Time signatures are important, hemiolas be damned.
August 25, 2009 4:25 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to locate the time signatures in the Opus or Helsinki font set (which come with Sibelius). Does anyone know where these are?

I have PopChar, which is really great, but I've been through all the various Opus and Helsinki characters and can't find any time signatures.

I'm just trying to insert time signatures that look like time signatures in a MS Word 2008 document. Seems like these would be pretty common, but either I am totally fried from creating theory assignments (possible) or they just don't exist.

I've always just used 4/4, 3/4, etc. before, but I'd like for my handouts and assignments to look a little better. I know this is sort of a specialized question, but any help from music people or font gurus would be appreciated!

P.S. Yes, I have used the flow chart.
posted by nosila to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's really likely they don't exist. Not all typographers cut glyphs for everything like fractions.

In the meantime, why not use the time signature/fractional glyphs from another font?
posted by disillusioned at 4:52 PM on August 25, 2009

Response by poster: I could do that! Any suggestions?
posted by nosila at 5:08 PM on August 25, 2009

Response by poster: Oh...to be clear, I would like the numbers to sit directly on top of each other, not beside each other with a slash. See this...the thing at the beginning of the staff, but small enough to fit on one line.

I see it all the time in journals, etc.
posted by nosila at 5:12 PM on August 25, 2009

Response by poster: Sorry to keep updating, but MS Word's autoformat doesn't appear to recognize 6/8, 4/4, etc. as fractions. Is there an option to change that?
posted by nosila at 5:16 PM on August 25, 2009

Sibelius just uses the numerals (0 through 9) in the Opus font to construct time signatures. It places the numerator and denominator separately by hand on the staff; it doesn't have built-in "3/4" characters or anything. I don't know how easy it is to do that by hand in a Word document, but that's how you would do it.
posted by dfan at 5:18 PM on August 25, 2009

I have no answer to the actual question, but in the spirit of dfan's comment, you should be able to put numbers directly on top of one another by hand using the Equation Editor in Word.

This may or may not be installed in your copy of Word, and is located in different places depending on the version of Word you're using. I'm using Word 2004 on a Mac, and the Equation Editor is under Insert>Object>Microsoft Equation. I don't know offhand where it is in Word 2008, but Google should be able to help you with that.
posted by pemberkins at 5:39 PM on August 25, 2009

Taking a brief looking over opf the list of unicode musical symbols, no font has unicode glyphs for time signatures. This doesn't mean that no fonts have time signature glyphs, but rather no *unicode* font has glyphs for it. Chances are, you will probably have to do it in software. I would recommend using the equation editor, as pemberkins suggested.
posted by arcolz at 10:28 PM on August 25, 2009

Cool, a question where music and fonts collide!

The "Bach" font by Yo Tomita seems to be a long-standing music notation font.

If you don't need all of the bells and whistles of the Bach font, the "Rhythms" font by Matthew Hindson (it's near the top of his fonts page) sounds like a good starting point. The Rhythms font set is, according to him, "Not as many characters as the Bach font, but easier to use and can do things that the Bach font can't." His "Times+Musical Symbols" font (it's near the bottom of the page) also might be worth investigating, although that one's for Mac only.

I also found some notation fonts by Robert Allgeyer -- "MusiSync" has time signatures without staves. (Both Hindson and Allgeyer offer fonts with/without staves -- check out the rest of their fonts as well.)

All of the fonts on the above linked pages are free. (I haven't personally used any of them, but I now have the sudden urge to install a few just to see how well they work.)

For more music fonts, try checking out this huge list. It probably has way more than you would ever need, but you might find something else worthwhile there if you work a lot with music notation.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 5:33 AM on August 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Whoops, that last link should go to the top of the list, not the end...
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 6:20 AM on August 26, 2009

I know the problem. When I wrote my dissertation I either imported musical examples from Sibelius or just wrote 3/4 etc. in text. I've made worksheets on Sibelius for teaching before, is it possible just to do what you want to do the other way around?
posted by ob at 7:26 AM on August 26, 2009

Response by poster: I'm just downloading the MusiSync font...I'll update and let everyone know if it works out.

ob: I sort of tried doing that, but there is often a fair amount of text in my handouts and/or assignments, and Sibelius is pretty rough with text, so overall I find it easier to just do the musical examples in Sibelius and import them into Word as graphics.

Thanks everyone!
posted by nosila at 10:21 AM on August 26, 2009

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