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Slurs: orientation and placement?

Moderator: Michael Good

Slurs: orientation and placement?

Postby David Webber » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:49 am

Hello Michael, everyone,

Happy New Year. As I develop my MusicXML import module, I've hit the following conundrum.

A comment in common.mod tells me:

"The orientation attribute indicates whether slurs and ties are overhand (tips down) or underhand (tips up). This is distinct from the placement entity used by any notation type."

So I was expecting an orientation to tell me whether slurs and ties go over or under. But looking at example 33c on the very useful LilyPond test suite of examples, I find it contains:

<note>
....
<notations>
<slur number="1" placement="above" type="start"/>
</notations>
</note>

in which the position of the slur is clearly given by a 'placement'.

Questions:

(a) Is this illegal/poor MusicXML?

(b) Would the best procedure be to take the positioning from an orientation if one is present, and a placement if there's one of those and no orientation?

Dave

David Webber
Mozart Music Software
http://www.mozart.co.uk
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RE: Slurs: orientation and placement?

Postby Michael Good » Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:58 pm

Hi Dave,

No, there's nothing illegal or poor about this MusicXML. Sometimes it is easier for a program to export orientation, sometimes placement. Whether the slur or tie itself goes over or under is a matter of placement. Whether the tips of the slurs or ties go up or down is a matter of orientation.

Usually the two are correlated. So yes, if one attribute is present but not the other, it should usually work to infer placement from orientation and vice-versa.

Best regards,

Michael Good
Recordare LLC

David Webber wrote:Hello Michael, everyone,

Happy New Year. As I develop my MusicXML import module, I've hit the following conundrum.

A comment in common.mod tells me:

"The orientation attribute indicates whether slurs and ties are overhand (tips down) or underhand (tips up). This is distinct from the placement entity used by any notation type."

So I was expecting an orientation to tell me whether slurs and ties go over or under. But looking at example 33c on the very useful LilyPond test suite of examples, I find it contains:

<note>
....
<notations>
<slur number="1" placement="above" type="start"/>
</notations>
</note>

in which the position of the slur is clearly given by a 'placement'.

Questions:

(a) Is this illegal/poor MusicXML?

(b) Would the best procedure be to take the positioning from an orientation if one is present, and a placement if there's one of those and no orientation?

Dave
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Re: Slurs: orientation and placement?

Postby David Webber » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:01 am

Michael Good wrote:No, there's nothing illegal or poor about this MusicXML. Sometimes it is easier for a program to export orientation, sometimes placement. Whether the slur or tie itself goes over or under is a matter of placement. Whether the tips of the slurs or ties go up or down is a matter of orientation....

Michael Good wrote:Usually the two are correlated. So yes, if one attribute is present but not the other, it should usually work to infer placement from orientation and vice-versa.

Thanks Michael. That's what I needed to know.

Dave

David Webber
Mozart Music Software
http://www.mozart.co.uk
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Re: Slurs: orientation and placement?

Postby Bernard Hill » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:14 am

In message <Ergb[email protected]cirr us.mail-list.com>, Michael Good writes
Michael Good wrote:Hi Dave,

No, there's nothing illegal or poor about this MusicXML. Sometimes it is easier for a program to export orientation, sometimes placement. Whether the slur or tie itself goes over or under is a matter of placement. Whether the tips of the slurs or ties go up or down is a matter of orientation.

Usually the two are correlated. So yes, if one attribute is present but not the other, it should usually work to infer placement from orientation and vice-versa.

Am I missing something? If tie is underhand do the tips not always go up? (& Vice versa)

Or are you thinking of the case where the tie is between notes at different heights, say, a change of clef between the notes? Or perhaps cross-stave slurs as in piano music - but then under/overhand does not cover that.

--
Bernard Hill
Braeburn Software
Author of Music Publisher system
Music Software written by musicians for musicians
http://www.braeburn.co.uk
Selkirk, Scotland
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Re: Slurs: orientation and placement?

Postby David Webber » Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:07 am

Bernard Hill wrote:Am I missing something? If tie is underhand do the tips not always go up? (& Vice versa)...

Since Michael's reply, I now know how to do a 'dip'. Picture a tie with the bow downwards and the tips above the (consecutive) notes it joins. It's a common jazz ornament - effected on the saxophone by relaxing and then retightening the embouchure so that the note flattens and then comes back up to pitch.

To adapt Reinhold's quote of Gardner Read: "notation for saxophones often appears incorrect to the string player" :-) :-)

I don't yet know what use can be made of the other possibilities.

Dave

David Webber
Mozart Music Software
http://www.mozart.co.uk
For discussion and support see <http://www.mozart.co.uk/mozartists/mailinglist.htm>
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RE: Slurs: orientation and placement?

