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N.C. (no chord) notation

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N.C. (no chord) notation

Postby Marc Sabatella » Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:51 pm

Hello! My name is Marc Sabatella, and I'm a new member here. I've been doing some work on MuseScore, improving the chord symbol support.

What brings me here right now is the desire to get feedback on the best way to represent markings like "N.C." (no chord). These should be rendered exactly like other chord symbols - same font, same height above staff - but there is no really semantics to attach. Seems they should be
"harmony" objects with a kind of none and text of "N.C.", but with no root at all. A harmony element with no root doesn't seem to be legal, however. It appears other programs don't necessarily handle "N.C." consistently or very well either. Is there a recommended best practice here? Right now, MuseScore exports this as ordinary text (a "words" element), which tends to not render anything like harmony elements by default.

Also - I can't find a way to respond directly to a message sent before I joined, but I saw with interest the recent discussion on use of "/" to indicate a repeated chord, as in

| A \ \ \ |

There is actually a more general case to consider: slashes used to show a change of bass note without a change of chord. For example:

| A \G# \G \F# |

This is a shorthand for

A A\G# A\G A\F#

The slash retains its ordinary meaning of separating root and bass, but the root is implied.

So really, the slash character in either context means exactly what the slash always means in a chord symbol, but if the part before (root) or after (bass) the slash is missing, it simply means, repeat the most recent root or bass note.

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Re: N.C. (no chord) notation

Postby Bernd Jungmann » Sun Jun 30, 2013 2:59 am

You talk about slashes "/", but yout examples contain Backslashes "| A \
\ \ |" (which I haven't seen yet in this context). Does that mean anything or was it just a typo?

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Re: N.C. (no chord) notation

Postby Marc Sabatella » Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:53 am

Bernd Jungmann wrote:You talk about slashes "/", but yout examples contain Backslashes "| A \
\ \ |" (which I haven't seen yet in this context). Does that mean anything or was it just a typo?

Typo. And a strange one at that!

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Re: N.C. (no chord) notation

Postby VincentNS » Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:03 am

Hello,
I am Vincent Caers, and I'm currently working for neoScores. We've encountered similar problems as discussed in this thread, especially according to root elements without any value (as when only a bass step change is indicated). Are there any semantically correct options to display this information? Most cases with this issue I've met up till now are exported as words, but we are trying to convert this to semantically correct xml. Although, for this particular case we can't find a way to do this.
Thanks,
Best regards,
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Re: N.C. (no chord) notation

Postby Michael Good » Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:16 pm

Hello Vincent,

This original discussion split into two topics, and my reply was in the other topic:

http://forums.makemusic.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2472&p=6810#p6810

To elaborate further, a kind of "none" explicitly means no harmony, but MusicXML 3.0 still requires you to provide a valid root-step value. Add a text="" attributes to the root-step element to encode the empty appearance, and add a text="N.C." attribute to the kind element.

If the bass is changing but the rest of the harmony is staying the same and unprinted, you can use a similar approach. Encode the previous root-step and kind, but use type="" attributes on the root-step and kind elements to clarify that those repeating values are not displayed.

There's room for improvement in this area for MusicXML 4.0. But that's a discussion we should save for the W3C Music Notation Community Group. Now that signups for participating in the group are starting to level off, we expect to start work there soon.
Michael Good
VP of MusicXML Technologies
MakeMusic, Inc.
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