durations

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Richard Mix
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durations

Postby Richard Mix » 09 Mar 2010 23:35

I was just looking around for a Stabat mater to fill a 38' slot (ruling out Haydn, alas) and realized there are almost no timings given in the description field. Could an Approximate duration: field be added to gen info? I suppose it would look like {{duration|shortest|longest}}, with maybe a parameter for "without repeats" as well...

vaarky
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Re: durations

Postby vaarky » 10 Mar 2010 08:05

I'm wondering if a more precise measure (ahem) that approximates that is number of measures. I think it would be useful to have at least # of measures, if not in addn to the items Richard mentions.

CHGiffen
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Re: durations

Postby CHGiffen » 10 Mar 2010 15:22

Durations (timing) are a fickle thing ... one ensemble may take a work very fast, another very slow, perhaps both being right, perhaps both completely inconsistent with the composer's original intentions. It is even worse when there are no metronome markings supplied. I've experienced(?) Billings "When Jesus wept" with the tactus ranging from about 48 beats per measure to about 108 beats per measure - the suggested tactus in the CPDL edition by Raf Ornes is 72, and we have no idea what would have been considered ideal in Billings time. For larger works with sections at various tempi, the problem is even worse.

The number of measures might be helpful, but even here there is a problem with changing meter, especially in larger works. Even in Renaissance music one frequently encounters changes from duple to triple meter (or vice versa), and in later music the meter might change every few meters. For example, in the opening bars of Mahler's 8th Symphony the first seven bars are in 4/4, 4/4, 3/4, 2/4, 4/4. 3/4, 4/4. One of my own compositions (Veni, veni Emmanuel) comprises 150 measures with 72 meters (the large number to accommodate the fluctuating stresses of the text and plainsong melody).

These comments notwithstanding, I am in sympathy for both of the viewpoints in the previous two posts. A duration template might be a good idea, although since duration would be approximate, one might simply fill in something like {{duration|5' 15" to 6' 30"}} or {{duration|approx. 3' 20" (without repeats)}}. Similarly, a measure count template might be a good idea, although I'm not sure whether one should incorporate the meter(s) into it (since there might be so many meter changes). Perhaps {{measurecount|54|47|73}} for a work with three parts (movements) comprising 54, 47 and 73 measures would be one possible format.

Chuck
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carlos
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Re: durations

Postby carlos » 11 Mar 2010 17:45

Is the use of templates necessary in this case? As I understood it, they'd be just going to display some information on the works page, without using it for any sort of extra categorization. Wouldn't it be simpler then to write '''Duration:''' 5' 15" to 6' 30" ?

CHGiffen
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Re: durations

Postby CHGiffen » 11 Mar 2010 20:50

Hi Carlos,

I only said such templates "might be" a good idea. :lol: I think that perhaps the suggestion from Richard was actually pointing to making duration a recommended (or encouraged) part of the work description (or the number of measures possibly a part of the score information). Personally, I'm happy to account for durations manually as you suggest. The only other reason I can think of for having such a template become standard might be for use in DPL queries. :?

Chuck
Charles H. Giffen
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carlos
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Re: durations

Postby carlos » 11 Mar 2010 21:11

CHGiffen wrote:The only other reason I can think of for having such a template become standard might be for use in DPL queries. :?

That's what I suspected you were thinking. :) Using templates in this situation would be recomended indeed; I just fail to come up with a good categorization system in order to implement a search tool: perhaps using a category for works under one minute, another for works between 1-2 minutes, and so on. Anyway, this system could be implemented in a second phase, when a significant number of works have the duration information added.

choralia
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Re: durations

Postby choralia » 12 Mar 2010 06:38

carlos wrote:perhaps using a category for works under one minute, another for works between 1-2 minutes, and so on

As durations may vary depending on director's interpretation, I think that duration categories should overlap by some 20 - 25 %. For example, the category containing works between 1 and 2 minutes may also list works between 45 seconds and 150 seconds, as a faster or slower performance can make them fall within the 1 - 2 minutes range.

carlos wrote:this system could be implemented in a second phase, when a significant number of works have the duration information added.

Most scores at ChoraWiki have midi files. What about attempting some kind of automation (batch processing?) to determine durations based on midis?

Max

vaarky
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Re: durations

Postby vaarky » 12 Mar 2010 07:59

As durations may vary depending on director's interpretation, I think that duration categories should overlap by some 20 - 25 %.


That's why I suggest # of measures.

Clever to suggest basing it on time of midi...

Richard Mix
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Re: durations

Postby Richard Mix » 12 Mar 2010 10:40

Ah, Vaarky,

I foresee a [[:Category:pieces one measure long]] well populated with Renaissance pieces ;-)

Glad to have put many good minds to work...

CHGiffen
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Re: durations

Postby CHGiffen » 12 Mar 2010 15:48

The tempi in MIDI files often bears little resemblance to performance tempi for several possible reasons, including (1) no specified tempo markings in the score, (2) inability of MIDI file generator to account for tempo markings, (3) frequent MIDI ignoring of fermatas, accelerandos, rallentandos, etc. in the score (including the MIDI generators in the engraving program), etc.

Chuck
Charles H. Giffen
President of CPDL and
Manager of ChoralWiki
User pageTalk pageComposer page

Early Choral Music? Zephyrus (I sang 12 seasons 1992-2004 with this group).

vaarky
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Re: durations

Postby vaarky » 12 Mar 2010 17:36

Funny, Richard!

Still, given the wide variance of tempos provided by conductors, an automatically-generated midi-based duration is useful to populate pieces as a starting point until a human sees fit to trump. I believe this can also be automatically calculated from Finale files, possibly other formats, btw.

DrewE
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Re: durations

Postby DrewE » 13 Mar 2010 02:20

I'm kind of warming up to broad, rough categories that can be reasonably searched on. Maybe something like "one or two minutes", "five minutes", "ten minutes", and so on up to "Wagner's Ring Cycle".

For most uses of people looking through the site, I'd imagine temporal duration is more helpful than number of measures. For planning a program, you're more likely to need another four minute piece than a 86 measure piece as such.

Richard Mix
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Re: durations

Postby Richard Mix » 16 Mar 2010 00:58

Glad to have made you laugh; it would certainly be a useful hunting ground for us two, at least. Of course measure talleys wont neccesarily be the same for multiple editions: even in Messiah there's that alla breve And With His Stripes, which in the orchestra parts is in 2/2 and in the Novello Score is (logically and probably inauthentically) in 4/2.

Number of pages seem to do the job of roughing things out already, but I can shock myself by how long it takes me to sing Schubert's two page Der Sieg, so a timing with 10% error is much more helpful to me. Btw, I do a lot of finagling with note spacing rules in Sibelius when using unreduced note values (the default for 3/1 looks pretty stupid). Because these can only be set globally for the document, this often includes faking time signature changes and using hidden tuplets, which is still easier than hand positioning...

That's too bad about Finale & midi (though I imagine that as in Sibelius the midi could still take account of hidden mm's?)

Richard Mix
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Joined: 31 Jan 2010 04:51

Re: durations

Postby Richard Mix » 16 Mar 2010 01:10

This may be out there, but is it feasable to have [[:Category:pieces X minutes long]] contain pieces with {{duration|bottom range|top range}} rather than sweat what the category ranges would be and how overlap could be dealt with?

ps. I wont say that "submit" instead of "save" is counter-intuitive, but it's a bit counter-conditioning. :roll:


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