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Interesting notation alternative

Posted: 26 Feb 2022, 07:36
by bophead
Just came across this on the website of French composer but I think this would never become accepted:

https://www.dominiqueloup.com/en/amadeus-notation/

Re: Interesting notation alternative

Posted: 26 Feb 2022, 14:14
by John Ruggero
There have been so many proposals for "reforming" our wonderful music notation system, some even more hare-brained than this one. But how to you improve perfection?

Re: Interesting notation alternative

Posted: 26 Feb 2022, 15:24
by Fred G. Unn
He also inadvertently hit on another pet peeve of mine when he wrote, "below a traditional notation in D flat major (excerpt from “Take Five” by P. Desmond)"

Image

Take Five is NOT in Db major, it's in Eb Dorian. This is exactly why most musicians hate modal key signatures. A key signature isn't there to simply minimize accidentals, but to communicate a tonal center to the performer. This is quite important, especially for brass players who need to hear their note in their head and understand how that partial fits in before playing.

I would never use 5 flats here because it is too easy to make the mistake that he just made and think it's Db major. I would either use 6 flats to convey the tonal center of Eb minor, and then use C naturals in the music to convey Dorian, or I would just use open key and write in accidentals.

Modal key sigs can also really screw up sightreading situations. Aside from being unfamiliar and not communicating the tonal center, they can cause the player to question themselves and/or the music. For example, I often see an F Blues written with 2 flats. (F Mixolydian modal key sig) When I get to music on a V7 chord I often find myself questioning the E, should it be natural and the arranger messed up or do they really want a #9 sound there? If the arranger had simply communicated the tonal center with 1 flat, and then any Mixolydian harmony with Ebs everything would have been clear.

Unless your first name is Béla or György, please don't use modal key signatures. Communicate the tonal center or just use open key.

Re: Interesting notation alternative

Posted: 26 Feb 2022, 16:17
by bophead
bophead wrote:
19 Feb 2022, 23:21
But look at this example from Dave Brubecks "Time Out & Time Further Out" (Songbook for 2 albums, 1962) – left-alignment with alignment to accidentials if present:

take5.png
Brubeck himself writes six flats obviously.

To be honest I had just skimmed the text after stumbling upon it without going to much into the details. I just wanted to document an original reform idea that will never make it.

I especially liked "First, you delete with TIPEX (pencil eraser with white ink) the top line of the staff in bass clef."

I will stick to the traditional way anyway.

Re: Interesting notation alternative

Posted: 26 Feb 2022, 18:29
by JJP
Fred G. Unn wrote:
26 Feb 2022, 15:24
Take Five is NOT in Db major, it's in Eb Dorian. This is exactly why most musicians hate modal key signatures. A key signature isn't there to simply minimize accidentals, but to communicate a tonal center to the performer. This is quite important, especially for brass players who need to hear their note in their head and understand how that partial fits in before playing.
Yes!
Yes!
Hallelujah, yes!
Show the tonal center!
Make it look like it sounds without having to do math! :ugeek:

Re: Interesting notation alternative

Posted: 28 Jun 2022, 18:58
by OCTO
Here-below is an excerpt of ‘Gaspard de la Nuit’ from Ravel (Durand Publisher), one of the most famous classical piano pieces of all times. How much time will it take for you to learn how to play without error those few measures to the indicated tempo – moderato ?
Well, I guess - a several years? John, help. Should one start with learning "twinkle twinkle.."?

Re: Interesting notation alternative

Posted: 30 Jun 2022, 03:15
by John Ruggero
:) Actually, Ravel could have made those measures (and the similar earlier ones) easier to read and learn by including the accidentals when the right hand chords are not under the octave signs, even if this isn't the French system. I prefer the system used by many of the greats of the past. Forget "rules" and just Include all the accidentals that might give an experienced player trouble.