Hi all, thanks for the replies!
> I am pretty sure that I read that this is done on purpose, that the flag
> can touch the note head and that the distance of the elements of a 16th,
> 32nd, etc. flag are derived from the distance of staff lines.
I personally think there is a difference between touching and overlapping
(colliding) with a note head. Even some of the examples in Gould's book show
flags basically touching note heads, but never colliding (i think); in my
opinion, the case of LilyPond's stemmed down e' is indeed quite extreme.
About distances, she writes on p. 16 that the stem of both eighth and
sixteenth notes should be 3.5 staff spaces (I think considering that the
stem starts in the half of a note head, so for instance a f' stem should
finish exactly at the top staff line), and the flags should be 3 and 3.25
staff spaces, respectively.
Thanks for the link, I will check that discussion out!
> Of course it isn’t constant, because stem length isn’t constant, and
> shouldn’t be. The ‘easiest’ description I can think of is that in
> classical engraving there is a kind of ‘gravity’ towards the center of
> the staff, which among other things makes stem length depend on staff
> position (of the note head(s)).
I just had found it suspicious that the stemmed down notes affected by
collisions are exactly the ones that would normally take stem ups (a' or
lower). I was not aware that was intentional.
> ‘Tails’? Really? I’ve never heard that word in engraving context.
I actually have heard of tails before, though flags is certainly much more
common. But for instance, you will find in /The Hutchinson Concise
Dictionary of Music/ on p. 523: quaver, "US eighth note [...] it is written
as a filled black note-head with a stem and flag (tail)." Anyway, I think
this is just choice of vocabulary and so it shouldn't really matter.
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