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Author Topic: Discussions of how to annotate Skirmish :-)  (Read 5968 times)

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Anahata

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Discussions of how to annotate Skirmish :-)
« on: February 25, 2010, 08:31:45 PM »

slightly re-written for musical correctness
Thanks for the ABC transcription. What a fine collaborative world this is!
I know Nick well, and he wouldn't write something that was musically incorrect.
If you mean putting the repeat marks on bar boundaries, you can do that if you like but Nick's version is perfectly legitimate.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 12:24:04 AM by Clive Williams »
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Pete Dunk

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Re: Poll: Tune of the Month for March 2010
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2010, 08:52:39 PM »

It's the 1&2 endings Anahata, you can only have one lead in bar in a piece of music. A pick up bar in the B music is simply incorrect, that said it's as common as muck in folk music books ...

I'm now going back to edit the abc because I've done the unforgivable and not credited the composer!
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Anahata

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Re: Poll: Tune of the Month for March 2010
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2010, 10:00:59 PM »

It's the 1&2 endings Anahata, you can only have one lead in bar in a piece of music. A pick up bar in the B music is simply incorrect, that said it's as common as muck in folk music books ...

I'm willing to be proved wrong, but please tell me where to look...

I'd trust Dolmetch on this.
If the piece starts with a 'short' bar ... and the composer wants the piece repeated from the beginning, the first repeat mark lies in the middle of a bar so that the time value of the opening 'short' bar taken with the time value of the 'shortened' bar immediately before the repeat mark totals the time value of a whole bar.

Nick applies that to the A music; it follows that the B music starts with a 'short' bar.
The important rule, as I understand it, is that any short bars at the beginning and end of the whole piece or of a repeated section should add up to a whole bar, and they do in Nick's version. That rule is sometimes broken, and I'd agree that would be incorrect musical notation.
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Ollie

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Re: Poll: Tune of the Month for March 2010
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2010, 10:03:21 PM »

This is true, but I think as the pick up note is different for the A and B music, a first and second time bar would look neater.
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Re: Poll: Tune of the Month for March 2010
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2010, 10:54:10 PM »

'Course, if you want to play Cock of the North, try playing it as a double major - in A, that would have you playing it against an accompaniment of A major and G major. And having mastered that, Florida (including our melodeonist Tim Bull) plays it not against A and G only, but a repeated descending line of chords that go A, G, F#m, Em.

It's marvellous, though clearly not one for the one-row...

Gav

Anahata

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Re: Poll: Tune of the Month for March 2010
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2010, 11:01:49 PM »

This is true, but I think as the pick up note is different for the A and B music, a first and second time bar would look neater.

Neater than this which has all the A music on lines 1 and 2, all the B on lines 3 and 4, and no 1st time and 2nd time bars?

I've read this several times and I can't follow the logic, unless it's the result of some kind of mental straightjacket that insists that the  A music and the B music have to start at the beginning of a whole bar. They don't.
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Ollie

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Re: Poll: Tune of the Month for March 2010
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2010, 11:09:24 PM »

This is one of the reasons that I really don't care for (some) musical theory, especially with folk music, as things start to become unnecessarily anal. Although a first and second time bar would be "correct", it honestly doesn't matter, the notes to the tune are there, which is all that is necessary really! It's not massive orchestral score where every note has to be perfect and every musical rule followed, its a fairly accurate notation of a folk tune. In my opinion, sheet music in folk music should only act as an aide memoire for learning and remembering the tune, should it be forgotten. It is certainly not something that has to be followed religiously.
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Pete Dunk

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Re: Poll: Tune of the Month for March 2010
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2010, 11:32:16 PM »

I'll do my best to try and answer this tomorrow when I'm not so tired Anahata and given my fairly limited grasp of musical theory that may be quite a task. Ponder this though if you will, however many times you repeat this piece you have to end it sometime - on a final bar with only one and a half beats. Da Capo al Fine?

Please don't misunderstand me, I have the utmost respect for you as a wonderfully accomplished musician and I'd be greatly surprised if Nick Barber typesets his own music. No personal slight was intended here. Can't follow the Dolmetch link btw, apparently I don't have the right plugins to follow the Sibelius generated score and when I click on 'install missing plugins' Windows tells me it can't find 'em!  ::)

Pete  ;D

I see Ollie has posted again while I was typing this and changed boats in mid stream. There's nothing anal about speaking a universal language with correct grammar. At this point I think it wise to withdraw from the debate entirely.
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Re: Poll: Tune of the Month for March 2010
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2010, 12:09:05 AM »

No, no, do go ahead and post again. Ignore what I wrote, it have to admit to ranting a little bit.  :|bl Sorry!
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Re: Poll: Tune of the Month for March 2010
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2010, 12:10:34 AM »

It's the 1&2 endings Anahata, you can only have one lead in bar in a piece of music. A pick up bar in the B music is simply incorrect, that said it's as common as muck in folk music books ...

