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Ricardo

Posts: 11097
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Beni2

quote:

How often are drummers a part of actual flamenco performance and what do they have to do with flamenco guitar notation and the people that are actually trying to figure out what might be best;


Well my friend, they (drummers) have EVERYTHING to do with it because they live in a purely rhythmical world and if they are readers and trained since early rudiments, they understand perfectly well the best way to notate any rhythm. Perhaps you have never seen a score done by a student composer that could have been written “better”? I learned A LOT from the drummers in my school, and came away thinking about how poorly a lot of musicians of varying disciplines are trained in basic rudiments. My primary issue with transcribers of flamenco guitar are that they are rhythmically challenged, it seems to me. I consider ALL flamenco artists “percussionists” of sorts due to the importance of compas in cante, baile, and guitar playing. Being able to do palmas is a must for any flamenco artist...I am dubious how well many investigators and “heavy thinkers” about the art form are actually able to do THAT.

Kitarist writes:
quote:

When we are discussing time signatures in flamenco, are we borrowing assumptions from the context of classical music, or rock music, or jazz/other? They seem to have different ones.
.

THis is exactly the problem that a person trained in rudimentary drumming would be able to avoid.

Regarding the issues with 9/8 and notating flamenco “accents” in standard notation systems:

The 9/8 is delt with by BEAMING of the eighth notes....it’s a simple visual that allows for clear reading that expresses the feel. In other words you can alter the beaming in a single piece without changing meter. I believe that this is the INTENTION of people using alternating 6/8 and 3/4 meter with the same 6 eighth notes....but they confuse by changing METER. Notice that 9/8 doesnt need to indicate change of meter, rather, as you hint at, a clarification can be done at the start of the composition (2+2+2+3) next to the 9/8...but it is not really necessary just more clear. I would NOT use it if the music was going to take on alternating combinations. Sometimes the 3+3+3 is meant as a SYNCHOPATION against the other feel, in which case you don’t want to rebeam the 8th notes.

For other accents you can use ACCENT MARKS....so again you could put accents in 3’s over top of your 2+2+2+3 beaming, instead of rebeaming... these decisions should be made once the intended FEEL of the passage is understood, relative to the song as a whole. This is a simple way to deal with flamenco as well. Once you have the down beat, the divisions, and the FEEL, you beam the subdivisions appropriately then use accent marks. A good player should know the difference between accenting something and tapping your foot at the same time vs to the beat.

Tempo is indicated in a score by showing the note that corresponds to the metronome click equal to it’s numeric value (quarter note=120 bpm for example). I normally call a “beat” something you tap your foot to, not clap to, but many people are confused by this so you might find things such as foot tap on half notes=85bpm, but the score shows quarter notes in 4/4 at 170bpm....understand you can have the same music written as half time, where quarter note=85, your claps are at 170 as 8th notes, and your 4/4 becomes 2/4. I personally find that much cleaner and easier to read and feel.

6/8 is normally two foot taps per bar, or four foot taps for 12/8, so triplet meter, and you show in the score dotted quarter note=whatever tempo. In these cases the beaming of the 8th notes are implied to be groups of 3. Tanguillos is a good example of where some folks hear a 3/4 against the triplet feel and want to argue it’s ok to use that meter...but it’s not ok. Because of the feeling you are trying to present on paper.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 23 2019 20:13:57
 
Beni2

 

Posts: 23
Joined: Apr. 23 2018
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Ricardo

Hi Ricardo,

quote:

For other accents you can use ACCENT MARKS....so again you could put accents in 3’s over top of your 2+2+2+3 beaming, instead of rebeaming... these decisions should be made once the intended FEEL of the passage is understood, relative to the song as a whole.

Isn't that what I said?
quote:

perhaps different contexts would require different time signatures, symbols, and interpretative notes.


So just to be clear, Ricardo, you want ease of reading and believe that changing time signatures is of secondary importance? So how would YOU notate the solea?
Would you accept 3/4 for bulerias, the first beat of each measure being equivalent to 12, 3, 6, and 9? Would you accept 3/4 for solea each strong beat equaling 1, 4, 7, and 10?

