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#2129741 - 08/08/13 07:45 AM issues with accidentals
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1158
Loc: Stockholms lšn, Sverige
Greetings,

With the example "A." there is Finale's treatment that the sharped middle C does not need a new sharp after the clef change so I added a cautionary accidental in parentheses. I've always thought that a clef change resets the prior added sharps and flats in a staff and that new accidentals (not cautionary) are needed. Is this not correct?

In "B." Finale treats the sharped B in the lower staff as not needing to be resharped later in the upper staff, surely this is not correct and it needs a proper sharp accidental in the upper staff not one in parentheses. As in "B." with the first instance of the sharped D above middle C, when it appears again in the lower staff Finale correctly requires a proper sharp before the note . . . or at least I always have assumed that would be correct!

There is a third issue as in "C." concerns the 8va - Finale treats the the sharped D as though it does not need to properly be resharped in the 8va and that a cautionary accidental for the pianist is enough.

Thoughts or observations?

For readibility the image is too large to post inline. A link is here:

http://michaelsayers.com/tmp/accidentals.jpg

Thanks in advance!


M.

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#2129796 - 08/08/13 09:56 AM Re: issues with accidentals [Re: Michael Sayers]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2760
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Gardner Read doesn't agree with Finale. Accidentals apply only to the one note they're applied to, not all of the same notes in all registers

Example A: technically doesn't need the second sharp, because it's the same note, but the clef change adds the potential for misreading, the cautionary accidental is probably a good idea.

Examples B: this is the same as Example A, it's the same note, but now in a different hand. However, I'm inclined to believe the cautionary accidental is less important here.

Example C: Plain and simple Finale is wrong. It's a different note and the accidental is required. It probably has to do with the coding of the program, but you would think they would have fixed this at some point.

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#2129818 - 08/08/13 10:45 AM Re: issues with accidentals [Re: Steve Chandler]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1158
Loc: Stockholms lšn, Sverige
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
Gardner Read doesn't agree with Finale. Accidentals apply only to the one note they're applied to, not all of the same notes in all registers

Example A: technically doesn't need the second sharp, because it's the same note, but the clef change adds the potential for misreading, the cautionary accidental is probably a good idea.

Examples B: this is the same as Example A, it's the same note, but now in a different hand. However, I'm inclined to believe the cautionary accidental is less important here.

Example C: Plain and simple Finale is wrong. It's a different note and the accidental is required. It probably has to do with the coding of the program, but you would think they would have fixed this at some point.


Hi Steve,

Thanks for the observations!

Since this is for both readability and copyright purposes as more accurate codifications of the music into notation than with the copyrighted hand written manuscripts, maybe one should err on the side of caution and treat all staves as independent from each other in this respect, whenever there is a key change or 8va/8vb type application treat it as a total reset of prior added sharps, naturals and flats for that particular staff, and omit use of all parentheses around all accidentals?

It is concerning that the U.S. copyright office has no guidelines for the copyright of music.

In my communication with them the representative seemed to think that pdfs of music being copyrighted have no additional guidelines or requirements as compared with pdfs of anything else, with the implication that the application of all elements is deducible without imprecision from within the material registered for copyright and with any outside reference or authority being irrelevant.

He didn't mentioned Gardner Read. Maybe copyrighted music needs a detailed preface explaining the exact use and effect of all symbols within the score(s)?


M.

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#2129826 - 08/08/13 10:57 AM Re: issues with accidentals [Re: Michael Sayers]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2760
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Originally Posted By: Michael Sayers

They haven't mentioned Gardner Read. Maybe copyrighted music needs a detailed preface explaining the exact use and effect of all symbols within the score(s)?

The copyright office will only concern themselves with their area of expertise, protecting intellectual property. They expect the content creators to be the experts in their fields, so we're supposed to know about music notation. Frankly, for copyright purposes you're definitely splitting hairs, it's readability that's important.

