How to group neumes in a melisma
  • MarkB
    Posts: 620
    Is there a correct way to group neumes in a melisma?

    For example, the following is something I'm working on. It's the end of Psalm 23:

    That's the grouping I prefer, but I have to add two exclamation points (!) in the gabc code to get it to group that way.

    By default, without the exclamation points, it is rendered as this:

    Here's a third possibility, using only one exclamation point:

    Is one way more correct than the others, or is there a fourth, more correct way?
    Is there a general rule for grouping neumes in melismas? Is it an art or a science or pure preference?

    Here's the gabc code in case someone wants to suggest a different grouping:
    (cb4) years(fEDgf!hih!iHG) to(fe) come.(ded.)
  • m_r_taylor
    Posts: 220
    I don't have the background in chant to tell you which one is "correct", but my personal preference would be yours as well. To me it is easier to read, and hence easier to teach.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,311
    I haven't a clue, but would be for whatever notation scheme makes it less likely for that second Bb to end up ... flatter.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,772
    I am not an expert in GABC, but I believe that the exclamation marks (!) are part of the necessary input blah-blah (or whatever the correct computer lingo is) to do what you want it to do. In other words, it isn't 'cheating', it's using the program properly.

    FWIW, I would make the punctum at the beginning of 'years' into a virga (fvED)-- it looks better.
    Thanked by 3francis CHGiffen MarkB
  • Another vote for the virga.
  • madorganist
    Posts: 740
    Is there a general rule for grouping neumes in melismas? Is it an art or a science or pure preference?
    The grouping of the Vatican edition generally follows that of the adiastematic neuemes.

    I agree with you that the first looks best, but I second (actually third!) Saileri's recommendation to change the first note to a virga, also that using the exclamation point isn't cheating. Alternatively, you can use @ if you want a connector.
    Thanked by 1MarkB
  • JesJes
    Posts: 559
    I don't know how to get notifications on this post so I'm typing a message here so I get it.
    I'm curious to know how grouping works too.

    I admit the virga looks the most pleasing to me too. But I wonder what is usual on this.