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Re: another question regarding ottava: why does Lilypond change the pitc

From: Kenneth Wolcott
Subject: Re: another question regarding ottava: why does Lilypond change the pitches?
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2021 16:08:17 -0700

That helps explain it! Thanks!

But if I wanted to reproduce precisely what this arranger is doing, I
could just enter the pitches as written and just place a note to
instruct the performer to do the ottava manually, correct?


On Mon, Nov 1, 2021 at 3:57 PM Jean Abou Samra <> wrote:
> Le 01/11/2021 à 23:49, Kenneth Wolcott a écrit :
> > Hi Kieren & Carl;
> >
> >    Well, since you have already provided an MWE that shows it works as
> > documented, may I provide my full Lilypond code?  It is only a halfway
> > completed Piano arrangement of "The Elephant" from the ""Carnival of
> > the Animals", by Saint-Saens. It is not long and it is simple.
> > Perhaps I'm doing something really stupid...
> You're trying to enter the pitches as if the ottava were
> not there, and add the ottava to make them sound and read
> one octave lower. Just like with accidentals, LilyPond does
> not think like that: you should enter the real pitch in
> the way it sounds, and \ottava determines how to format it.
> So you should simply add extra commas on all the notes
> of the ottava.
> This design choice separates input and layout. If you started
> without ottava, and your teacher or publisher tells you that
> you should really write these notes with an ottava to make
> them more readable, you can just sprinkle \ottava in the code
> without changing the pitches themselves.
> Best,
> Jean

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