Helpful ReplyLockedValues of notes: how do you prefer seeing them?

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Stefano Bellezza
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2016/09/07 12:19:07 (permalink)
5 (1)

Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them?

In English, values of notes are expressed as fractions: whole, 1/2, 1/4 and so on. Other languages however also have a set of names for each value, e.g. Italian uses "semibreve", "minima" etc., French uses "blanche", "noire", etc. and so on.
 
By peeking in our translation projects, I noticed that these languages are somewhat inconsistent: there are places where they follow English and use numeric values, and others where they use the local names.
 
I have gathered some feedback from experienced users, and the consensus is that numeric values are understood even by those who have a formal musical training, plus they are more immediately useful when dealing with quantizing, step sequencer, and so on. Finally, numbers save space: compare "1/64" to "semibiscroma" or "quadruple croche", and imagine them in a busy dialog.According to some users, the place to use note names, if at all, would be when working with scores.
 
So, my question: what is your preference? Would you like to see numbers used consistently? Would you save note names for some areas? Which areas exactly?
 
Thank you for your opinion. I will keep the question open for 6 weeks, and then work on elaborating and implementing the feedback - you should see the results by release 2016.12
 
Best regards,
Stefano Bellezza
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#1
TheMaartian
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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/07 12:40:42 (permalink)
+1 (1)
All numbers. All the time.
 
And, please, can we in the U.S. finally bite the bullet and convert to metric?

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Sir William
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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/07 18:02:44 (permalink)
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Personally, I don't like the American way at all. Whole note, half note, quarter note etc.
I was classically trained in the UK and much prefer semibreve, minim, crotchet, quaver etc.
However, I do realise it's a big world out there, and as long as we all understand each variation I am happy.

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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/08 10:31:49 (permalink)
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US method - way easier for non-musicians to understand too.
 
Although I prefer to see my notes valued in USD or GBP personally :-)

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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/08 12:12:05 (permalink)
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KPerry
US method - way easier for non-musicians to understand too.
 
Although I prefer to see my notes valued in USD or GBP personally :-)


Mmm...

A quarter note is a quarter only in 4/4, it's a third in 3/4 - however it IS a crotchet in any time signature.

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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/08 12:55:41 (permalink)
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I prefer the "US version."
 
Although I'd like it to be known as something other than that, due to the empirical Yankee stereotype.  

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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/08 15:57:24 (permalink)
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Sir William
KPerry
US method - way easier for non-musicians to understand too.
 
Although I prefer to see my notes valued in USD or GBP personally :-)


Mmm...

A quarter note is a quarter only in 4/4, it's a third in 3/4 - however it IS a crotchet in any time signature.



A quarter is a quarter of a whole under all circumstances.

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Sir William
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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/08 16:15:47 (permalink)
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So what is a whole note in 3/4 or 6/8 etc?

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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/08 16:35:12 (permalink)
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Sir William
So what is a whole note in 3/4 or 6/8 etc?



It's still 4/4 or 8/8, which probably explains why whole notes typically aren't used in those meters. 
 
Perhaps they need to provide two different sets of note names, one in color A and the other in colour B.   
 

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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/09 01:12:26 (permalink)
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Sir William
KPerry
US method - way easier for non-musicians to understand too.
 
Although I prefer to see my notes valued in USD or GBP personally :-)


Mmm...

A quarter note is a quarter only in 4/4, it's a third in 3/4 - however it IS a crotchet in any time signature.

But it still feel like a foreign language, 'crotchet' 'minm'. I would have to look these up (I'm English), but I can tell from fractions easily and in any language. I could teach my Vietnamese kids, and they would be fine with it. 
 
Music for the most part and for those not familiar with the more technical side of is in 4/4. Of course their are plently of exceptions, but by a long way, it's 4/4. And when you start experimenting 3/4, you get the not length distinction pretty quickly.
 
Their is also an issue of disply. Not length is shown in the Tool Hud and on the control panel. Snap on the control bar gos to 1/128. That fits on the button top. If you do have it shown in written form somewhere elese, I'd think you'd need to inlcuded the numerical format alongside so it teid in with the control bar.

 
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ricoskyl
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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/09 21:01:06 (permalink)
+1 (1)
Sir William
A quarter note is a quarter only in 4/4, it's a third in 3/4 - however it IS a crotchet in any time signature.



That's like saying 25 cents is only a quarter when you have a dollar?  You'd call it a "tenth" if you had $2.50?  My head spins when I think of the Gordian knot of quotidian calculations.  <eek!>

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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/09 23:26:22 (permalink)
+1 (1)
I'm equally ok with classical terminolgy or fractions. I also like to see symbols for note values. Why can't we have it all?

One source of confusion with fractional values is inconsistency between PRV/SV and most time-based FX. E.g. fractions in Sonitus Delay refer to fractions of a beat, whereas fractions in PRV/SV refer to fractions of a bar. So 1/4 in Sonitus would be equivalent to 1/16 in PRV.

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Sir William
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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/10 05:36:06 (permalink)
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ricoskyl

That's like saying 25 cents is only a quarter when you have a dollar?  You'd call it a "tenth" if you had $2.50?  My head spins when I think of the Gordian knot of quotidian calculations.  <eek!>


I wouldn't - I am in the UK and we don't use dollars ;)

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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/10 06:26:26 (permalink)
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Sir William
ricoskyl

That's like saying 25 cents is only a quarter when you have a dollar?  You'd call it a "tenth" if you had $2.50?  My head spins when I think of the Gordian knot of quotidian calculations.  <eek!>


I wouldn't - I am in the UK and we don't use dollars ;)



Allow me to translate.
 
