"Warmth" and Note Size

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John Ruggero
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"Warmth" and Note Size

Post by John Ruggero » 13 Oct 2019, 17:45

I was recently admiring the engraving in the Craxton-Tovey edition of the Beethoven Piano Sonatas (Associated Board) for its many beautiful qualities and started wondering why it has such "warm" appearance:
Associated Board.jpeg
Associated Board.jpeg (163.1 KiB) Viewed 580 times
I noticed the same effect when I moved a Finale file into Dorico; it suddenly appeared "warmer."

I concluded that it has to do with the shape of the note heads. In both cases, the note heads are fuller than Maestro. In the case of the Associated Board, the note heads are actually enormous. So I tried the same file with the Maestro Wide font. Same effect. Warmer.

What do members think? And is warmer better?
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tisimst
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Re: "Warmth" and Note Size

Post by tisimst » 13 Oct 2019, 18:06

I’ve always found “warmer” styles more pleasant and less tiring to read from. So, I’d say it is better, but I’ve heard plenty of others say they think the thinner, more contrast-y, and sharp style feels more professional, and therefore “better”. To each his own, as they say.
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Schonbergian
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Re: "Warmth" and Note Size

Post by Schonbergian » 13 Oct 2019, 19:17

Larger noteheads bring the notes to the foreground and I have always found them to be much easier to read.

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John Ruggero
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Re: "Warmth" and Note Size

Post by John Ruggero » 13 Oct 2019, 19:53

Thanks, tisimst and Schonbergian. That is very helpful. Think I'll experiment with Maestro Wide at less than 24 pt. I've got a lot of tight spacing to deal with.
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OCTO
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Re: "Warmth" and Note Size

Post by OCTO » 13 Oct 2019, 19:55

I don't know if I would put all faith on fonts, noteheads, for this example.
In my opinion, I see it more as:
- compactness (thus BW balance too)
- spacing (I would guess scaling factor 1.4, rather than to Fibonacci)
- slurs (soft curves and flat slur)
- close secondary beam separation
- line thickness (thicker than Finale default) but this I cannot see exactly.
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John Ruggero
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Re: "Warmth" and Note Size

Post by John Ruggero » 13 Oct 2019, 20:18

I agree, OCTO. The note heads are not the whole story. The slurs are beautifully done. (Note the slurs continuing from system one to two apropos the thread on continuing slurs.) And everything seems in balance. The Associated Board engravers were excellent and, judging only from the sample pages, the current version edited by Barry Cooper seems to continue this tradition: https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/look_inside?R=18001078

About the spacing system, I am unfortunately ignorant, but it looks good to me, although in my edition, I gave ms. 2 and 4 a little more room at the expense of 1, 5 and 6.
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tisimst
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Re: "Warmth" and Note Size

Post by tisimst » 13 Oct 2019, 21:29

OCTO wrote:
13 Oct 2019, 19:55
I don't know if I would put all faith on fonts, noteheads, for this example.
In my opinion, I see it more as:
- compactness (thus BW balance too)
- spacing (I would guess scaling factor 1.4, rather than to Fibonacci)
- slurs (soft curves and flat slur)
- close secondary beam separation
- line thickness (thicker than Finale default) but this I cannot see exactly.
Which is why I said “style”, meaning the overall design strategy.
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odod
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Re: "Warmth" and Note Size

Post by odod » 13 Oct 2019, 23:39

My thoughts are :

1. Line Thickness
2. Beam Thickness
3. Note Spacing
4. Specialized "Flag Shape"
5. etc

indeed a neat house style.
Here's my attempt
Beet_0001.png
Beet_0001.png (1.56 MiB) Viewed 533 times
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John Ruggero
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Re: "Warmth" and Note Size

Post by John Ruggero » 14 Oct 2019, 02:03

That looks pretty close to the recent Associated Board example, odod. The older Craxton-Tovey is a little different and has heavier note heads. I like it better actually. I'd post the page from that one for you to try your hand at, but am concerned about posting a whole page of copyrighted material.
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OCTO
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Re: "Warmth" and Note Size

Post by OCTO » 14 Oct 2019, 05:53

John, have you already engraved the first two systems (as in the initial post) in Finale? I would try to make a test with default fonts, if you would like to share it (here or private). Finale 25.5.
Schonbergian wrote:
13 Oct 2019, 19:17
Larger noteheads bring the notes to the foreground and I have always found them to be much easier to read.
It is debatable and I personally find it opposite: It is not only the notehead that is read, but the combination of multiple items - at once. Therefore I think that the most important with music is the balance and thus compactness. Nothing should stand out but everything should be as compact as possible in order to percept it as one information, not as separated information that need to be compiled afterwards.
With the larger noteheads, the spacing is increased thus resulting in wider view angle (= increases time to read); and also there is dissimilarity between other items connected with the noteheads, such accidentals and articulations, that also increases time for perception.
Some publishers have quite small noteheads (Russian, French), and I don't find it more difficult to read.
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