Re: triple diacritic (sch with ligature tie in a German dialect writing document)

From: John Hudson (
Date: Thu Jun 15 2006 - 02:58:50 CDT

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    Petr Tomasek wrote:

    >>There are obvious cases in which tying marks should be handled at some
    >>level above text encoding and typical font shaping, e.g. in music notation,

    > Why couldn't be (theoreticaly) music notation handled in unicode?

    The input and storage for many entities in musical notation could be Unicode -- indeed,
    I'm aware of one music composition software that hacks the Unicode Greek block for musical
    entities. But there are also aspects of music layout, in particular drawn entities such as
    ties, dynamics marking, etc. that go well beyond the kind of rendering and layout
    architecture we have built for text encoding. I suspect software that uses some form of
    character encoding as a basis for music notation does so because fonts happen to be a
    convenient storage and access medium for little graphic symbols, and character encoding is
    how you get at the symbols in the fonts. But only some of the symbols used in music
    notation are conveniently handled in this way. For example, note heads might be
    conveniently encoded and accessed as glyphs in a font, but the length of the stem attached
    to the notehead vary, and the bars that connect the stems of adjacent eighth, sixteenth
    notes etc. need to be dynamically drawn, as do ties between notes. None of these things
    can be handled in a text encoding and font paradigm.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC
    I am not yet so lost in lexicography, as to forget
    that words are the daughters of earth, and that things
    are the sons of heaven.  - Samuel Johnson

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