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Topic: Beams extended over rests, or not?

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  1. #1

    Beams extended over rests, or not?

    Hello everyone,

    I would like to hear your opinion about a notation matter.

    As you can see in the examples, I've tried to examplify two ways of handling beams. The first is the good old fashioned way and the other is extending beams over rests.
    While I think the second one make it very clear how the notes correspond to each pulse unit, I cannot help to think it looks a little "stiff" or "mechanic".
    The first variant is more "soft", gentile in a way.
    One little inconsistency about extended beams, is that when you have a triplet with an eight note and a quarter, as in third beat/bar two, you will still have to use a curved flag on the eight note.

    I use the second variant, with extended beams. Though I'm not 100 percent about that it's the best method.

    What do you think and which one do you prefer/use?

    /Mats



    Mats O Hansson
    www.myspace.com/MatsOHansson

    GPO, JABB, CoMB, Finale2008, Acid Pro 6.0, EWQLSO Pro XP Gold, Kontakt 2 etc.....

  2. #2

    Re: Beams extended over rests, or not?

    I definitely prefer the second method. I like being able to see, right there on the 'tuplet' itself, whether there is a part missing - rather than having to scan above (or below) the stave to see whether the tuplet-bracket takes in the rests.

  3. #3
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    Re: Beams extended over rests, or not?

    Mats,

    From an engraver's perspective, use #1.

    In #2, The 8th notes in ms. 1 on beats 3 & 4 should always have flags. The 16th in ms. 2 also should have a flag.

    In my opinion, the extended beams only look correct when part of a tuplet. But when they negatively affect other notation, it's not worth it to use them.

    JT

  4. #4

    Re: Beams extended over rests, or not?

    I prefer #1, as it is easier on the eye, but I think this is partly because extended beams are still not all that common. I think part of the reason #2 looks "stiff" is that most of the beams don't slant.

    There's no reason why you can't use a mixture. I always try to notate in such a way that is clearest to a sight-reader (as that may be all one will get with some pieces).

    Also, short notes can often be notated as longer durations but marked staccato or staccatissimo, which somewhat reduces the visual load and makes a passage much easier to interpret rhythmically.

  5. #5

    Re: Beams extended over rests, or not?

    Second method, but include stems for the rests. Additionally if your medium is jazz or swing the stemmed rest is a very accepted practice, as it is for most theatre music (musicals, revues etc.) I use stemmed rests in everything from wind ensemble to jazz band to studio work. Quick, efficient and accurate communication is the goal. I recommend knowing who you are writing for (or as close as you can get) and write for them (actually write to them - their strengths and weaknesses).
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  6. #6

    Re: Beams extended over rests, or not?

    First method is the traditional way to go.

  7. #7

    Re: Beams extended over rests, or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aziraphal
    First method is the traditional way to go.
    But if we never broke tradition then we'd still be using neumes on a two-line stave, and our scores would only be of any use as a rough reminder for people who had already leaned the parts aurally. Notation has always been an evolving art.

  8. #8

    Re: Beams extended over rests, or not?

    I'd like to say the 2nd, but something doesn't feel right.

    I do use extended beams oer various stuffs, but I don't see the reason to do it over 1/16, or something simmilar. I know that it's automated in Finale, but when I ever used it I used only on mulitplets (3/5,6,7 etc) and not on normal beats which get really complicated to read in reality.

    So a combination maybe?

  9. #9

    Re: Beams extended over rests, or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pingu
    But if we never broke tradition then we'd still be using neumes on a two-line stave, and our scores would only be of any use as a rough reminder for people who had already leaned the parts aurally. Notation has always been an evolving art.
    Very true. But I still prefer the first example.

    Hmm seems you'll get no definitive answer Mats

  10. #10

    Re: Beams extended over rests, or not?

    Surprise, no consensus!

    For notation, I believe reading clarity trumps all else. Adding more symbols, though technically leaving less in doubt in terms of duration, rhythm, phrasing, articulation, dynamics, etc., may well reduce clarity. So the simplest way to notate a passage, yet still achieve one's musical ends, is the way to go. Extra beams, rests, stems, brackets, etc. typically increase the visual load. There are exceptions in that a particularly tricky passage may benefit from a judicious use of the above, but all things being equal, the less ink the better (except, of course, for the ink vendors).

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