MBC Example 16.8-1 reprise

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    Chris Clemens


    I hope I'm not flogging a dead horse, but I still cannot rationalize the limitation demonstrated by Ex. 16.8-1. (Discussed on old forum 2 years ago.) At the end of this, feel free to just tell me that I obviously don't get it, but must accept that it makes sense to most people. I also realize that this policy is in compliance with the New International Manual. But one reason I'm posting this is that I've heard other transcribers saying they don't get it, either.

    I'm approaching this through comparisons.

    First, back-translate "gcfc7cq.

    Now please back-translate "gcfc7q. I cannot conceive of these two measures being interpreted identically, and yet that's what the code is saying.

    The assumption in the first example is that a slur on the last note is NOT included in the repeat sign. This conclusion is demonstrated by Ex. 16.8-3, which says, "If you want to slur to the next note after this repeat, you must braille the slur." But the assumption in Ex. 16.8-1 is that a slur on the last note IS included in the repeat sign. It says, "If you don't want to slur to the next note after this repeat, you cannot use the repeat."

    Every time I look at this page I come to the same conclusion: these details conflict. The rules are that (16.8-3) you must braille a slur after a repeat sign because the repeat does not include an "exit" slur and (16.8-1) you must braille it out because the repeat does include an exit slur.

    Chalk it up to "lack of clearly-stated rule leads to necessary caution"? Is there reason to consider changing Section 16.9 to say "does not include a tie or a slur" and change Section 16.18 to say "Partial abbreviation includes a slur on the last note or chord of the passage, but does not include a tie in that position," and then go on to the juxtaposition issue?

    Thanks for putting up with me.

    Chris Clemens

    Hi, Dan,

    I'm not sure I see what you see in Example 16.8-1. A slur after the last note of a string to be repeated is not ever included in the result of a repeat mark. I think the confusion is exactly what the example is intended to illustrate. While the slur in question is not included in the repeat according to the rule, its presence in the original may "interfere with the clear perception of phrasing." Even though the repeat device does not technically include the slur, it does not erase it from the original. A reader who comes to the repeat device and goes back to re-read the repeated string will re-encounter that slur and want to connect it to the music that follows the repeat sign. Since there is doubt, the passage should be written out.

    Example 16.8-5 reinforces the point. If single or double slurs are being used, the repeat device should not be employed, but sometimes bracket slurs may make the repeat sign usable. This distinction sometimes becomes very apparent in melismatic vocal music. See also Example 16.16-3.

    Sometimes we transcribers are expected to follow rules that readers don't need to be aware of, if we do our jobs well. This may be one of those instances.

    I think 16.9 should be revised to say "tie or single- or double-slur," and I've marked it to be brought up in the revising discussions.


    Chris Clemens

    Thank you, Larry, for stressing perception and reminding me (as I often remind our volunteers) that we must re-read our transcriptions without preconceptions.

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