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Re: \chordmode vs. \notemode - On the relativity of absolute pitches

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: \chordmode vs. \notemode - On the relativity of absolute pitches
Date: Sat, 23 May 2015 16:57:09 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

pls <address@hidden> writes:

> Hi all,
> here’s another issue I posted somewhere and Carl answered:
>>> P.P.S.: On a different note: some day I would like to get to know the
>>> reason why in \chordmode the absolute pitches are one octave higher than
>>> in note mode.  For chord names correct absolute pitches don¹t matter. But
>>> they do when also using \chordmode in a Staff context.  Mixing both modes
>>> is rather error prone.
>> I do not know the answer why, but I believe it is intentional.

Definitely is.  Try it on piano.  The chords one octave lower are just
too mushy.  That a guitar can sound somewhat lower chords tolerably is
sort of irrelevant here since a guitar does not usefully follow the
chord voicings of \chordmode.

>> There are comments in the code that indicate the original authors
>> knew of the one octave shift.  I believe it was defined that way so
>> that \chordmode c would give <c' e' g'>, since lilypond staffs have
>> treble clefs by default.  I believe it should probably be fixed.

I have no idea what "fixing" is supposed to mean in this context.  The
current behavior serves a purpose.  It might be nice to be able to
define different mappings from chord names to notes (and fretboards do
so even though annoyingly you cannot transfer those instrument-specific
chord voicings to a normal Staff).

>> The code is probably not hard to fix, but I think the convert-ly rule
>> is nearly impossible (it's certainly beyond *my* python regexp-fu).
>> Post a bug report, and let's get an issue created.

Don't see the point, frankly.  Making \chordmode more generally useful
(like being able to get Fretboard-based voicings into Staff, or map
chords to their single octave inversions used for accordion notation, or
get either of those options into Midi): quite useful.  But putting
everything one octave down without any other change: don't see the

David Kastrup

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