And who notates the tanguillos in 3/4? That's odd.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 23 2019 20:55:57
 
kitarist

Posts: 557
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Ricardo

Thank you Ricardo. Good point about the beaming as an additional device I did not consider that it is available, which indeed clarifies the intended feel.

So I gather you'd rather see a 3/4 time signature for solea or bulerias throughout with use of beaming groupings to indicate a 3 3 2 2 2 feel or whatever it is? OTOH I can see why this gave some pause as it seems to require beaming across a bar line for the second two. Isn't it best to have one bar per six pulses (1 bar per 6-compas) as a time signature? Like 6/4, but with the express note that this includes both two groups of three and three groups of two, unlike its use in classical music where it is only used to indicate duple meter.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 24 2019 6:40:05
 
szvarga

 

Posts: 53
Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

I consider ALL flamenco artists “percussionists” of sorts due to the importance of compas in cante, baile, and guitar playing.


I think, there can be little doubt, the flamenco guitar playing is more taste like a percussion thing, not a melodically thing. More something like drumming, not something like playing a violin.
For me, this is exactly the MAGIC of flamenco music. That is why I throw away everything I learned before, to learn THIS kind of rhythmic playing.

But the notation we using was made for violin playing. It is o.k., to learn from that, it is possible. We can use weird meters, we can arrange and rearrange beaming, add special signs, marking notes this way and that way, and make violence on classical score system in many various ways...:)) But the system is struggling with this, therefore it makes me struggling with learning and transcribing. But it shouldn't. A tool struggling to work with, is a bad tool.

The notation system half way on drumming and half way on violin playing, which is the flamenco guitar playing itself, simply doesn't exists. Maybe it is impossible to make one, and every try will be less useful than the existing ones.

Maybe not.

Sz
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 24 2019 7:13:15
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11097
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Beni2

quote:

So just to be clear, Ricardo, you want ease of reading and believe that changing time signatures is of secondary importance? So how would YOU notate the solea?


I would notate “the” solea however the person was playing it. For example, most slow solea are fairly represented by the typical way, 4 bars of 3/4, downbeats at 1,4,7,10. No problem. The problems arrise at faster tempos where the beat feeling slows down and becomes what were the accents from the slow version. At the point of the “shift” tempo wise, would have to set up new tempo and meter indicators.

For example watch Chicuelo play alegrias compared to paco... Chicuelo feels a fast quarter note with his foot, at 170bpm, where as Paco feels a very slow pulse 1/2 or 1/3 that tempo, quarter note=85 and he subdivided his picados as 32nd notes....just as he does with rumbas and everything else he does fast picados on. He feels 8 notes per click, not 4 like Chicuelo and some others. So for me the accurate transcription will reflect this on paper somehow. Simple discover a downbeat first, and continue from there. When solea is slow 1 is the downbeat...when it is very fast 12 is the down beat, for example.

Anyway, I have long since given up transcribing this way and just play by feel, the way it is done in practice in Spain since the beginning.

EDIT, I remembered this from the juan Serrano thread a while back. I cut and paste it here about solea shifting feel as tempo moves up...IMO there would be a change of notation at the point the feel changes...But where exactly that is can be debated.

[Came across this revealing dance class. Keep in mind Jason here is probably first or second best at this thing in entire USA. The class is working on some solea portion that transitions into buleria as I describe. Jason improvise each time differently but over 30 minutes here you can learn a lot see how the counting thing is important to dancers. Couple of spots to pint out: the first transition is at 5:02 but watch from 4:40, 8:17, and at 14:35 he plays some straight solea but super fast throughout the buleria so you can keep track of count 1, it’s pretty cool:]



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 24 2019 16:31:53
 
szvarga

 

Posts: 53
Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Beni2

O.k., I spend some time on it, here's my next step. Move on from Excell, and found a software, MuseScore, it's looks usable.

