"Sagispeak"

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Dave Keenan
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Re: "Sagispeak"

Postby Dave Keenan » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:17 pm

Hi Xen,

I really liked your :!(: -> h -> n, :|(: -> μ -> u mnemonic. It seems your opinion carried enough weight, along with Cam's and mine. George emailed me the following, 2 months ago. I asked him to post it to this forum 2 months ago so everyone else didn't have to take my word for it, but It seems he's having too much fun evangelising the Moschino free-bass system for the piano accordion.

George wrote in email:
George Secor wrote:Hi Dave,

Okay, since the preponderance of opinion on the Sagittal forum seems to be n and u for :!(: and :|(:, respectively, I'll go along with that, because it is easier to remember.

However, for :~!(: and :~|(:, it's evident that whatever shorthand is used is going look nothing like those symbols. You proposed "e" and "c", respectively, but I think that "e" looks more like an up symbol than a down symbol, so I propose "o" and "e" for down and up, respectively. If that's the case, then :)!(: and :)|(: could be changed from "i" and "*" to "i" and "c".

--George

So George agrees re n/u but goes on to suggest different ASCII assignments for two rarely-used athenian symbols.
Does anyone have a preference:

i  *   :)!(:   :)|(:    ranao  ranai    7:11-kleisma ~10c
e c :~!(: :~|(: sanao sanai 17-comma ~15c

versus

i  c   :)!(:   :)|(:    ranao  ranai    7:11-kleisma ~10c
o e :~!(: :~|(: sanao sanai 17-comma ~15c

or perhaps you have another suggestion? I note that the only other available characters are '@' and 'l' (lowercase-L), and the latter can't be used as a down symbol as its attempted pronunciation would clash with 'r' in some languages. I note also that so far we have a mnemonic that whenever a down/up pair consist of a letter and a non-letter, the letter is always the down character. This is based on the prototype pairs b # and v ^.

[Edit: Similarly 'c' cannot be a down symbol as its attempted pronunciation would clash with 's' or 'k'.]

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Re: "Sagispeak"

Postby Xen-Gedankenwelt » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:48 am

I'm not sure how helpful it is, but here are my thoughts:

If we ignore limitations, I would start like following:

o  i   :)!(:   :)|(:    ranao  ranai    7:11-kleisma ~10c
c e :~!(: :~|(: sanao sanai 17-comma ~15c

o for down and i for up is very intuitive, similar to the ao and ai in the accidental pronounciations. And if we consider the d key on a conventional keyboard as a point of symmetry, c is the white key below d, and e the white key above d. Also, in a C major chord 4:5:6, e is above c, and c is the lowest note. So at least for me, c = down and e = up would be intuitive.

However, I think it's not a good idea to use o, because it looks similar to a note head, a zero, or a ° (-> used for diminished chords), so I would replace o with *. I can associate the * with an o, so that would still be intuitive for me.

But your rules imply that * must be an up symbol, and c can't be a down symbol, and swapping them would result in your initial suggestion:

i  *   :)!(:   :)|(:    ranao  ranai    7:11-kleisma ~10c
e c :~!(: :~|(: sanao sanai 17-comma ~15c

For me that's probably the best solution that fulfills the requirements, but the accidental directions are a little counterintuitive to me - especially since I tend to associate bright vowels like i and e with "up" / "high".

A possible mnemonic for the first pair is that you can see stars above you in the sky, and i -> infra- (= below). But I have trouble with e / c, unless I try to remember that it's the opposite of what is intuitive for me.

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Re: "Sagispeak"

Postby Dave Keenan » Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:23 pm

Thanks Xen. I note that the asterisk character normally is raised up in the same way as the caret *^. Also, when enlarged, the top of the asterisk can be seen to resemble the top of the upward sagittal * :)|(:. And "i" is a very narrow character, suitable for representing a very small alteration. And the pair i* fits the pattern set by b#, v^, j?, s$ and z~ where the letter is down and the special character is up.

I agree there is no satisfying plain-text (ASCII) shorthand assignment available for these last few symbols. We are really down to the dregs of the character set, and it is debatable whether anyone will ever want to use single plain-text characters for these symbols, rather than the more transparent multi-character plain-text approximations like ~|(. However, I feel there is more chance of this with the 11-limit symbols rather than the 17-limit symbol, and it seems a shame not to complete the Athenian set.

