Creating a new tonal systam

I know this has been discussed a lot and I have been reading a lot about it. What I don’t understand, is there a way to create a new tonal system like the extended Helmholz-Ellis or the extended Stein-Zimmermann without having to add each accidental individually. This is an amazing amount of work! It would be so great to import the whole system but I cannot find a way to do it.

I am a professional musician specializing in new music and almost no composers use the arrow quarter tone accidental anymore. The arrow is used for the 1/8 or 1/6 tone. So I would prefer to use the extended Stein-Zimmermann as default and, since more and more composers are using just intonation, I would like to have the extended Helmholz-Ellis as well.

How do this? I see Marc Sabat and others are using it so it must be possible. I have installed the plug-in from the plainsound web site.

Welcome, bruxelles! Indeed it can be a lot of work if you have lots of accidentals, but I find it is very orderly. The Edit Accidental dialog and the side panel both keep them in pitch order. I have saved some of my Johnston work as libraries as I progress. I have not so far seen a central repository of tonal system libraries, but we can certainly share this work among individuals.

Thanks, Mark. So, I just have to spend the time creating my own or use ones other users have created.
I just wonder why this is not a feature of Dorico.

Years ago (about 20) I wrote out a Ferneyhough bass trumpet part in Sibelius (4 or 5) to change it from bass clef to treble clef so I could play it. Peters in London wanted to charge me 20 GBP plus VAT for the work so I did it myself. To do that in Dorico now would first mean creating a new tonal system, which means a couple of hours of work just for that.

My understanding is that the plainsound download contains examples that include the relevant tonality system. Can you not use the Library Manager to import said tonality system into your project?

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Here is a short file with quarter, sixth and eighth tones in Stein-Zimmerman notation.

Mark, I would love to know what Johnston you have worked on; I’ve done some of the quartets in HEJI accidentals, for study (lots of accidentals!).

Quarter,Sixth,Eighth-tones.dorico (542.1 KB)

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I have started recopying Toby Twining’s “Chrysalid Requiem”. (I was the original copyist and M.D.) It certainly is gratifying to have the accidentals themselves produce correct playback after all these years. But there are hundreds of combinations in this piece, and some of them get so built-up (up to 19 7s in one movement, etc.) that we are still working on coherent designs for abbreviations.

In the 1990s I made midi renditions of a few of Ben’s pieces, but everything was manuscript and pitch-bends back then.

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That is incredible about the Chrysalid Requiem - that and Eurydice are completely amazing pieces. Good luck! Tim Johnson from the University of Illinois wrote a wonderful dissertation on the Chrysalid Requiem and Johnston’s 7th Quartet, if you’re interested.

Thank you so much, this worked and I made it my default tonality.
I have the HEJI2_Harmonic-Subharmonic.dorico and the Partch Scale & Tunings Template.dorico files but I can’t install them because I am missing the fonts. What does that mean?

You may have to install the fonts (which should be included with those files you downloaded). On Mac, you can use the Font Book app. I hope that helps!

Thanks, I’ve got it sorted now.