Saturday, 29 August 2015

Placement of accents versus ties

Recently received a great suggestion to reverse current placement of tie start and end points versus accents, i.e. so accents sit above the start of ties. been thinking this through and am sharing my thoughts here on how that could be implemented. Looking for feedback / comments before I start spending a bunch of time coding it up.

Here’s how Drum Score places accents and ties today:

Revisiting the initial thinking which placed them this way round, the snippet below is the problem I was trying to address, resulting in what originally seemed to be a good compromise in terms of clarity and cleanliness of the score.
If we put the ties closer to the head how will this work? Note the last left hand flam at the end of the 2nd triplet. The tie would cut through the flam grace note.

I can see how this next popular phrase would be tidier though:

Maybe the right design is to have the option to mark a “low" start for tie on a note, with the default remaining a “high” start point. Will have to tweak where the tie starts relative to the note head too, today a tie starts and finishes above the middle of a note head, it may be cleaner to have the tie start toward the end of the opening note and toward the start of the closing note.

Another option might be for Drum Score to automatically work things out, saving the author having to think about it thus increasing productivity. Maybe we place the tie end higher if it needs to, i.e. if there’s a flam grace note. That would be a big (maybe welcome?) change in appearance for existing scores though, as we’d be effectively changing the default to a low start.

One approach could be to introduce a global option for the score to place tie ends below accents. Then have the option to manually raise them to a high end point if need be, or once again, automatically do it, in the case of the flam. Think I prefer something more automated.

So my proposed approach to try is:
  1. Alter where the tie so that it starts toward the end of the opening note  (or rest) and ends toward the beginning of the closing note. This will affect how every score, including ones written in the past appear, however could prove tidier overall
  2. Introduce an option, stored with each score, that specifies to start and end ties lower, and therefore closer to the note head (but never crossing the staff line). All ties in that score would be impacted, and licensed users can store this as a default setting for all new scores generated
  3. Introduce logic, activated if low start and end of ties has been chosen, that puts the end points high again, if a grace note such as a flam is on the closing note, avoiding the situation where the tie line would cut through the grace note.

At a later date, as nobody has actually asked for it yet but I've see it in a number of scores over the years, is to have an option where irregular group ties are placed underneath the note group, ie. triplets etc appearing below the group of notes with a horizontal line bracketing the grouped notes. e.g. —3 — appearing below the notes.

1 comment:

  1. The first part of addressing this has been coded and tested. If a tie exists to join notes, e.g. for rolls, and not for purposes of specifying an irregular group, the tie will draw slightly above the note head, i.e. below any accents.

    A new property has been created which allows the author to override this new behaviour and revert to the prior logic where all ties start above where accents sit.

    Similarly a preference (aka option on Windows) has been created where a licensed user can state that all newly generated scores respect this new behaviour or act as before. This allows the author to state their preference for any score they may write in the future.