As for Gardner Read here's a link to the book at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Music-Notation-Crescendo-Book-Gardner/dp/0800854535

I have it and it's basically "THE BOOK" for the final word on notation issues. There may be some modern usages not covered here, but what you've brought up is normal and common. It's not a big investment considering what you get. Of course if you can find it second hand (as I did), even better. I'm sure if you published something using this book as a guideline you'd be on solid ground. Good luck.

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#2130096 - 08/08/13 08:12 PM Re: issues with accidentals [Re: Steve Chandler]
ScottM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 556
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
Originally Posted By: Michael Sayers

They haven't mentioned Gardner Read. Maybe copyrighted music needs a detailed preface explaining the exact use and effect of all symbols within the score(s)?

The copyright office will only concern themselves with their area of expertise, protecting intellectual property. They expect the content creators to be the experts in their fields, so we're supposed to know about music notation. Frankly, for copyright purposes you're definitely splitting hairs, it's readability that's important.

As for Gardner Read here's a link to the book at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Music-Notation-Crescendo-Book-Gardner/dp/0800854535

I have it and it's basically "THE BOOK" for the final word on notation issues. There may be some modern usages not covered here, but what you've brought up is normal and common. It's not a big investment considering what you get. Of course if you can find it second hand (as I did), even better. I'm sure if you published something using this book as a guideline you'd be on solid ground. Good luck.


I agree with you about the comments about the copyright office. But I totally disagree with the statement about Read's book. "THE BOOK" that is used by major publishers like Hal Leonard is Ted Ross' classic. I still have my copy and do refer to it. It may not have some more modern notational advice, but for anything using standard notation, this is the book to get. http://www.amazon.com/The-art-music-engraving-processing/dp/B0006D07KY . You might have to search for it.

Maybe get both books if you are interested.


Edited by ScottM (08/08/13 08:14 PM)
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#2130114 - 08/08/13 09:36 PM Re: issues with accidentals [Re: Michael Sayers]
Bosendorff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 290
Hello,

For a, b and c, I see no mistake by the software.

About c, the principle behind the 8va sign is to simplify the reading, so there's no need to add anything, even though accidentals in parentheses are fine too. Since the 8va notes are preceded by sharps on the same lines in the bar, they use the same preceding accidentals seen loco (8va simply implies "play what you see but move your hand one octave higher"). It's not the same as if they were written one octave higher a few lines above the RH staff - then accidentals must be specified as they are on different lines. Same rule also applies in the 8va bassa measure - the following notes played loco don't need sharps even though they can be preceded by cautionary ones for good measure. smile

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#2130476 - 08/09/13 04:11 PM Re: issues with accidentals [Re: Michael Sayers]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5303
Loc: Europe
Hi all,

First of all to Michael:

Michael, I'm afraid that your score, right now (in the image shown anyhow) is a bit of a mess...

I'll number (bullet point) the things I have to say, since they are quite a lot...

1. The use of 4 (!!!!) staves here is rather unnecessary. I do recall one instance, on the top of my head that uses 4 staves (the Rach Prelude in C# minor), but in that case there's a melody going on in the two additional staves, plus a lot of jumps here and there. So...

2. In continuing the above you could just have a rest below/above the first chord and get going with 2 staves, instead of 4.

3. The wavy line next to the first chord, is simply too long. I understand that you probably mean that you want the notes start from bottom to top, but with such large gap between them, it's a bit of an issue if the pianist will know what you mean.

4. The use of the 8va signs is also rather unnecessary! Pianists can, usually, read a few ledger lines above and below the last/first line of the staff. If you are to use an 8ba sign, you need to have an extensive passage going on above/below the normal register. In your score I'd argue that only the last two chords, in the 2nd staff from the top would need an 8va sign...

5. If you are to place an 8va/8vb above a single chord, then there's no need for the dotted line to carry on for the duration of the note. So both the 8va and 8vb sign in the top most and bottom most staves, should just be the text and no dotted line.

