notating a hit and hold

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John Ruggero
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Re: notating a hit and hold

Post by John Ruggero »

Thanks for adding that JJP.

I guess I misunderstood the main thrust of the original question. I thought it was whether to use real note values or l.v. ties and rests. To that question, I say l.v. ties unless there is some strong reason not to. To the issue of the text, I agree with you and the OP: use tutti let ring. And I agree with associate of the OP who feels that one should limit extraneous text as much as possible and use only musical symbols, except that there is nothing wrong with "let ring" or "tutti", which are accepted as part of standard musical notation and used here entirely appropriately.
Last edited by John Ruggero on 27 Jan 2023, 04:32, edited 1 time in total.
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JJP
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Re: notating a hit and hold

Post by JJP »

John, I thought your response was excellent. It's hard to make a judgement without knowing the context of exactly what music is being created.

I deal with these issues frequently when creating lead sheets or rhythm parts. We're trying to keep things as simple and visual as possible to give the performers every opportunity to pull their heads out of the page, improvise, and interact. At the same time, what's on the page may need to be all things to all people. As a result, the best answer can vary.
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John Ruggero
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Re: notating a hit and hold

Post by John Ruggero »

Thanks so much JJP. I thought this might be an interesting case to take up in greater detail for just that reason.
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RickP
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Re: notating a hit and hold

Post by RickP »

Thanks for the additional response, JJP.

In case it remains of interest, this is a lead sheet, to be read by piano, guitar, bass and drums (and sometimes a wind instrument). The tune is Paraty by Nilson Matta which can be heard on youtube played by Trio Da Paz.

The A section is stated and there is a point where the band stops on beat 3 (it's in 3/4) and holds the note for 5 more beats. During that period the band is "letting it ring".

My version is the one I posted, which shows the melody note held with ties -- and the bass note held similarly. There is no explicit instruction therein for the drummer.

The question was "what is the best way to notate this?". I like my solution but my colleague feels that the final note in bar 1 should be tied to a dotted-half rest in bar two and tied again to a half note rest in bar 3.

He's the one with a proper education. He thinks any drummer would know to stop and let ring (without any text instructing that). I think that at least some drummers would not know what to do. So, inserting "tutti: let ring" makes the instruction explicit and thoroughly unambiguous.

Then, there's the hybrid version. Ties to rests and also the text. Apparently, that's "correct" in informed circles. I confess that I don't see any advantage to ties-to-rests over my approach. It seems to me that my approach is fully clear. OTOH, I've been wrong before and I have learned a lot from this colleague, albeit sometimes with a modicum of kicking and screaming on my part.
Last edited by RickP on 27 Jan 2023, 21:05, edited 1 time in total.
JJP
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Re: notating a hit and hold

Post by JJP »

I find it risky to assume that players will know exactly what is intended in this situation. It may not be self-evident if they don't know the recording on which you are basing the arrangement.

In my experience, tying one rest to another would invite questions from the performers. They may assume that there is an error in the part since rests are not usually tied. Also, since wind instruments do not naturally ring or sustain, they may be confused by such notation.

Lead sheets and rhythm charts need to make sense to all performers. Your solution is clear and the text is not cumbersome.
There is no computer problem so complex that it cannot be solved by a sledge hammer.

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RickP
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Joined: 22 Jan 2023, 21:05

Re: notating a hit and hold

Post by RickP »

JJP, you bring up a couple of points I didn't consider. Thank you.

1. The rest in bar 2 need not be tied to the rest in bar 3. In fact, I think the way it would look is the tie doesn't quite touch the first rest (in bar 2) and there would not be a tie to bar 3. Sorry. I think I got that part wrong.

2. I was thinking about the drummer, but I should have been thinking more carefully about the horn. If he sees the tie-to-rest version, when does he stop the note he started on bar 1 beat 3? In my solution he holds it for the 5 beats. Ideally, he would reduce the volume gradually as if the note was dying off. Do I need to add a diminuendo?

In my colleague's version the horn player would probably realize that the band is ringing (with the sound gradually dying off) and that he should too.

3. I think the "tutti: let ring" needs to be there for the drummer. If it's there, then tie to rest will get the bass and melody to stop and ring. So maybe there's no further advantage in putting in the tied melody note (and there might be a disadvantage if the horn sounds the note loudly for all 5 beats). The tied to rest version would work well with the "tutti: let ring". I think.

One negative as a practical matter is that Musescore won't tie to a rest automatically. I haven't figured it out yet, but I suspect it has to be tricked into doing it, like tying to an invisible note in a different voice, or something like that.

Addendum: Lead sheets have some limitations. Trying to make sure 5 instruments all do the right thing with minimal ink on the page can be a challenge.

I'll soon post another lead sheet problem -- specifying exact chord voicings which are to be played in whatever comping rhythm the player wants.
RickP
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Re: notating a hit and hold

Post by RickP »

I ended up tying the last note in bar 1 to a dotted half in bar 2 and thence to a half note rest in bar 3. And, I did put in "tutti let ring".

My colleague continues to object, stating "tutti let ring" is unnecessary. He may be right about that, but I left it in anyway. I think it makes the passage unambiguous, even for the casual reader. And, the chart was uncluttered.

Thanks for the help!
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