Yer: a Sagittal study

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Re: Yer: a Sagittal study

Post by ᴄᴍʟᴏᴇɢᴄᴍʟᴜɪɴ »

yahya.abdal-aziz wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:49 am There's every chance that something based on 4 high primes will be better represented by Sagittal than by any competing notation, but if not, roll your own.
I'm sure I could come up with my own notation for Yer that would suit it better than Sagittal; Yer is certainly an outlier tuning, where Sagittal was optimized for the more common wants. But I want to believe it is worth the compromise for Yer (and other weird tunings of mine) to be able to use a single notation system across all of my music. That way, if I ever do find these adventurous performers I need, I'll only need to ask them to commit to learning one notation system.

And indeed I think if there's one notation system that could get some traction and momentum across the entire alternative tuning community (I think it has started to happen over the past 15 years already), and maybe even ease the barrier of entry into it for newcomers, it'd be Sagittal.

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Re: Yer: a Sagittal study

Post by Dave Keenan »

yahya.abdal-aziz wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:49 am You want your performers to make your music, they should be able to think about it - i.e. grasp and use the concepts - exactly as you do. If that means learning 3 new scales with, say, 13 new accidental symbols necessary to them, then so be it! Let your performers understand your scales, and practice their scales too, until they're fluent in them, just like any beginner (we're all, always, making new beginnings if we're still learning, and if we're no longer learning to do new things, are we even alive?); only then would you turn them loose on your new music in those scales.
I'd like to counter that "Composer's manifesto" ;) with this quote from a performer (a violinist):
The demands of recording Ben Johnston's string quartets are astounding. We've been doing this for six years, and we still find it to be overwhelming... In essence, Ben's stuff is unperformable. He wrote for instruments and humans that don't exist yet ... a hybrid of acoustic strings with real-time electronic/digital feedback of some sort and people with brains the size of HumVees... In rehearsal, we use microtuners and contact mics to let us know where on the dial we're playing -- X number of cents above or below tempered 'in tune'. (This is after we have laboriously translated Ben's notation into tempered-speak values -- his scores and parts as offered by his publisher are only half ready to be of any use because they're not written in a language anybody understands.) But in performance, darting the eye down to the tuner and back up to the page isn't going to work.
In other words: Even after 6 years of playing music from the same composer, if cents from standard tuning are not given, they have to figure them out themselves, and initially find the notes using tuning meters.

The full reference is linked from this post: viewtopic.php?p=103#p103

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Re: Yer: a Sagittal study

Post by ᴄᴍʟᴏᴇɢᴄᴍʟᴜɪɴ »

That's an amazing quote, Dave.

As a looney composer, I will admit that it feels most right to me to refuse to compromise, to create works of art which are utterly unrecognizable and adventurous, which demand a severe commitment from those who would engage with it, whether audience or performer. I suppose it would be as if Tolkien had decided to write The Lord of the Rings in Sindarin (or worse, Quenya). I suppose he could have, but it would been a shame if he hadn't also provided the more accessible version of his vision in English for the rest of us.

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Re: Yer: a Sagittal study

Post by ᴄᴍʟᴏᴇɢᴄᴍʟᴜɪɴ »

@Dave Keenan, when you get a chance, could I get a direct yes/no on my proposed approach to including cents deviations as a supplement to Sagittal notation, as I described a few posts back?

On page 22 of the XH article you write:
The excellent results achieved using the Reinhard method of notation for conventional instruments cannot be summarily dismissed. We have therefore concluded that it could be useful for a string, wind, or voice part in Sagittal notation to have the cents deviation from a 12-EDO pitch placed above the notes for those players who are able to benefit from this. In combination, these two approaches to notation would supply the same information in different formats that effectively complement one another.
Which seems to agree with this, i.e. that you should have cents relative to the 12-EDO pitch even if your piece uses a Pythagorean-tuning for the standard notation elements. I suppose that would mean that in Revo flavor, where the conventional accidentals are eliminated, sometimes cents deviations will be in the hundreds.

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Re: Yer: a Sagittal study

Post by Dave Keenan »

Footnote 18 in the XH article (my bolding) says:
While the Reinhard method makes use of numbers of cents modifying 24-EDOpitches, it is not possible to use separate quartertone symbols at the same time as Sagittal symbols, so the numbers would need to be specified relative to steps of 12-EDO. The numbers would therefore be wider in range, but would never require more than 2 digits.
So if Revo Sagittal is used, the performers have to at least read double and triple-shaft arrows as sharps or flats, and X-shaft arrows as double sharps and double flats. They can however ignore the flags. So the cents will be the same no matter whether it's Evo or Revo.

But if you're putting cents on, why would you use Revo?

And yes, the cents would usually be relative to 12edo. But no matter whether they are relative to 12-edo or to the native fifth of the tuning, there should be some words at the start of the score to that effect. e.g. "Cents relative to 12-equal", or "Cents relative to Pythagorean", or "Cents relative to 1/4-comma meantone" or "Cents relative to a chain of 708 cent fifths" etc.

