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Thanks for your question about formatting hymnals.
The most common method for transcribing the music for hymnals is using piano format with the right hand containing the soprano and alto parts, (intervals read downwards) and the left hand containing the bass and tenor parts (intervals read upwards). This highlights the melody and the bass line, but contains the inner voices as well. The lyrics would then come after the music, in 3-1 paragraph format, beginning with the stanza number and a period. If there is a refrain or chorus, it is a separate paragraph below the first stanza.
One could use open score, as if for a full choral ensemble, as shown in section 37 of the MBC 2015. Rarely would one do a hymnal with single voice parts done separately.
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have further questions!
You always come up with the best questions!
I would do a couple of things to aid the reader – I would use bar lines in the RH to show the division of the smaller measures. Then I would use the coincidence signs at the start of the second RH measure and the middle of the LH measure, where the notes align rhythmically.
Does the print music have the measures numbered? If so, follow print for the measure numbering. If not, I’d probably follow the large measure divisions for numbering, of course with a TN indicating said decisions.
I’ve attached a doc showing how I might braille it. (Can’t figure out how to get it into this text box…)
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I think the slur can be omitted at the start of the Coda. No need to use the special “slur that doesn’t come from a note” symbol because the slur does actually come from a note!
Thanks for the great question. I think what you have shown in measure 16 is good. A couple of things to adjust – when transcribing the right hand to have intervals read upwards, you must use the “special right hand sign” (dots 46, 345, 345).
The tie after the F4 8<sup>th</sup> note should be a chord tie, as the end of the accumulating arpeggio.
Everything else looks as clear as can be!
(Measure 18 needs a little adjustment – the G4 8<sup>th</sup> note should be followed by a chord tie, while the E5 dotted half should be followed by a single tie.)
I stand by my suggestion to create tables of contents for volumes you put together for a specific student which are comprised of various pieces. Imagine how long it would take the student to find the correct pieces for study and rehearsal without that reference. I think we are justified in taking a small liberty from the Formats Guidelines if it would be of great assistance to the musician.
I think your proposed title page looks perfect. Your table of contents would then include all titles and composers (and arrangers if applicable). Specific copyright info can then follow each separate piece.
I always use the editorial prefix for dotted slurs and ties. Dots 5, 123 before the slur or tie.
In Tree of Peace, measure 15, I would use an in-accord with transcriber-added rests to show the crescendo beginning on beat 3 and ending after beat 4. In measure 18 an in-accord isn’t necessary. The decrescendo can come before the first note and the piano before the quarter rest.
In 1941, the lower parts should use an in-accord to show the decrescendo beginning on beat 3. A termination of this decrescendo would not be necessary.
Hope that helps!
Since that is part of a literary expression, I would use a literary equivalent. Dots 45, 245 for the degree sign should be clear.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with breaking a measure at a reasonable place to start a new segment on a new braille page.
I think your presentation is very clear. I know it takes up a lot of space, but this is how I generally do things, as well.
I use the braille music comma to show the grouping of eighth notes in 5/8 and 7/8 meters, unless they remain constant throughout and is specified by the meter – sometimes they’ll show 3+2/8.
But if it changes, I find it’s helpful to use the comma to show the division.
In the divisi chords, I would use full-measure in-accords, adding implied rests. Put the numbers before the notes with word sign indicators.
I would place the labels “tonic chord” “subdominant chord” etc as word expressions before the chords, as well.
In an example like #1, you could put a transcriber’s note indicating there is no time signature. I don’t know if it’s necessary in an exercise like this to add a signature – especially with that first measure of nine stemless noteheads with fermatas on each one. There really is no rhythmic impetus in that bar. You could add a signature of 3/1 (with the dot 5 before it to indicate it’s added by you) before the second measure but I don’t know if it’s entirely necessary. But that is certainly a possibility.
Hope that helps!
Good afternoon, Anna!
Thanks for your question! There really isn’t a publication out there about formatting music books such as this. The Handbook for Music Transcribers is not updated to either UEB or Music Braille Code 2015 as of yet. It is helpful, but there are things that have changed. The best thing to do is study Formats and look up other music books (if you can) that have similar layouts and see what others have done.
As far as the example you’ve attached here, things look good for the most part! Code switch indicators are not really needed on the A) B) and C) letters before the rhythms. I think the list format and the context make it clear enough that the code switches. But the margins are fine and make it clear what’s going on.
In the music heading, where you have three different tempos, I would treat the “Basic” “Advanced” etc as tempo markings and put a period after each and then the dotted quarter = 80. Start each one on a new line and you can omit the semicolon. If you feel its crucial to have them in there, you don’t need the punctuation indicator before the semicolon, as you’re not entirely in music braille code at that time. (The numbers are numbers, not notes.)
(Don’t forget your key signature with your time signature. Also, each measure does not require an octave indicator in bar-over-bar format. See MBC2015 section 33.4. Also, has the customer requested uncontracted braille with this? In most method books I’ve done, I use contracted braille except for the text of the music heading and anything within the music.)
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have more questions!
All the best,
Thanks for your questions.
I think you could go either way with the separate parts. Using bar-over-bar format is perfectly acceptable, labeling the parts a and b at the margin, as would be separating the parts completely and doing section-by-section for each individually.
When written on the same staff, you’ll have to decide if they are separate enough to warrant separate parts instead of using in-accords. And again, utilizing bar-over-bar would be fine, as would separating them completely. I would remain consistent throughout the method book, though. Choose one way and stick to it! (And let the reader know which you are doing ahead of time.)
And yes, I would most likely write out the parts instead of using the parallel motion device, in order to help the student learn to read their music. The fewer complications in the early method books, the better, I’d say.
Hope that helps!
Check out section 25.5.1 in the Music Braille Code 2015.
The left hand pizzicato is indicated by placing dots 456, 345 (left hand piano sign) before each note so marked. It can be doubled if four or more notes are affected. An octave indicator is required after this sign, as is a dot 3 if the next sign contains a dot 1, 2, or 3.
The words “LH pizz.” or “m.g. pizz” are omitted unless you are doing a facsimile transcription. Likewise, the plus sign above the note is omitted (example 25.5.1-2 shows this).
You’ll probably want to list this on your special symbols page.
Thanks for a great question!
Yes, of course. This looks just fine.
I think the only reservation that might be made is that both hands having run-overs can be a lot, but in cases like this, I don’t see a way around it that makes it as clear as this is. I feel that dividing the measures would be more complicated than both hands having a run-over.