notating a hit and hold

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RickP
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Joined: 22 Jan 2023, 21:05

notating a hit and hold

Post by RickP »

Any help with the following would be appreciated.

I'm preparing a chart for a tune called Paraty. You can hear it on youtube by Trio De Paz.

At one point there's a hit on beat 3 of a measure (it's in 3/4) and the band (including the drummer) holds those notes for the next 5 beats.

So, it's a hit and let-ring.

There are two staves, melody and bass, with chord symbols.

I notated it by tying the last quarter note where the hit is (call that bar 6) to a dotted half in bar 7, which is tied to a half note in bar 8. Same thing for the melody and the bass line.

And then I wrote, in between the staves, "tutti: let ring". That's to let the drummer know to stop and let his cymbals ring.

One of the other players said that the standard way to do this is to tie the hit to rests in bars 7 and 8. That is, a note tied over a bar line to a rest.
He says this eliminates the need for the text "tutti: let ring". And it will be unambiguous that the entire band does the hit and holds the notes.

I can't recall having encountered a note tied to a rest before, which means if I was reading it cold I'd have to think about what it might mean, whereas with my approach (ties and tutti: let ring) it seems unambiguous.

Is there a proper way to do this?

Thanks in advance.

Rick
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John Ruggero
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Re: notating a hit and hold

Post by John Ruggero »

You must have reposted to a new category while I was answering you! Actually the previous category was appropriate for your question.

He's right. You are not actually tying the note to the following rest. The little tie means lasciare vibrare (or "let vibrate" or "let ring" and abbreviated l. v. or I think possibly also l. r., but not sure about that) and means that the note or notes continue sounding on their own without human intervention into the following rests until real played notes appear in the score or you give some other direction that the note should stop ringing. When the note rings through several measures with rests in them, sometimes additional little ties connect those measures to make it really clear that the note continues to sound all through.

https://dictionary.onmusic.org/terms/1984-let_vibrate
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RickP
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Joined: 22 Jan 2023, 21:05

Re: notating a hit and hold

Post by RickP »

Sorry! Brand new on here. When I noticed the Problems category I was concerned that I not be the new guy ignoring the rules.

Anyway, thanks for the quick response and the link. I hadn't encountered that before, as far I can recall, so I learned something. I hate that, but it's good for me <g>.

According to the link, it seems like both approaches are acceptable. In the case of the tie-to-rest it mentions that damping is left to the discretion of the performer.

In my original solution, the duration of the hold clearly extends through the third quarter note of bar 8.

So, by this logic, the two approaches are not exactly equal and my original approach (depending on the performers' damping choices) might be a tiny bit closer to what I'm trying to get the band to do.

Another point. "Tutti: let ring" tells the drummer to stop. A tie-to-rest in the bass staff tells the bassist to stop. I can already hear the drummer asking if he should play through it or not. Can I assume that a slightly below average drummer will still know to stop when he sees the tie-to-rest for the bass?

My feeling is, why should I worry? I'll just tell him to stop with "tutti: let ring". The chart is otherwise uncluttered.

BTW, Musescore (the program I use) doesn't make this so easy. It will make the tie to the next note and then you have to edit the tie. It's hard to get it to look exactly right. Or, maybe there's a way to tie to an invisible note in another voice.

Anyway, thanks so much for the help! If you ever want to know a klugey way of doing something, please don't hesitate to ask <g>.
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John Ruggero
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Re: notating a hit and hold

Post by John Ruggero »

If you could provide an example. it might make for an interesting discussion. Maybe FredGUnn would chime in. He would know far better about this notation in a band situation than I would.

As a pianist, I see l.v. notation all the time. I would strike the chord somewhat like a percussionist so my hands leave the keyboard and let it ring in the sustaining pedal. If the notes were written out full value, even with "let it ring" written above, I would continue holding the chord with my hands for full value. The effect would be different. Of course, with percussion there could be no holding of the note with the hand, so perhaps your notation is just fine.
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RickP
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Re: notating a hit and hold

Post by RickP »

let ring example 23Jan23.pdf
(21.63 KiB) Downloaded 22 times
I attached an example.

