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Author Topic: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project  (Read 29836 times)

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Pete Dunk

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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #60 on: December 29, 2018, 10:59:14 PM »

Wikipedia says 4 dots are used in shape note singing.

Shape note singing. That would be Melodeons R'n't Us then would it?  ;D
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #61 on: December 29, 2018, 11:09:46 PM »

Sibelious.

Oh b*gger, do I really have to be the one to ask if Sibelius really had a floppy disk?

Taking one for the team. Proud of you.
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Greg Smith
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Pete Dunk

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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #62 on: December 29, 2018, 11:18:25 PM »

Noted.  ;)

All the best for the New Year mate!  ;D
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #63 on: December 30, 2018, 01:26:57 AM »

From an old ABC standard, still working now and always will - H (for hold) will get you a fermata, T gets you a trill and L an accent mark.
Yes - you are right about the shortcuts H, T and L, which work, but the 2.1 standard does specify the spelled out versions !fermata!, !trill!, !>! or !accent!. Yes, they are longer to type out, but their meaning is immediately obvious to someone viewing the ABC code who might not otherwise be familiar with some of the shortcuts. (I had to look up the shortcut H for instance).

Quote
I've seen lots of repeat marks with four dots instead of two over the years, and have assumed them to simply be an old fashioned way of writing them. I haven't come across one in this manuscript...
John Buttrey seems to use the two dots conventionally for a normal repeat but four dots where there is a Da Capo repeat.
Have a look at tune No.50 'The Swift Revaley' for an example; also note the almost illegible 'Da Capo' scrawl at the end of the tune. 
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #64 on: December 30, 2018, 01:28:38 AM »

Watch out for this one. I've found two tunes in the first few where the website description of the tune describes them as 2/2 and 4/4 respectively on the manuscript they have cut time C| and common time C marks. C| and C are still in common usage and I see no reason to 'correct' anything that is perfectly legitimate in the first place.
Yes - agreed!
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Roger Hare

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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #65 on: December 30, 2018, 07:12:23 AM »

From the point of view of a 'new' transcriber, who also has an 'incomplete' knowledge of musical theory,
it's reassuring to see that other folks are experiencing the same sort of 'problemette' as I am.

Specifically:

I'm amazed at how similar a 200-year old copperplate '3' is to a 200-year old copperplate '5'! I've already
noted one instance where the index entry on the web-page specifies the time signature as 5/4 when (I'm
almost certain) it is actually 3/4.

'My' section (1-43) includes several tunes where the Buttrey team have already transcribed the tune and
included a JPEG image of the score on the web site. I am using these as the initial basis for my own
transcriptions, but once I have an initial draft, I will go back and carefully compare the Buttrey transcription
with the page image, and make any 'necessary' changes.

Thanks to those who've posted samples of their transcriptions so far. This has enabled me to modify my
style so as to conform more closely to the VMP 'norm' without having to bother the project co-ordinator.
I note that there are differences in individual coding styles. It is a relief to me to know that there is some
flexibility here - for instance, I have so far been unable to produce a completely space-free transcription,
but I note a few spaces in some of the examples.

I've decided after a little experimentation, that the best approach for me is to take a hike into the Watson
Music Library at the Manchester Central Library, where they have up to date large-screen machines which
allow me to display a magnified page image alongside the user interface for my ABC processor (I'm using
EasyABC, which I think may put me in a minority of VMP transcribers - I hope that won't turn out to
cause problems).

I've noted the 'print-through' from t'other side of a page, and the 'distortion' caused by the slightly
angled camera position in the case of some pages. I hadn't thought of using GIMP to 'correct' these anomolies,
and as I'm not finding these effects to be insurmountable, I probably won't bother (I just used GIMP to
clean up and design several sets of Japanese chess pieces, so I'm suffering a little from 'GIMP-fatigue').

I did notice a couple of pages where the edge of the image seems to have been 'clipped' very slightly.
I haven't looked in detail yet, but I hope that no notes have been lost...

One question - several of 'my' tunes have what appears to be a 'third section', consisting simply of a series
of parallel, decreasing vertical lines followed by (what I think is) a glissando. I do not know how to notate
this, so I haven't bothered (I don't think it is possible to notate a glissando in EasyABC). Can anyone tell me
what this is all about? Thank you.

Thanks for the posts - they've given a new transcriber some significant encouragement.

« Last Edit: December 30, 2018, 07:27:23 AM by lachenal74693 »
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #66 on: December 30, 2018, 07:27:53 AM »

... It is a relief to me to know that there is some
flexibility here - for instance, I have so far been unable to produce a completely space-free transcription,
but I note a few spaces in some of the examples.
I do (perhaps naughtily) include the odd space, mainly between repeated crotchets, where I like to use the space to separate the beats. It improves legibility IMHO.

Quote
I'm using EasyABC, which I think may put me in a minority of VMP transcribers - I hope that won't turn out to
cause problems.
I'm using EasyABC (for Mac) too. I don't see that it should cause any problems. Carry on!

