Page 1 of 2

Engraving Stenhammars Interlude from Cantata The Song (Sången)

Posted: 18 Nov 2022, 17:26
by swetom2011
I’m playing the violin in an (amateur) symphony orchestra, in Friedrichshafen/Germany where I’m also taking care of our music library.

As I’m originally from Sweden, I try to introduce Swedish composers and if there are no music material available, I engrave the music myself. The last orchestral work is the Interlude from Stenhammar’s Cantata "The Song" for voice, chorus and orchestra and for which there are no printed music so I received good photocopies of Stenhammars manuscript from the Music and Theatre Library in Stockholm. We will play this piece of music as a “Zugabe” at our next concert in two weeks’ time, see ... ac08a2a778.

I’ve no intention to publish the music, but would still be interested in your comments and any suggestions for improvements to my score and parts (there are 34 instruments for the Interlude but I only enclose two instrument parts as examples).

Because of the many instruments, choirs and soloists, the Stenhammar’s original manuscript was written a page size B3 (353 × 500 mm = 13.9” x 19.7”). I’ve used the page size A3 (297 x 420 mm = 11.7” x 16.5”) which is the largest page size I can print on my office printer.

The music has been engraved using Lilypond.

Re: Engraving Stenhammars Interlude from Cantata The Song (Sången)

Posted: 19 Nov 2022, 02:39
by John Ruggero
This is excellent engraving. I noticed just a few things:

1. The composer's name is usually placed lower and closer to the top staff.

2. The tenuto indications are too close to the note heads in the violin part and too close to the beams in the score.

3. Generally the dynamics (including hairpins) are crowding the notes, slurs, and ties. Just a little more air space would make the music easier to read.

4. I would remove the single long brace that encloses the entire orchestra. It is not needed.

Re: Engraving Stenhammars Interlude from Cantata The Song (Sången)

Posted: 19 Nov 2022, 03:56
by tisimst
The only additional thing I'd generally recommend, but also as a bit of a solution to John's #3 issue, is to vertically align the dynamics rather than have them attached directly to notes. That would be a bit more aesthetic and give some of the air the John referred to, at least in the part scores.

The only other thing I might change (because I'm crazy like that) is to center align the instrument names when the name breaks across two lines rather than have them left-aligned. It's fine the way it is, but might look a bit nicer if they were justified differently.

Great work!

Re: Engraving Stenhammars Interlude from Cantata The Song (Sången)

Posted: 19 Nov 2022, 08:00
by swetom2011
Thanks a lot for your comments and suggestions.
@ John
1. and 4.: Ok, will do so
2. and 4.: Agree, but will see what I can do. Probably require some Lilypond tweaks

Music instrument names ok. Shouldn't be a problem.
Aligning hairpins dynamics etc. Will see what I manage. As for John's remarks above, it require some sort of Lilypond tweak.

For information, I've been working with space engendering, simulations and control my whole professional life using e.g. MATLAB. Using Lilypond is in some way similar insofar you break down a "problem" in common and manageable parts that are then included as needed to generate an output.
For this work, I've in the order of 100 Lilypond files to generate score and parts and then individual files for general issues, definitions, the "pure" music etc.

So far, I I've used Lilypond more or less "out of the box". I need to study the manuals and snippet repository to find a way to accomplish the above without to much hacks in the already written parts/files.

Again, thanks a lot for your comments/suggestions, is very much appreciated.

Re: Engraving Stenhammars Interlude from Cantata The Song (Sången)

Posted: 19 Nov 2022, 15:53
by tisimst
I totally understand your concerns for tweaking things in LP. I've used it for a while now, myself. Sounds like you've got a great application to use LP!

Here are some suggestions for the adjustments recommended, which can easily be incorporated into any automated code since there are things you can do on the fly, but can also do via more general \override statements:

#1 - Not sure why this gap is so large. The default vertical spacing shouldn't be doing this. Have you added any extra vertical spacers in the header somewhere? Either way, this section of the docs fully explains how to control the vertical spacing relationships between all types of objects: ... in-systems

#2 - ... -avoidance

#3 - I would solve this using either the same kind of thing as #2 or use a separate Dynamics context (e.g. \new Dynamics { ... } ). Look at this link for more specifics: ... s#dynamics. You'll need to scroll down a bit, but there are subsections about controlling the vertical positioning and alignment.

