Figured Bass?

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Figured Bass?

Post by gardibolt »

It doesn't look to me like Overture 5 can deal with figured bass for baroque works. At least, there's no reference to it in the Help section. Is it possible to add figured bass in a score, and also to get playback of it?

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How to notate figured bass Re: Figured Bass?

Post by FlinderHiew »

Hi Mark, (and anyone wanting figured bass),

Notating figured bass:
Overture doesn't currently have a dedicated function for notating figured bass (unless I don't know about it!), but it isn't difficult to get something workable, although not perfect (but it's close!).

1. I suggest using three verses of lyrics (or four verses, if the music has any four-number figurations)
-Set the lyrics verse to 3 (or 2, if you prefer), and notate all your single-number figurations (e.g. 6), and the bottom number of multi-number figurations (or the middle number if using verse 2), by clicking below the note and typing in the numbers, then press enter.
-You may have to be a bit creative with notating flats and slashed numbers. I would obviously suggest b for flat, and writing e.g. 6+ or #6 or 6# etc, for a slashed number. You may be able to download a font for slashed numbers and for proper sharp or flat symbols.
- Set the lyrics verse to 2 and notate the middle numbers (if three numbers), or the top number (if two numbers).
- Set the lyrics verse to 1 and notate the top numbers (if three numbers).
- use the blue lyrics baseline handles at the left of the stave to move verse 2 and verse 3 as high as they can go.
- If you want the figures above your staff, drag the verse 1 lyric handle, and the other two lines will follow obediently! :) Alternatively, you could attach the figures to the staff above (let's say viola). If the violas (etc) have a different rhythm, duplicate the cellos/basses (etc) onto an extra staff and hide it.
- If you actually have real lyrics, you will of course need to assign these to a different (probably lower) verse number.

2. An alternative would be to create your figuration symbols as graphics in a word processor or drawing program and paste them in.

I'm not sure if you're asking [1] Overture to invent automatic playback by reading the figuration (as per guitar chords), or whether [2] you want to tell Overture what notes to play.
[1] Automatic playback: that would be a big task for Don to implement, but theoretically not impossible. But definitely, I would guess Don has far more important things to work on. As you probably know, with continuo playing, there are a lot of variables. Depending on the music, counterpoint/voice-leading can be quite important. Figured bass might be played by various keyboard or fretted instruments, or organs of various sizes, sometimes with several different instruments simultaneously, each with their own idiomatic interpretations (e.g. organs might play longer sustained notes; harpsichords would add arpeggiation, runs and trills etc; lutes may use various strum and finger-picking patterns). The right hand tessitura chosen might depend on the style and volume of the music. Nonetheless, it would be theoretically possible for to create an algorithm that created a simple harpsichord interpretation of the figures, and perhaps even one that could add arpeggiation and right hand figuration, and avoid counterpoint "errors" (parallel fifths etc) But it would require a dedicated figured bass notation function to begin with.

[2] User-specified playback:
- You could create a hidden harpsichord (etc) right hand track, with appropriate notes. An alternative is to have it showing. You could use a smaller staff size, or notate the notes as cue notes.

I would suggest that it would be good to have a figured bass insertion function eventually, and I guess the easiest implementation would be to somehow either build it into the lyrics function, or having a kind of second lyrics function but reserved for figured bass. Inputting 6-4-2 would automatically send the 6 to verse 1, 4 to verse 2 and 2 to verse 3. There would need to be symbols for # and b and slashed figures available.
Hope this helps!
Ov 5/MacOS 10.11/iMac mid-2007 24" 6GB (yes it can be squeezed in!)
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