Notation WORST Practices

Notation WORST Practices

A.k.a. obfuscated tunes.
E.g. like this one:

X:1
T:High Reel, The
R:reel
M:C|
K:Amix
|: a2fa eA~A2 |1 cAeA fAeA :|2 Bcdc BG~G2 |: a2fa eA~A2 |1 (3Bcd ef g2fg |
afge fdec | Bcdc BG~G2 :|2 cAeA fAeA | a2fa eA~A2 | Bcdc BG~G2 |
a2fa eA~A2 | !segno! (3Bcd ef g2fg | afge fdec | Bcdc BG~G2 !fine!||
|: (3cBA eA fAeA |1 (3cBA af eA~A2 | (3cBA eA fAec | Bcdc BG~G2 :|
[2 (3Bcd ef g2fg | afge fdec | Bcdc BG~G2 | (3cBA eA fAeA | (3cBA af eA~A2 |
(3cBA eA fAec | Bcdc BG~G2 | (3cBA eA fAeA !D.S.!|

I guess I could make it even worse using a coda 🙂

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Lovely! 🙂

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AMAZING

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To put it crudely: Obferfuscate!

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Any notation of traditional music is beside the point. Not even worth discussing except as reflecting an interest in any trivial thing, such as one’s favorite ice-cream or your favorite professional athlete.
How the music is played is the be-all and end-all of what we’re about. That’s what Michael Gill (still remember him?) insisted on. He was correct.

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I have never though, particularly, that Michael Gill’s target was people who can both read and write music and play it.

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Since I can’t read abc notation fluently, I converted the above example into MSS and can see that the way the tune is shown is unnecessarily clumsy. But Henrik, I’m a bit lost as to why you have posted it. Is there an implied criticism of some submissions here? As far as I can see it’s not a piece that has been submitted to this site, so are you making a general point about misguided approaches to abc transcriptions?

Can’t say that I understand the points made in the subsequent discussion either, or am I being a bit slow?

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Calum, Michael Gill’s point was that reading and notating music isn’t something of concern.
I can read music and I encourage other people to learn to read. But it’s much more important to learn by hearing the music and learning tunes that way.

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David, I’m not sure who you’re arguing with or what you think they’re trying to say. Notation is a tool, use it as you wish, take an interest in it if you wish. Some people take toolmaking seriously, and some people take it too seriously. But I am not at all clear what the point of shooting it down is. It especially does not feel like a constructive contribution to this discussion, or the other two that you added the same comment to.

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@hnorbeck Well, the task of obfuscation the tune’s transition graph is fulfilled satisfactorily. To make it even more incomprehensible you might try to add ornaments and change notes in the second octave into capital letters with apostrophes. A plenty of room for an improvement here! ;))

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Uh, and I forgot to mention slurs, chords and articulations.

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Bazza: "Henrik, I’m a bit lost as to why you have posted it."

If I may speak on Henrik’s behalf, I think he posted it to make us laugh. Some of us are easily tickled - others, clearly less so.

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@David Levine //Any notation of traditional music is beside the point. Not even worth discussing except as reflecting an interest in any trivial thing, such as one’s favorite ice-cream or your favorite professional athlete. //

So why are you discussing it here ? And why am I discussing you discussing it here 🙂 🙂

I know Michael Gill was outspoken on a lot of things, but he did value "the dots" … I remember him (many years ago) complaining about the abc convention used on this site, and saying something like "where’s the real music? [meaning standard notation] Can’t be bothered with all this abc stuff."

Of course, things have changed a fair bit since then, and it’s now easier than ever to whack in a chunk of abc, and get instant "dots" out, and printing is easier than ever now, both using the facility of this site, plus many other (often free) 3rd party utilities.

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Oh blimey! I had to use an ABC converter to read that, but yes, you do sometimes see standard notation scores like that, mainly when someone is trying to squash lots of different tunes into one or 2 sides of A4. The only way to cope with such a score in std notation is to use LOTS of highlighter pen and keep your cool!
And I am totally tickled!

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Er, not "the only way" - before someone corrects me: the other way is to learn the tune by ear and ditch the score!

‘Where’s the real music?’

