# Modifiers on Numbers

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• #11787
Ed Godfrey
Participant

UEB Section 4: Letters and Their Modifiers, does not mention using modifier symbols with numbers. Have checked UEB for examples of the latter, but found none.

In music theory textbooks, we often see a caret over a single digit, a common literary method of indicating "scale degree" in these materials. The simplest literary workaround for transcribers (before UEB) has been using dot 4 before the number sign, which mimics the EBAE accent sign. Does anyone know if (4)(3456) + a digit (1-7) means something else in UEB, when standing alone?

Yes, the UEB approach might call for (45)(146) before the number, a two-cell sign more typical of a circumflex above a letter. Because scale degree is a fundamental idea in music theory, we would prefer a one-symbol indicator, if at all possible.

Suggestions are welcome!

-Ed

#22758
claurent
Moderator

A dot (4)(3456)(145) represents a parallelogram...so I don't think you could use (4)(3456) for the music issue. I am not a music transcriber so I'm afraid I don't have any other suggestions for you. I would suggest you contact the BANA music committee chair.

Cindi

#22759
claurent
Moderator

Hi Cindi. Thanks for the reference to the parallelogram. As shown in Guidelines for Tech. Material, p. 65, the symbol for the parallelogram would be preceded by the shape indicator (1246). Still, dot 4 is a UEB prefix, and it really shouldn't be used in a non-UEB way in literary text.

Just to clarify, "scale degree" is a fundamental concept in music theory, but the caret and number are literary symbols, not music symbols.

I previously thought we could use the caret symbol (4)(26), but UEB (p. 24) refers us to Section 4.2, for a circumflex above a letter. The caret symbol seems to be reserved for indicating insertion of text.

Many of these numbers (all with the ^ above) often appear in hyphenated sequences, e.g., 4-2, 1-2-3-4, and even longer sequences. UEB modifiers cannot be doubled, and the grouping indicators (126)(345) also don't seem applicable. The two-cell symbol for the circumflex would need to precede each number.

Does the UEB circumflex (45)(146) mean anything else when followed by a plain, one-digit number?

-Ed

#22761
Ed Godfrey
Participant

Sorry for the delay in responding.

The (45, 146) says it is a circumflex above the following letter. It seems to me it would also apply to a following number. But that is not what the UEB codebook says. I will check with others and get back to you on this.

Cindi

#22760
claurent
Moderator

This was the suggestion I received. I do not know if it would cause a conflict with the music code.

I would not use the circumflex modifier over a number. I do believe it is intended only for letters. What you can use is the "hat over previous item" (dots 5, 156). This is discussed in the Guidelines for Technical Material, section 12. It is used with numbers and even with letters in a technical context. Unlike the accent/modifier signs, it is placed after the digit or letter.

Hope this helps!

Cindi

#22762
Ed Godfrey
Participant

Thank you, Cindi. There is no conflict with music code, since the notation is literary. [As a humorous aside, in music context (5)(156) is the quarter note D just above middle C.]

I've practiced using (5)(156) in actual examples, and have found it adds quite a bit of bulk. Examples from exercise material (sequentially lettered items A., B., C. ...), each of the numbers with the "hat" superimposed:

C. Harmonize the soprano melody 5-6-5-4-3 in B minor ...

D. Harmonize the bass melody 1-7-1-2-3-4-5-3 in G minor ...

Because the (5)(156) needs to follow each of the numbers, the scale degree sequence in item D consumes 34 cells.

For a single, isolated scale degree number, 4 cells isn't bad. Sequences of hyphenated scale degrees are fairly common, however, as they indicate a particular sequence of notes.

Hmmm...

-Ed
edited by Ed Godfrey on 6/12/2015

#27290
dgeminder
Participant

I just stumbled across this post, but it is a topic I have researched twice in the last few years, with unsatisfactory results. Unofficially, I recommend placing a dot 6 before each numeric indicator. The only approximate matches in the existing UEB character set are four Early English letters, but in each case the cell following the dots 3456 is NOT a-h.

Creating a UEB symbol this way is not valid, but certainly is far more efficient than the only legitimate UEB symbol. I believe I will continue using this technique as long as no other efficient sign is officially endorsed.

Dan

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