Is there a generalization for swing which works for non-jazz works

• Jun 19, 2019 - 11:53

In baroque music (and I assume many types) there is a concept which may be similar to swing from the point of view of software implementation. Here's an example. Take a look at the score shown in the image.
In measures 14 through 17, the oboe has just a bunch of 16th notes. But no oboist would play these all symmetrically. There is an emphasis on the first beat of each measure. Sometimes I like to play the first beat stronger than the following beats, other times I like to stretch the first beat a bit. Either of these effects makes it more obvious to the listener what the time signature is.

Another effect is that when 8th note pairs like shown in measures 19 and again in 21 appear, the musician tries to make the second note of each pair, softer than the first.

Has there been a discussion in the past about whether the swing feature can be used, either in its current state of implementation, or with a software enhancement to emulate these effects? I've made some simple experiments turning on swing, with 55% or 52% swing, and it really sounds awful on baroque music. It doesn't sound swing-y, it just sounds sloppy.

My guess would be that emphasizing certain beats would be common in many types of music.

Screenshot 2019-06-19 at 12.50.36.png

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By the way, I've added the marcato ^ above some of the notes, to try to get this effect, but it does not make any difference in the sound, as far as my ear can hear? Does anyone know whether marcato has any playback implementation?

In reply to by jim.newton.562

The marcato is supposed to put a little bit of accent on the notes and shorten the notes. I guess it's not so noticeable on 16th notes but is very noticeable on 1/4 and longer. a sforzato (<) on the note would probably be better for your needs to emphasize notes. You can make those that don't belong on the score invisible. Also, there has been discussion to allow for legato marks (_) to extend individual notes a little. If this were implemented that would help with what you want.

Being able to adjust the cutback on individual articulation marks (i.e., on a particular note) or on a type without recourse to even the vastly-improved Piano Roll Editor would (IMHO) be more useful and productive than all of this put together.

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