Back to chant: now I'm wondering whether it would be worth it to try to write a script to do some typesetting for me automatically.
Here's the problem, and it's extensible to any system of chant: you have a system of chanting where all you need are a text and an indication of what chant you're doing and then the entire score of the music will be known automatically to the cantor or choir. You also have a typesetting program (lilypond) that generates PDFs of musical scores based on text files. So it seems that it should be quite feasible to go from text files containing the words and an indication of what tone they are in and automagically generate PDFs of music.
Of course, computer parsing of text is hard. This involves counting syllables and such, and that gets to be a pain. These texts are typically given out with the one or two points in each line where the chant does the interesting stuff indicated, which is perhaps the hardest problem to parse out, and I think people would not mind some additional manual processing of the text file before input into the problem (eg manually separating out some syllables with a -- ).
There is already a program that kind of does this, lilychant, and it does it in great generality (at least, as far as Russian church music is considered), but at the expense of requiring a lot of markup on the behalf of the user. I also can't get it to compile on Lunix. I'm willing to sacrifice extensibility (eg, can only do Obikhod and Kievan chant rather than everything) and power for ease of marking the text.
Anyway, so I might fiddle with this later. Or not. Who knows.
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