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Re: Gt-tabs and drum-notation

From: David Raleigh Arnold
Subject: Re: Gt-tabs and drum-notation
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2001 22:01:01 -0500

Rune Zedeler wrote:
> Den 04-Mar-01 skrev David Raleigh Arnold:
> DRA> I just want to put numbers on lines. That's it. Sometimes I have seen
> Okay, it seems like we are looking for different things.
> Actually, I would not be able to implement your idea - that would take some
> C++-hacking, and I cannot do that.

The alignment has to be implemented anyway, if it is not already, to
make it possible to have fingering before a note on one instrument in a
score. That one finger indication moves the notes in every other part in
the score to keep the notes aligned vertically. Surely everyone has seen
scores like that. It always looks funny. Tough. Is there no code that
will align the nth number on a tab staff with the nth note in a single
staff score, or piano score for lute, of assembled parts, by reading
each note in the score up and then right, like a map?

             | | | |
|   |        | | | *
*  o|        * * *     Part one

R.     * o           Part two ;-)   
       | |
       / |

o        o               Part three
|        |

To make a tab staff, all that is necessary is string and fret for each
note in one, two, and three, reading up and right:

e3 m0 b1 m0 g0 a3 g0 m0 0 0 12   |

Where the number is printed directly below its corresponding note on the
staff above. Use your syntax to write an automagic macro to write this
into the ly file. For non-automagic, notes would be an alternative, but
notes relative to the open string, because they indicate frets, not
sound. C. Mondrup indicated an interest in guitar solos for school band,
and this alternative would make it easier to enter tab for solos played
high on the neck without having to calculate the frets:

eg me bc me gg ac gg me e e e' 

In this example, the guitar strings could be set as mbgdae, where m is a
mnemonic for mi for the first E string. (Letters are preferable to
numbers for string indications, period. They are easier to read. Villa
Lobos was right, along with all the rest of the string players.)

The rests are simply ignored. If there are grace notes or notes
resulting from bending, use placeholders to skip them *if you like*: - -

> If somebody else did implement it, I would still prefer having it all in one
> place (more typo-safe. - Errors would not result in wrong pitch, only in
> wrong performance)

That is not realistic. You limit yourself to one part in the music. I
wouldn't type even the simplest example all at once. With the notation
printed (on paper or screen) before you, putting in in the tab is really
much easier *no matter how it is done or where it is put.*

When you do a song with lyrics, don't you get the music to print first,
and then put in the lyrics? And do it without fingering and marks first,
then put in the fingering and marks? And one is in the notes and the
other isn't.

> and I would probably still make my
> "note-to-tab"-converter.
A note-to-tab converter macro that automagically extracted a tab staff
from the notes and typed it into the .ly file would take care of the
simple cases. Simply not using it and typing in the tab staff by hand
could take care of the hard cases, and users could quickly get a sense
for what would be best for their particular work, so everyone could be
happy and *productive*. :-)

> If somebody else sometime in the future makes a more "clean" lilypond
> implementation of tabs I will ofcourse change my tabs to use the new clean
> tabs... But with the same (old) syntax.
Believe me, I'm not the guy that has problems with anyone's syntax. I
hate to keep belaboring this, but *tab does not indicate notes.* Tab is
not an alternative to notation, it merely supplements notation. For me,
data entry is *the* practical problem, not at all a philosophical one. I
like tab as simple as possible, *no* bends, ties, rests, dynamics...
absolutely nothing but lines and fret numbers, some kind of clef-like
symbol, barlines and volte with the notation, and a box somewhere ad lib
telling how the strings are tuned. Everything else belongs in the
notation, which tells the reader what the music is supposed to sound
like. Putting in more than necessary is very confusing. The student
should understand that tab is fingering, not notation.

> I am sorry to disappoint you, but I am not a good enough gt-player to find any
> use of your idea (my scores would be flooded with errors), and I would not
> know how to implement it.
> Actually I whink that it is possible for you to write numbers directly on the
> staff already, at least it will not take one of the gurus many seconds to
> allow it.
Many have been counting the seconds for quite a while. :-)
> when playing normal, simple music on guitar / bass, attaching
> string-information to every note will not be required, either.
> Normally

I cannot imagine a bass player who would not be insulted by being
presented with tab, but maybe I'm just out of touch.
"Normally" only applies to guitar music which is *extremely* simple,
which is not only not normal but probably not written correctly, and
which does not serve to educate but rather avoids educating, and to *no*
banjo music. *None*. There is no such thing as normal banjo music.
> I think that my implementation will be best suited for simple/easy music
> without lots of bending, etc. Your idea will be best suited for more
> sophistcated music where you have to concider the performance of every note.
Close enough. So let us have both. *Please*. :-)  :-)

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