Page 2 of 6

Re: how to show dotted rest

Posted: 16 Mar 2023, 14:56
by Anders Hedelin
I had a discussion with a client who asked for the traditional sixteenth rests in A to be combined into eighth rests as in B:
Combined rests 1.JPG
Combined rests 1.JPG (15.9 KiB) Viewed 3421 times
Now, what he actually requested was the above B with extended beams, wich certainly makes the rhythm clearer than without:
Combined rests 2.JPG
Combined rests 2.JPG (12.04 KiB) Viewed 3426 times
In my eyes it looks simply wrong, uneducated even. Then I began to wonder, is this a kind of notational 'newspeak' getting accepted these days? Has anyone encountered this as an ok notation?

Re: how to show dotted rest

Posted: 17 Mar 2023, 22:10
by John Ruggero
Definitely not standard notation.

But your post got me thinking about the rules regarding rests in triple time. Quarter rest-eighth note is fine as a single beat in 6/8, but eighth note-quarter rest is not. Did this come about strictly as a way of preventing the two situations from being confused with each other? And could it just as well have been the other way around?

Beethoven didn't combine two initial eighth rests in 6/8, even when this lead to three eighth rests in a row. He did, however, use dotted quarter rests almost exclusively in 6/8, which the engravers broke up. And I may be wrong about this, but I believe that Arnstein also preferred all eighth rests to be present. We used brackets to show the beats for cases where there were three or more eighth rests in a row and it might create confusion.

Re: how to show dotted rest

Posted: 18 Mar 2023, 20:57
by OCTO
Anders Hedelin wrote: 16 Mar 2023, 14:56 I had a discussion with a client who asked for the traditional sixteenth rests in A to be combined into eighth rests as in B:
Combined rests 1.JPG
Now, what he actually requested was the above B with extended beams, wich certainly makes the rhythm clearer than without:
Combined rests 2.JPG
In my eyes it looks simply wrong, uneducated even. Then I began to wonder, is this a kind of notational 'newspeak' getting accepted these days? Has anyone encountered this as an ok notation?
As far as what I have learned, the rest never starts at even-odd. So the A version for my eyes.

Re: how to show dotted rest

Posted: 18 Mar 2023, 22:35
by John Ruggero
Yes, I am sure that Arnstein never used quarter rests in 6/8. Only dotted quarter rests. And he only broke up dotted quarter rests if necessary to have a place for a fermata etc. So his usage was exactly like Beethoven's, who also didn't normally write quarter rest-eighth rest in 6/8. This brought 6/8 meter into line with the prohibition against using half rests on odd or even beats in 3/4.

But the question remains, why is odd-even allowed and even-odd prohibited when it could easily be the reverse, if the idea was to keep the two situations distinct to avoid confusion. Was it just an arbitrary decision that caught on?

Re: how to show dotted rest

Posted: 19 Mar 2023, 03:10
by Anders Hedelin
John Ruggero wrote: 18 Mar 2023, 22:35 But the question remains, why is odd-even allowed and even-odd prohibited when it could easily be the reverse, if the idea was to keep the two situations distinct to avoid confusion. Was it just an arbitrary decision that caught on?
A possible explanation could be that it's more natural to put the longer rest in a stronger position in the meter. For the same reason that in 6/8 etc. the rhythm quarter-eighth is more frequent than the syncope eighth-quarter.

Re: how to show dotted rest

Posted: 19 Mar 2023, 13:02
by John Ruggero
That sounds right to me, Anders. The frequency of the various patterns of notes and rests is the answer. Here is another slant on it:

The problem arises with many rests in a row, as with A. Pattern A is relatively unfrequent and both solutions are possible.
Ex 1.png
Ex 1.png (48.7 KiB) Viewed 3340 times
However, only one of the solutions is possible for the following patterns. But Pattern B is more frequent that Pattern A or C, so the engravers elected to use Solution 1 for all such situations and put up with three rests in a row in Pattern C.
ex 2a.png
ex 2a.png (61.6 KiB) Viewed 3338 times

Re: how to show dotted rest

Posted: 19 Mar 2023, 14:58
by Anders Hedelin
Thanks for the examples, John. They certainly illustrate the complexity of this problem!

You mentioned something about using brackets with Arnstein. Or, maybe the extended beams would help here? I'm not that keen on Solution 2, so what other options are there, besides brackets or extended beams? (Of course there's the old solution of letting the poor musicians count rests and mark the beats with a pencil, but that feels a bit primitive, I think.)

Edit: Of course the extended beams are possible between flagged notes only, not between quarters and eighths!

Re: how to show dotted rest

Posted: 20 Mar 2023, 02:45
by John Ruggero
Arnstein used standard brackets (like inverted bracket-only style pedal marks) over the notes to group the beats in cases like A. The parts usually came back to us in a very clean state, because everything was in order and the musicians had nothing to do but make beautiful music. And we did use extended beams if that was the style the composer wanted. But that was the case much less frequently.

Re: how to show dotted rest

Posted: 20 Mar 2023, 17:06
by JJP
My understanding of rests, which goes beyond 6/8, is that it is preferred to combine the beginning of a beat grouping, but not the end. This is to preserve the quick identification of the location of beat groupings within a bar. The same applies to augmentation dots.

The obvious problem case is illustrated by John in his example "C" with three rests in a row, making for a difficult read. For me, his solution 2 is problematic but acceptable, because it more clearly outlines the beat groupings. It also falls under my personal practice of utilizing George Orwell's final rule for writers, "Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous."

(Before anyone claims the Orwell rule is justification for anything, I'll point out that invoking that rule assumes that all other rules have been applied and resulted in something "barbarous". ;) )

Re: how to show dotted rest

Posted: 20 Mar 2023, 21:39
by John Ruggero
That's an excellent point, JJP. The most important thing is that it be easy to read. For that reason, I am guessing that you would accept what the composer requested from Anders IF there were another rest that followed, but not otherwise. Is that correct? I must admit that what the composer requested does not bother me as much as it would in 6/8 or 3/4 meter, for some reason. Maybe because of the less common meter and extended beams.

In my Beethoven pianos sonata edition, I have decided to preserve Beethoven's rest practice except for using Solution 1 for Case A and B above, since these can be awkward to read. I don't have your courage regarding Case C, however, and would leave it as is, if it ever occurred. But I don't think it has.