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Re: formal requests

From: David Raleigh Arnold
Subject: Re: formal requests
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2005 23:14:03 -0500
User-agent: KMail/1.7.1

On Friday 18 February 2005 12:53 pm, address@hidden wrote:
> > Regarding your request to decouple the chord symbols from any kind
> > of musical semantics (i.e. interpreting them as a particular
> > combination of pitches), we have had exactly the same discussion
> > about the support for figured bass in LilyPond. In that situation,
> > it seems that most people agree that the current solution where
> > LilyPond only supplies a kind of drawing board for figured bass
> > without any musical interpretation, is reasonable, since there were
> > so many different conventions during the baroque era and the
> > figured bass was just used as a kind of rough stonegraphy anyway.
> > When it comes to chord symbols, it seems that most users are happy
> > with the current solution with predefined chord notation according
> > to a few standards.
> >
> >      /Mats
> I understand that you guys have spent quite a while coding that in,
> and you wouldn't want to remove it. But I just want to point out that
> no jazz musician actually thinks of those chord symbols as being tied
> to those pitches. Those are just guides. The fact that lilypond
> outputs MIDI for those chords strikes me as ridiculous. Who actually
> has any need for block chords, I ask you? People want chord symbols
> for the symbols themselves. They don't need Lilypond telling them
> that those notes go along with it. It's just wrong.
> The problem with tying notes to symbols is that is tries to enforce
> consistency in a system where none exists. And using Ignatzek is sure
> to alienate the 90% of the jazz population that didn't grow up in
> Europe.

You were right the first time when you wrote of academics.  There is
no need to bring nationalities into it.

The system for sheet music developed haphazardly until the 1950's.
Then, writing out more extended chords for players required 
standardization.  All of the little circles, minuses and plusses
were junked and only the \sharp and \flat were allowed.

The system was, first the root, m if minor, farthest unaltered
extension, then listed alterations in parentheses. "sus" and "add"
could be added.  For consistency's sake, \sharp5 was used instead of
"aug" because \sharp9 and \sharp11 were used.  The system was for
**handwritten** chords.  It was *standard*.  There is a *tradition*.
These were called "jazz chords".

The slash for bass note is from the sixties, but it is a good
idea.  It could mean one less part to write.

The academics have brought chaos out of order.  They have abused the
system by using it for analysis and thereby invented such abominations
as the \flat13.  Cryptic symbols are back, even including new ones.
The triangle is the worst possible symbol because it can be mistaken
for almost anything.  I gave up completely on lilypond's chords when I
saw the \flat3.  The problem is not lack of standards in the jazz
community.  It is the academics who have made a mess.  daveA

The only technical exercises for guitar which are worthy of the
instrument consist in "Dynamic Guitar Technique".  I promise miracles.
Get it at:  http://www.openguitar.com/dynamic.html    
daveA         David Raleigh Arnold          dra..at..openguitar.com

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