So, what if,

- we use one line tab only?

- we omit time signature completely. Mark the base compas type instead (my graphic trying shown above left)?

- we omit barlines completely. Mark the beats of the compas instead, and simply one line equals one compas?

- we omit ties. Mark only the starting position of notes, not necessarily the exact sounding length, and mark a quarter as a rest, if no notes starting in it (even if a previous note sounds in)?

- we make a difference in a good visibility between melody notes and ornamentations. Not try to figure out the exact rhythmic values of the latter, just mark them as what they are as embellishments?

The rest are the usual, barre, right hand, golpe and accent marks.

Here's the first page of the V.A. solea, as my trying:



For me, it's a very clear, and easy to follow type of notation. But are we get a better tool to learn from score than the the existing tryings? What is your opinions?

Sz

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 27 2019 14:23:31
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11097
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to szvarga

quote:

So, what if,

- we use one line tab only?

- we omit time signature completely. Mark the base compas type instead (my graphic trying shown above left)?

- we omit barlines completely. Mark the beats of the compas instead, and simply one line equals one compas?

- we omit ties. Mark only the starting position of notes, not necessarily the exact sounding length, and mark a quarter as a rest, if no notes starting in it (even if a previous note sounds in)?

- we make a difference in a good visibility between melody notes and ornamentations. Not try to figure out the exact rhythmic values of the latter, just mark them as what they are as embellishments?


- yes this is a good idea visually and makes for easy reading. I personally like both notes and tab because I can sight read more clearly the melodic contours with standard notes, and of course tab is essential for fingering and position much prefered to penciling in string numbers and finger numbers etc.

-well, at least there needs to be 12/4 to inform the reader how many beats and what you are trying to show as a beat relative to your beams and flags (8th notes and 16ths have no meaning without that).

-you are actually using a bar line at the end of each compas, even though the rhythm feeling carries on down to the next line. But it has been done before yes, no bar lines or also I have seen dotted bar lines which implies groupings within the 12 count compas cycle but no hard down beats are intended except at “1”. And again, I hope you understand that having a long bar of 12 implies “1” is THE most important down beat in the phrasing.

-I for one am strongly against NOT showing the precise rhythm of the ornaments. I found slowing down the recordings of these advanced players, especially Vicente, when there are repeats it is not a random “feel” thing, it is precisely rhythmic and needs to be studied slow with the metronome to get it to sound right. I am now in the same camp regarding the singing...those melismas that seem personal whimsical flourishes are very precisely executed and the only way for students to learn it is to slow it down and nail each and every detail. I know it seems tedious but that’s how I personally approach it. When ever I see as you do “grace notes” and what not, to me that is just laziness. Even a broken chord on the beat...most often it is NOT on the beat, but comes in as precise rhythmic divisions leading UP to the beat, and I think it is fair to notate that rather than just show a chord there. Same with rasgueado, I don’t like seeing a full chord with rhythm slashes when only certain notes in the voicing are being struck or ringing. Tedious I know, but my check used to be to synchronize the computer play back of a score with the recording and I want a perfect match (if tempo allows, meaning it doesn’t move too much).

So I guess I really only like your first thought about the single line for a compas, and the geometric spacing of each count looks very nice and easy to read. The problem is when you need to cram some 32 notes in there and stuff, it can mess with the geometry and look of the score. And I have no problem with your gray bars denoting important accented beats and such. It’s just that the 3,6,8,10, 12, is only ONE pattern, it is actually not the true BASE of solea. The first thing I realized in dance class was that there are many OTHER ways to express the compas than simply marking those accents all the time. Please refer again to the video above of jason and the dances to see what I mean about changing the accents and such.

-

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 27 2019 15:22:19
 
szvarga

 

Posts: 53
Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Ricardo

I've done quite a bit of work on it, here's the result:

- Mark the 12/4 time. But i don't like the idea to use the classical marking, it's confusing because of the pulse. (At least confusing me...:)) I came to think that it is a solea in first place with its specific pulsing, and only 12/4 in second place of importance. So I came up with the marking shown below: mark it is a solea and write the 12/4 in brackets, marking its secondary importance. Whether is it clear enough?

