Articulation positions erratic (line/space, upstem/downstem)

• Apr 19, 2014 - 22:05
S4 - Minor

Windows 7, GIT commit: 807e1da

1) open attached file
2) observe articulation positions

Result: some are too close to notehead, others too far:


It looks like perhaps an attempt is being made to avoid staff lines, but somehow it isn't quite working right. Also, there is a very noticeable difference between the spacing of the "up" and "down" versions.

For me, the most obvious problems are the staccato dots below the upstem notes - these are too close to the notehead or staff line above. Compare especially the fourth and fifth notes (A and C in the middle of the staff)

The same is true but perhaps to a lesser extent for the tenuto (legato) markings. For the accent marks, it is ones above the downstem that are the problem - too far away, especially for the notes above the staff.

My first indication of a problem was a score with staccato marks on notes below the staff; the dots almost blended into the notes. This score looked fine back in February; seems something changed since then.

Attachment Size
articulation-position.mscz 1.69 KB
articulation-position.png 9.75 KB


This is probably due to the move to SMuFL. Articulations are not placed in the same way in SMuFL and in the vanilla emmentaler font. I moved some of the articulations but maybe not all of them. Also, some articulations have a below/above variant and some others don't.

Yes, it's due to SMuFL. There are different aspect to it...

1/ SMuFL defines two signs for staccato (and other articulation, but let's talk about staccato first). One for above and one for below. Emmentaler contains only one. I believe the same problem exists for Gonville. The way the glyph is positioned in the font is different if it's below or above. And so emmentaler is off.

2/ Nevertheless, even with Bravura, the staccato is not good. I guess we want them exactly between the line? So the code also needs some work.
Capture d'écran 2014-04-23 15.38.40.png

Attachment Size
Capture d'écran 2014-04-23 15.38.40.png 14.98 KB

Pretty close. But I think you "fixed" the sforzato the wrong way. The distance below the upstem notes was good; it was the distance above the downstem notes that was wrong (too far away). Now they are all too far away. If they are to be a constant distance from notehead, it should be more like the marcato.

Gould p. 120 suggests this marking always be outside the staff, which is fine also (but I've got plenty of examples where they are placed inside the staff). If you take this approach, then for notes on the staff, sforzatos can be relatively far away from the notehead. But for notes that are already outside the staff, they should be about the same distance from the notehead as any other articulation. Right now they are conspicuously farther than anything else.

Beyond that, it looks like there is also an issue with the "+" sign ("stopped pizzicato / left hand") on upstem notes as well as the "thumb" symbol on downstem notes. All else looks good to me.

This is odd. If I load that test file, then change font to Bravura, one of the symbols I mentioned with the problems (stopped pizz) actually flips to the other side of the chord - and stays there if I change the font back to Emmentaler. Inspector shows a blank entry under Anchor until I change fonts. So that is probably a code issue there, not (just) a font issue.

Looks good to me. At least, the markings familiar to me seem fine. As I said, there are multiple right answers for sforzato. By having the markings always outside the staff, it's a change from 1.3, but you can't go too wrong agreeing with Gould as it does now. I can't really say from personal experience about the stopped pizzicato or thumb symbols - it's not clear to be which markings should always go above the staff versus which should be on the notehead side - but they don't look obviously wrong as they were before. Here is how my test file renders now:


(similar results with Bravura)

For stopped pizz, I followed Gould page 400
Bartok pizz, p411
Thumb, p 396

Also, these symbols have no symetrical symbols in SMuFL while sforzato or staccato have.