[MEI-L] sounding vs. written pitch, <octave>

Thomas Weber tw at notabit.eu
Mon Mar 13 12:08:27 CET 2017

Am 12.03.2017 um 17:09 schrieb Thomas Weber:
> Am 11.03.2017 um 05:47 schrieb Thomas Weber:
>> I wonder how one would encode harmonics and scordatura where there are different notation approaches with potentially differing sounding and written pitch?  A combination of @loc and @pname/@oct is tempting, but as soon as there are accidentals involved, that doesn't work.  @ploc/@oloc feel more appropriate but won't properly work with accidentals either. 
> Well, I only now realize that @pname.ges, @oct.ges and @accid.ges are there for precisely this sort of problem.

Thinking further about it:  Things get pretty unclear with any combination of scordatura, transposing instruments, harmonics and <octave> elements.  In my understanding, the *.ges attributes encode the absolute sounding pitch an instrument/singer produces, not the logical pitch derived from written pitch by applying scordatura, ottava and harmonics.

For <octave> transpositions, it seems to be the convention that the written pitches (ignoring the <octave> line) are encoded.  I suspect that this is not a conscious and well founded decision but "just happened" like that because all the exporters/importers (and scorewriters themselves) lazily treat ottava lines as if they were generic lines without pitch related meaning - similar to hairpins, pedal markings etc.

I think the more useful way of encoding ottava situations would be to encode the actual logical pitch with @pname/@oct - that would be equivalent to the sounding pitch on non-transposing instruments.  In any case, the specs should not leave it open what encoding approach to take.

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