- Using double bar lines to indicate the end of a compas. As the meaning of the double barline is exactly to mark the end of a musical section, its use to mark the end of a compas is not makes a mess. If a compas needs to be longer than a line, using a simple line break. As it shown in the first compas.

- It's a good advice to notate the ornaments as rhythmically precise as the main notes. In this solea I found only ornamentations lacks any rhythmic complexity. They are just evenly fast repeated notes. I notate them in this way.



Thanks for your opinions, helped a lot!:)

Sz

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 1 2019 8:42:44
 
kitarist

Posts: 557
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to szvarga

That's an interesting presentation. You manage to add another layer which is easy to absorb visually without obscuring the usual notation.

On second look, however, I noticed the uneven layout, which is now easy to grasp thanks to your highlighted bars since they do not align vertically across the lines of compas. Because the visual presentation is so effective, it actually creates a confusion for me as it intuitively implies variations in the tempo even though there are none.

I was going to suggest that you make an effort to line up the highlighted bars vertically and make all shades equally spaced as much as possible within the 12-compas.

Then it occurred to me that, once you've done that, the added value of the highlights is diminished as it would be pretty easy to follow the pulse once the normal notation is aligned in this way.

So at the end, I am left with mixed feelings about the utility of that visual, given the effort it may be taking to produce it.

Just some quick thoughts; I may be wrong.

P.S. Gosh, look at that - I am a FELLOW now!!



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Attachment (1)

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 1 2019 17:03:30
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11097
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to kitarist

The point of alignment I think would help, but the varying shades are hard to distinguish. He wants a visual glance that distinguishes count 3 from count 8 say. I think he should use colors instead. Let like red=3, 6=orange 8 green, 10 blue and 12 purple... the inbetween beats can fade like the rainbow.... so at a glance your place in the compas is obvious by color.

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CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 2 2019 11:42:07
 
kitarist

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RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Ricardo

Cool; and because it is colour, he doesn't have to vary the intensity and can use the same fairly transparent shading for all.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 2 2019 16:27:58
 
joselito_fletan

 

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Joined: Jan. 24 2017
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Ricardo

Great little thread, picking little tid bits here and their regarding notation.
I just started transcribing and after a couple of years of fiddling around have come to the same conclusion as Ricardo in terms of the more advanced flamenco structures and techniques. It is nice, that the musical literati can put down as close as a translation as possible (and lot's are exact) and like Ricardo says, you can pick up the rest by feel.

quote:


Anyway, I have long since given up transcribing this way and just play by feel, the way it is done in practice in Spain since the beginning.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 2 2019 23:34:59
 
szvarga

 

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Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to joselito_fletan

Yes, the end of this road is to play by feel. In my case, I haven't got the feel yet, and the transcribed music is the main resource I can use, to arrive to that end. What I'm trying to do, is to simplify or clarify this resource as much as possible, to facilitate its effectiveness. If it is possible at all. I don't know. Just give it a try.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 4 2019 5:49:35
 
szvarga

 

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Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to kitarist

To align the grey beat bars in the compass is an excellent point! First I was afraid it's too time consuming, but at last I found a fast and easy way to do that in MuseScore. (I's a very useful and adaptive tool, I'm very impressed)

Of course it's impossible to align it perfectly, because it is music, not evenly distributable data. But, if only take care to avoid large contrasts between distance of neighbor bars, is make a difference. Much better reading as I see.

