Renaissance Font Reproduction for Historical Music Notation Software

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Comments

  • Thank you, Dan—I'm grateful to have your correction!
  • Sam GossnerSam Gossner Posts: 14
    “…there are a few [glyphs] used in text underlay (lyrics) which are to the best of my knowledge not represented in MUFI or Unicode”

    can you specify which characters or glyphs you don’t find in neither MUFI nor Unicode?


    These are the main culprits, primarily the second one (repeat phrase symbol), which is used interchangeably with 'ij.' in some sources. The repeat phrase symbol may be in Unicode as I've only spent a few hours looking and I haven't the slightest clue where they might have hidden it if it is in there. Could be a stupidly simple answer; my experience in this matter is extremely limited.

    The first one I believe is F1CC, combining abbreviation mark, but I'm still working on figuring out how exactly that should be implemented in OpenType, and I'm not entirely sure if that is the right symbol (is there some deeper documentation on MUFI symbols somewhere? The info on the website generally assumes the user is already very familiar with what the symbols are, so I've had to rely on Google to understand some of them). These abbreviation marks are dreadfully common in this literature, so I'll probably add 'macro' buttons on the GUI with a, e, u pre-combined with the mark.

    There are a few very strange yet surprisingly frequent ligatures which aren't in MUFI, namely /is/, but such ligatures are easy to resolve otherwise.

    I'd also like to be able to encode some of the notation glyphs into the font, such as Renaissance symbols for sharp (durum) and flat (molle), and the common time signature marks, for use in commentary or editorial remarks. These are things in SMuFL, but I don't believe they occur in Unicode last I checked. In any case, I'd want them to be the actual glyphs used in the music fonts in ENT anyway for consistency.

    Any and all advice or help in this regard is massively appreciated!
  • The repeat symbol is at unicode 1D10F. Isn't the first one there simply a tilde?
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 769
    edited March 11
    I thought the first one was one of those Latin abbreviations often found in incunabula, and they had recently been added to Unicode.
    I was looking for a technical term, but while "brevigraph" may have been what I was thinking of, apparently its correct technical meaning applies to characters like the ampersand (&) and the versicle mark (Ꝟ), and not to letters with symbols like accent marks, those merely being called contractions.
  • Sam GossnerSam Gossner Posts: 14
    edited March 11
    The repeat symbol is at unicode 1D10F. Isn't the first one there simply a tilde?
    Thanks! The reference images for 1D10F are of a modern repeat symbol (with single dots) and is formatted for use in a musical notation context rather than a text underlay (very wide and heavy), bit I guess it could work alright. Much appreciated! Probably didn't help that I was mostly looking in punctuation and symbols for this rather than musical notation stuff (doh!).

    I'm not sure the first symbol is a tilde, it doesn't match visually and looks much closer to F1CC's reference image (exaggerated curl at right edge), though a quick search does suggest the use case is that of a tilde. Again, I know almost nothing about this subject so I'm just working from a pattern matching perspective here, so all input is welcome.
    I thought the first one was one of those Latin abbreviations often found in incunabula, and they had recently been added to Unicode.
    I was looking for a technical term, but while "brevigraph" may have been what I was thinking of, apparently its correct technical meaning applies to characters like the ampersand (&) and the versicle mark (Ꝟ), and not to letters with symbols like accent marks, those merely being called contractions.
    I've run into an awful lot of those sorts of things working off a typeface ca. 1500. It's hard to believe this is plain ol' Latin without looking up the symbols. Some of these letters I'm still not entirely sure about, such as the character 6 glyphs to the left of the one marked in red (/rum/), which looks like an insular /d/ with a curved combining mark of some kind.

  • you may wish to make yourself a little familiar with Latin abbreviation letters and ligatures and the typographic representation of them. They were common in lead type during the 16th century. The char. marked above (rum) is a minuscule r with an oblique stroke. Note that there are two different r glyphs in that text sample.
    (On the points mentioned earlier I’ll comment in the evening.)
  • … oh I see you’ve been asking about that d left from the rum.
    That is a round d (d rotunda in MUFI terminology) with an apostrophe-like abbreviation mark, it probably stands for dus or dum.
    The ʒ-shaped letter is also an abbreviation (not sure what exactly it stands in for here).




