Small points about VOLTA

• Mar 6, 2010 - 15:30

Having read about voltas in the RFE forum reminded me of two small (again, educational) points of voltas that would be justified in the Handbook.

The first small point: Traditionally only the first-time bar(s) have 'closed down' volta bracket; as the second-time bar is only the beginning of the rest of the piece - therefore it should only use the 'open-ended' volta-format. Otherwise, it would be extremely impractical to draw the bracket for hundreds of consecutive bars. The 'closed-ended' volta brackets are only justified when, for instance, in the course of the 2nd and 3rd times the lyrics would require some note or rhythm difference from the 1st and 4th time bars. (Bur the 'final' 5th time bracket should be 'open-ended').

Another small point: In the first time/second time bar example, it would be more fortunate to illustrate characteristically different bars. And that, perhaps, could allow the mentioning of the concept of 'question-answer' as one of the most fundamental structures in music. Meaning: the first 'phrase' ending with a 'question' and then the same 'phrase' (repeated) to lead to the 'answer'.

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2nd ending brackets should always come to the end of the bar line (whether they are closed or open ending). If the 2nd ending bracket is at the end of a piece (or movement) then it should be closed. If it is in the middle of a piece it should be open ended.

I worry that this detail might add complexity to the handbook that is beyond its intended scope (and make it less readable).

I agree with showing better music examples though. One thing I like about the LilyPond documentation is they then to use examples from the literature is instead of making up random snippets. I think it adds some professionalism to the documentation.

I can't find out how to get a volta to run past the end of a line and over onto the next. If I follow the instructions I can place a 1.volta but I can't stretch it over to the next line.

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