November 14th, 2010

torah

Siddur update

I've been working for most evenings for the past week on "reconstituting" the bits of music notation for my siddur. That means converting the older Finale files into ones that conform to my new template, exporting them as EPS files (instead of TIFFs), and working out the entries for page, location, and color info for my python script to combine them with the text blocks.

Most of them were straightforward. But there's one page in particular that's driving me crazy. It's the one where the nusach (melody) transitions from pesukei d'zimrah (the introductory Psalms) to shacharit (the main section of the morning service). There are two versions of this transition --- one for weekdays, and one for Shabbat and holidays. Both make heavy use of reciting tones.

I just haven't been able to work out a page layout that remains logocentric, beautiful, and easy to follow. ("Pick two," as they say.) This is the hardest page in the whole book.

In the previous iteration, I actually removed the music from this page. (So if you're one of my proofreaders and you're looking at page 34 wondering what I'm babbling about, that's why.) But I miss it. When I'm leading services at that point, I like having the worked-out details to rely on. So I really want to put it back, but I haven't yet figured out HOW?!?

And it's driving me mad.