Solution for neume signs

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Hi all.
I need advice. I'm trying to create glyphs for neume signs. The problem is that the same sign can be located above the letter or after the letter. In the first case, it should have zero width and a high position. In the second case, it should be on the baseline and have a normal width.
It seems there are two options: either create ligatures with each letter, or enter each character into the font twice.
But perhaps there may be other solutions. Any ideas?

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  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,045
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    Can you show some visual examples to help me better understand the issues? What are the Unicode characters involved? There are a lot of different music notation systems, so ‘neume’ can mean a lot of different things in terms of text encoding and presentation.
  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,045
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    I am guessing that you might be working on khaz notation for Armenian? I think this system has not been encoded in Unicode yet, and I am not aware of a proposal for it.
  • Tarumian
    Tarumian Posts: 9
    edited May 17
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    Yes, John, I'm talking specifically about Armenian neumas. I have already created a system for Limonjian notation (this is a late experience, based on khazes). Now I have received a task to create such a font for traditional khazes. But since they are not included in Unicode, I am just now creating a project for their encoding. To begin with, of course, it will work in the Private Use Area, because the inclusion of projects in ISO and Unicode can take decades (I know this from my own experience :-))
    It seemed to me that if needed to have both above-letter signs and signs on the base line, then it will need to have two ranges (something like Upper Case and Low Case :-))

    But now we seem to be coming to the conclusion that it is better to place the neumes on a separate line in relation to the text. In this case, the problem is solved: it will be enough to have one range. In addition, if they are placed on the same line with the text, this will not allow searching through the text.




  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,045
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    The challenge of interlinear notation is alignment, of course, which can’t often be automated and can be difficult to keep in sync. It makes text very inflexible, and basically means that a document is fixed in a very specific layout that cannot be easily modified as any change can break the alignment of the linguistic text and the neumes, including any change of font.

    I would continue to explore the option of encoding the neumes as combining marks, even if they are positioned high above the letters. I think there are properties that can be assigned in Unicode that would make it easy to ignore the neumes when doing text searches. I think it may even be possible to use the same set of mark characters in interlinear layout by allowing them to be positioned on space characters in a line above the linguistic text, and also positioned on letters if one wants a more compressed layout and to have the neumes more closely linked to the letters in the text, allowing for flexible layout.

    Yes, I would recommend proposing separate characters for otherwise identical neumes based on how they position relative to the letters.
  • Tarumian
    Tarumian Posts: 9
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    Yes, John, the basis in this case is precisely the problem of synchronization. Therefore, the customer and I decided to follow the usual path: the neumes will be placed between the letters. Moreover, we decided to make only one range: all neumas will be at a level slightly higher than the x-height: even between words, although in handwritten sources they are often placed on the baseline. True, in this case the possibility of text search is lost, but for now this seems to be the lesser evil.
    Thanks, John, for participating in the discussion.