[CM] Fwd: CMN, coma :)

JEFFREY ZIMMER hieronymous.christian.uhrmacher at verizon.net
Sun Apr 1 15:30:58 PDT 2012

Regarding Rene's Comment -

I have been using CMN since late 2005.  I have just completed a 36- 
page Passacaglia for two violins in CMN - over three years of effort -  
which I intend to self-publish.  I have also typeset a couple of  
hymns, and a suite for solo violin.

CMN does have a steep learning curve, like any serious computer  
language, but it offers tremendous flexibility.  And I completely  
agree that its basis in an "antique" language (CLISP) is an advantage  
for composers who want to build
their life's work on a reliable and more-or-less permanent foundation  
of software.

CMN's biggest single weakness, in my own experience, is that it tends  
not to do a good job of justifying complicated contrapuntal music with  
onsets spread across different lines on different staves, with ties,  
short rests, etc.  A good example of this
kind of texture is the organ music of the North German school (D.  
Buxtehude and friends).  The CMN code in cmn4.lisp acknowledges this  
problem in its comments around "compactify":

"This procedure sometimes makes a mess of multi-staff music where the  
overlaps are actually on different staves.  The result tends to make  
runs ragged and uses more space than an engraver would."

My solution has been to do much editing with dx, dy, tie-direction,  
etc, and/or to settle for fewer bars per line, which wastes space.  I  
can get a nice looking result, but it takes lots of work.

 >> Have more recent versions of CMN addressed this issue?

If not, then I would like to take a crack at it, once I become more  
competent with CLISP.  I'd like to try to write an algorithm that  
produces the kind of justification seen in older engraved work, e.g   
Breitkopf & Hartel, ca 1900.  I would
gladly make my code available to the CM community - if I actually  

Jeff Zimmer

Begin forwarded message:

> From: René Bastian <rbastian at free.fr>
> Date: March 30, 2012 5:54:44 AM EDT
> To: cmdist at ccrma.Stanford.EDU
> Subject: [CM]  CMN, coma :)
> Le Thu, 29 Mar 2012 12:52:57 -0700,
> "Bill Schottstaedt" <bil at ccrma.Stanford.EDU> a écrit :
> [...]
>> The
>> other CL program from that era is CMN, also more-or-less comatose,
>> but also maintained ever since.
> [...]
> It is true that only few people use CMN.
> But it is sure that CMN works when Clisp works;
> all my old .cmn files compile on new installations - that is
> really not a sign of advanced coma.
> No other notation software (PC-composer, Score, MusixTex, ...,
> Lilypond) I have been working with has the logical
> qualities of CMN - and logic is the most intuitive tool.
> I abandoned Lilypond which is not compatible with himself 6 months
> later :)
> What is missing? Documentation how to add new signs - but
> that can be done by a wicki open to all (registrated) users.
> -- 
> René Bastian
> www.pythoneon.org
> _______________________________________________
> Cmdist mailing list
> Cmdist at ccrma.stanford.edu
> http://ccrma-mail.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/cmdist

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