[PD] Creating music notation with GEM

David Powers cyborgk at gmail.com
Thu Jul 17 21:55:26 CEST 2008

> 1. (0 3 5 1 2 4) might make sense for an engineer because zero for him would
> be the first note,
> but a musician uses to start with one, not zero. If this notation is for
> expressing some voicings,
> that is a lot easier and free to read under jazz notation for a human,
> unless the numbers represents guitar tablatures.
> It almost sounds like the machine will help classical musicians or
> mathemusicians to do like if they were improvising, interesting...

Ah, yes, well I only meant that is the internal representation. The
interface would take that input and generate an appropriate output for
a given instrument in the correct transposition, so a flute player
would see the cell as noteheads on a treble clef.

I'm wondering if I should use something like PyExt to do some of the
mapping, as I don't know of any simple way to do hash dictionaries in
PD itself. As a test last night, I built a simple abstraction to take
notes C C# D etc. and output pitch numbers 0-11, and i found it quite
tedius to do compared to a function in code such as (this is in PHP
because that is what I do all day long at my day job):
function note2number($note) {
 $num = array ('C'=>0,'C#'=>1,'Db'=>1);
 return $num[$note];

> 4. I imagine that puredata will have to transpose for each instrument, but
> if only the key (or key modulation) is given it would be easy to do.
> ----
> A dictionnary of symbols is so easier to read than numbers for expressing
> musical events, that's why I've asked if you used font files,
> but maybe using gem geos or texture files would make it more elegant or
> versatile?

I'm not sure about fonts, I guess I don't know whether that would work
on multiple operating systems... I just thought that GEM would allow
it to work on any OS. I agree it might be nice to use already built
musical symbols rather than reinventing the wheel. Then I would only
need GEM to draw the staff lines and position the noteheads and
symbols in relation to it.


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