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Thread: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

  1. #1

    Default Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    Working on a little project, needing a little info: Which do you prefer?

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  2. #2
    Registered User Jonathan K's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    B.

    Good luck!

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    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    Use the extra ledger lines (A). No one wants to see alto clef and 8va is confusing for me, although Im getting better at it. Useful to practice bass clef, but the main reason to avoid the extra lines is when it bumps into another staff, like in a score. If there is no other staff keep it simple.
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  6. #4

    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    Thanks Jonathan.

    Where would you "draw the line"? Meaning, eg below a G? Below an E?

  7. #5
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    I prefer B. 8va is no problem for me.
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  9. #6

    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    A B, really?

    Just out of curiosity, you'd prefer the 8vb line even for regular GDAE mandolin? For any note below a C?

  10. #7
    Fiddler & Mandolin Player Dave Reiner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    I prefer A. Definitely not C.

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  12. #8
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bevan View Post
    A B, really?

    Just out of curiosity, you'd prefer the 8vb line even for regular GDAE mandolin? For any note below a C?
    Nope, not for regular mandolin. I am actually OK with either A or B for mandola, too. But I really like 8va when playing OM, and that translates to mandola. By that, I mean CGDA mandola, being between mandolin and OM, I can go either way (A or B).

    A-type notation is not too bad when playing a run, but when single notes are just stuck out there on ledger lines, it becomes tough for me to visualize both physically (aging eyes) and mentally (even if I can hit it, I have trouble thinking of what it is and therefore, why it is there).

    That said, for mandola either works for me, but if there is a lot of low stuff, I like 8va. Makes sense to me, but YMMV and that's good, too.
    Purr more, hiss less.

  13. #9

    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    B is easiest, then A. I am used to 8vb starting below low G. All are legit.
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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    I prefer A, mainly because my brain is far too slow to deal with switching clefs or octaves in the middle of a phrase. Probably an indication that I need to polish up my sight-reading if I ever want to become fluent in reading cello scores. Cello players seem to switch clefs with wild abandon.

    In any case, it's only one extra ledger line compared to guitar music which routinely goes down to E natural in octave treble clef without anybody complaining.

    Martin

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  17. #11

    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    Thanks everybody!

    Maybe I'll figure out some formula, like, if there are x number of consecutive notes below E, I'll use the 8vb line.

  18. #12

    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    (And please ignore my post #6 I was incorrectly thinking that Bob's #5 was Jonathan's reply to my #4.)

  19. #13
    Registered User Jonathan K's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bevan View Post
    A B, really?

    Just out of curiosity, you'd prefer the 8vb line even for regular GDAE mandolin? For any note below a C?
    Yeah! I actually have no prob with 8vb when I encounter it. I would not enjoy all those ledger lines in A and many folks might not enjoy reading bass clef in C. But honestly, I have not encountered 8vb in the small amount of classical literature I've played on mandolin but it seems the easiest solution of the three presented (and the one I would choose.)

    I'm not sure how to answer your question as I don't understand the implication.

  20. #14
    Registered User Jonathan K's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bevan View Post
    Thanks Jonathan.

    Where would you "draw the line"? Meaning, eg below a G? Below an E?
    In general, when reading (ever so slowly), I enjoy NOT seeing ledger lines below - say - G in the treble clef. But that's just me.

  21. #15

    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan K View Post
    I'm not sure how to answer your question as I don't understand the implication.
    Sorry about the confusion, my bad! I was thinking that Bob's "I prefer B" (meaning, he prefers Example B) was your answer to my question to you (to Jonathan) "Where would you "draw the line"?" I was, incorrectly of course, thinking that you wanted the line to be drawn at B, meaning that you wanted every note below middle C to have an 8vb!

    I prefer C myself (I'm a pianist first and foremost), but since the responses seem to be pretty evenly balanced between A and B, and my project involves making scores that I've written for myself available to the general public (well, that tiny fraction of the general public that plays CGDAE (and GDAE) instruments, at least), I'll start with removing the bass clefs from the scores, but, as I don't yet have a preference for A over B or vice versa, I'll have to spend some time with the new look to see which of the two I prefer.

    Thanks everyone, and sorry for the time-zone difference hard to get some discussion momentum going when everyone's getting off work right as I'm going to bed.

  22. #16
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    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    If this were music written for the liuto cantabile (the Italian version of the mandocello with 5 courses, tuned CGDAE) by, say, Raffaele Calace in early 20th century Italy, option C (Calace, as did others, preferred to notate the C string in bass clef most of the time, and the other courses in 8vb treble). If immediate post-WW2 Austria, where the liuto was also used, option A, probably.

    I play liuto. Any of the options would be fine with me, although if I encountered the passage on the fly I would probably prefer A or C, and expect to see C. Never B.
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    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    Thanks ….. I have been thinking on a mando-cello purchase. As stated above all three are "legitimate" and I get that. Counting ledger lines for third and above position fiddling makes me a bit crazy so doing the same thing below will likely as well. I imagine switching clef in the middle of a reading will do the same..... never having learned to read the F clef …. harhar … perhaps B would be best for folks like me. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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  25. #18
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    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    Addendum: the CGDAE mandolin is in use in Brazil. Contemporary scores that I have in my possession (for example, Hamilton de Holanda, 24 Capricci) use option A.
    Robert A. Margo

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  27. #19

    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    Good to know, Margora, thanks for that!

    I saw Hamilton perform in Brazilia in 2010 with French accordion player Richard Galliano an amazing show. We exchanged signature picks after the show (well, his had his signature mine had my email (it's my business card)).

    I'm leaning toward A myself, but, looking at a score today of an exercise on all strings based on Dancla Ex. 1, where there are a few bars of everything-on-the-C-string, I moved that section up an octave, and added 8vb. I might switch it back later I'll see how I feel about other scores, and try to be consistent.

    Much-appreciated input, everyone!

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    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    A final comment on option B: in the early 20th century US, parts for the alto mandola/mandola in C (tuned CGDA) were often published in so-called "universal notation" which, in the case of the mandola, is simply 8vb everywhere. So, option B can be seen as a modern application of universal notation for the CGDAE mandolin.
    Robert A. Margo

  29. #21
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    I prefer option C. Am I the only one who likes it, other than Jim? I don't even play piano, or have my low CGDAE instrument yet (being built right now), but it is the easiest one to read, for me. Personally, I hate both 8vb and excessive ledger lines. Version C is just nice and clean.

    I should edit to add that right now I'm not hugely fluent at sight-reading the bass clef; however, I see how this system of notation would help me to become moreso in a hurry. In fact, considering the choices, option C is probably what I'll use when writing arrangements for my new instrument (understanding that it will all sound an octave lower than written).

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  31. #22
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    I like C, but I’m coming from a ‘cello background so running from bass through tenor into treble is very common for us.
    B seems like quite a mandolin orchestra thing to do and happens in a lot of tenor banjo music too.
    A is ok if you’re just dipping down for a bit and have loads of space on your sheets. In general I prefer not to use up space unnecessarily on a page to avoid page turns.
    Eoin



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    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    As a one time copyist B is strongest for a short passage like that. Alternatively you could have started earlier and done a longer section with viola clef. Mandola/viola like instruments live in that space so it would make sense.

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  35. #24
    Registered User David Westwick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for notation-reading CGDAE-instrument players

    C -- but I play Liuto Cantabile and Mandocello so bass clef is natural. A is horrible. Nobody wants to count that many ledger lines, and sight-reading it would be a crap shoot. B is acceptable, but harder to process than C.
    David Westwick.

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