I'm willing to be proved wrong, but please tell me where to look...

I'd trust Dolmetch on this.
If the piece starts with a 'short' bar ... and the composer wants the piece repeated from the beginning, the first repeat mark lies in the middle of a bar so that the time value of the opening 'short' bar taken with the time value of the 'shortened' bar immediately before the repeat mark totals the time value of a whole bar.

Nick applies that to the A music; it follows that the B music starts with a 'short' bar.
The important rule, as I understand it, is that any short bars at the beginning and end of the whole piece or of a repeated section should add up to a whole bar, and they do in Nick's version. That rule is sometimes broken, and I'd agree that would be incorrect musical notation.

I think you have the key to this Anahata, the only proper thing lacking is a #2 ending for the B part, which would be a finale. Instead, we have a repeat, which in my mind would mean start at A again. Usually there is some instruction on where to go next, or how many times to repeat.. In this case, I think the tune must continue ad infinitum! A good indication of time to stop is when the dancers leave the stage!!                                                             :||: :Ph :|||:
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Anahata

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Re: Poll: Tune of the Month for March 2010
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2010, 12:51:05 AM »

I think you have the key to this Anahata, the only proper thing lacking is a #2 ending for the B part.
Usually there is some instruction on where to go next, or how many times to repeat.. In this case, I think the tune must continue ad infinitum! A good indication of time to stop is when the dancers leave the stage!!

I still don't see why the B should have a #2 ending. See abc below (I also posted it on the other thread) which is as Nick wrote it. The whole thing repeats as many times as needed and stops at the end as written, other than you might hold the last note a little longer at the end, but thats purely an interpretation issue.

The musical notation doesn't say how many times the whole tune is repeated, but I suppose you could say that with a text annotation at the start if you wanted to.

X: 1
T: Skirmish
C: Nick Barber
M: 2/2
L: 1/4
Q: 1/4=180
K: G
a | b2 a/g/f/a/ | g2 d/e/d/c/ | B G d G | e/d/c/B/ A a |
b2 a/g/f/a/ | g2 d B/c/ | d e d B | A2 G :|
|: G/A/ | B d A d | B d A d | B d A d | e/d/c/B/ A G/A/ |
B d A d | B d A B/c/ | d e d B | A2 G  :|]
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Anahata

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Re: Poll: Tune of the Month for March 2010
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2010, 01:04:46 AM »

I'd be greatly surprised if Nick Barber typesets his own music. No personal slight was intended here.

No offence taken, and I hope I'm not causing any, but I think there are some misconceptions here that need correcting.

Nick Barber typesets lots of music, by the way, for his big band workshops at Sidmouth every year and for other books of his music, though I don't remember if he did the typesetting for his "English Choice" book published by Mally. As a horn player in several local orchestras he's probably seen more properly written and printed music than anyone on this forum, certainly a lot more than me in the last 30 years.

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Owen Woods

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Re: Discussions of how to annotate Skirmish :-)
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2010, 01:48:14 AM »

Nick Barber's Big Band tunebooks are well worth getting by the way, he always chooses particularly interesting tunes and some of his own compositions are really very good.

If I remember my music theory correctly, an upbeat of one crotchet must require a bar at the end of the section minus one crotchet, as Anahata says. I seem to remember that being drilled into me.

Whatever is right or not right though, it is fairly clear that the version uploaded by Nick is the neatest and easiest of all possible versions and that is all I really care about!
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Re: Poll: Tune of the Month for March 2010
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2010, 03:33:01 AM »

................The musical notation doesn't say how many times the whole tune is repeated, but I suppose you could say that with a text annotation at the start if you wanted to.

 The King in Alice in Wonderland famously said:
  Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop

  The Italians say: Da Capo al Fine
  Return to the beginning, proceed to the end, then stop.
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Re: Discussions of how to annotate Skirmish :-)
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2010, 12:48:22 PM »

My music dictionary says that an anacrusis is "An unstressed note or notes at the beginning of a phrase of music" I think the main word there is 'phrase' so you can have it at the start of both the A and B (and C and D) music.

