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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: Sun, 24 May 2015 00:46:36 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

pls <address@hidden> writes:


>>> Only a few chord voicing are really difficult (and very few
>>> impossible) to play on a guitar.
>> Oh come one.  How many properly voiced chords are available? C and G,
>> and you'll rarely stop after four notes either, particularly not with
>> G.  And pretty much all of the rest in first position starts with a
>> fifth rather than a third.
> :) I like your sense of humor!  The last time I checked my guitar had
> more than three frets! ;) And I vaguely remember that chord voicings
> are not limited to close position.

4-3-1 is quite more of a stretch to finger than 3-2-0.

> And yes, it’s not forbidden to play less than six strings on the
> guitar.  Four-note chords actually sound better in many situations.

Chord note chords are three-note by default.  Guitar chords tend to be
root plus whatever inversion happens to be on the top three strings.

> Last but not least: it may come as a surprise but the guitar is not
> restricted to strumming. ;)

Its strings are still more functionally specialized than those of a viol
or even a lute.

>> That's not useful as a principal input mode.
> Well then I’m surprised that \absolute is *the* default input mode in
> \notemode.

Why not?  Bass notes tend to be one octave lower than chord notes.
Accordion standard bass tends to write bass notes in the big octave and
chord notes in the small octave.

>> But putting everything one octave down would make it less useful for
>> piano and not more useful for anything else.  So where's the point?
> Consistency is one point. A c’ should always be a c’.  LilyPond has
> enough tools to avoid single quotes or commas in note entry — if
> desired.

They don't apply to \chordmode.

> It would certainly make it easier and much more transparent to mix
> \chordmode and \notemode in a Staff context (as I wrote in my first
> post).

\chordmode and \notemode are different.  \chordmode is the main input
note for lead sheets (where the octave is ignored) and the Midi would
sound awful if the default octave would be in the pits.

>>> and thereby relativizes the absoluteness of the pitch names.
>> Chord mode chords do not really have all that much of an absolute
>> flavor.  For example, there is no difference between c/g and c/g' (you
>> need c'/g to get a difference).
> Well, that’s only partly true.  There is actually a fundamental
> difference between c/g (<g c’ e'>) and c/g' (<g’’ c' e'>).

Tell that to LilyPond.

> I’d assume c/g and c/g' only result in the same notes being printed
> (<g c' e'>) because LilyPond is clever enough to ignore insane input
> and to come up with a better solution.

c/g,, still is the same.

>> I am not saying that there isn't a lot which may warrant improving.
>> But a different fixed octave?
> Not a different octave but the same as in \notemode.

Which _is_ different from before.

>> That's not really adding any use cases while still changing the
>> meaning of every existing score.
> Yes, the convert-ly rules are probably the real problem.

You can replace every \chordmode by \transpose c c' \chordmode but you
are not going to make anybody happy with that.

David Kastrup

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