Interpreting notation in an old score

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goldberg
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Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by goldberg » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:29 am

After 16 years of struggling with certain aspects of Sibelius, Dorico is proving to be a revelation, and the workflow is very efficient.
Congratulations to the Dorico team for creating an exceptional product.

Can anyone in the forum explain to a relative novice, how to interpret two aspects of notation in the attached excerpt from an old printed score:

1 the dot appearing before the first note in the lower stave
2 the natural sign above the penultimate note at the end of this bar
exhibit_A.png
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Daniel at Steinberg
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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by Daniel at Steinberg » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:56 am

I'm sorry to say that Dorico doesn't support either of these appearances at the moment by default. The rhythm dot is particularly tricky to do, as you would need to insert a note of the "wrong" duration at the end of the previous bar, and then add the rhythm dot in the next bar using Shift+X text. The accidental is a little easier to achieve, but still requires a bit of fakery: you can select the note itself and set the 'Accidental' property in the Properties panel to 'Hide', then copy and paste a natural sign from this web page and position it in Engrave mode.

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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by k_b » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:30 am

goldberg,

this is what one can produce in Dorico:

Image

It would be nice though to have a “barline independent” possibility to notate in a multi rhythmical way (otherwise we end up like here):

Image

the original still works the best, I think:

Image
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exhibit_A-Dorico 1.png
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exhibit_A-Dorico original notation.png
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exhibit_A-Dorico multi rhythm.png
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Rob Tuley
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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by Rob Tuley » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:00 pm

The "dot before the first note" notation is rhythmically equivalent to a dot on the note before the barline. This notation was used up to about 1800 - it occurs in some early editions of Beethoven.

The modern notation is your "exhibit A" where the dot is replaced by a tied note. The original notation does not imply any displaced barlines, etc as in your second option.

In fact your "original score" is wrongly engraved. Most of the alignment of the notes on the two staves is incorrect, since the dot is equivalent to a 16th note not an 8th note.

The natural above the B looks like an editorial addition. (Judging from its general appearance, your "original score" looks more like a later edition of the piece than a truly original "first edition" or something contemporary with that.)

But without more context, seeing the key signature, and knowing the original composer (and the date of the piece), that is just a guess. In fact from the snippet shown we even have to guess the clefs - at this period they might have been C clefs on any line of the staff!

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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by John Ruggero » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:21 pm

This beautiful notation was used by Brahms throughout his life and one can see it in the first movement of the Clarinet Sonata op. 120 no. 2 (1895) . Here is an example from the first edition of his 1st piano concerto:
Dotted notation.jpg
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For the complete example see:
http://ks.petruccimusiclibrary.org/file ... e_1875.pdf pages 114-117ment=0]Dotted notation.jpg[/attachment]

In cases like the OP and the Brahms concerto, the notation makes it possible to notate a dotted rhythm identically (i.e. without ties) starting on various parts of the measure.

Hopefully there is a workaround in Dorico, or it would rule the program out for me, since I always retain this notation in my editions.

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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by andgle » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:13 pm

John Ruggero wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:21 pm
out for me, since I always retain this notation in my editions.
1. Remove the excess 16th note rest in the following bar using Edit -> Remove Rests
2. Use Shift-X to add the dots manually.
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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by Rob Tuley » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:16 pm

John Ruggero wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:21 pm
This beautiful notation was used by Brahms throughout his life...
There are very few composers who I detest to the point of never ever intentionally listening to or looking at their music at all, but Brahms is one of them! So I didn't know he retained this notation for his own works. He also edited editions of early music (e.g. Couperin) of course.

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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by Robert Enns » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:04 pm

Poor Brahms. Detested by Tchaikovsky too. Rob is in good company, presumably.

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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by k_b » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:06 pm

andgle: your workaround does not produce a beam across the barline - otherwise it would be a possibility to get around the limitation. If we only could get stems invisible, I would know another workaround ;-)

oh, and my guess is: the example shows a string quartet. We see the cello and viola staves. The key might be a Minor key. Probably Beethoven period or earlier.
Last edited by k_b on Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by andgle » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:24 pm

k_b wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:06 pm

@andgle: your workaround does not produce a beam across the barline - otherwise it would be a possibility to get around the limitation. If we only could get stems invisible, I would know another workaround ;-)
Just select the notes, Edit > Beaming > Beam together :D
Skjermbilde 2017-08-03 kl. 23.21.34.png
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Still a workaround though, but not too cumbersome


Edit: possible in one action using a macro:
Image
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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by Stephen Taylor » Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:02 am

That is an elegant and beautiful solution, andgle!
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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by John Ruggero » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:11 am

Great!

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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by k_b » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:35 am

andgle, fantastic workaround!

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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by goldberg » Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:58 pm

andgle, thanks for your excellent solution to my original post.