Nigel
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Re: Poll: Tune of the Month for March 2010
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2010, 06:15:11 PM »

No offence taken, and I hope I'm not causing any, but I think there are some misconceptions here that need correcting.

You certainly weren't causing me any offence at all Anahata, there's nothing like a healthy debate to get the juices flowing. I've been silent on this for while because I needed time research the subject and now I'm back armed to the teeth.  ;D

Before I go any further I have to say that the simple truth is that broadly speaking we were both right!

Let's consider the matter of a lead in bar and its affect on the number of beats in the final bar of a repeated section. The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Guide to Music Theory (Part 1) by Eric Taylor has this to say:

Quote
In such cases, the convention about balancing an incomplete opening bar with an incomplete bar at the end (the two adding up to a complete bar) is generally observed. (.... notation example shown  ....) However, this convention is not always followed nowadays, and in longer pieces (such as the first movement of a sonata) it has never been consistently observed.

This would suggest that my music teacher (in the 1960s!) was a modernist but both methods are patently valid.

There is no requirement for the final bar of a piece of music to be complete in terms of beats, however, should there be a repeat sign at the end of the final bar the AB Guide has this to say: (words in bold or italics are as printed)

Quote
There are two other standard directions for repeating sections of music that have already been performed. The first is the instruction Da Capo, often abbreviated as D.C., meaning 'from the beginning':i.e. the performer is to start again at the beginning of the written music. The place to finish is then shown by the word Fine (Italian for 'end'). or by a {fermata (hold) symbol} (not observed the first time round), or by both together.
A similar instruction is Dal Segno or D.S. for short, meaning 'from the sign'. The sign in question is shown {segno symbol} or {alt. segno symbol}, so the performer returns to this point and plays on again until he comes to the word Fine and/or {fermata symbol}.

All of that guff simply means that the last note of the piece in question should at least have a hold symbol above it. (I didn't know this until recently but the abc extended instruction set doesn't work in all converters so !fermata! is to be avoided but typing a capital H before the last note inserts a fermata above i.e. HG puts a dot in an upturned teacup above the final note G).

So there we have it, the only mistake either of us made was to presume the other to be wrong (with the exception of the hold on the final note of the piece - you omitted it and I doubled the length to make it fit! Honours even I reckon).

Fancy a pint Anahata? My shout.  :|glug


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Re: Discussions of how to annotate Skirmish :-)
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2010, 12:18:36 AM »

The only other consideration I'd like to mention is that I like to go for whatever's simplest as long as it's not actually incorrect.
That said, consider your hand firmly shaken, yes please to the pint and I'll get the next one... (:)
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Re: Discussions of how to annotate Skirmish :-)
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2010, 01:42:39 PM »

I'm not sure that "simpler" necessarily means "clearer".

I generally prefer to write out first and second time repeats because that shows more clearly (at least it does to me) that the pick-up is different when going back to repeat the A than when leading into the B.  The example that Anahata linked to is certainly simpler on paper, but I find it less easy to follow.   

Anahata

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Re: Discussions of how to annotate Skirmish :-)
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2010, 02:16:48 PM »

the pick-up is different when going back to repeat the A than when leading into the B.
I'd call the the notes in question "the first note of the A music" and "two first two notes of the B music" and then everything falls into place and repeats exactly. Or to put it another way, the "pick up note" is at the beginning, not the end of the section.

Quote
  The example that Anahata linked to is certainly simpler on paper, but I find it less easy to follow.   
That's interesting because I'm quite sure I find the other way round. I guess it's a matter of what you are used to.

I'm perfectly comfortable with the idea that the A and B music do not have to begin and end with a whole bar. I have a suspicion that some others have a problem with this, hence all this talk of "pick up notes".

Not fighting about what's right and wrong, just interested in the psychology of different perspectives...
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Re: Discussions of how to annotate Skirmish :-)
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2010, 10:20:22 AM »

As you say, it's a matter of perception, but there's no right or wrong.  Both ways of notating it work, and whether or not it's strictly correct seems irrelevant.

I suppose I'm one of those who thinks in terms of of the A or B starting on a bar. My own perception is that the initial pickup is simply an introduction to the tune, and the notes at the end of the 8-bars are a way of linking either back to the repeat of the A or into the B.  Either can easily be left out without affecting the tune itself, and it's often quite effective to do so now and again. 

  The example that Anahata linked to is certainly simpler on paper, but I find it less easy to follow.   
That's interesting because I'm quite sure I find the other way round. I guess it's a matter of what you are used to.
It probably says more about my own weaknesses when it comes to reading music, which are manifold. 
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