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

From: pls
Subject: Re: \chordmode vs. \notemode - On the relativity of absolute pitches
Date: Sat, 23 May 2015 18:01:33 +0200

On 23.05.2015, at 16:57, David Kastrup <address@hidden> wrote:

> 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’s not the point.  No one complains about having to specify the appropriate 
octave in \notemode.  You just enter c’ when you mean c’.  If you entered c 
instead of c’ in \notemode you couldn't seriously complain about the sound of 
your instrument being too mushy, either. In \chordmode you *have* to enter c 
when you actually mean c’.  That’s inconsistent.

> 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.

Only a few chord voicing are really difficult (and very few impossible) to play 
on a guitar.

>>> 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
> point.

I’d say it’s rather the other way around: \chordmode currently puts everything 
up by one octave in order to make note entry easier for some selected 
instruments and thereby relativizes the absoluteness of the pitch names.


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