A modern looking score in 2018?

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OCTO
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Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by OCTO » 23 Jun 2018, 09:01

teacue wrote:
21 Jun 2018, 22:48
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.
I think that the theme and questions are perfectly suited for the forum. The only "problem" I see here is discrepancy in theory VS practice, or in vitro VS in vivo.
The music notation is an extremely interwoven system of different objects and positions, so anyone willing to improve it is free to do it in vivo and in practice. Just an imaginative speculation is closer to philosophy than in notation.
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odod
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Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by odod » 23 Jun 2018, 11:00

OCTO wrote:
23 Jun 2018, 09:01
teacue wrote:
21 Jun 2018, 22:48
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.
I think that the theme and questions are perfectly suited for the forum. The only "problem" I see here is discrepancy in theory VS practice, or in vitro VS in vivo.
The music notation is an extremely interwoven system of different objects and positions, so anyone willing to improve it is free to do it in vivo and in practice. Just an imaginative speculation is closer to philosophy than in notation.
i'm totally agree with you OCTO
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Schonbergian
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Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by Schonbergian » 23 Jun 2018, 13:13

I think there were two separate questions here: the purely aesthetic design of the items on the page, and the underlying layout.

Regarding the former, this presents some difficulty, as many "modern design elements" (razor-thin line weights and edges, sharp angles, varying soft colours) are simply incompatible with the fundamental aim of printed music on a page. That being said, publishers have succeeded in crafting scores that look more modern but are still of high quality (1990s Carus scores, Henle, Wiener Urtext computer scores, Schott from pretty much the 1960s onward), to say nothing of the contributions of members here. Vienna or Abraham's Cadence font are ones I would define as modern, despite their relatively heavy weights: this is because of their smoothness and inconspicuity to my eyes. Even Bravura looks modern to me, despite the same characteristics.

I echo what John said about reinventing the wheel of notation merely to make a score seem more modern. There's just no point.

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John Ruggero
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Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by John Ruggero » 23 Jun 2018, 19:17

I agree with OCTO and Schonbergian. What is missing from the discussion are specifics.
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teacue
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Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by teacue » 24 Jun 2018, 09:15

OCTO wrote:Just an imaginative speculation is closer to philosophy than in notation.
John Ruggero wrote:What is missing from the discussion are specifics.
My first post was indeed rather general.
But the answers I got leaded fast to a basic debate, leading then to some theoretical answers from my side.
This is definitely not what I wanted.

Why I ask is because I do not know at the moment exactly what I am searching for.
This is not a philosophical idea but an evolving idea on how could a score look like based on what I like or don't like, appreciate do not appreciate, understand or do not understand in note engraving.
My lack of more knowledge in certain aspects of engraving is the reason why I come here to ask for suggestions, advices or general thoughts on this subject.
But as in the first answers I got, some design choices were almost excluded I must confess that this irritated me.
Excluding the use of sans serif text font from the beginning as OCTO wrote, is for me difficult to understand and not an option for me.
Stating that changes motivated by style are doomed to failure as John Ruggero wrote, irritates me also in a forum where a lot is exactly about style and micro style.
Searching for a certain style in notation is to me as legitimated as choosing a font for any kind of text.
Honestly I can't imagine that one can even question this, sorry.
I really do like to learn but I try to avoid too categorical opinions.

Trying to be more specific / precise / practical in my questions:
I stated that I do not know exactly what I am looking for but there are a few things I am following.
I am searching for an overall look of scores that would be a little less decorated / curved / baroque.
At first sight this would mean to me two practical solutions:
1. a less curved design of the main music symbols, in particular clefs, flags and rests
2. the use of sans serif (or gentle serif) for dynamics, numbers and all kind of text like lyrics, title, instructions ...

The first point is for me the most difficult one.
Flags
For example the Boulez flags, though almost exactly reflecting what I am searching for, they are not so nice to my eyes.
I find the flags from odod font in this thread much more pleasant:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=339&start=30
And I would really like to experiment with these flags.
In fact I do like handwritten fonts but I also find the comment of John Ruggero about the "improvisation" caracter of handwritten fonts something to consider.

Clefs
I still could not find clefs in a normal font,.
I like the clef founded in in the hand written Jazz fonts "Music Notation Jazz" (as one can see at the Elbsounds Music Font Comparison site) but it has of course this strong jazzy look as known from the real book, so probably a too strong color.
Editing and "consolidating" the design of these particular clefs could be a begin.
At the moment I have no additional suggestion and no clue what existing music font I could use for my purpose.

Braces
I am not sure if I should look for another design for braces.
I am also wondering how much curved can coexist with less curved design.
I tend to think that the usual curved braces can live with a less curved music font.
BTW these are very practical questions for me, but due to the lack of an appropriate font I cannot be more practical and show an example.
Any font suggestion is of course welcome.

The second point is less difficult for me first because I do not exclude the use of sans serif font.
Some members do exclude this, ok, but I do not.
In fact I used during a long time a Swiss Condensed font for lyrics and chord symbols.
Only in the last years I changed this (mostly influenced by advices I could find in forums like notat.io and others) and in order to get a more consistent look I finally used a Garamond font for almost everything.
But a Garamond font is nice for a classical style and today, because of my wish for another style I would like to get back to the use of sans serif.
At the moment I am considering Kozuka Gothic or Meta Medium for chord symbols (almost all my scores include chord symbols) and either a Futura Condensed or a Frutiger Condensed for Lyrics.
I like also a lot Gill Sans and Franklin Gothic as benwiggy suggested, thanks you for these suggestions.
I am also aware that it's in most cases probably better not to use several fonts.