Quote
One question - several of 'my' tunes have what appears to be a 'third section', consisting simply of a series
of parallel, decreasing vertical lines followed by (what I think is) a glissando. I do not know how to notate
this, so I haven't bothered (I don't think it is possible to notate a glissando in EasyABC). Can anyone tell me
what this is all about?
It's a bit of penmanship to fill in the empty space on the stave at the end of a tune. It's just a calligraphic flourish which has no musical significance, so you can safely ignore it!
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Pete Dunk

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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #67 on: December 30, 2018, 12:54:55 PM »

Spaces are necessary for proper grouping of notes, that has never been an issue. Redundant spaces, those don't do anything other than create white space around barlines etc, are what should be avoided. If you find it easier to proofread your work with lots of white space around then write your files that way, just use a global tool to strip out the redundant stuff before sending it to Chris. Explorer has a cleaning tool that does that, not sure about Easy ABC.
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #68 on: December 30, 2018, 03:49:44 PM »

From the point of view of a 'new' transcriber, who also has an 'incomplete' knowledge of musical theory,
it's reassuring to see that other folks are experiencing the same sort of 'problemette' as I am.

Specifically:

I'm amazed at how similar a 200-year old copperplate '3' is to a 200-year old copperplate '5'! I've already
noted one instance where the index entry on the web-page specifies the time signature as 5/4 when (I'm
almost certain) it is actually 3/4.

Two ways of making your mind up come to mind,

1. Count the number of crotchets per bar (aka quarter notes. Large solid dots with plain stems). If it's four the time signature will be 4/4 or C (they mean the same thing, Common Time). If it's two you've probably got  2/4, or cut time (a C with a line through it), again they mean the same thing. 2/4  seems common with a lot of the quicksteps. If it's three, you've either got 3/4 or 6/8. If it looks like a jig it'll be 6/8 (the rest of the quicksteps are 6/8, and look a lot like, and often are, jigs). If it has a waltz feel, it's 3/4.

2. The easy way. Look beneath the image at the list of tunes on that page. It will tell you the title, the time signature, the key signature and any other info that the creator of the images thought of including. Pete noted that, in his portion, some  of the common time and cut time key signatures have been given in number form as 4/4 or 2/4 but that is easy to spot and doesn't really affect the accuracy of the transcription anyway. It's nice to stick with the original, though, whichever that is.

If you have a problem with what appear to be errors in the scores, correct them and record what the original was and your changes as N: notes, as succinctly as possible.

It's worth sending the first handful you do to Chris. I did this and he was very quick to get back to me with his comments and to point out the error I had made  ;D.


« Last Edit: December 30, 2018, 03:51:53 PM by Tone Dumb Greg »
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #69 on: December 30, 2018, 04:09:26 PM »

Spaces are necessary for proper grouping of notes, that has never been an issue. Redundant spaces, those don't do anything other than create white space around barlines etc, are what should be avoided.

Hmm. When I create ABC I prefer to make break groups of notes up according to way they appear on the score. Depending on the note lengths, this is not always necessary and, yes, it does result in redundant spaces in the code, but I find it makes it easier for me to read quickly and I think it must do this for users that come after. The extra file size and consequent extra memory use is negligible and it does not have any ill effect on the integrity of the code. I sent my files to Chris like this for checking and he did not criticise me for it.

e.g., |Dd d2:| = |Ddd2| but I prefer |Dd d2:|
« Last Edit: December 30, 2018, 04:11:41 PM by Tone Dumb Greg »
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Greg Smith
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #70 on: December 30, 2018, 04:30:12 PM »

I'm amazed at how similar a 200-year old copperplate '3' is to a 200-year old copperplate '5'! I've already
noted one instance where the index entry on the web-page specifies the time signature as 5/4 when (I'm
almost certain) it is actually 3/4.

I cannot think of a single instance where late 18th - early 19th century music of this genre would ever have a 5/4 time signature!
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #71 on: December 30, 2018, 04:32:52 PM »

e.g., |Dd d2:| = |Ddd2| but I prefer |Dd d2:|
Your preference is my preference too, and the spaces as shown are of value because they separate the beats and make it easier to read in a musically sensible way. I think any enforced subsequent removal of those types of spaces would be over-fussy and pedantic.

What is undesireable in my opinion is ABC code with spaces inserted willy-nilly simply to ensure that the barlines line up beneath each other in successive lines of code. As far as I'm aware, no-one is actually doing this in this particular project, but a few years ago there was a former member of this forum who insisted on doing it for his own transcriptions, and growled loudly if anyone else tried to edit his code to remove the spaces.

The only time that even more additional spaces are worth entering is when dealing with multiple voice input. It just makes the music layout clearer and easier to enter countermelodies and contrapuntal harmonies (see here) but for the Buttrey project it is not required. (thank goodness :Ph)
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #72 on: December 30, 2018, 05:04:57 PM »

Absolutely, Steve. Agree with all that.
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Greg Smith
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #73 on: December 30, 2018, 05:10:07 PM »


I cannot think of a single instance where late 18th - early 19th century music of this genre would ever have a 5/4 time signature!

