Fingering for natural harmonics on string instruments

Currently, I use rather convoluted procedure to indicate a fingering for natural (not artificial) harmonic:
a) Create a double-stop where one note indicates a harmonic and the other is just for fingering
b) Make that supplemental note invisible by setting its opacity to ‘0’
c) Change the notehead for harmonic note to diamond
d) Enter specific fingering for visible note and ‘0’ for invisible one

For infrequent instances it’s just a minor nuisance, but when the need arises frequently, I feel that it is a problem - not only this tedious process slows work considerably, but also the result doesn’t look nice because the length of the stem takes into account the invisible note.
If there is a better/simpler way to accomplish such a task?
If ‘no’, it would be nice to hear from the development team about the plans for fixing that shortcoming.

Igor Borodin

Can you show me a picture of what you’re trying to do, Mr. Borodin?

I’m not the OP, but I think what he’s trying to produce is the 4 over 0 fingering shown in the attached example. Having a simple way to produce this fingering would be great!

Stew
NaturalHarmonic.jpg

Please excuse my possible ignorance, since I’m a lapsed cellist, but for a natural harmonic, don’t you rather want to indicate the harmonic using the circle playing technique rather than the zero, which normally indicates the open string?

If you don’t mind me jumping in…yes. A circle. :wink:

The idea is that you want to show what finger is used to play the harmonic. I typically use a zero rather than a circle for both the open string and the harmonic. I’ve attached an example from an International Music edition of Mazas Op. 36, No. 54 that illustrates the notation I’m used to seeing and that I typically use. I can dig up some other examples if they would be useful.

Stew

You could create a new playing technique for an 0 (or edit the existing one) if you want.

But playing techniques appear above fingering by default, so using a PT still isn’t right.

I’m far from my Behind Bars at the moment, but I’m wondering what Gould has written about that…

Well, Gould is of course only one authority, and not the only one, but she writes (on page 414):

Natural harmonics are written at sounding pitch with a small circle above the note… Printed music distinguishes the harmonic circle from the open string, which uses a zero.

To the lapsed cellist (and all the others): If you don’t mind me asking, which other authorities would you consider being authorities? Do any of them deal with guitar notation and chord spelling? The “sus2 vs. 2” discussion in one of the other threads was rather unsettling…

I’m not sure there’s a great authority on chord symbol conventions – there have been many attempts, but none has really taken hold. But some of the other standard texts on music notation are “Music Notation” by Gardner Read, “Music Notation in the Twentieth Century” by Kurt Stone, “Teach Yourself the Art and Practice of Music Notation” by Ted Ross, “The Art of Music Copying” by Clinton Roemer, the “Norton Dictionary of Music Notation” by Gerou and Lusk, and so on. All of them have different strengths and weaknesses. There are some more recent books in the Berklee Press series, but I’m not sure any of them are especially authoritative beyond being a good guide to what is taught by faculty at Berklee.

I suppose that most (if not all) the books you cited are within a 2m radius circle from your deskchair… Thanks for that, Daniel!

I’m sorry for late response and for not being sufficiently clear.
Here’s the illustration:


Certainly, in many situations it would suffice to put ‘0’ or/and set the appropriate notehead; as shown in the first two bars.
Yet, there are cases, where it’s important to indicate what finger should be used for taking particular natural harmonic. For example, depending on the music context, that particular harmonic ‘A’ can be taken with any of the four fingers. And that’s where the need for workaround arises.
As it’s seen in bar ‘c’, first I have to create a fictitious double-stop and assign fingering to both notes, then I have to set the supplemental note’s opacity to ‘0’, and finally (depending on conventions) apply the specific notehead.
Still, as you can see, the stem is disproportionally (and understandably) long; so if I’m ‘perfectionist’ (I’m not), I’d have to go to Engrave mode and adjust it accordingly.

That’s why, I believe it would be of definite help, if at some point in the future, we’ll be able to enter that type of fingering.

Thank you,
Igor Borodin

P.S. By no means I’m an expert on violin notation (though, am a life-long professional violinist/teacher), yet, can’t help saying that I’m definitely with sspharis (sorry, I don’t know your name) on the question of whether to use letter ‘O’ or a digit ‘0’ for indicating open string or harmonic. Also, I quickly checked on that with a couple of my colleagues, and the consensus is that harmonic is indicated by a digit ‘0’.

It’s not a universal convention to use the digit instead of the symbol.

The harmonic glissandos in the Rite of Spring, for example…

Certainly, there are various publishing conventions/preferences.
I should’ve clarified that I meant violin parts - whether orchestral or solo - where the most common way (at least in my experience) for indicating a harmonic is to use digit ‘0’.