Llig leahcim knows how to read & write sheet music. He was clear about this. But, Jim, I highly doubt he posted anything about notation referring to *it* as real music. I would wager a bet when (if) he asked, ‘where’s the real music(?)’ on this site he was demonstrating against the use of MIDI to represent tunes. He may have been talking about abc code too; but he despises midi.

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Ben - about Llig - what everyone else says about him is true - what I meant was that he preferred standard notation to abc, that’s all - he didn’t like "all this abc stuff". I was looking back through the threads to find exactly what he said about it, but his name has gone, so there’s no way to identify his posts. It’s got to be about 2005, if not earlier.

MIDI renderings can be reasonable - again, technology has zipped along, and it’s really quite easy to render the abc very quickly to quantised MIDI with a good piano sound. If you don’t know, "quantised" is just another word for "humanise" or "swing" (actually, some products actually use these words), with the long-short-long-short pattern, rather than just same-same-same-same.

It’s decent enough to give an idea of what the tune should sound like, and handy for anyone who can read music, but not very well.

(imo) MIDI in that usage is just another portability tool to aid abc.

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Jim, you are right that the MIDI you get from an ABC reader is quantized. But ‘quantize’ and ‘humanize’ are not the same thing, in fact they are complete opposites. If you put a MIDI file into a MIDI editor and hit ‘quantize’ it will stretch or truncate each note to fit exactly with the click track timescale and remove any slight errors in the original playing. If you hit ‘humanize’ it will introduce small random timing errors, to make the playing sound more human.

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Yes, this was in now way serious.
Just that the phrase "best practices" made we think of what the opposite would be.
I hope I at least made a few people laugh.

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It’s a really simple matter for me. Either read proper stave music, or learn by ear. I’ve learnt many of the alleged , most difficult violin tunes by stave music, but most of my repertoire was learnt by ear. What’s important is the "feel" and excitement you can generate, and even a beginner, who has mastered a simple tune really well, can reach an audience , in an amazingly powerful way.

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@Mark M

//Jim, you are right that the MIDI you get from an ABC reader is quantized. But ‘quantize’ and ‘humanize’ are not the same thing, in fact they are complete opposites. If you put a MIDI file into a MIDI editor and hit ‘quantize’ it will stretch or truncate each note to fit exactly with the click track timescale and remove any slight errors in the original playing. If you hit ‘humanize’ it will introduce small random timing errors, to make the playing sound more human.//

I’m not disagreeing with you in principle. I use Harmony Assistant, and it’s as French as you can get, even in Frongs, or Frongs says 🙂

If you want to give a phrase a more human feel, with swing, it uses those terms : "humanise", and (degrees of) swing. Just move the little slider left or right.

If you go to the help system, you find all that under "quantisation" .. so it’s really logical…er….. 🙂

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Hmm. Looking at the Harmony Assistant help pages it appears to have a ‘swing’ function that does what you would expect, and a separate ‘humanize’ function that adds errors as in other MIDI editing programs.

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@Mark : //Looking at the Harmony Assistant help pages it appears to have a ‘swing’ function that does what you would expect, and a separate ‘humanize’ function that adds errors as in other MIDI editing programs.//

This is the hierarchy according to the drop-down menu when you are running the program :

https://www.dropbox.com/s/b6z5sbfprc47mmm/harmony-assistant-quantise.JPG?dl=0

I may well be misinterpreting the drop-down hierarchy. If I apply a "swing" of 15 on the slider, it makes the rendering sound reasonably good, but the only thing it can’t seem to handle is the triplet. It always sounds laboured, and I know that in real life, there is uneven spacing between the three note in the triplet.

Annoying, but in the context, not particularly important.

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Jim Dorans, have you tried entering triplets as "semiquaver/semiquaver/quaver" instead of evenly spaced "three in the space of two" triplets? I find that a midi entered that way sounds much closer to the way we play it.

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All Moldy (what a name!) 🙂

//Jim Dorans, have you tried entering triplets as "semiquaver/semiquaver/quaver" instead of evenly spaced "three in the space of two" triplets? I find that a midi entered that way sounds much closer to the way we play it.//

No, I haven’t but I’ll give it a go, and report back.

Thanks 🙂