud!
Of course it was not and I have nothing again serif fonts even if I am searching for alternatives.
But this teaches me again how my perception is extremely dependent of all kind of momentarily impressions and not always really reliable!
teacuemusic (Musicals)
youtube

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1271
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by John Ruggero » 20 Jun 2018, 22:55

teacue wrote:
20 Jun 2018, 21:44
...there are some electronic music parts which are sometimes not so difficult to reproduce and for this I think sometimes about finding a (new) way to notate the use of filters, delays and all this kind of sound manipulation.
What you are describing in this quote is the way that musical notation has always evolved. A composer tries to find a way to notate something that has never been notated before or improves on some previous notation, comes up with something that other composers like, and after the test of time, it becomes standard.

But replacing perfectly good notation for the sake of style is probably not going to happen, music being the most conservative of the art forms.

So if you were meaning the former, I am with you. If the latter, I agree with A. Arnstein, who embraced the many successful new 20th century notations but refused to reinvent the wheel.
Last edited by John Ruggero on 21 Jun 2018, 14:24, 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: 1082
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 06:52
Location: Sweden

Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by OCTO » 21 Jun 2018, 06:59

tisimst wrote:
20 Jun 2018, 20:20
OCTO wrote:
20 Jun 2018, 19:01
Simply said, a good serif font is in a harmony with musical environment.
That being said, the unanswered question is, does such a “sans serif” design exist for music that maintains that cohesiveness with a nice sans serif text font?
I am not sure if any quality sans-serif musical font does exist (yes some handwritten with equal line width).
But we should not be "blind": non serif (straight lines) do exist in musical notation such as staff, beams, barlines, ledger lines, stems, hairpins, and so on. The very important trick is to create a multiple dimensional notational-picture, where one things are transparent, other things pop out, another things are obscure, and so on. Having sans-serif texts and musical symbols along lines makes it flat looking and, truly, more difficult to read.

As John pointed out, the musical notation has been evolving, so I believe in that rather in a radical invention.
There were attempts made by some french publishers to promote sans (I believe some Ravel was done so, I can't remember now), some mid 20cent scores even promoted plain monospace, Universal Edition promoted for decades sans in some scores, yet now returning back to serif.
But I don't remember any score Im have seen in my life that has radically changed the general outlook of the musical types. I would be happy to see, of course.
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)

benwiggy
Posts: 179
Joined: 11 Apr 2016, 19:42

Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by benwiggy » 21 Jun 2018, 09:23

teacue wrote:
19 Jun 2018, 12:43
The fact that most serif fonts have these old school a and g which are known to be difficult to read for children and the reason why we have fonts with infant characters does not add to the readability of a serif font.
I'm not sure which letterforms of a and g you consider to be "old school". The a that has a 'hook' above the counter is used possibly by a majority of Serif faces -- Bodoni, Century, Minion, Times, Garamond, etc. But then, so does Helvetica, and this forum's own Sans typeface!

Alternatively, if you want Serif faces with a more geometric a (just a counter and serif, like a d without a stem), then there are plenty to choose from.

It's equally possible to find Sans faces that use the 'double loop' form of g: Gill Sans, Franklin Gothic, etc.

erelievonen
Posts: 96
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 16:12
Contact:

Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by erelievonen » 21 Jun 2018, 09:30

An analogy, in musical notation, for the difference between serif and sans-serif fonts could be the use of curved flags vs. straight flags.

For example, straight flags have been used since the 1950s by Universal Edition in the scores of Boulez, Stockhausen et al. These scores used straight (diagonal) flags, as well as sans serif fonts for titles and many other text items.

User avatar
David Ward
Posts: 236
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 19:50
Location: Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Contact:

Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by David Ward » 21 Jun 2018, 10:21

I've just checked three Boulez scores I have here. Two (but not Le marteau sans maître) have straight flags, but none use sans serif text fonts. I'm not sure that the straight flags do anything useful.

User avatar
odod
Posts: 133
Joined: 25 Nov 2015, 15:10

Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by odod » 21 Jun 2018, 14:49

some old engraving i've done, i think this one still has some errors on it :( since i am using Finale at the time, and i could not make it to transfer all the things inside Sibelius .. this one was the first mock up score.
maybe this is just an example of my approach doing so called "modern" music .. just maybe :)
I am not a big fan of TNR though :(
threnody_0001.png
threnody_0001.png (1.13 MiB) Viewed 678 times
LogicX, Cubase 5, MacMini i7, Macbook Pro 2015, PowerMac G5, Sibelius 8, Finale, Musescore, Reaper, Apogee Duet, Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII, FontLab, tons of Faith and Prayers

Serenade Music Engraving Service

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1271
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by John Ruggero » 21 Jun 2018, 15:05

Some experimental notation catches on and some doesn't.

For example, Chopin invented using small measured notes (as opposed to free small notes) to mean to play very lightly as if on a different plane of sound from the large notes (Etude op 25. no. 1). This was accepted by later composers because it is so intuitive, logical and because the esthetic invented by Chopin continues on.

Some of the modernist notation of the 20th century, like the straight flags, remains niche because later composers, like David Ward, have not found it to be useful.
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

teacue
Posts: 12
Joined: 19 Dec 2017, 21:23

Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by teacue » 21 Jun 2018, 22:48

@odod
I find the Threnody score really good looking, thank you for sharing.
Probably the composition in itself leads this score to look more modern than others.

To all who answered my questions:
I think it's time for me to draw some conclusions.
From the answers in this thread it seems that some quite fundamental but completely opposite points of view appeared quite fast.
Though it can lead to very interesting discussions this is absolutely not at all what I was aiming at.
Of course I was aware that what makes this forum great is the knowledge shared about traditional engraving.
And as in the past I found here a lot of wonderfull practical suggestions for music and text fonts for traditional engraving I naively thought I could also ask for such suggestions but for an engraving style that would differ from the traditional one.
I did not imagine that my questions could possibly initiate a debate about wether it makes sense or not to search for a "new" style or about the never ending discussion serif vs sans serif.

I come to the conclusion that this is not the right place to search advice for this very particular task and I prefer to stop asking about this.

I would like to thank you all for the thoughts you shared and the next time I will try to find a theme more appropriate to this great forum.
teacuemusic (Musicals)
youtube

Post Reply