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Fw: film score example

From: Trevor Daniels
Subject: Fw: film score example
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2013 09:55:13 +0100

The message below, posted on the user list, contains a useful list of problems 
while learning and using LilyPond for a significant project.  Some suggest 
improvements to the
documentation are needed; others could be turned into requests for 
enhancements.  I wonder
if the bug squad would like to trawl this for new tracker items?


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Curt" <address@hidden>
To: "Lilypond-User List" <address@hidden>
Sent: Friday, September 13, 2013 4:54 AM
Subject: film score example

> Hi all - 
> About a year ago, several of you answered questions of mine about notating a 
> film score.  I reached a stopping point with the first cue and learned a bit 
> more about git, so I have the first film cue from the score up on github now:
> https://github.com/tunesmith/TheForgivingSea
> (pdf of score at: 
> https://github.com/tunesmith/TheForgivingSea/blob/master/1M2/pdf/1M2.pdf )
> The score was originally prepared (in Sibelius) a few years ago, under the 
> tutelage of a professional hollywood film composer, Hummie Mann, and was 
> performed/recorded by a volunteer orchestra, so it's been through several 
> revisions to tighten it up.  This project was to re-notate it in lilypond.  
> It's also a simple, short score, so it might be useful for various learning 
> purposes.  I'm also more than happy to receive any suggestions or "pull 
> requests" on how to improve the score or simplify the lilypond coding.
> Appended below is part of one of the README's - the "unexpected difficulties" 
> I had with lilypond, as in the areas that didn't seem to work easily right 
> away.  (Note that I started this re-notation project as a complete lilypond 
> beginner.)  A big one here is "giant time signatures", which are common in 
> film scores but don't seem to have a graceful solution in lilypond.  Please 
> note that these are just the (minor) complaints, and that overall I was 
> *extremely* happy with the experience and output.  I did this all in eclipse 
> (elysium) on a 15"  MacBook Pro and loved the "coding" experience.
> Thanks for all your help, I hope someone finds this useful!
> Curt
> ~^~^~^~^
> Unexpectedly hard parts of creating this score (all specific to v2.16):
> - General spacing and staff sizes.  I believe Lilypond by default puts 
> everything 
> too close together for music that is read by instrumentalists, particularly
> sight-readers.  The spacing commands are easy to use, but difficult to find
> and look up if you don't already know them.
> - I make liberal use of "tagging" for part extraction.  It appears this is 
> the best
> way to handle minor differences between parts and full scores.
> - Hairpins are surprisingly difficult.  Most instruments do not have a natural
> decay, so hairpins don't necessarily start or end right at the note
> boundaries.  It's necessary to use "fake voices" in these cases.  Even
> with this, it didn't support having a decrescendo end at the Fine bar - 
> I had to make it end at a note value before the Fine bar.  And
> if you have ties over these fake voices, you have to know about
> \set tieWaitForNote = ##t
> - Header text elements are a bit bearish to configure.  Our instructions were 
> to
> put the instrument name in the "upper left" of each part; I ended up using
> the out of the box "poet" slot, and then later reconfigured all of 
> bookTitleMarkup to reposition "instrument" when it became clear I'd need 
> the "instrument" slot for later pages.  It also could be easier to put a 
> simple newline in, for longer instrument names.
> - The alignment of the flat sign in text markup like "Clarinet in Bb" is 
> difficult.
> I gave up on this one because the approach to make it look right felt too
> hard-coded.
> - The "\sustainOff" right-alignment looks bad to me.  It should end at the 
> barline
> or at the rest you stop pedaling; not right afterward.  Pedaling usually 
> implies
> you pedal for the duration of the note, but not longer.
> - It was difficult to figure out how to create a percussion staff where 
> someone
> switched from a pitched instrument to a rhythm instrument.  Also, I'm not 
> quite convinced on the choice for a percussive half note- I've seen open-heads
> in these situations before, but I found it impossible to override the notehead
> in \drummode.
> - It was extremely hard to specify a subito dynamic right after a hairpin.  
> This
> is a relatively common use-case, but I had to pull in a pretty complicated
> scheme function, and modify it, to make it work as expected.  This one 
> requirement
> probably took around six hours.
> - Making courtesy/cautionary accidentals show up in just the parts was a more 
> verbose process than it needed to be, it seemed.  I wasn't able to do this
> reliably unless I tagged the entire measure.  The programmer in me wanted
> to just tag the cautionary accidental alone.
> - Fermatas were often misaligned, too close to or colliding with slurs.  
> Manual
> padding was necessary.
> - In film scoring, it's common to include the information of the SMPTE 
> timecode
> of when a last note in a cue gets cut off, for the instruments that are 
> playing at that time.  It was not possible to make a \markup element 
> right-align with the final barline.  This eventually required a few 
> overrides to Score.RehearsalMark - not too bad, but it felt a bit 
> hackish.
> - Specifying an arbitrary bar number (like after a long multi-rest) is not
> supported out of the box, but I found a lovely, concise snippet to 
> help with this at http://lsr.dsi.unimi.it/LSR/Item?id=431
> - Eyeglasses are sometimes used in the bottom right of a page to remind an
> instrumentalist that there really is another page.  I had to override
> rehearsal mark in a few ways to get this to work.
> - One interesting semi-bug is that top-markup-spacing doesn't seem to apply
> to 2nd pages (and later pages) of scores, even if they have the instrument
> name at the top of the page.  When I got to two-page parts, I had to 
> rejigger my formatting to use a larger top-margin, introduce 
> top-system-spacing, and reduce top-markup-spacing.
> - It would be nice if, in a PianoStaff, you could invoke "sustainOn" in the
> upper staff (for instance if you're in a melody-only section) but still
> easily have the pedal markings show below the lower staff.
> - Figuring out large bar numbers was difficult, and it actually required some
> alpha code that is included in an issue in the lilypond issue tracker.
> The mailing list was *great* at pointing this out, thanks Nick!
> - Giant time signatures are actually somewhat common for film scores, but
> difficult to create in any notation system.  Best option I came up 
> with was to jack up the font size and assign them to staff groups.
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