Does this Style of Double-Chord Notation Work?

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kenperlman
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Does this Style of Double-Chord Notation Work?

Post by kenperlman » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:23 pm

I am writing a banjo tab book that focuses on fiddle tune arrangements. There are many occasions where the fiddle plays a tune say in D, but the banjo setting is in C (with the instruction to "capo-2"). The issue is how to show alternative chords above the staff. I had originally been advised to use a notation such as G(A), C(D) where the chord on the left matches the tab pitch, and the chord inside the paren on the right matches the fiddle pitch. This notation simply took up too much room above the staff.

Looking around for other punctuation I hit upon the possibility of using a backslash to separate the two chords (G\A. C\D)I don't believe that the backslash currently has an assigned meaning in chord notation (as opposed to the forward slash, the "|", and the colon, all of which have some sort of meaning). I then figured I would keep the chord that matches the tab pitch on the left of the backslash in 11 point font, and write the chord that matches the fiddle pitch to the right of the backslash in 10 point font. Attached is sample on of how this would look.

Does this kind of notation work?

Re: Does this Style of Double-Chord Notation Work?

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zuill
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Re: Does this Style of Double-Chord Notation Work?

Post by zuill » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:20 pm

Capo chords are usually above the regular chords. Finale has an option for italic for the capo chords. Why not use the most common approach?

I know you were wanting to attach a sample, but somehow, that didn't happen. You might want to try again.

As far as the backward slash, that probably would be confusing to some, unless that is a commonly accepted standard that I am not aware of. I'm guessing you're suggesting a new trend, which might take some time to catch on.

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FwL
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Re: Does this Style of Double-Chord Notation Work?

Post by FwL » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:49 pm

Is there a convention for this? If so, you probably want to follow the convention.

For guitar music, I don't know that I've ever actually seen a piece that designates a capo and then displays the concert pitch chords along with the capo chords. Does anybody who's going to play the piece actually care what the actual chords are?
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Peter Thomsen
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Re: Does this Style of Double-Chord Notation Work?

Post by Peter Thomsen » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:32 pm

kenperlman wrote:… Looking around for other punctuation I hit upon the possibility of using a backslash to separate the two chords (G\A, C\D). I don't believe that the backslash currently has an assigned meaning in chord notation …
FwL wrote:… Is there a convention for this? …
Actually there is a convention for backward slash.
Quoting the Finale user Bobby Cruz:
Bobby Cruz wrote:… Berklee calls them Upper Structure Triads. For example, an F7\Gtriad means you play an F7 in the left hand and a G triad in the right. The backward slash to me seems more like a definite polychord symbol. I've seen many handwritten charts over the years where the transcriber has used the straight line with chord above, chord below. Their intention was to indicate an alternate bass chord. They used the straight line with the chord on top and the desired bass note on the bottom, which meant the same as the forward slash.

When I saw the backward slash chords at the first rehearsal, he explained the logic behind it. Made sense to me! …
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Christopher Smith
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Re: Does this Style of Double-Chord Notation Work?

Post by Christopher Smith » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:55 pm

I've never seen the backslash convention that Bobby Cruz mentioned. In Berklee's own course materials they use the perfectly normal horizontal slash to delineate upper-structure triads.

G
Fmaj7

That is hard to do in Finale, and involves kludges to get the lower part of the polychord to show chord suffixes.

Now, I haven't seen anything new for about five years, so maybe they have introduced a new convention, but since nobody knows it, that wouldn't be a good idea.
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zuill
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Re: Does this Style of Double-Chord Notation Work?

Post by zuill » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:48 pm

Regarding capo chords, I would enter the normal chords first, then use the Add/Remove Capo Chords utility to add the capo chords. It uses a much more common look for capo chords, I believe.

Zuill
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Re: Does this Style of Double-Chord Notation Work?

Post by FwL » Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:50 pm

Peter Thomsen wrote: Actually there is a convention for backward slash.
Sorry for the misunderstanding. I was referring specifically to listing both capo chord names and concert pitch chord names.
A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules... often with the aid of unsuspecting musicians - Frank Zappa

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