The question is whether it makes more sense to tie the last eighth in bar 1 to rests in bars 2 and 3.

The issue is what the drummer is likely to do. If he sees the above example, he knows to stop and let ring. Will he do the same thing if I do ties to rests - with no text telling him to let ring -- in both the melody and bass staffs? I think it's ambiguous, but I might be wrong.
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John Ruggero
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Re: notating a hit and hold

Post by John Ruggero »

That was very helpful. I guess I still feel that using standard l.v. notation would be the way to go. It just "looks right". I would also write let ring in both staves or tutti let ring for clarity. It isn't technically necessary but helpful.

But your main concern seems to be with the drummer. I am not sure why that would be. l.v.'s are the stock-in-trade of percussionists. Won't the tutti alert him to the fact that it applies to him (or her)?

FredGUnn are you out there to help?
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RickP
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Re: notating a hit and hold

Post by RickP »

The tutti is there for the drummer. The question is, what would he do if tutti wasn't there?
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John Ruggero
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Re: notating a hit and hold

Post by John Ruggero »

I am sure the drummer would just continue on normally. So in this case I agree that the tutti let ring is necessary. As I mentioned, supplementary indications are often used along with the l.v. ties for clarity.

The point of l.v notation in general is to graphically show that the player is not actively doing anything to prolong the sound (at least with their hands since on a piano since they are holding with the pedal). It's happening on its own, so to speak.

Your question is actually very interesting because it brings up the fact that there are two different approaches to musical notation that have been around for a long time. For some, the notes show only how long the performer is actually holding the note. To others, the notes show how long the note actually lasts. The two things are mostly the same, but not always, as in your case.

The classic example is in keyboard music. Before the age of the sustaining pedal, there was no possibility of holding notes without actually holding them by hand. When the sustaining pedal started to be used, composers continued to notate only the actual value held by the hands, but put in pedal indications to show where notes were to hold beyond that length, for example a low bass note that was impossible to hold with the hands. Later, some composers stopped using pedal indications and just wrote all notes at their actual durations leaving it to the player to realize that the pedal had to be used for certain notes.

I personally prefer the first approach as being closer to what the player is actually doing, but not everyone does.

There is also one other aspect that I didn't consider. l.v. notation matches the imprecision of a let ring, since the actual duration depends on acoustics. If you want a very precise duration and the instruments are capable of producing that, then writing it out might indeed be the way to go.
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RickP
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Joined: 22 Jan 2023, 21:05

Re: notating a hit and hold

Post by RickP »

Thank you.

Your response makes the point that the drummer might play through the tied-to-rest version.

And, that means "tutti: let ring" is necessary.

So, that's the answer.

This type of issue has arisen before.

My colleague objects to text which he considers redundant. His question is, referring to a textless passage, "what else could it mean?" My response is "why make the player have to ask himself that question? Just tell him what to do". , there are limits, but one instruction in an otherwise uncluttered chart doesn't seem like an insult to the notational competence of the player or a rejection of the Notational Deities.

And that's the essence of the let ring question. If the previous note is tied to a rest, what else could it mean? OTOH, why make the drummer (or any other player who may not be familiar with the notation convention), have to think about it?

Anyway, thanks for the help. Much appreciated.
JJP
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Re: notating a hit and hold

Post by JJP »

RickP wrote: 25 Jan 2023, 05:08 And that's the essence of the let ring question. If the previous note is tied to a rest, what else could it mean? OTOH, why make the drummer (or any other player who may not be familiar with the notation convention), have to think about it?
If this is meant to be a lead sheet or master rhythm chart, which an entire rhythm section and possibly others will read, then the convention may indeed be for the drummer to play through unless otherwise indicated.

This is one of those cases where a simple bit of text can remove a lot of questions.
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