How to make music notation

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oikonen
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Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:42 pm

How to make music notation

Post by oikonen » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:57 pm

font where every half tone step would be 8 pixels (or what ever user wants in pels) and all lines are visible in all sizes. How do i know (determine) the point size of that font? Every note goes to child of TWinControl so i change every individual note in TLabel->Font->Top value according to its parent To put it in right place in staff or ledge.

Can anybody help me on this font creation problem?

Olli.

Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: How to make music notation

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:46 pm

Calculating the exact height of the glyphs for a given point size from the font metrics is complicated.

I recommend an empirical approach. — Just print your font at a large point size and measure it. Calculate the percentage change you need to get the desired result.

Without grid-fitting and hinting, getting staves to display evenly spaced at all point sizes will not be possible. There may be some drop-out at small sizes where some thin lines do not display at all. Design for a standard point size like 24 pt or 12 pt, and add hinting with a third-party program if you need it. FontCreator doesn't yet support character hinting. Adding font smoothing tables may help.
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David Webber
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Re: How to make music notation

Post by David Webber » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:29 pm

oikonen wrote:font where every half tone step would be 8 pixels (or what ever user wants in pels) and all lines are visible in all sizes. How do i know (determine) the point size of that font? Every note goes to child of TWinControl so i change every individual note in TLabel->Font->Top value according to its parent To put it in right place in staff or ledge.

Can anybody help me on this font creation problem?

Olli.
My solution to this problem in my own music font is to include a "5 line staff glyph" in the font. This consists of 5 short horizontal lines spaced equally, with the top one at the ascent level, and the bottom one at the descent level. Then if I ask for a 24pt font (excluding external leading) I get a staff which is 24 points in height. The 5 line staff glyph is never actually drawn, but it serves to define the scale for all the other symbols in the font.

David Webber
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William
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Re: How to make music notation

Post by William » Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:20 pm

Many years ago, in 2003, I had a go at making a font for some percussion music notation, using separate fonts.

Later I added the glyphs into my Quest text font and added some extra glyphs.

The Quest text font is available free from the following web page.

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~ngo/fonts.htm

It is for some music that I called Chloe and Phil music.

Chloe and Phil music is intended to be played either on professionally made untuned percussion instruments, such as a triangle and a drum and so on, or using improvised instruments made by tapping various items and so on. It is intended to be fairly slowly paced as a participation music of which most people can join in the playing. Pieces can be quite short. Please compare short, interesting pieces in this music format with haiku in the world of poetry.

The glyphs were designed to look good at 18 point on a PC, as that will often be 24 pixels.

Here is a gif that was produced at the time, in fact using a special version of the font in a non-Unicode font that could be used to produce diagrams using Microsoft Paint.

It is intended as a short piece for two players. Perhaps the upper line for a triangle and the lower line for a drum, or using whatever improvised instruments are available.
font7004.gif
font7004.gif (2.5 KiB) Viewed 1757 times
Now, this was all good fun at the time yet the reason that I am posting this now is because if the Quest text font is opened in FontCreator and the grid size set to 256 font units, and the metrics lines set to be solid, then the way that I have tried to design the glyphs to look good at 18 point, with lines being 88 font units on each side of a grid line may be helpful in deciding how to proceed with a proper music font. Certainly there will be more lines, so maybe 64 font units on each side, or maybe just one side, of a grid line.

I hope that this is helpful.

William Overington

29 August 2013

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