Help with notation

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Theory and practice of composition and arranging for classical guitar, discussion of works in progress, etc.

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llawrence
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Help with notation

Postby llawrence » Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:07 pm

Hello all! I'm a composer and amateur guitarist. I wonder if some of you kind folks might help me out with some of the fingering notation on my fretboard scores.

My scores tend to be very minimal in their instructions - it's my preference to leave as much as possible in the hands of performers - and I had wanted to leave the fingering out entirely, as I have done in previous works for fretboard. But some of the music in Opus 3 just demands some kind of fingering notation. The Bossa of the suite, in particular, might be baffling to some players without a little help. (I try to make my music accessible to competent amateur players, but this movement got away from me. It's already been much reduced from the original version to make it more playable.)

A professional guitarist and lutenist friend recommended that I simply put in hand positions and leave it pretty much at that, which appeals to my desire for a minimally-notated score. However, I would like to find out what you all think of it: is it enough; and, is it beneficial to include these indications even on the easier movements, as I've done here for consistency?

Attached is one of the scores in its current state. I would like to publish Opus 3 very soon, but it can still be edited, and I would be grateful for any feedback.
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http://llawrencebispo.com/scores.php

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David
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Re: Help with notation

Postby David » Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:24 am

To minimise the notation, you could just say, notate positions say from V up. Unless you have music higher up the fretboard and you want the performer to move down to II.

I'd also prefer these notations to be consistently above the score rather than both above and below. Be interested to see what others think.
"No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong." - Albert Einstein

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Bernhard Heimann
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Re: Help with notation

Postby Bernhard Heimann » Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:29 am

David wrote:...I'd also prefer these notations to be consistently above the score rather than both above and below. Be interested to see what others think.


I second that. Since your vertical spacing is tight, sometimes it might be not clear, where the position markings belong to - and how long they last.

A posssible way could also be the publication of two versions: one "clean" with minimal or no fingering and a fingered version with your
proposed way to play the music.
Experienced guitarists will feel free to change your fingering anyway, but will respect your choice of strings (positions) which influence the sound strongly.

An aesthetic comment (only my personal taste): your noteheads look rather massive, stems and bar lines rather thick.

Bernhard

walfordr

Re: Help with notation

Postby walfordr » Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:36 am

I'd remove the fingering and add the phrasing and dynamics.

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pogmoor
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Re: Help with notation

Postby pogmoor » Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:54 am

I think your option of putting in position indicators and leaving left hand fingering to the player is a good compromise. I agree with Bernard in suggesting you need to specify the duration of the position indicators and to be consistent in their placement. In my own arrangements I use a dotted line following the Roman numeral to indicate how long the player should stay in a position and I use a subscript to indicate the number of strings to be included in the bar (see attached example). I also use a Roman numeral with no subscript to indicate playing at a particular position with no bar.

example.jpg
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Eric from GuitarLoot
Renaissance and Baroque freak; classical guitars by Lester Backshall (2008) and Paul Fischer (1995)
Yamaha SLG 130NW silent classical guitar (2014)

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llawrence
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Re: Help with notation

Postby llawrence » Tue Dec 15, 2015 6:39 pm

An initial thank you for the replies. I'm working on an alternate version, keeping some of your suggestions in mind. I'll post it when complete. Thanks!
http://llawrencebispo.com/scores.php

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llawrence
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Re: Help with notation

Postby llawrence » Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:34 pm

Okay, I've made another version of this notation, and I'm already liking it better. Incorporating feedback, I:

Made the placing of the position indications consistent, above the staff;
Indicated the duration of the position (except at times when it was replaced by another after only for a quarter note or so);
Only indicated fourth position and higher.

I also added in an occasional open string indication when it might help in changing positions.

Although the dashed lines add a bit of noise to the page, overall this version feels clearer to me. Does it feel better to you all?

Thanks a bunch for the help! - Lou.
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http://llawrencebispo.com/scores.php

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llawrence
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Re: Help with notation

Postby llawrence » Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:37 pm

Bernhard Heimann wrote:A posssible way could also be the publication of two versions: one "clean" with minimal or no fingering and a fingered version with your proposed way to play the music.

A good idea, I may do that, thanks.

Bernhard Heimann wrote:An aesthetic comment (only my personal taste): your noteheads look rather massive, stems and bar lines rather thick.

These are the standard sizes in Lilypond. I think they look a bit better in print than on screen. I tried the next note head size down, but it didn't look right to me.
http://llawrencebispo.com/scores.php

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llawrence
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Re: Help with notation

Postby llawrence » Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:45 pm

walfordr wrote:I'd remove the fingering and add the phrasing and dynamics.

I like to leave these aspects in the hands of performers, as in renaissance and baroque music, whenever possible. For instance, I would like for performers to be able to alter the dynamics on repeats if they so wish. Even my tempo indications are just suggestions or approximations, and I'm only putting in the fingering in this piece because I had concerns about readability.

I realize that some performers won't prefer this sort of minimal notation, but I think it suits my music.
http://llawrencebispo.com/scores.php

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llawrence
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Re: Help with notation

Postby llawrence » Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:50 pm

pogmoor wrote:In my own arrangements I use a dotted line following the Roman numeral to indicate how long the player should stay in a position and I use a subscript to indicate the number of strings to be included in the bar (see attached example). I also use a Roman numeral with no subscript to indicate playing at a particular position with no bar.

Thank you for the example. I'm considering whether to use your subscript notation for bars. What do you do when you've got a half barre that doesn't include the first string, as in c# a e in second position? Still just indicate the number of strings involved (II3)?
http://llawrencebispo.com/scores.php

KKeegan303

Re: Help with notation

Postby KKeegan303 » Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:26 pm

llawrence wrote:
pogmoor wrote:In my own arrangements I use a dotted line following the Roman numeral to indicate how long the player should stay in a position and I use a subscript to indicate the number of strings to be included in the bar (see attached example). I also use a Roman numeral with no subscript to indicate playing at a particular position with no bar.

Thank you for the example. I'm considering whether to use your subscript notation for bars. What do you do when you've got a half barre that doesn't include the first string, as in c# a e in second position? Still just indicate the number of strings involved (II3)?



Indicate which position using a roman numeral and follow it with a 1/2 or 1/3 or 2/3 etc... Or, just indictate which postion and leave it up to the player.

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pogmoor
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Re: Help with notation

Postby pogmoor » Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:27 pm

llawrence wrote:Thank you for the example. I'm considering whether to use your subscript notation for bars. What do you do when you've got a half barre that doesn't include the first string, as in c# a e in second position? Still just indicate the number of strings involved (II3)?

I would classify this as one type of hinge bar and I use a subscript h before the subscript number. Even if the player is not familiar with this usage it draws attention to the fact there is something unusual about the fingering and with a bit of thought the meaning becomes plain!
Eric from GuitarLoot
Renaissance and Baroque freak; classical guitars by Lester Backshall (2008) and Paul Fischer (1995)
Yamaha SLG 130NW silent classical guitar (2014)

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llawrence
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Re: Help with notation

Postby llawrence » Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:19 pm

Thanks for the help, folks! I'll post the completed scores to the Our Scores forum when they're finished.
http://llawrencebispo.com/scores.php


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