Given that no assignment is clearly better than any other for these symbols, another consideration might be: not to change them unnecessarily. You can see in http://sagittal.org/Sagittal2_character_map.pdf, that for the past 3.5 years (and longer I think) they have been assigned as follows:

i  *   :)!(:   :)|(:    ranao  ranai    7:11-kleisma  ~10c
a g :~!(: :~|(: sanao sanai 17-comma ~15c
d q :(!(: :(|(: janao janai 5:11-s-diesis ~39c

In George's original SagiSpeak proposal we have:

i  *   :)!(:   :)|(:    ranao  ranai    7:11-kleisma  ~10c
u e :~!(: :~|(: sanao sanai 17-comma ~15c
a g :(!(: :(|(: janao janai 5:11-s-diesis ~39c

The pair "dq" were reassigned to more commonly used Spartan symbols, to replace (indirectly) the pair "o@" which are of no use for Sagispeak since they lack a consonant. Then the next-most-obvious down/up pair "ag" were taken from the 17-comma symbols and assigned to the 5:11-small-diesis symbols. I'm not sure whether this was on the basis that they more closely resemble those symbols, or that those symbols were thought more deserving, being 11-limit instead of 17-limit. Either way, it's not unreasonable. And we have since reassigned "u" to a more common symbol for good reason.

But I don't see any reason to change the assignment of i*. So for me, it comes down only to the question of which characters should be assigned to :~!(: and :~|(:. A complete survey of the ASCII character set (or the US keyboard) shows that we have not used `,":!|()[]{}<>-+@celop or any uppercase letters. There are good reasons not to use most of these, apart from the lowercase letters. But feel free to suggest their use. I will explain their other possible uses as required. However I was previously forgetting that "p" was available. Of course "p" would have to be the up symbol (a) because it looks like one, and (b) because if pronounced (as other consonant down symbols are) it would clash with the 5-comma symbol pronunciation. But if so, what should be the corresponding down symbol?

We should not use a special character for the down symbol with "p" because all other letter/special-character pairs work in the opposite directions. "p" was previously paired with "h" for obvious visual reasons, given that "b" was already used for the flat symbol, but "h" has now been assigned to represent the natural symbol, and as such has quite a lot to recommend it. As George pointed out, it dates back to the origins of the flat and natural symbols in the 10th century from round and square stylised lowercase "b"s, representing what we now call B-flat and B-natural and which the Germans still call B and H based on having interpreted the square "b" as a lowercase "h" in the 15th century. See the Harvard Dictionary of Music entry.

That leaves only "c e l o" for use as down symbols for :)!(: if "p" is the up symbol.

They are all pretty terrible. But I have come to favour "o", as George has suggested. "c" and "l" have the aforementioned problems that they have possible consonant sounds which clash with existing ones in Sagispeak, although there is some argument for using "c" nonetheless, because its pronunciation as an "s" is consistent with the actual sagispeak pronunciation of the symbol. which is "sanao", but one must remember the "an" and not be misled. "e" looks like an upward symbol, as George has said.

Xen-Gedankenwelt wrote:However, I think it's not a good idea to use o, because it looks similar to a note head, a zero, or a ° (-> used for diminished chords), so I would replace o with *.

I'm not sure why being similar to a notehead would matter, given that it is only intended for use in text, not on the staff. And on the rare occasion that I have wanted to represent a notehead in text, I have used an uppercase "O" as it has better scaling and alignment with the Sagittal symbols. :/|:O :\!:O And in the context of text, I don't think a lowercase "o" could be confused with a zero or a degree (diminished) symbol.

There is a minor mnemonic due to the alphabetical sequence of "op". But, of the other 6 pairs of lowercase characters, only 4 are in alphabetical order down up.

So, primarily by a process of elimination, I suggest:

i  *   :)!(:   :)|(:    ranao  ranai    7:11-kleisma  ~10c
o p :~!(: :~|(: sanao sanai 17-comma ~15c

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Re: "Sagispeak"

Postby Dave Keenan » Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:46 pm

A possible alternative is:

i  *   :)!(:   :)|(:    ranao  ranai    7:11-kleisma  ~10c
o @ :~!(: :~|(: sanao sanai 17-comma ~15c

This has the advantage of using the well-represented* mnemonic as to which is down (letter) and which is up (special character), and avoids the possible confusion that "p" might have with pao :\!: or pai :/|:. *There are 6 other cases of letter/special-character (out of a total of 18 pairs of characters). All 6 are down/up respectively.

But why don't I like "oe" as a pair? I guess it's because "e" looks only very slightly like some kind of up-arrow compared with the obvious upwardness of "p" and the upwardness-by-precedent of the special-character "@", and its visual pairing, by shared circularity, with "o".