But, I did have one image where it was hard to tell if it was 2/4 or 4/4 just by looking at the key signature.
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #74 on: December 30, 2018, 05:26:16 PM »

e.g., |Dd d2:| = |Ddd2| but I prefer |Dd d2:|
Your preference is my preference too, and the spaces as shown are of value because they separate the beats and make it easier to read in a musically sensible way. I think any enforced subsequent removal of those types of spaces would be over-fussy and pedantic.

What is undesireable in my opinion is ABC code with spaces inserted willy-nilly simply to ensure that the barlines line up beneath each other in successive lines of code. As far as I'm aware, no-one is actually doing this in this particular project, but a few years ago there was a former member of this forum who insisted on doing it for his own transcriptions, and growled loudly if anyone else tried to edit his code to remove the spaces.

The only time that even more additional spaces are worth entering is when dealing with multiple voice input. It just makes the music layout clearer and easier to enter countermelodies and contrapuntal harmonies (see here) but for the Buttrey project it is not required. (thank goodness :Ph)
Yes to all that. A single space to break up the bar into beats helps navigation; no to multiple spaces where a single will do. I'm not upset by space round barlines either, it's just that I don't do it because personally I'm used to scanning it without. And I have to scan them a lot.
I'm preparing a revision of the hint page to take account of all that's been commented on  so far. There are so many newbies for this project that it's hard to keep track of what I've said to who.

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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #75 on: December 30, 2018, 05:27:18 PM »

1. Count the number of crotchets per bar (aka quarter notes. Large solid dots with plain stems). If it's four the time signature will be 4/4 or C (they mean the same thing, Common Time). If it's two you've probably got  2/4, or cut time (a C with a line through it), again they mean the same thing. 2/4  seems common with a lot of the quicksteps.

I think you're a bit mixed up here Greg, 2/4 is not cut time or C|. 2/2 is cut time.

Hmm. When I create ABC I prefer to make break groups of notes up according to way they appear on the score. Depending on the note lengths, this is not always necessary and, yes, it does result in redundant spaces in the code, but I find it makes it easier for me to read quickly and I think it must do this for users that come after. The extra file size and consequent extra memory use is negligible and it does not have any ill effect on the integrity of the code. I sent my files to Chris like this for checking and he did not criticise me for it.

e.g., |Dd d2:| = |Ddd2| but I prefer |Dd d2:|

I agree, that's exactly what I said. Spaces added to group notes properly are not redundant.  ;)
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #76 on: December 30, 2018, 05:49:16 PM »

I think you're a bit mixed up here Greg, 2/4 is not cut time or C|. 2/2 is cut time.

Whoops, you are right.

Quote
Hmm. When I create ABC I prefer to make break groups of notes up according to way they appear on the score. Depending on the note lengths, this is not always necessary and, yes, it does result in redundant spaces in the code, but I find it makes it easier for me to read quickly and I think it must do this for users that come after. The extra file size and consequent extra memory use is negligible and it does not have any ill effect on the integrity of the code. I sent my files to Chris like this for checking and he did not criticise me for it.

e.g., |Dd d2:| = |Ddd2| but I prefer |Dd d2:|
[/quote]
Quote
I agree, that's exactly what I said. Spaces added to group notes properly are not redundant.  ;)

Sorry, I misunderstood. I thought you meant  only leave spaces where they were needed to make the score display correctly.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2018, 05:51:49 PM by Tone Dumb Greg »
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Greg Smith
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #77 on: December 30, 2018, 06:03:34 PM »

I've just realised that I don't really understand the practical differences between cut time and common time. I thought that cut time just suggested a quicker tempo, but apparently that isn't necessarily so.
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Greg Smith
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #78 on: December 30, 2018, 06:27:52 PM »

The important thing in cut time is that it is two beats to the bar not four.
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #79 on: December 30, 2018, 06:51:36 PM »

I've just realised that I don't really understand the practical differences between cut time and common time. I thought that cut time just suggested a quicker tempo, but apparently that isn't necessarily so.
Common time = 4/4 which means four crotchet beats to a bar.
Cut time = 2/2 which means two minim beats to a bar.

Mathematically, 4/4 is the same as 2/2, but the big difference is in how you 'feel' the music, and that is what the two time signatures are trying to indicate.

In 4/4, the tune usually has a good, obvious 4 beats to a bar, so (being topical) think of 'O Come All Ye Faithful' or 'While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks'* for example.

In 2/2, the tune has a pulse of 2 beats in a bar. Many reels or 'straight' hornpipes have a pulse of 2 beats in a bar - think of 'Soldier's Joy' or 'Speed the Plough'. If you feel it in two beats/pulses to a bar, the tune flows nicely, whereas trying to feel a (rapid) 4 beats in a bar just makes the tune stodgy. I've seen both those tunes written in 4/4 and 2/2, but it's the latter which creates the pulse of 2 and so I would always advocate notating them in 2/2 not 4/4.

*Winchester Old - the tune which most people know for this carol.
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