6. Now the most important part. As I understand it you want a quick (I'm assuming that, since I don't know the tempo) succession of chords, going upwards, the left hand playing first and then the right hand playing the same chord, but an octave higher, right?

In that case the best solution, I find, is to use cross staff beams, rather than a constant use of rests. If you connect every four chords, then everyone will see that we're actually talking about a stream of 16th notes and "nothing more" (not to degrade the composition or anything here, of course! :)).

I think that it's quite frequent to come up with such solutions, and the added bonuses include that:

* You ditch the use of rests all together.
* You show the actual rhythm of the passage.
* It looks clearer (I think).

Something to think about...

To everyone now:

The two mentioned books by Gardner and Ted Ross, are both very useful, but, especially in the case of Ted Ross, not only it's hard to find (I've got it in a CD/DVD format, as a PDF book, that I bought from the States), but it's also mainly concerned with the old ways of notation (the traditional engraving system). This means that it deals with curves, distances, and tools not used anymore pretty much.

While it's extremely exciting, and it has come in handy to me, in very specific situations, it's exactly that: Very rare to come in handy. Unless you want to dive in Finale/Sibelius and destroy all settings to create your own (which is fine to do actually, but takes quite a while), then the times that the Ted Ross book will come in useful are very few.

The Gardner book is much better in that term, but it still is lacking any modern practice, and does deal with notating, still mostly about the traditional sense, which is obsolete right now...

I'd recommend two other books that are very useful:

The first one is "Behind Bars", by Ellain Gould. Amazon link here.

It covers almost all the ground to digital means and comes in a great format, for a hard cover book! I've used it quite a lot.

I will admit that sometimes I feel it's lacking for my own questions, but none the less, I think that I'm definitely not the average user.

The other book, for modern/contemporary practice is Kurt Stone's "Music Notation in the Twentieth Century". Amazon Link here

This provides ample of ideas for contemporary composing, notating and arranging, and deals with probably about 90% of the questions one may have about "how on earth to notate that".

I will admit (once more... yes, I'm repeating myself) that I find that the more I delve into contemporary music, notating and publishing, the more I find that I start to drift away from that book. Perhaps because it's the 21st century, or perhaps because I'm too adventurous or something...

The rest have been covered by others, so there's no need for me to reply to the three initial questions.

Hope this helps a bit!
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2130486 - 08/09/13 05:06 PM Re: issues with accidentals [Re: Michael Sayers]
Bosendorff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 290
Also, don't use three instances for dynamic/expression marks - like the "poco a poco crescendo" ones. I assume you know how to do it in Finale (select something else than "show on all staves"). You can also tell the program to play softer in the left hand for a better sound balance without showing the different dynamics, allow individual edits per staff, etc.

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#2130875 - 08/10/13 03:57 PM Re: issues with accidentals [Re: Nikolas]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1158
Loc: Stockholms lšn, Sverige
Hi Nikolas,

Thanks for the quite long critique which of course is appreciated!

I fully agree that cross staff beaming is most natural and makes the most sense, here as also in the alternating octave section of that Fantasy March.

About the four staves, which also are used in that section of the Fantasy March, definitely two staves could be made to suffice - maybe the four staves and also the absence of the cross staff beaming reflects that I tend to think of music in ideal terms and write it out in that way even if it is presented as for piano solo and with some sections of definitely pianistic writing.

Maybe this also explains the "poco a poco crescendo" between each staff . . .

Definitely I should take a good look at these books including the one by Kurt Stone.

Thanks for all the response from everyone as it is much for me to think more about and hopefully read up on while everything is finalised.


M.














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#2130988 - 08/10/13 08:18 PM Re: issues with accidentals [Re: Michael Sayers]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13799
Loc: Iowa City, IA
FYI...I played around with it for awhile and came up with this:



I basically did this:

1) Reduce to two staves
2) Used beaming to show hand distribution
3) Used cross-staff beaming to handle the octave shift and fit it on two staves
4) Changed the D#-G-B# chord to a regular C minor chord. (Unless there's a particular reason for the odd spelling of the chord, this is much easier to read.)
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#2131058 - 08/11/13 01:03 AM Re: issues with accidentals [Re: Michael Sayers]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5303
Loc: Europe
While this is a big improvement over the old version, I find that there's one problem that could create confusion.

