O/T: engraving question - tempo changes

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Michel R E
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O/T: engraving question - tempo changes

Post by Michel R E » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:44 pm

I have a general engraving question for which I cannot seem to find any sort of firm answer.

I have scores in my library both with and without a dashed/dotted line between a rit./ral./accel. and the subsequent A Tempo.

Until now I've been always making my scores with these dashed lines. I do find that it makes the tempo alterations clearer.

But is there any sort of fixed rule on whether to use them or not?

example:

rit.------------ a tempo
rather than just
rit. (blank space, which the forum won't allow me to put) a tempo
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Re: O/T: engraving question - tempo changes

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zuill
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Re: O/T: engraving question - tempo changes

Post by zuill » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:49 pm

I personally know of no known rule. My experience over the years is that a dashed line is more rare than no dashed line. To me, it clutters the page. My humble opinion.

Zuill
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Michel R E
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Re: O/T: engraving question - tempo changes

Post by Michel R E » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:56 pm

thank-you Zuill.

I've found a few instances in my scores where the tempo dashed line cluttered another required dashed line beneath it (indicating an instrumental technique).
but I've also found that long delays between the start of the tempo change and either the ending target or return to tempo can be unclear. if there are 6 or more measures, I find it can make musicians forget that there was a tempo alteration. (NEVER assume the level of intelligence of musicians :twisted: )
User of Finale since version 3.0 on Windows.
Now using a mix of Finale 2012, Finale 25, and 26.1
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XSamples Chamber Ensemble.
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N Grossingink
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Re: O/T: engraving question - tempo changes

Post by N Grossingink » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:24 pm

Speaking as an orchestral trombonist of a fair amount of freelance experience, seeing any of these modifications automatically triggers the reflex to find out where they lead and if necessary highlight the spot somehow in pencil. This is usually done before the first rehearsal when I'm sitting there looking over the part. Using the dashed line is clutter as far as I'm concerned. I'll work it out in my own way.

So far as my level of intelligence, I can be as dumb as a box of rocks sometimes, as we all can.
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Bill Stevens
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Re: O/T: engraving question - tempo changes

Post by Bill Stevens » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:02 pm

I hardly ever use the dashed line unless in some rare example it makes sense to me; for instance:

slowing gradually to ----------- q=60

There the tempo mark sort of completes the expression.

But in general I agree with others that there is the risk of clutter.

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David Ward
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Re: O/T: engraving question - tempo changes

Post by David Ward » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:44 pm

It's strange, but after checking I've found I did use dashed lines most of the time in my old manuscript fair copies, but stopped using them in Finale after my first few scores in the software (in 2001). I think this is probably because in MS it was very easy to adjust the style and appearance of each dashed line so there was no sense of clutter or confusion. Some things can actually seem clearer in carefully laid out MS than in Finale.
 
Out of habit I still use partial dashed lines mf cresc - - -         - - - ff (and equivalent for progressive tempo changes &c) in my pencil sketches (I had to look at my current ongoing pencil score to check, since after 70 years or so of writing music manuscript it's so instinctive and below the conscious that I wasn't sure what it was I actually did).
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Michel R E
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Re: O/T: engraving question - tempo changes

Post by Michel R E » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:49 pm

thank-you all for the comments from experience!
I'm considering going back over a bunch of scores before sending them in now to me archived.
User of Finale since version 3.0 on Windows.
Now using a mix of Finale 2012, Finale 25, and 26.1
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michelp
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Re: O/T: engraving question - tempo changes

Post by michelp » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:41 am

Michel R E wrote: (blank space, which the forum won't allow me to put) a tempo
Sidenote : with a "hard space"                  it is possible (on the Mac, alt-spacebar, maybe a different key combination on Windows).
Michel
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motet
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Re: O/T: engraving question - tempo changes

Post by motet » Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:43 am

Finale certainly doesn't encourage you to use them, since there's no way to apply them to a score list except to copy them. I tend to use them only when it's poco a poco, so the player doesn't forget. :-)

Anders Hedelin
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Re: O/T: engraving question - tempo changes

Post by Anders Hedelin » Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:22 pm

I had job where the composer insisted on having the letters of "poco a poco accelerando" spaced-out over three systems. That first time he had it his way (although ugly and difficult to read), the next time we reached a compromise: poco ------- a ---- poco ---- crescendo, with dashed lines. Everything to keep your client happy. If I had to choose myself, I would have dispensed with the dashed lines altogether: "poco a poco al" - nothing - "new tempo mark" fx. But if your clients insists, you'll have to know how to do it.
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motet
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Re: O/T: engraving question - tempo changes

Post by motet » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:23 pm

Sometimes you see

cre.....scen.....do

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N Grossingink
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Re: O/T: engraving question - tempo changes

Post by N Grossingink » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:37 pm

And sometimes you see build gradually. That might have a bit of a different meaning, but in the right context it works. For non English speakers, there must be equivalents.
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