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#3083213 02/16/21 05:13 PM
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I saw part of a score where the performer had made some notations with a colored marker. Made me wonder why we still print music in black when color printing is standard technology. Probably the same reason will still print books in black, there is rarely any reason not to.

But if we did decide we wanted to use color in printing music, how would we use it? Some notation program, like Finale, show different voices in different colors, which is helpful. Maybe putting dynamics, slurs, expressions in color to set them off from the notes. There is probably no point with simple or even moderately busy scores, but in the really complex scores the use of color may help keep everything clear.

Anyone else have any thoughts?


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I'm not sure about things like dynamics and slurs, but I think there may be some value to using colours in complicated sections where one wants to highlight the main melody/theme. There are already several alternative ways to do that using beaming, accenting, dotted lines connecting the notes, etc. but it could be that some may find the use of colours easier. Maybe also if one wants to show the distribution of LH and RH notes (without having to write LH,RH or mg, md ) in the scenarios where cross staff beaming obscures things rather than simplifying them.

Last edited by Sahir Haider; 02/17/21 03:32 AM.
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Hi Ken, as a beginner, I painted all the black-key notes red. It helped a lot! I also sometimes mark microdynamics with colour: blue for softer and light blue for softest. It is a problem for me that we can use accents for single notes that should be played louder, but nothing at all for single notes that should be played softer. I write the names of chords in purple.
The thing is though, if we start with colour now, different editors would use colours in a different way and add to confusion, rather than make things clearer....


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I would vote for no color in printing scores as I have my own colored pencils to mark what I want to highlight. Keep everything black and white, as current.

Last edited by dogperson; 02/17/21 10:59 AM.

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Originally Posted by dogperson
I would vote for no color in printing scores as I have my own colored pencils to mark what I want to highlight. Keep everything black and white, as current.
+1
Plus, if you're dealing with scores so cluttered they need clarity adjustments, you probably already know how to annotate your scores.

Originally Posted by Sahir Haider
I think there may be some value to using colours in complicated sections where one wants to highlight the main melody/theme.
Some scores already do that by playing with the note head's size, eg. Saint-Saens étude Op.52 no2
[Linked Image]

Originally Posted by Sahir Haider
Maybe also if one wants to show the distribution of LH and RH notes (without having to write LH,RH or mg, md) in the scenarios where cross staff beaming obscures things rather than simplifying them.
That's also a delicate issue, as some will revise what is played by what hand and the colors will mess with readability if that is the case (unlike a small annotation that can be crossed out).

Last edited by Meap6; 03/19/21 05:25 AM. Reason: changed weird phrasing

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No! Imagine if the letters in the text you're reading right now were colored in rainbow colors. It would interfere a lot with readability.

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I think dogperson had the best reason for not using color. Some people like to make their own notations using colors for different things.


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Originally Posted by ranjit
No! Imagine if the letters in the text you're reading right now were colored in rainbow colors. It would interfere a lot with readability.
Colour would certainly have a negative effect on readability for me. My eyes wouldn’t handle it.


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