Music notation symbols, fonts, font sources and font creation, SmuFL.
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I posted this over in the Dorico forum, but figured I'd cross-post here too since it's not specific to Dorico. I had a ton of time to kill at a swim meet this weekend so ended up doing a little glyph comparison using common SMuFL fonts. All of the following are freely available except for November 2 which requires a purchase. For all examples the fonts are in order: Bravura, Finale Engraver, Finale Legacy, Finale Maestro, Leipzig, Leland, November 2, and Sebastian. As most of the glyphs were actually just manually positioned Playing Techniques, don't necessarily trust the positioning, especially with the key sigs, but it should be close enough to compare the glyphs though. For Dorico users, the file is posted here if you want to play around with it or add additional fonts I don't have.
The thing that sticks out to me the most is the appearance of the relative size of the half notehead versus the quarter notehead. Even though I know some half noteheads are exactly the same size as the quarter notehead, they all feel smaller, which doesn’t seem right to me. It’s an unusual circumstance to have them on the same stem, but still.
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'tisimst wrote: ↑31 Jul 2022, 20:27The thing that sticks out to me the most is the appearance of the relative size of the half notehead versus the quarter notehead. Even though I know some half noteheads are exactly the same size as the quarter notehead, they all feel smaller, which doesn’t seem right to me. It’s an unusual circumstance to have them on the same stem, but still.
That's probably why half note noteheads are usually written larger than quarter note noteheads in hand writing.
I know you were a hand copyist too, did you do one-stroke or two-stroke noteheads? I was taught two-stroke so that's what I always did. The half notes were obviously a little bigger as they needed the opening in the middle, whereas the quarters were simply a bit smaller so the middle filled in. (I used Pelikan Graphos, Z1 or Z.8 nibs) I guess occasionally if I made it too big and the middle needed filling then it would be a three-stroke notehead, LOL. Anyway, if the stroke was more or less the same, but needed to be bigger to make sure the center was visible, then a hand copied notehead for a half would always be a bit larger than one for a quarter.
I make my hand-written half notes with three strokes. The first one outlines the outer oval shape. Then I add two lines to create a shaded oval within, such as one sees in engraved music. The same is true of whole notes, but the outer oval is larger and the inner oval goes in the opposite direction from the outer oval. This was what was recommended by A. Arnstein and produces a very clear distinction between the two note heads.
Interesting! It's been 25 years probably since I thought of this, but for half notes I always just did over, under, over, under, etc. I never learned a three stroke method. Whole notes were the same but I repositioned my hand so it was more like right, left than over, under. I know there was a certain school of copyists that did it all in one stroke too, but I just learned it the way my teacher taught it. Did you know Paul Jeffrey at all in NC? When Paul was still in NYC he copied for Mingus, Dizzy, Basie, Gil Evans, a bunch of freelance shops and others, and supported his family that way until he got the gig with Thelonious Monk. He taught me hand copying when I was still in NC so when I got to NYC, he and Jimmy Heath hooked me up with the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band crew. I was probably 22, had just hit town and suddenly was copying for Frank Foster, Slide Hampton, Manny Albam, etc, in addition to working in the rental return library of Boosey & Hawkes as a part-time job. I used to get my supplies at Judy Haring's shop Associated Music on 52nd street, but could never get her to hire me for copy work, LOL! Festival Productions, George Wein's organization that owned the Carnegie band, soon thereafter wanted everything in Finale, so I sorta committed to that route after initially dabbling in both Finale and Encore.
I got into hand copying by transposing parts of big band arrangements for my father's accordion band when I was young. Then my own compositions. I knew the name Paul Jeffrey but not much more. Maybe I heard a jazz concert of his at Duke. Then I copied to support myself when I was at Juilliard, but I didn't even know Arnstein was on the faculty until I had graduated and needed a job. He hired me to be his assistant in the office, where I did the office work and copied, so I could ask a lot of questions and get immediate answers. I heard a lot of conversations between various composers and Arnstein which was enlightening and often amusing, since Arnstein was quite a wit. Perhaps the most colorful visitors were David Amram and his sidekick, Ralph Zeitlin, who was a fabulous recorder player as well as horn player like Amram. There was a circle of regular copyists that were in and out of the office all the time. A really great group of musicians.