My example was from an Orlando Gibbons Fantazia.
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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by John Ruggero » Sat Aug 05, 2017 5:16 pm

For fun, here's an autograph example from a famous piece by a composer who was admired by all his contemporaries and has never gone out of vogue since the day he died: Chopin Etude op 10 no 3 (1833). How nice and neat it is without all those ties in the left hand!
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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by k_b » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:58 am

goldberg wrote:
Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:58 pm
My example was from an Orlando Gibbons Fantazia.
goldberg, if I may ask, from which Gibbons Fantazia?

I know about 9 Fantazias in three parts and some in six parts (your score example seems to have more than three parts, judging by the bar lines).
If one has a look at an early edition of the three part Fantazias (from around 1620): no barlines at all - and so no tied-over notes..

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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by k_b » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:40 am

I felt challenged and put 3-part Fantazia 2 into Dorico - no barlines, as in the first print (and obviously also the ms.). It was really easy, this is from the score:

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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by John Ruggero » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:15 pm

Robert Enns wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:04 pm
Poor Brahms. Detested by Tchaikovsky too. Rob is in good company, presumably.
Poor Tchaikovsky didn't like Bach's music either, so clearly he wouldn't like the noble music of Johannes Brahms.
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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by k_b » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:11 pm

A musicologist claimed, that Brahms’s music incorporates a feeling of constant fatigue.
Oh dear...
ps: I do like Brahms ;-)

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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by Robert Enns » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:49 pm

I enjoy playing Brahms. There are composers whose music I don't much care for but I don't really understand not even being able to look at music you don't like. Actually I don't understand detesting certain music. But I suppose someone who does would simply say I'm not passionate enough about music. And perhaps that is a reasonable criticism. But I think of Lang Lang and his gestures to the sky or touching his heart while playing and think...do you really have to overtly make sure everyone knows how moved you are by the music.

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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by John Ruggero » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:38 pm

I find that I like all music that has something positive and interesting to say and does it sincerely and successfully, which includes most of the music of both Brahms and Tchaikovsky. But I am afraid that I too stay away from music that I feel is lacking in one or more of those areas, life being short and art long. Just substitute "Bruckner" for "Brahms" in the original detestation statement above, and you'll have my feeling about his music.

Robert, I too find the exaggerated emoting of some current performers off-putting and distracting. And it seems to be getting worse… IMO if it looks over-done and phony, it's either an "act", a compensation for a technical or musical failure of some kind, or just a bad habit. True mastery is characterized by economy of all kinds including demeanor. However, there are performers whose flamboyance is totally sincere and positive, like Friedrich Gulda; one feels this immediately and it enhances rather than detracting from the performance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weK_L4oxbEo

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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by k_b » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:20 pm

with goldbergs help we have now tracked down the original piece by Gibbons, it is a Pavane à 6 [viols] in the original:

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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by Rob Tuley » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:07 pm

John Ruggero wrote:
Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:38 pm
Robert, I too find the exaggerated emoting of some current performers off-putting and distracting. And it seems to be getting worse… IMO if it looks over-done and phony, it's either an "act", a compensation for a technical or musical failure of some kind, or just a bad habit. True mastery is characterized by economy of all kinds including demeanor. However, there are performers whose flamboyance is totally sincere and positive, like Friedrich Gulda; one feels this immediately and it enhances rather than detracting from the performance.
I completely agree about Gulda.

Of course this doesn't just apply to music-making. I know people who drive cars never violating any laws, but I don't feel at all safe travelling as a passenger with them. There are others who, objectively, "drive like maniacs", but I feel perfectly safe in a car with them because their "technique" soon convinces the passengers that their thinking is a few steps ahead of most other people on the road, and not a reaction to what has already happened!

Of course with music, there are also those who (it seems) couldn't count a steady beat even to save their own lives ;) I once remember trying to accompany a violinist who played the Gounod-Bach "Ave Maria" as an encore (which we hadn't rehearsed!) and seemed to be convinced there were only 7 16th-notes in a half-note, for the entire piece. After a few bars I just gave up and only played 7 out of every 8 notes - and the violinist's only comment was "that went well, apart from the beginning" :x

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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by Robert Enns » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:59 pm

And then there are the singers who can't count. And the accompaniment has notes which the singer would like to ignore and let's just get on with it. With difficult music it can be a challenge just keeping up. Such fun.

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Re: Interpreting notation in an old score

Post by Rob Tuley » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:36 pm

Robert Enns wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:59 pm
And then there are the singers who can't count. And the accompaniment has notes which the singer would like to ignore and let's just get on with it. With difficult music it can be a challenge just keeping up. Such fun.
But not so much fun as the singers who decide 10 seconds before they start singing that they can't handle the top notes, and want you to transpose the accompaniment at sight from G# minor to F minor...

Gerald Moore used to tell a nice story of the time when he messed up doing that, and finished a section of horrendously difficult music full of modulations a third higher than the original key, not a third lower ... :oops:

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