Chapter 6. Marks

Table of Contents

TIMESIG Properties
PART Properties

Marks are symbols or lists of symbols with arguments that appear in the MARKS slots of NOTE, REST and MARK objects. All extra information (articulations, ornamentations, etc.) that doesn't have a special slot in these objects is indicated with marks. A few "marks" can also appear in TIMESIG and PART objects, but are called properties--for these, the syntax is exactly the same.

Two types of marks exist:

  • Simple marks that apply only to the NOTE, REST or MARK object they are included in.

  • Marks that indicate they are to be applied over a range of these objects. These marks are distinguished by a trailing dash character at the end of the symbol (for example, :STARTSLUR- and :ENDSLUR-). Exceptions that don't have a trailing dash are :STARTWEDGE> and :STARTWEDGE< and related marks.

The second type is mostly used to indicate "spanners," or items in the score that occur across a range of notes such as slurs or ottava brackets. Most of them come in a group of three, one prefixed with the string START, another with no prefix, and the last one with the prefix END. (For example, :STARTSLUR-, :SLUR- and :ENDSLUR-.) Spanner marks may be indicated in two different ways:

  • The START and END marks are inserted in the objects that occur where the spanner begins and ends.

  • The START mark is inserted in the object at the point where the spanner starts and the mark without a prefix is placed in subsequent objects up to the point where the spanner ends. The last object with a mark in it before a new START mark is found is considered to be the end of the spanner.

In either case, care must be taken to insert all marks that belong together either in the same voice or the same staff, depending on the type of mark.