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Re: Yer: a Sagittal study

Post by ᴄᴍʟᴏᴇɢᴄᴍʟᴜɪɴ »

Dave Keenan wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 4:12 pm Footnote 18 in the XH article (my bolding) says:
While the Reinhard method makes use of numbers of cents modifying 24-EDOpitches, it is not possible to use separate quartertone symbols at the same time as Sagittal symbols, so the numbers would need to be specified relative to steps of 12-EDO. The numbers would therefore be wider in range, but would never require more than 2 digits.
So if Revo Sagittal is used, the performers have to at least read double and triple-shaft arrows as sharps or flats, and X-shaft arrows as double sharps and double flats. They can however ignore the flags. So the cents will be the same no matter whether it's Evo or Revo.

But if you're putting cents on, why would you use Revo?
Thanks for this. Interesting. To me it made even more sense to use cents with Revo than to use cents with Evo. Because the Revo are for the trve kvlt microtonalists, and the cents are for those less-committed folks who don't really know what any of this means but who can at least estimate percentages of the way between the notes they do know.

But I only thought that way before you clarified that performers should be expected to parse the sharp or flat part out of the Revo symbol, even if it is larger than the Revo symbol, e.g. :||\: equals :\!::#: so its accompanying cents value would actually be around negative 20¢, not positive 90¢. And we both agree that that's bonkers; if you know Revo well enough to be able to do that on the fly, you certainly don't need the cents to help.
And yes, the cents would usually be relative to 12edo. But no matter whether they are relative to 12-edo or to the native fifth of the tuning, there should be some words at the start of the score to that effect. e.g. "Cents relative to 12-equal", or "Cents relative to Pythagorean", or "Cents relative to 1/4-comma meantone" or "Cents relative to a chain of 708 cent fifths" etc.
I think my way, where :||\: would be accompanied by 90¢, is reasonable. Honestly, I even thought it was obvious, and so I didn't bother explaining, i.e. that you'd give cents deviations from the 12-EDO notation that was visible on the page (which in Revo is only bare nominals), until you revealed that you approached the problem differently.

And so in conclusion, you make an excellent point here, that this is a finnicky enough problem, and people will have different definitions of obvious, that inevitably you should just explain whatever it is you're doing at the beginning. The dream of a standard microtonal notation that requires no explanation is probably the pipe kind.

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Re: Yer: a Sagittal study

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cmloegcmluin wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:02 am But I only thought that way before you clarified that performers should be expected to parse the sharp or flat part out of the Revo symbol, even if it is larger than the Revo symbol, e.g. :||\: equals :\!::#: so its accompanying cents value would actually be around negative 20¢, not positive 90¢. And we both agree that that's bonkers; if you know Revo well enough to be able to do that on the fly, you certainly don't need the cents to help.
I agree that it would be a valid choice to give the cents deviations from the natural notes (the "white" notes), (+90 in your example) and so this would need to be indicated in words at the start of the score.

But I don't understand why you think I would agree that the other option (-20 in your example) would be bonkers? You don't need to know Revo at all. You just have to be told to treat anything with parallel vertical lines like a sharp and pointing upward, as a sharp, and treat anything with parallel vertical lines like a sharp and pointing downward, as a flat. Or am I missing something?
I think my way, where :||\: would be accompanied by 90¢, is reasonable. Honestly, I even thought it was obvious, and so I didn't bother explaining, i.e. that you'd give cents deviations from the 12-EDO notation that was visible on the page (which in Revo is only bare nominals), until you revealed that you approached the problem differently.
Yes. It's reasonable.
And so in conclusion, you make an excellent point here, that this is a finnicky enough problem, and people will have different definitions of obvious, that inevitably you should just explain whatever it is you're doing at the beginning. The dream of a standard microtonal notation that requires no explanation is probably the pipe kind.
Agreed.

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Re: Yer: a Sagittal study

Post by ᴄᴍʟᴏᴇɢᴄᴍʟᴜɪɴ »

Dave Keenan wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 3:45 pm But I don't understand why you think I would agree that the other option (-20 in your example) would be bonkers? You don't need to know Revo at all. ​You just have to be told to treat anything with parallel vertical lines like a sharp and pointing upward, as a sharp, and treat anything with parallel vertical lines like a sharp and pointing downward, as a flat. Or am I missing something?
Oh, sorry! I only characterized it as bonkers because I was sure that's exactly why you thought no one would pair Revo with cents. (And now I'm no longer sure why you thought no one would pair Revo with cents.)

I guess it is that simple, though. Double and triple shafts mean relative to a sharp/flat. Ex-shafts mean relative to a double sharp/flat.

Even that simple, though, I think it's asking a bit much of the non-microtonalist performers. If you're going to provide two notations on the same score, may as well optimize them for as divergent audiences as possible.

Maybe it's best to just produce two different scores though: one Revo one for 31337 h4x0rz and one Evo+cents one for n00bs.

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Re: Yer: a Sagittal study

Post by Dave Keenan »

cmloegcmluin wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:55 am Maybe it's best to just produce two different scores though: one Revo one for 31337 h4x0rz and one Evo+cents one for n00bs.
Yes. That was my assumption.

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Re: Yer: a Sagittal study

Post by ᴄᴍʟᴏᴇɢᴄᴍʟᴜɪɴ »

I just noticed that Thomas Nicholson, using EHEJIPN, prepends the cents deviations with the sharped or flatted nominal whenever it is not the bare nominal:



Lovely piece. Shame it's not notated in Sagittal, of course ;)

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