Here's how it looks after aligning:



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 4 2019 6:09:13
 
szvarga

 

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Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Ricardo

I imagined this colored layout, but I don't like the result as I see, because of the followings:

- the main point is the notated tab. To mark the beats of the compass is a secondary thing. That's why I tried to mark them as moderate as I can. If the beat bars are too flashy, they will be the first elements to catch your eyes. Then the bars are overshadows the notation. If we colour them, especially if we color them differently, that's what happens. (Moreover, even the grey bars are too flashy for me, but I can't found a better solution yet)

- I try to bear in mind, that the bars have musical meaning, not graphical. The same marks means the same musically (rhythmically). Lighter grey bar = weak beat, darker = strong beat. Different coloring and shading are meaningless musically.

Sz
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 4 2019 6:32:06
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11097
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to szvarga

quote:

- I try to bear in mind, that the bars have musical meaning, not graphical. The same marks means the same musically (rhythmically). Lighter grey bar = weak beat, darker = strong beat. Different coloring and shading are meaningless musically.

Sz


Not to me and most Flamencos. Compas or rhythmic phrasing is probably more the 50% importance to the overall music as a whole. Strong and weak beats are a good idea as I admitted before, but within those there is a different feeling than say 3 vs 8. The graphic position gives a more clear picture to the reader of this, my color suggestion only makes that painfully obvious. But good luck with it, in the end it will probably not catch on as standard practice anyway.

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CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 4 2019 16:06:17
 
kitarist

Posts: 557
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to szvarga

quote:

ORIGINAL: szvarga

Of course it's impossible to align it perfectly, because it is music, not evenly distributable data.


But it is evenly distributed - the flow from left to right represents the unfolding of music in time and it is nice to have a linear horizontal axis. If you are to keep a steady compas, then these bars would have to come out evenly distributed visually.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 4 2019 17:21:58
 
joselito_fletan

 

Posts: 171
Joined: Jan. 24 2017
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Compas or rhythmic phrasing is probably more the 50% importance to the overall music as a whole.


2 thumbs up!

Compas , compas and mas compas, and when you have had enough , mas compas!!! lol it is the only way. I wonder if their is a market and demographics for something like "Compas Hero" for the playstation I can already see it, me getting down and puro with a CGI version of Camaron
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 4 2019 21:22:49
 
szvarga

 

Posts: 53
Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Not to me and most Flamencos. Compas or rhythmic phrasing is probably more the 50% importance to the overall music as a whole.


And I never say anything about its opposite. I'm not a flamenco, I'm far from it.

I talk about the readability and the carried information of the paper above. Do you really think, the readability is increasing, if we use four kind of colors, and fading between them? It's not lead us to mess, if we try to mark not only the strong and weak beats, but also the difference between them?

Sz
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 4 2019 23:17:22
 
joselito_fletan

 

Posts: 171
Joined: Jan. 24 2017
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Ricardo

Sorry about that SZ, i get off topic

It is an interesting concept what you show here, and I see that you are marking the accents which makes it much better to keep track of where i am in compas. I really dont care for weak beats, what is important to me is where I am in the compas of the piece. And how the notes fit into that compas
In my head compas is my clock(for example the typical twelve beat wheel of a solea) But that is my personal preference. And if you indicate the accent with the number of the compas somehow it makes it even easier to see where I'm at compas wise and dont have to look at the graph above (looking form a more beginner point of view). I can just look at see, 'Ok, im on accent 3, or 6, 8 etc.....' personally if you mark the accent in a different color even better.

Cheers, just my 2 cents
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 5 2019 0:05:53
 
szvarga

 

Posts: 53
Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to joselito_fletan

Okay, this experiment with notation i'm trying here is a beginner level problem, it's clear.

So, you guys say, if we try to mark the beats, the main point is to easily identify the position of the actual beat in the compas, and not the accent of that beat?

And if I understand you correctly, the coloring advice and the idea to show the beats numbering somehow are refers to this advice. Am I right?

I still can't deal with coloring.

But the idea of numbering makes me thinking. In this case the graphic layout of the beats still stays in background, and not affects the readability of the notes. And yes, it makes the image of the "solea compas" in the header unnecessary. One less element to read is a positive side effect:)

Here's the result, how I try to solve the numbering:



I'm very grateful for your advices! :))

Sz

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2019 20:17:23
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