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Re: "Sagispeak"

Postby George Secor » Tue May 24, 2016 11:12 am

I previously proposed the following shorthand characters:
i c :)!(: :)|(: ranao ranai 7:11-kleisma ~10c
o e :~!(: :~|(: sanao sanai 17-comma ~15c

Dave Keenan wrote:
A possible alternative is:

i * :)!(: :)|(: ranao ranai 7:11-kleisma ~10c
o @ :~!(: :~|(: sanao sanai 17-comma ~15c

Since there does not seem to be any support for c as :)|(:, I'm willing to leave the 7:11-kleisma shorthand as i *, the original (2006) characters.

My objection to @ for the upward 17-comma :~|(: is that in some fonts (e.g., Times New Roman) the @ character looks huge. This was okay when it represented :(|):, the 11-large diesis, but not appropriate for the 17-comma. I'm therefore continuing to recommend o e for the 17-comma since e does look somewhat like an upward-pointing symbol, and the respective vowel sounds of "o" and "e" suggest downward and upward alterations, analogous to "ao" and "ai".

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Re: "Sagispeak"

Postby Dave Keenan » Tue May 24, 2016 12:02 pm

Thanks George. I can go along with that. So the final decision for those two is:
i  *   :)!(:  :)|(:	ranao ranai 7:11-kleisma ~10c
o e :~!(: :~|(: sanao sanai 17-comma ~15c

And the complete revised document follows.

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Re: "Sagispeak"

Postby Dave Keenan » Tue May 24, 2016 12:03 pm

Sagittal Shorthand and Sagispeak
--------------------------------
24 May 2016

Following is a plan for single-character ASCII shorthand for single-flag and athenian-level single-shaft symbols, integrated with spoken names for all single-shaft Sagittal symbols.

Sagispeak symbols not containing a mina diacritic (a.k.a. right-accent) always end with a diphthong, either "ao" for downward alteration (as in "dOWn") or "ai" for upward alteration (as in hIGH). The diphthong occurs once and only once in a symbol name, and it indicates the overall direction of pitch alteration. The consonant(s) preceding the diphthong are determined by the downward shorthand characters of the constituent single-flag symbols according to the table given below. An exception is that the shorthand character "\" (for 5-comma down) becomes the consonant "p" ("pental"). Thus :\!: is named "pao", and :/|: is "pai".

The number of consonants in a symbol name will generally be the same as the number of flags in the symbol and will occur in the same order (left-to-right). For a symbol having two flags on opposite sides of the arrow shaft, the consonants in the name are separated by the vowel "a" (pronounced "AH"). Thus, since :!): (7-comma down) uses shorthand character "t", :\!): is named "patao", and :/|): is "patai".

If a symbol has two flags on the same side of the arrow shaft, then the two consonants are not separated and are blended where possible, as shown in the following table. If a symbol contains a double flag (same flag type on same side), then the corresponding single-flag consonant is combined with "h" to form a double-letter consonant. Thus :\ \!: is named "phao", and :/ /|: is "phai".

If a symbol contains a schisma diacritic (a.k.a. left accent), then the prefix "o" (down) or "i" (up) is added to the symbol name. Thus :'::\!: (diaschisma down) is named "ipao", :.::\!: (pythagorean comma down) is "opao", and :.::/|: (diaschisma up) is "opai". If a symbol contains no flags, i.e., only diacritic(s), then the last diacritic vowel "o" or "i" becomes "ao" or "ai" to satisfy the condition that a diphthong must occur once in a symbol name. Thus :.::!: is named "ao", :!::.: is "mao", and :'::|::': is "imai", but :.::/|\::': (11:17M diesis, 33:34) is "opakaimi".

Plain-text
shorthand Sagispeak consonant(s)
---------------------------------------
Spartan symbols:
n u :!(: :|(: n
\ / :\!: :/|: p
t f :!): :|): t
_ = :\ \!: :/ /|: pp -> ph or f
& % :\!): :/|): pat or g
v ^ :\!/: :/|\: pak or v
w m :(!): :(|): jat or w
d q :(!/: :(|\: jak or d
Non-spartan single-flag symbols:
r ; :)!: :)|: r
z ~ :!~: :|~: z (may be pronounced ts)
k y :!/: :|\: k
j ? :(!: :(|: j (may be pronounced as in jaw, yaw, haw, or zhaw)
s $ :~!: :~|: s
Remaining athenian symbols:
i * :)!(: :)|(: ran
o e :~!(: :~|(: san
a g :(!(: :(|(: jan
Non-athenian blended symbols:
:~~!: :~~|: ss -> sh
:!/ /: :|\ \: kk -> kh or ch (pronounced tsh)
:)~!: :)~|: sr or sl
:)\!: :)/|: pr
:)\ \!: :)/ /|: phr
:)\!/: :)/|\: prak or vr
Remaining (non-athenian) compound symbols:
:)!~: :)|~: raz
:)!): :)|): rat
:~!): :~|): sat
:\!~: :/|~: paz
:~!/: :~|\: sak
:(!~: :(|~: jaz
:(\!: :(/|: jp (pronounced jap)
:!/): :|\): kt (pronounced kat)
:)!/ /: :)|\ \: rakh or rach
Schisma diacritics:
. ' :.::!: :'::|: add "o" or "i" prefix
Schismina diacritics:
. ' :!::.: :|::': m (Mina); add "mo" or "mi" suffix
.. '' :!::.::.: :|::'::': b (Bi-mina); add "bo" or "bi" suffix
Apotome accidentals:
b # :\!!/: :/||\: flat, sharp (or equivalent terms in other languages)
bb x :\Y/: :/X\: double flat, double sharp
h :h: natural