Postby Michael Good » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:07 pm

Hi David and Bernard,

I don't have a repertoire example of a difference between placement and orientation offhand. They indeed may not occur, especially for ties. DTDs make it difficult to express that two different attributes should not be used together. We should probably add something to the MusicXML DTD and XSD to explain that if you use orientation, you need not use placement, and vice versa.

David, jazz articulations have separate MusicXML elements for them (scoop / plop / doit / falloff). If there is a slide between two notes, use the slide element rather than the tie element. I'm not quite sure of the example you're discussing though. Currently the slide element doesn't have a line-shape entity for straight/curved lines, just a line-type entity.

Best regards,

Michael Good
Recordare LLC

David Webber wrote:
Bernard Hill wrote:Am I missing something? If tie is underhand do the tips not always go up? (& Vice versa)...

Since Michael's reply, I now know how to do a 'dip'. Picture a tie with the bow downwards and the tips above the (consecutive) notes it joins. It's a common jazz ornament - effected on the saxophone by relaxing and then retightening the embouchure so that the note flattens and then comes back up to pitch.

To adapt Reinhold's quote of Gardner Read: "notation for saxophones often appears incorrect to the string player" :-) :-)

I don't yet know what use can be made of the other possibilities.

Dave
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Re: Slurs: orientation and placement?

Postby David Webber » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:04 pm

Michael Good wrote:... David, jazz articulations have separate MusicXML elements for them (scoop / plop
/ doit / falloff).

As of last week Mozart is happily importing scoops, plops, doits, and alls - at least in the example I've tested :-)

But these are approaches to and departures from a note. I haven't done glissandi between notes yet but it is high on my list.

But a dip is like a tie between two notes except that the pitch rises and falls - like a fall from the first connected to a scoop onto the 2nd - but all completely smooth.

Dave

David Webber
Mozart Music Software
http://www.mozart.co.uk
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RE: Slurs: orientation and placement?

Postby Michael Good » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:09 pm

Hi Dave,

It's great to hear about your progress with Mozart's MusicXML import!

If you have an example of a dip handy that you can cite (and ideally post a URL to an example graphic), that would be great. This sounds like a notation that would be handled with a slur in MusicXML 2.0, but that wouldn't capture the playback semantics. Given the focus on playback for MusicXML 3.0, it might be good to revisit that. I probably have examples here but it would be great to know specifically what you're seeing to make sure we're not missing something. Thanks!

Best regards,

Michael Good
Recordare LLC

David Webber wrote:> ... David, jazz articulations have separate MusicXML elements for them (scoop / plop / doit / falloff).<

As of last week Mozart is happily importing scoops, plops, doits, and alls - at least in the example I've tested :-)

But these are approaches to and departures from a note. I haven't done glissandi between notes yet but it is high on my list.

But a dip is like a tie between two notes except that the pitch rises and falls
- like a fall from the first connected to a scoop onto the 2nd - but all completely smooth.

Dave
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Re: Slurs: orientation and placement?

Postby David Webber » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:22 am

Michael Good wrote:It's great to hear about your progress with Mozart's MusicXML import! If you have an example of a dip handy that you can cite (and ideally post a URL to an example graphic), that would be great. This sounds like a notation that would be handled with a slur in MusicXML 2.0, but that wouldn't capture the playback semantics. Given the focus on playback for MusicXML 3.0, it might be good to revisit that. I probably have examples here but it would be great to know specifically what you're seeing to make sure we're not missing something.

Ok

A picture of some jazz ornaments as presented by Mozart:

<http://www.mozart.co.uk/questions/MozartJazzOrnaments.jpg>

[The scoops, plops, falls, and doits can all be drawn with 'straight' 'curve' or 'squiggle' style and I've given examples of each.]

Gardner Read has:

<http://www.mozart.co.uk/questions/GardnerRead24-11.jpg>

In my playing experience (I currently play in a big band "Dr Jazz and the Cheshire Cats" <http://www.dr-jazz.co.uk>) the dip is more usually drawn more like Mozart than Gardner Read. I guess this is because Gardner Read's might be difficult to distinguish from a downward pointing tie on a hand written score.

Dave

David Webber
Mozart Music Software
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RE: Slurs: orientation and placement?

Postby Michael Good » Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:45 am

Hi Dave,

Thanks - this is very helpful. I've added better support for the dip and flip articulations onto our list of possible MusicXML 3.0 features.

Note that the bend articulation as shown in Read is represented with the unstress articulation in MusicXML. A lot of symbols with the same visual appearance but different musical meanings depending on context are represented by a single MusicXML element. The bend element in MusicXML is used for string bends in guitar tab and notation.

Best regards,

Michael Good
Recordare LLC
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