Square and lozenge notes -- Musical Notation 3.1 -- Mensural notation

From: Patrick Andries (pandries@iti.qc.ca)
Date: Tue Mar 06 2001 - 22:24:49 EST

I have a few questions about the Renaissance musical symbols found in its proposed 3.1 block.

1) I do not see why the notes U+1D1B6-U+1D1C0 are divided in three different groups, one of them grouping miscellaneous symbols.

2) U+1D1C0 seems to have an incorrect names (e.g. "fusa black"). This is character (SEMIBREVIS BLACK + STEM + FLAG-2)

I believe, this is black SEMI-FUSA. It will eventually produce the 16th note (in Unicode's American imperialist terminology) or the semi-quaver (in the tongue of the Great-British); the lozenge headnote having been replaced by an oval one.

I believe the confusion may stem from the fact that some symbols have change names and values through time (see below). Unicode seems to have aligned itself on the pre-1420 names (the smaller set of symbols) and have extrapolated from it the names of the black notes that appeared only after 1420.

Name Pre-1420 After 1420
FUSA --- U+1D1BE
SEMI-FUSA --- U+1D1C0.

May I ask why the larger set (post-1420) was not used ? This would not have lead to any errors in naming but present only a *glyph* ambiguity as far as the SEMIMINIMA/MINIMA/FUSA are concerned. In other words, should this be displayed with a pre-1420 font ?

Patrick Andries

Sources : Dictionnaire de musique, Larousse & Encyclopaedia Universalis (scanned copy can be sent)
http://www.nmc.vt.edu/staff/Ed/music/glossary/appendix/notation/Noteshapes.html (only provided for the neat table I'm not able to reproduced)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:21:20 EDT