Multi-shaft (or "pure") Sagittal symbols have the same names as their mixed-symbol counterparts. Thus F:||\: and F:#::\!: are both named "F-sharp-pao" in English and may be written "F#-pao". Since most other languages do not use the terms "sharp" and "flat", the Sagittal name may be appended to the appropriate pitch names, separated by a hyphen.

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Re: "Sagispeak"

Postby Dave Keenan » Tue May 24, 2016 1:43 pm

I'm working on ideas for a "keyboard layout" for Microsoft Windows computers. This is software that can be installed to to allow a user to type a memorable sequence of keys to obtain any Sagittal symbol rather than having to find it in a palette or look up its unicode value (they begin at U+E300). These key sequences would always begin with a special "Sagittal" key which would be a repurposing of some otherwise rarely used key such as Scroll Lock, Insert, Right Alt, Right Ctrl or Caps Lock. They might then consist of either the long ASCII representation of the symbol, the short ASCII (for those that have them) or a sequence of keys representing prime numbers to be multiplied together and a possible slash to divide them (in the case of JI notations). Some ideas for the latter, which would almost be a JI notation calculator (except that it would not give the nominal) are described here:
http://forum.sagittal.org/viewtopic.php?p=269#p269

But I just want to mention in this thread, an idea relating to the short ASCII, since this has just been finalised.

Because the slash / and slosh (backslash) \ characters are also used in the long-ASCII and as a division character in the prime number method for entering JI Notations, I decided that I wanted some other characters to use for entering the 5-comma symbols :\!: :/|: by the short-ASCII method. I decided the downward character should be the same as the sagispeak character, as it is in so many other cases, so it should be "p" in this case, and I chose "l" for the upward character due to its proximity to "p" on the keyboard, and since the only other option is "c" which seems less like an opposite for "p". So Sagittal p for :\!: and Sagittal l for :/|:.

I may decide not to include short-ASCII as an option in the keyboard layout, since it may still conflict with the other entry methods. Or I may use the shifted version of the downward character as the upward in all cases, so Sagittal p for :\!: and Sagittal Shift+P for :/|:, Sagittal v for :\!/: and Sagittal Shift+V for :/|\:. Just thought I'd mention it in case anyone else has any preferences or ideas regarding such a keyboard layout.

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Re: "Sagispeak"

Postby cam.taylor » Wed May 25, 2016 5:18 pm

I rather like the idea of using shift to flip keyboard shortcuts from lower alterations to upper alterations, just as the shift key usually flips us from lower to uppercase letters. Sagittal+p for :\!: and Sagittal+P for :/|: sounds very intuitive, and I would imagine one could become quite quickly proficient.

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Re: "Sagispeak"

Postby Xen-Gedankenwelt » Wed May 25, 2016 6:16 pm

I completely agree with Cam, using an additional key to toggle up/down direction of accidentals is much more intuitive for me than using different letters, even if those are nearby on the keyboard.


About the single-character ASCII notation:

I agree that o isn't that much of a problem when you use an (uppercase) O for noteheads, and I like that e is up / o is down.

I'm also happy that @ isn't used, because I use that for macros in my own ASCII-based microtonal score format, and which is the only special character that can't be separated from a note in certain cases. It's still in development, and currently not an active project, so it wouldn't have been bad if I had to use a different character, but I'm still happy. :D

The one thing I don't like is that i is used for a downward accidental, which is counterintuitive, as ! is already a downward accidental in the multi-character notation, and both look like an up/down pair. But as mentioned before, there's no 100% satisfying implementation, and I think it's good that a final decision has been made. :)


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