Roman Numeral Analysis addition

• Apr 3, 2020 - 15:05


I teach Sophomore Theory (IV) and we are working with Augmented Sixth Chords. I discovered Campania Font, which works amazing! However, it seems to lack the ability to make a caret (hat) over a number to designate "scale degree". I am trying to make the following type of RNA, but don't know how to make the ^ fit over the number.



I think we've discussed that this is nonstandard (the usual way is to Roman-name the chord that the secondary dominant-like sonority is dominating), but, as I've said, I think ability to use carated numbers in text would help us music-theory soi-disant authors greatly. A packaged font ("Daucus" :) with them would help greatly.

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

I agree that typically that would be the case. But in the case of an augmented sixth chord tonality, the +6 would typically resolve out. However, it could resolve out to pitches that are not the root of the chord (inversion), so Kostka, et al recommend expressing it as the scale degree to which the +6 resolves, rather than the chord itself. Theoretically, the resolution chord could potentially be a secondary harmony or something else.

As a secondary usage of the ability to caret a number would be to be able to use them in a text, as you say above. That would be extremely helpful.

I found two ways around this problem of careted numbers, so far. 1) I used Finale Numerics font, which is a little more complicated to use, but very inclusive; 2) if I'm writing something in word, I insert an equation, then a caret (hat) character, backspace and type the number. Voila!

Screen Shot 2020-04-03 at 11.46.31 AM.png

Screen Shot 2020-04-03 at 11.46.55 AM.png

Screen Shot 2020-04-03 at 11.47.39 AM.png

Screen Shot 2020-04-03 at 11.47.13 AM.png

Screen Shot 2020-04-03 at 11.48.09 AM.png

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

BSG, Ha! Please excuse my faux pas. I meant it was a temporary solution for ME, while I was preparing materials for the students. My preference would be to use the way that MuseScore recommends, in this case, maybe Campania font, and to be able to show my students that as the only solution. The Campania font, works amazingly well, and would actually be my preference.

I am new to MuseScore, and have actually decided to try it because of having to move everything online for this Novel Corona pandemic. I was struggling with some of my students to be able to practice stuff online, and have been looking for ways to make a worksheet available to them because some don't have printers at their parents' house.

Thanks for not being too hard on me.


In reply to by Marc Sabatella

OH! That could work too! If you do it this way, then one could use it in another context as well, without the slash before it. Is it possible to do both ways? ^7 (caret, number) and /^7 (slash, caret, number) so that someone could use it in the context of this Kostka RNA, or use the careted number by itself for scale degree designations?

In reply to by jimdrum661

See the method I just posted below, involving adding the combining caret from Special Characters to your own palette. This works in all contexts already, so even if the rendering is not 100% ideal because the caret position is a tiny bit low, it's quite useful already. So that's the way I'm thinking of going with it now in the font - numeral followed by caret to yield this rendering, but also fixing the height of the caret.

Did you see my response when you posted this question the other day? I'm still trying to understand the context for this: why youare mixing the melodic scale degree notation (Arabic numeral with caret) and Roman numeral notation. Is there a particular textbook that advocates this? If so, could you maybe post a relevant excerpt to help me understand the expected usage? In Campania the caret is already used to mean something else, so in order to create this notation we'd need to be very specific about the contexts in which it can occur, or devise an alternate entry system for it.

Meanwhile, though, the number should be creatable using standard Unicode symbols from the Special Characters dialog. So if this isn't a standard thing likely to be used by others, that's what I'd recommend.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

HI Marc, Thank you for your reply. I didn't see a response the other day, so that's why I posted it here. Sorry for the re-post.

I will attach an excerpt from Chapter 22 of Tonal Harmony by Kostka, Payne, Almen about resolutions to scale degrees other than dominant. Because the resolution can happen to another chord in inversion, they advocate listing the scale degree to which the augmented sixth interval resolves when to something other than dominant.

Kostka et al.png

In reply to by jimdrum661

Thanks, this is helpful. I have a copy of Kostka & Payne around somewhere as I've taught out of it myself, but only the first year material.

So right now we use the caret to produce a triangle, and this is a very common usage in jazz (often followed by a 7) so I don't want to mess that up at this point. I suppose I could make it so a double caret does it - ^^1, etc, but this wouldn't necessarily be easy to discover. On the other hand, the particular usage we are talking about here has the caret numeral following a slash, and that would not be likely to happen for the triangle. I could probably also special-case that exact sequence - slash, caret, numeral. Do you think that would be sufficient? I could probably also do the ^^1 thing.

Meanwhile, though, I have a very simple solution that works perfectly for now and should continue to work even if I extend the font in the future. I knew it must be possible using the Special Characters dialog but hadn't actually worked through the steps. Turns out it's a little complex to do that way because Campania doesn't support the combining diacriticals directly (they could be added easily enough). But MuseScore will substitute a fallback font which works well enough.

Here's what to do once as set up:

1) create a staff text (so it uses FreeSerif rather than Campani
2) while editing it, press F2 to display the Special Characters dialog
3) go to the Unicode Symbols tab
4) open the Combing Diacritical Marks page
5) drag the caret (third symbol from top left) to your palette (I used Text, could be any palette you like)

Now, to apply it when entering RNA or any other text, simply click the caret in the palette after entering the numeral. So, type Fr+6/1, then click the caret, done.

Only drawback is that the caret isn't quite as high as it should be, overlaps some of the numerals a little. I think, though, if I add the symbol to the Campania font, I can set its position a little higher.

Also, notice you need to add the caret after the numeral. That's how these Unicode symbols work, I hadn't realized that. So it also suggests I could make this happen in Campania that way - a caret after a numeral could automatically render this way. The triangle isn't normally used that way, so it wouldn't be a conflict in most cases.

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

For me, with Campania, yes, it looks better than FreeSerif. I thought at first it was because the numerals themselves weren't as tall, but actually, it seems it is the caret itself that is different. Which tells me FreeSerif isn't actually the fallback, meaning results are probably system-dependent, unfortunately.


In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

Well, as per popular request, just before release, I changed the behavior of numerals by themselves to superscript, so you could show a 6 alone and have it by superscripted. To get the full-size numeral all by itself, you need to use backslash, which defeats the normal automatic formatting. Or you can actually use the forward slash if you want to see the slash. But either way, once you have the full sized numeral in Campania, you can apply the combining caret if you've previously added that symbol to your palette.

Actually, you don't need to add it your palette, you can open the Special Characters palette and click the third symbol from top left while typing your RNA too (right after the numeral). You'll just have to know to click the third symbol with no visual feedback that this is the right cell, because the cells will all be showing empty boxes.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.