MusicXML - control of note play timing
In another thread on this topic, readers were treated to the spectacle of my making a dramatic change in what I believe is the "underlying intent" of the MusicXML specification as to the reaction of a program receiving a MusicXML file to the element duration and the attributes attack and release.
The information in the MusicXML documentation is sufficiently "coy" in this that I can't be fully confident that my interpretation is "right", and of course I am not clear on how we should define "right".
I made some admittedly-quick tests to probe the behavior in this area of four prominent notation programs: Overture, MuseScore, Finale, and Dorico SE ("Dorico Lite"). Testing only involved files in which the element type (directly tells "quarter", "half", etc.) is always included.
The questions asked were:
• Upon import of a MusicXML file, how does the program respond to the element duration and the attributes attack and release?
• When exporting a MusicXML program, how does the program encode information on the start and end play times (or, if you wish, start play time and play duration?
Simplistically, here are my findings:
Overture - Incoming, responds to the element duration to control the note play duration. Outgoing, encodes the note play duration into the element duration. No response to or use of the attributes attack and release.
This works nicely in Overture-Overture communication via MusicXML (not useful in any real situation). It does not comport with my current interpretation of the MusicXML specification. (I may have in part been responsible for Overture working this way!)
MuseScore - Incoming, responds to the element duration to set the musical time allocated to the note. Makes the note play duration the theoretical duration of the note type involved. No response to or use of the attributes attack and release. Outgoing: nothing.
The incoming behavior is partly consistent with my interpretation. A difference is in play duration. MuseScore makes it the "face value" of the note, but in my interpretation, it would be the musical time allotted to the notes (and thus the value of duration). But I am not fully confident that my interpretation in that specific detail is "right", whatever that might mean.
Finale - nothing either way.
Dorico SE - nothing either way.
More on this later. I have to get dressed for Thanksgiving dinner (just Carla and myself, at home).
Happy Thanksgiving, all.