On my first glance I saw 5/4 in there, not 8.

While you're avoiding the change of clefs in the middle of the staves, you are missing the clear distribution of beats, on every quarter.

I'd still go for cross staffing every 4 quarters, two in each staff. It's just that I'm away from the studio until next week so I don't have access to Finale right now...
_________________________
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#2131107 - 08/11/13 06:21 AM Re: issues with accidentals [Re: Kreisler]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1158
Loc: Stockholms lšn, Sverige
Definitely that is a big improvement. The issue with the note spelling has to do with a scale other than major or minor, notes are sharped or flatted relative to D Dorian which is the key with which the piece opens . . . the final bars are in D Major with the usual time signature.

Some additional thinking was that the use of non-standard key signatures for all the bars in between would be even more difficult to read.

Though it is much appreciated I feel a bit guilty about the effort everyone is putting into this, yet what I can do is when the issues related to cautionary accidentals are resolved in the notation I can make a pdf of the music music available then some things (such as the 8/4) might make more sense.

Nikolas, as with the Fantasy March (at quarter note = 46.5 not really a Tempo di marcia) be prepared for some 128th note chords, this time in tremolando fashion! The tempo indicated is Grave which is in reference to the quarter note beat so unlike with the Fantasy March it shouldn't be an issue with most pianists.

M.

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#2131241 - 08/11/13 01:38 PM Re: issues with accidentals [Re: Nikolas]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13799
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: Nikolas

While you're avoiding the change of clefs in the middle of the staves, you are missing the clear distribution of beats, on every quarter.


That's why I was assuming it in 4/2. I think 8/4 is an incredibly awkward time signature. I have never seen it used (and I've played a LOT of contemporary music.) Besides, the ear is going to hear it as two measures of 4/4 anyway, so why not just write that?
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#2131531 - 08/12/13 04:20 AM Re: issues with accidentals [Re: Kreisler]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1158
Loc: Stockholms lšn, Sverige
Originally Posted By: Kreisler

That's why I was assuming it in 4/2. I think 8/4 is an incredibly awkward time signature. I have never seen it used (and I've played a LOT of contemporary music.) Besides, the ear is going to hear it as two measures of 4/4 anyway, so why not just write that?


I too have not seen 8/4 elsewhere. Here the 8/4 was imposed on the notation at the start of the music which is here:



What you are suggesting is that the whole would make more sense as 4/2 (or maybe 4/4)?

The allusion to Debussy's La Cathedrale Engloutie is intentional - it is mvt. 1 of a Homage to Debussy suite.

My own thought is that much of the first two movements of this suite are a bit on the mediocre side and not worthy of a lot of attention, but the engraving still needs to be accurate . . .

M.

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#2131549 - 08/12/13 05:52 AM Re: issues with accidentals [Re: Michael Sayers]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5303
Loc: Europe
This is 4/4... A clear cut case... wink
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2131559 - 08/12/13 06:43 AM Re: issues with accidentals [Re: Nikolas]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1158
Loc: Stockholms lšn, Sverige
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
This is 4/4... A clear cut case... wink


Thanks Nikolas!

I hope you don't mind if I ask if it is so even with this presently as bar 12 . . .



and this as bar 15 to 16?



(the touching accidentals with bar 15 will be fixed in a bit)

M.

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#2131562 - 08/12/13 06:59 AM Re: issues with accidentals [Re: Michael Sayers]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5303
Loc: Europe
Of course it's 4/4 again.

You're practically using 2 phrases (in bar 13) that could be two bars, instead of one...
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#2131658 - 08/12/13 10:22 AM Re: issues with accidentals [Re: Michael Sayers]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13799
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Yep, it's in 4/4.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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