Hello, David.

Thank you for keeping me on your Christmas list!

As you may remember from my period of designing the Dutch Lute Society newsletter, graphic design is my main profession. I regularly use font editing software for custom font creation or adapting existing fonts to meet my design needs. So it is easy for me to think of solutions to Finale limitations that involve designing custom fonts. Some of my choices are purely aesthetic preferences.

Here are some of the ways I use/adapt fonts:

-- Created a figured bass font to allow input of numerals as Lyrics.
For French tab:
-- Put an "r" in the "c" location
-- Redrew letters for more distinct shapes (d, for example)
-- Reduce the ascender and descender heights (those bits that go above or below a lower case x) -- Created characters for bass courses which I usually will enter with the Expression tool (I enter a note an octave higher--so it is on the main six strings--then select the note with Mass Edit tool and transpose it to the desired octave and then enter with Expression tool. This gives correct pitched MIDI playback. If that's not needed I may just enter a note and make it invisible and enter the bass course note as text or expression)
-- Create historic time signatures.
-- Fingering dots and thumb strokes
-- Fingering numbers (which I enter as Articulations)
-- Custom ornament signs (Articulations) -- Upward and downward strums -- can be arrows or notes (Articulations). These can be placed in the staff, if desired. -- Short up/down arrows to place below the staff (Lyrics or Articulation) -- Note augmentation dot slightly offset to enter as Lyrics. If the piece only uses occasional dotted rhythms I usually just enter them as Articulations. -- Custom rhythm signs to enter as Lyrics. I usually just use Finale's beaming (with stems offset to appear above the staff)
-- Vertical wavy line for arpeggio (Articulation)
-- Séparée line (rather than just the line tool) -- more consistent than using the line tool. -- For BG tab I have do-not-play-this-string dots in the letter "q" position to I can enter them as I do other notes.

To make Finales flagged rhythms more harmonious to tablature I have also experimented with changing those items in Maestro. That allows keeping beamed flags. Usually I just

It's all a work in progress, and when I come across something else I need or want to do I

I still haven't figured a way to easily enter Renaissance upstroke dots -- I usually just leave them off.

I actually have been thinking about the nature of lute typography over the years. In normal text setting letters need to be designed to read together as words, different yet harmonious. I've been thinking that tablature is actually most successful when there are more distinct differences between letters -- using an r for second fret (actually similar to a stylized c in English Secretary hand), using a swashy d ascender. Then, of course, the letters still need to work together aestetically. Italian tab is much less problematic.

On Jan 27, 2008, at 2:38 AM, LGS-Europe wrote:

In short, everything to aid sight reading and make musical content clear.


-- Rocky

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