#4 - A system bracket is only created when you use the commands \new StaffGroup or \new ChoirStaff. So, if I had to guess, I would guess your code looks like this:

Code: Select all

\score {
  \new StaffGroup <<
  \layout {...}
Since you don't need a system bracket to encompass ALL the staves, just remove the top level "\new StaffGroup" like this and the main bracket goes away:

Code: Select all

\score {
  \layout { ... }
Does that make sense? Hope that helps. If it doesn't, I'd be happy to take a look at the input file(s) to see if I can figure out why these are going on. You can PM me directly for that.

Re: Engraving Stenhammars Interlude from Cantata The Song (Sången)

Posted: 19 Nov 2022, 22:02
by swetom2011
Thanks, I try a little myself first. My problem is that I'm not a regular user of Lilypond. I this particular case, I used a score template I generated and used many years ago and now I almost forgotten why I did things in a certain way. Let's see if I can shed some light on it. If not, I may come back to your offer.

Re: Engraving Stenhammars Interlude from Cantata The Song (Sången)

Posted: 21 Nov 2022, 10:43
by Christof Schardt
Flauto 1: just some arbitrary details:
1. bar 6: "p dolce" I would prefer it on a common baseline
2. bar 7: slur should be closer approaching the end note (slur could be perfectly symmetric)
3. bar 30: a bar rest within stafflines should be attached to a staffrule instead of hanging free between

Re: Engraving Stenhammars Interlude from Cantata The Song (Sången)

Posted: 21 Nov 2022, 14:58
Hej på dig och välkommen!

I agree about the previous comments.

A question: why not considering using MuseScore? I have found it very interesting during last months development, and the results in my hands turned to be just beautiful (in a graphical sense). But I am not saying you should leave LP!

Re: Engraving Stenhammars Interlude from Cantata The Song (Sången)

Posted: 21 Nov 2022, 17:22
by swetom2011
Tack för det. Bor du fortfarande I Sverige eller är du utflyttad som jag? Vi bor själva vid Bodensjön i sydvästra Tyskland alldeles på norra sidan av alperna.

Many years ago, I used a German engraving program to write music, i.e. Capella ( but always had problems with symphonic works so looking around, I eventually found LP which as such suited me because the way of setting up the music is similar to the way I worked with spacecraft simulations and data processing using Matlab. That is, you have your music and other general things in separate files and then you can generate parts and score more or less without touching and risk of possibly “damage” the music and general files. Later Muscore emerged on the market and I have it my computer but am reluctant to use it for complex symphonic works. Simply because I’ve unfamiliar with it.

To date, I’ve only engraved the Interlude from Stenhammar’s “Sången” (The Song), but, if time allows, I plan to engrave the complete cantata. If I’ve calculated it correctly, it’s about 800 bars. The original handwritten manuscript from Stenhammar has 130 pages. Can this be managed Muscore?
This being said, it’s possible I will use it in the future although, for the time being, I use it only for “simpler” works.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I’m not really a “engraver” but an amateur violinist taking care of the sheet music for our orchestra. The “Interlude” from the “Sången” will be a “Zugabe” at our next concert in December this year. Next year, I’ve we plan a summer concert, A Scandinavian Evening” and if there is a need and not available from familiar composers, I’ve to engrave more music.

Re: Engraving Stenhammars Interlude from Cantata The Song (Sången)

Posted: 02 Dec 2022, 10:47
by NeeraWM
I am wondering if all those brackets and braces are necessary or if they are the software default.
I would get away with one of the two brackets and substitute braces with sub-brackets whenever possible.

Consider placing the tempo marking "Molto adagio, solenne" flush left with the time signature, right now it is floating too much to the right!

Long slurs are a bit too flat but, disclaimer, I am a fanatic of slur design and am not happy with how any software does them 100%, so... take my feedback easy!

Rehearsal marks (e.g., the 1 in the second page) could benefit from being much bigger, it would save the conductor their eyes!

I am not sure whether every page needs to show the layout name ("Partitur" in this case). I usually do not show it for full scores.

As a cellist, I would not abbreviate "Tutti" with "Tut." I would actually not abbreviate it at all, rather put it on a second line such as:
(possibly centre-aligned).
In this case, though, I would suggest using Vlc. / gli altri, because tutti is either all of them or it isn't, you get what I mean? Also Elaine Gould suggests this practice. Also, some other abbreviations look non-conventional, such as Cfag. instead of Cfg. and Ccl. instead of Cl.B., but this may be what you found on the manuscript!

Great initiative bringing forward unknown music!
Keep going and ask away for any doubt you may have!