It's like saying a three penny bit it would be worth a quarter if you had shilling, but if you had a pound it would be worth it would be worth an eightieth.

 
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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/10 06:32:17 (permalink)
+1 (1)
Numbers please.

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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/12 08:38:10 (permalink)
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Kamikaze
Sir William
ricoskyl

That's like saying 25 cents is only a quarter when you have a dollar?  You'd call it a "tenth" if you had $2.50?  My head spins when I think of the Gordian knot of quotidian calculations.  <eek!>


I wouldn't - I am in the UK and we don't use dollars ;)



Allow me to translate.
 
It's like saying a three penny bit it would be worth a quarter if you had shilling, but if you had a pound it would be worth it would be worth an eightieth.




Yep, that sounds like pre-decimal coinage :-)

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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/12 09:38:15 (permalink)
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I prefer fractions
 


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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/13 05:14:02 (permalink)
+2 (2)
I prefer numbers. I would get lost if it changed
All the best.

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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/13 08:19:17 (permalink)
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two songwriters in my family prefers fractions!

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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/13 12:10:55 (permalink)
+2 (2)
Numbers and symbols. Although you can use localized names in pop-up help. That's best of both worlds.

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Stefano Bellezza
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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/14 15:29:42 (permalink)
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Thank you for the feedback.
 
Now, you got this utterly unschooled guy curious: I thought that, when you had a whole note - semibreve in Italian - and the time signature is, say, 5/4, that is still worth 4/4 and, if you use one, you have an extra quarter to fill in the measure. A 6/8 measure should fit three quarter notes (or any equivalent combination), and I am not sure that you can use a whole note in it at all... 
 
But this is not necessarily relevant to the discussion. For the moment, I am seeing a marked preference for the numeric values. Someone suggested "why not have both"... well, it may or not be a challenge because of how the translation tools work: the "wrong" terminology may end up in a context where it isn't desirable. I'll figure this out when the poll closes.
 
Keep that feedback coming, and thanks again!
 
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post edited by Stefano Bellezza [Cakewalk] - 2016/09/14 15:50:49
#21
Soundwise
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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/14 17:38:45 (permalink)
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Stefano Bellezza [Cakewalk]
I thought that, when you had a whole note - semibreve in Italian - and the time signature is, say, 5/4, that is still worth 4/4 and, if you use one, you have an extra quarter to fill in the measure. A 6/8 measure should fit three quarter notes (or any equivalent combination), and I am not sure that you can use a whole note in it at all...

Hi Stefano,
You are correct. Whole value has nothing to do with filling the entire measure, although that may happen in the commonly used time signature of 4/4.
Here is a drawing I use in my music classes. I'm sure, it is clear for you.

Time signature determines how many beats within a measure (upper number, numerator) and the value of the beat (lower number, denominator)
So the time signature 5/4 means "there are 5 beats within a measure, and each beat has a value of 1/4". 6/8 means
"6 beats/measure, beat=1/8", and so forth.
In other words, note values are mere fractions, measures are arrays of fractions and time signature determines a size of the array and the time grid.
HTH.
post edited by Soundwise - 2016/09/14 18:02:53

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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/14 17:43:16 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Soundwise 2016/09/14 18:06:41
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I learned something new today as well
Thanks. Alisa

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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/15 14:05:32 (permalink)
+2 (2)
Stay with numbers it seems to translate across most languages and users. much better visually and space wise then this for a sixty-fourth note (American), or hemidemisemiquaver or semidemisemiquaver (British) 



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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/19 13:27:16 (permalink)
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Thank you all again. I am only sorry to see mostly (only?) feedback from native speakers of English (although, as Wookie's comment stands to demonstrate, this is a further case of the US and the UK being two Countries separated by a common language).
 
And the issue is mostly with languages other than English. So, you Portuguese-, French-, Italian-, etc.-speaking users, we look forward to your comments! :-)
 
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#25
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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/19 13:53:25 (permalink)
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Ok, a comment from Sweden...
Numbers
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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/25 17:21:15 (permalink)
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Fractions are also used here in Germany.
 

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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/27 20:01:37 (permalink)
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The US way is better for me (whole, 1/2...) because I can't sight read and I never know what "Noire", "Blanche", etc. mean. But maybe there should be a double choice for the French versions because people who have learnt music would certainly prefer "Noire", "Blanche", etc.

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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/29 16:33:07 (permalink)
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Moreover I prefer the "C D E F G A B" international notation to the French "Do Ré Mi Fa Sol La Si Do".

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Re: Values of notes: how do you prefer seeing them? 2016/09/30 12:35:21 (permalink)
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ebibault51
Moreover I prefer the "C D E F G A B" international notation to the French "Do Ré Mi Fa Sol La Si Do".


Could be a minefield.

For example, to describe Bach's Mass in B minor one could use:
  • B minor (English)
  • h-Moll (German)
  • b (klein) (Dutch)
  • ロ短調 (ro tanchō) (Japanese)
  • 나 단조 (na danjo) (Korean)
  • Si minore (Italian)
  • Si mineur (French)
  • Si menor (Spanish)
  • Si menor (Portuguese)
  • Си минор (Russian)
  • Si minor (Romanian)
  • Σι ελάσσονα (Greek)


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