Dynamics
Well I mention this though I already can imagine that no one in this forum would ever consider to change the look of dynamic symbols.
I can imagine this and as I mentioned in another post I even realize how loud dynamic symbols can be when there are a lot of them.
Maybe a softer serif font could be a way, I still not have found one and I do not exclude a sans serif font.
But in fact I find choosing text fonts difficult without first having found a music font.

For titles I intend to use very specific fonts in the same way odod did in the Threnody score.
As I have to engrave notes for Musicals I would then use the fonts that I used or created for the titles of posters and programm booklet of the musicals.

These are the"thin" results I have today but I am quite sure that at some points I will find the right solutions for my purpose.
Of course any help from here would be welcome.

I could be more practical and upload some samples of my works but first they do not reflect at all what I am searching for at the moment and second even if I had to engrave for my job during decades, my engraving aims have always been mostly practical and the esthetical aspects were quite secondary.
This is only during the last years that I tried to achieve a better result and I know I have a lot to learn.
But as it can in no way be compared to what a lot of members show on this forum it does not make any sense to show my scores.
Nonetheless should someone be curious my works can be seen in the view material page of my website (see my signature).
These are songbooks and excerpts from orchestra scores as view material for customers.

A side note: at the moment I use MT-Cadence in Dorico rather than Bravura which I find a tad too thick.

EDIT
I spend some hours today to design a G-Clef:
teacue-clef-de-sol.jpg
teacue-clef-de-sol.jpg (28.68 KiB) Viewed 594 times
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Schonbergian
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Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by Schonbergian » 24 Jun 2018, 23:41

teacue wrote:
24 Jun 2018, 09:15
Excluding the use of sans serif text font from the beginning as OCTO wrote, is for me difficult to understand and not an option for me.
Because all music fonts are serif and mixing a sans-serif in (barring the titling and front matter, as Schott does) doesn't work stylistically. Vienna/Scorlatti are about as close to "sans-serif" as you can get and they still look very "baroque" (to use your word)
Trying to be more specific / precise / practical in my questions:
I stated that I do not know exactly what I am looking for but there are a few things I am following.
I am searching for an overall look of scores that would be a little less decorated / curved / baroque.
At first sight this would mean to me two practical solutions:
1. a less curved design of the main music symbols, in particular clefs, flags and rests
2. the use of sans serif (or gentle serif) for dynamics, numbers and all kind of text like lyrics, title, instructions ...
This is what I truly don't understand. You're trying to make something that's less ostentatious by searching for and/or creating symbols that will inherently catch the eye because of their striking difference to those used everywhere else in music. I must confess that I don't see the point in this.

There's certainly room for experimentation and different styles within music; I think what you propose is counter-productive to your aims.

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odod
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Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by odod » 25 Jun 2018, 03:01

teacue wrote:
24 Jun 2018, 09:15

Trying to be more specific / precise / practical in my questions:
I stated that I do not know exactly what I am looking for but there are a few things I am following.
I am searching for an overall look of scores that would be a little less decorated / curved / baroque.
At first sight this would mean to me two practical solutions:
1. a less curved design of the main music symbols, in particular clefs, flags and rests
2. the use of sans serif (or gentle serif) for dynamics, numbers and all kind of text like lyrics, title, instructions ...
honestly, i am more worried about the slur placement instead of the font selection :( ..
like in this case i am really struggling with the slur placement (and yeah it is curve) .. sometimes if the job is tooo much we get burden .. and we forgot things instantly :(
e.g Rules, Attention to details, etc.

like in this picture,
m46 ..
sample_0002.png
sample_0002.png (1.6 MiB) Viewed 580 times
so i think, you do not need to worry about the font, engraving is an art, that is why sometimes artists don't follow the rules, the real artists were those who "invented their own stylistic art into a working ground rule every time they started a new one, and sometimes new things came after one and another". feel free to contact me personally if you are interested in developing music font together (i have tons of ideas)
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OCTO
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Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by OCTO » 25 Jun 2018, 07:26

Here is an example of exclusively using sans, pay attention how larger font is used to compensate the lack of attention. Thus it makes less sense in music spacing, both the vertical and horizontal.
The piano symbol :piano appears in some cases as a circle, almost as harmonics or other effect symbol.
The ff symbol is almost disappearing.

The composer personally told me about his distaste for "curved" fonts, and he had an ideal in some of the french scores (that use sans) and in the french music in general, as he studied in Paris (Messiaen).
Except that the score is very nice engraved, the better effect he would get with just with a serif font. I need to engage myself much more in order to see the all important details.
Interestingly, the 8va symbol is kept standard (serif).
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John Ruggero
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Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by John Ruggero » 25 Jun 2018, 15:21

The score given by OCTO looks very much like what we produced in the 1970s because serif fonts were not available for the Leroy lettering machine that was used for technical drawing at that time. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_lettering

It gives a machine-like appearance that might be appropriate for some music. I don't care much for the underlining and small size of the title, however.

odod, you need to take a close look at some older well-engraved piano scores to see how those various slur situations were handled. The slurs don't always have to be brought down to the stems when avoiding accidentals. And intersecting the stem on a flat or natural is always a possibility as a last resort if the slurs would otherwise have a bad shape.
Last edited by John Ruggero on 26 Jun 2018, 16:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Schonbergian
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Re: A modern looking score in 2018?

Post by Schonbergian » 26 Jun 2018, 00:00

Probably the closest we've gotten to that style are the Novello "block" dynamic marks - which I don't feel particularly intrude on the readibility of the score. Example: http://ks.petruccimusiclibrary.org/file ... a.Oboe.pdf (Also the titling for old Universal Edition scores)

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