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Re: Feature request: ‘classic vocal beaming’

From: Simon Albrecht
Subject: Re: Feature request: ‘classic vocal beaming’
Date: Sun, 31 May 2015 09:04:40 +0200
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Am 31.05.2015 um 07:59 schrieb David Kastrup:
Simon Albrecht <address@hidden> writes:


traditionally[1][2] in vocal music beaming corresponds to melismata:
if multiple notes are sung to one syllable, they are beamed according
to normal rules [3], else no beams are used. Currently this is
achieved through \autoBeamOff and manual beams in melismata, but this
feels clumsy (apart from being a little tedious) and mixes some
presentation aspect into content. I imagine that it wouldn’t be so
difficult to do this automatically: Like with lyrics, the beaming
procedure might listen to whether a melisma is active. If yes, beam
the notes, if no, don’t.
Suggested syntax would be to complement the boolean
\set autoBeaming ##t resp. \autoBeamOn
\set autoBeaming ##f resp. \autoBeamOff
by a third option
\set autoBeaming #classic-vocal resp. \autoBeamVocal. (or #vocal?
\autoBeamClassicVocal? I’d be more precise with the former version and
more concise with the shortcut)
That sounds like a cat chasing its tail.  With \autoBeamOff, melismata
are decided by looking at the beaming,
Partially: beaming, slurs, ties, and manual melismata.
  and you want to decide the
beaming by looking at the melismata.

The usual approach of lyrics is to pick the timing of the lyrics off the
related melodic Voice.  Now you want to pick the timing of the melodic
Voice, in particular its beaming, off the lyrics.
Correct me if I’m mistaken, but I think the lyrics are reading the melismaBusyProperties of the associatedVoice. Now, Beam_engraver could also read the slurMelismaBusy and melismaBusy (perhaps also tieMelismaBusy) properties and take them into account.

It's not impossible but would necessitate spelling out the lyric
durations (I do that sometimes rather than bother getting the syllable
counts correct and synchronized).  But that's quite unpopular and I
don't think many people even realize it is possible.
I know it’s possible, but avoid it if I can. I’m very keen to streamline the music entering process…

So I don't really understand where you'll be getting the rhythm for the
lyrics when the beams should be following the lyrics rather than the
other way round.  Write out \melismaOn and similar wherever you now
write [ and ]?
Which is only possible if melisma and beam happen to fully coincide, so in most cases behaviour wouldn’t change.
   That does not seem like an improvement.
Firstly: most instances of [ ] would become obsolete if the beams were done automatically, as I suggested.
Second: in most cases, slurs are used to indicate melismata.
If slurs are used to indicate articulation rather than melismata (as probably with Brahms, for example) or an original, maybe inconsistent, configuration shall be reproduced, the situation is different. But in that case, redefining shortcuts like `"\[" = \melismaOn` (or whatever) can come in very handy.

Yours, Simon

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