Non-articulated notes should play at 90% length

• Aug 8, 2016 - 22:20
Reported version
2.1
Type
Functional
Severity
S5 - Suggestion
Status
active
Project

Non-articulated notes should be non-legato. As it is, slurs and tenutos have no effect on playback. If I want playback to be as it should already be, I have to put portatos over everything and render them invisible. Portatos are too short for anything but fast runs to sound believable, though.

so 90% length, or -30 ticks for everything above a 32nd note would make playback more accurate.

https://musescore.org/en/user/527826/blog/2016/06/02/status-legato is making legato sound better, we should have a nice non-legato to contrast it with.

Not really sure if this is a bug report or feature request.


Comments

Doesn't this depend on the instrument? In instrumets.xml there is control over which instrument has what settings for legato, proatamento etc. and non-legato.
non-legato has gateTime set to 100 in general, and for some instruments to other values, e.g. flute, traverso, piano have it set to 95

With piano non-legato doesn't matter too much, as the sound decays rather harshly, so small duration changes are difficult to hear. Pitched percussion/percussion in general shouldn't worry about it, neither should plucked strings. But implementing it on those wouldn't hurt anything as far as I know, and maybe can be used to allow the 'let it ring' direction to mean something. It's already implemented on piano, after all.

And every other instrument should have a non-legato standard duration and the same number should work for all of them. Why would only flute and piano have lesser durations? That's strange. Are you talking about tailoring it for the specific Fluid soundfont? That's not something that should be done - clarinet, for example, is non-legato period on that soundfont, but that's because the soundfont is horrid, not because that's an intended playback with 100% note length.

Gatetime should be set to 95 for everything, unless you're worried about unrealistic effects on plucked strings/percussion, in which case it should be 95 for everything except those.

I disagree. The default should be legato (tongued, for winds, but still legato). The fact that slurs do not currently playback is a separate issue and may be addressed in a future release, but that should not force the default to be non-legato. That would be inconsistent with how most instruments are actually played. No clarinet player actually strives to cut notes short when tonguing.

I don't cut notes short while tonguing, no. But the tongue itself decreases the note length. For as long as I have my tongue on the reed, that note is not playing. It's a lot longer time with staccato and portato, as short a time as I can possibly make it with tenuto. It doesn't happen at all with slurs. There absolutely is a difference.

https://youtu.be/UWrSHzUg1AQ?t=201

Standard repertoire, a very good and respected clarinet player, unmarked sixteenths versus slurred eigths, for the most part.

You might be able to argue the point for violin playing, maybe. Here's the same video, violins playing unmarked sixteenths:

https://youtu.be/UWrSHzUg1AQ?t=106

Beethoven's fifth - unmarked eigths
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4IRMYuE1hI

Screenshot (16).png

There's all kinds of space between those notes. And that's standard repertoire to the point of being cliche.

Here's an example of the opposite: legato tonguing! On the flute. You cannot hear any space whatsoever. That is one hundred percent note length.

With explanation, which absolutely supports my request for non legato default:
https://youtu.be/Msod4hJDiQY?t=16

Just the playing:
https://youtu.be/Msod4hJDiQY?t=94

Perhaps it would be fair to say it depends in part on the style of the piece. The example you choose is well-known to call for a more detached approach even though it is not explicitly marked. Anyhow, when we looked at this a couple of years ago¸and people experimented with different settings, my sense was the more legato approach was preferred by most who tried the experiment, myself included. Feel free to customize instruments.xml and try for yourself. Maybe in theory the tongue stops the air enough that a slight detachment might make sense, but when you hear it played via MIDI, the effect is not particularly convincing or pleasig to me.

BTW, when I say it depends in part on tyle, it is important to note that a huge amount of published music does not use much in the way of articulations at all. Songbooks, lead sheets, etc. That sort of attention is really kind of unique to classical compositions and jazz arrangements. So a big part of the issue is, much music that would be assumed to be palyed legato simply is never marked as such.

I assume that when writing songbooks and lead sheets with no articulations whatsoever anywhere, the composer isn't too worried about articulation in playback - they're more concerned that notes, chords and rhythms are correct.

Whereas Jazz and classical arrangements are very concerned about it. Having 100% length for everything default kinda ruins their day. I'm not sure how 95% length would ruin a lead sheet's day.

Or maybe we can have different styles as a choice during score creation? Baroque is particularly famous for needing non-legato style, classical is non-legato, marches are marcato, and none of this is usually marked. Romantic and Modern marks nearly everything, but I'm looking at an unmarked stretch of notes that I want to put Musescore's portato marks over so it plays back correctly.

And actually, after editing instruments.xml, and listening to Mozart's Clarinet Concerto with it, 95% sounds like legato tonguing to me(not Fluid's clarinet). Which is nice, because before it sounded slurred, if slurred had attacks. The completely unmarked Tenor/Bass Star Spangled Banner duet I have sounds nice to, like the eighths are y'know, eighths, and not unpronounced slur.

The only thing is that because gatetime is based on percentages, half notes(minim?) and whole notes(semibreve) are too short. If there were a flat 'take 15 ticks off the lengths of every note' that would work fantastically.

I assume that when writing songbooks and lead sheets with no articulations whatsoever anywhere, the composer isn't too worried about articulation in playback - they're more concerned that notes, chords and rhythms are correct.

Whereas Jazz and classical arrangements are very concerned about it. Having 100% length for everything default kinda ruins their day. I'm not sure how 95% length would ruin a lead sheet's day.

Or maybe we can have different styles as a choice during score creation? Baroque is particularly famous for needing non-legato style, classical is non-legato, marches are marcato, and none of this is usually marked. Romantic and Modern marks nearly everything, but I'm looking at an unmarked stretch of notes that I want to put Musescore's portato marks over so it plays back correctly.

And actually, after editing instruments.xml, and listening to Mozart's Clarinet Concerto with it, 95% sounds like legato tonguing to me(not Fluid's clarinet). Which is nice, because before it sounded slurred, if slurred had attacks. The completely unmarked Tenor/Bass Star Spangled Banner duet I have sounds nice to, like the eighths are y'know, eighths, and not unpronounced slur.

The only thing is that because gatetime is based on percentages, half notes(minim?) and whole notes(semibreve) are too short. If there were a flat 'take 15 ticks off the lengths of every note' that would work fantastically.

Well, as I said, when I actually *lsitened* to the results of setting 90% or even 95% default, I thought it sounded choppy and artifical for most instruments - including clarinet. Different tastes, I guess. You are using the default soundfont? As I said, I can understand why this might make sense *in theory*, but the reality seems otherwise to me. Maybe it's because the sample is still going to play a "full" attack on the next note and not the lightly tongued attack that you'd actually get.

There is an open feature request somewhere to be able to set these percentages using the UI rather than needing to edit instrments.xml