  • The left one is a-tilde or a-macron, a common abbreviation device. The repeat sign (right) is not in Unicode’s main table for Musical symbols. My own hack for this char. is F83C, see image with a selection of music characters I deploy in my work.
    The somehow odd thing about MUFI is, nowadays there are two different websites about it. There is the elder one here and a younger one here (don’t ask me why).
    The latest version of the MUFI Character Recommendation can be found here. It is the main and ‘official’ mufish document containing the most relevant informations about all the characters and why and how this work has been put together. However, there is no claim for that documentation may safe anyone from a general study of palaeographic matters. Yes, it is meant to be a work paper for scholars who do know something about it.



  • Sam GossnerSam Gossner Posts: 14



    The left one is a-tilde or a-macron, a common abbreviation device. The repeat sign (right) is not in Unicode’s main table for Musical symbols. My own hack for this char. is F83C, see image with a selection of music characters I deploy in my work.
    The somehow odd thing about MUFI is, nowadays there are two different websites about it. There is the elder one here and a younger one here (don’t ask me why).
    The latest version of the MUFI Character Recommendation can be found here. It is the main and ‘official’ mufish document containing the most relevant informations about all the characters and why and how this work has been put together. However, there is no claim for that documentation may safe anyone from a general study of palaeographic matters. Yes, it is meant to be a work paper for scholars who do know something about it.



    Thank you, Andreas, this is most helpful! I will follow your lead with F83C, that seems the most reasonable solution, so as to avoid unintentional circumstances. I may borrow a few other code assignments as well, if you don't mind. Better to latch onto a well-defined standard than nothing at all!

    Currently just "passing through" these particularly early typefaces; no plan to do anything pre-1500 in ENT or my own work (mostly staying post-1550 to be honest), and most musical underlay makes little to no use of these abbreviations aside from tilde. I'd rather leave the serious study and preservation of that knowledge to those with a more suitable foundation; I'm just a recording engineer/software developer with a mild case of curiosity and a desire to do things the "right" way whenever possible. That's what has led me down the rabbit hole of text fonts in the first place.

    The documentation is very helpful, I understand now that F1CC serves a very different purpose from tilde, despite the similar appearance to the particular sources I'm working from. Thanks again!

    … oh I see you’ve been asking about that d left from the rum.
    That is a round d (d rotunda in MUFI terminology) with an apostrophe-like abbreviation mark, it probably stands for dus or dum.
    The ʒ-shaped letter is also an abbreviation (not sure what exactly it stands in for here).

    Ah, I suppose it perhaps reads ... et s[e]c[un]d[u]s illorum, etc. They seem to use ʒ in the place of 'us' in this text. Interesting!
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,082
    I think this form of repeat mark should be proposed to Unicode: it is clearly distinct from the form used in modern musical notation, and belongs to a different system. The question is whether it should be proposed by itself or rolled into a proposal with other, related characters?
  • I think this form of repeat mark should be proposed to Unicode: it is clearly distinct from the form used in modern musical notation, and belongs to a different system. The question is whether it should be proposed by itself or rolled into a proposal with other, related characters?
    It may well be a good candidate for an encoding proposal. But I want to reason strongly against the idea of regarding this (or another) musical notation character as an isolated case. A possible progress I can see only when the whole complex of musical notation – in its various materialisations – will be analysed as such, and proposals get based on sound in-depth studies of the entire system(s). Otherwise the mess of it will last … forever?
    It really is a complicated subject, as we have noticed already. I would  generally be willing to join such an endeavour, but in order to produce useful results, the participation of several specialists is called for.

  • @Dan Reynolds Do you mean this essay:



    Nachricht von der Stempelschneiderey und Schriftgießerey.
    Zur Erläuterung der Enschedischen Schriftprobe; 
    Immanuel Breitkopf, Leipzig 1777, p. 2

    The music notes by Fleischmann are mentioned at pp. 19-20. Fleischmann imitated them from Breitkopf.
  • Dan ReynoldsDan Reynolds Posts: 141
    @Dan Reynolds Do you mean this essay:



    Nachricht von der Stempelschneiderey und Schriftgießerey.
    Zur Erläuterung der Enschedischen Schriftprobe; 
    Immanuel Breitkopf, Leipzig 1777, p. 2

    The music notes by Fleischmann are mentioned at pp. 19-20. Fleischmann imitated them from Breitkopf.
    Yes, I do. Some years ago, I prepared an English-language translation of this essay, which one can find as a PDF on Academia.edu.
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