Background + Context
The trompette is a string found on the Hurdy Gurdy — most gurdies have one, I’d estimate the mean is 1.75, with the max (AFAIK) of 4 on one of Simon Wascher’s Weichselbaumer Altos (photo). Most often tuned to C, D or G, it has a small pivoting bridge which, properly set-up and regulated, allows the musician to augment his/her playing with buzzing by accelerating the speed of the wheel.
Whilst the buzzing can be used a-rhythmically, more often it is used to accentuate the rhythm of a piece.
See Trompette Format Research for my documentation of existing notation, both on the web and in real life.
Why do I want to create this format? Having a simple but well-documented format for representing buzzing patterns has the following benefits:
- Standardises the way I notate rhythm, meaning less effort trying to understand old, vaguely-notated tunes
- Allows rhythms to be posted, shared and exchanged on the web in a well-known and documented format
- Allows computerised automation/visualisation/analytics, etc. E.G:
- Represent the buzzing patterns alongside sheet music
- Visualise buzzing patterns in alternative, interesting ways
- Programatically analyse common patterns
Why Not SMN?
- SMN doesn’t tell you where in the rotation the buzz should take place
- Which is potentially a good thing in theory but for learning, knowing the intended position is fairly vital
- SMN is time-consuming to draw
- SMN is time-consuming to learn
- SMN is difficult to represent on the web without the use of heavy formats like MusicXML, pitch-based formats like ABC or overly-verbose formats like TinyNotation
- Use the numbers 1-4 to represent a buzz on each of the four points of the Coup de Catré.
- Appending a dash (-, – or —) indicates a long buzz (and successively more dashes for even longer ones)
- Appending a dot (.) indicates a particularly short buzz
- Spaces and barlines (|) may be inserted as required to add clarity. They probably shouldn’t be parsed by machines unless some really clear usage patterns emerge
- Coup de une:
1 | 1 | 1 | 1
- Coup de Catré:
- One of Steve Tyler’s patterns:
1-- 3. 4- 23
- One of Gregory Jolivet’s patterns:
1413 1413 1234 1234 1234 13
- The character 1 and the vertical barline are visually ambiguous, especially in contexts where the typeface is not predictable (I.E. the web)