preliminary proposal: New Unicode characters for Arabic music half-flat and half-sharp symbols

Philippe Verdy via Unicode unicode at
Sat May 26 16:58:54 CDT 2018

Even flat notes or rythmic and pause symbols in Western musical notations
have different contextual meaning depending on musical keys at start of
scores, and other notations or symbols added above the score. So their
interpretation are also variable according to context, just like tuning in
a Arabic musical score, which is also keyed and annotated differently.
These keys can also change within the same partition score.
So both the E12 vs. E24 systems (which are not incompatible) may also be
used in Western and Arabic music notations. The score keys will give the
Tone marks taken isolately mean absolutely nothing in both systems outside
the keyed scores in which they are inserted, except that they are just
glyphs, which may be used to mean something else (e.g. a note in a comics
artwork could be used to denote someone whistling, without actually
encoding any specific tone, or rythmic).

2018-05-17 17:48 GMT+02:00 Hans Åberg via Unicode <unicode at>:

> > On 17 May 2018, at 16:47, Garth Wallace via Unicode <unicode at>
> wrote:
> >
> > On Thu, May 17, 2018 at 12:41 AM Hans Åberg <haberg-1 at> wrote:
> >
> > > On 17 May 2018, at 08:47, Garth Wallace via Unicode <
> unicode at> wrote:
> > >
> > >> On Wed, May 16, 2018 at 12:42 AM, Hans Åberg via Unicode <
> unicode at> wrote:
> > >>
> > >> It would be best to encode the SMuFL symbols, which is rather
> comprehensive and include those:
> > >>  https://www.smufl what should be
> > >>
> > >> ...
> > >>
> > >> These are otherwise originally the same, but has since drifted. So
> whether to unify them or having them separate might be best to see what
> SMuFL does, as they are experts on the issue.
> > >>
> > > SMuFL's standards on unification are not the same as Unicode's. For
> one thing, they re-encode Latin letters and Arabic digits multiple times
> for various different uses (such as numbers used in tuplets and those used
> in time signatures).
> >
> > The reason is probably because it is intended for use with music
> engraving, and they should then be rendered differently.
> >
> > Exactly. But Unicode would consider these a matter for font switching in
> rich text.
> One original principle was ensure different encodings, so if the practise
> in music engraving is to keep them different, they might be encoded
> differently.
> > > There are duplicates all over the place, like how the half-sharp
> symbol is encoded at U+E282 as "accidentalQuarterToneSharpStein", at
> U+E422 as "accidentalWyschnegradsky3TwelfthsSharp", at U+ED35 as "
> accidentalQuarterToneSharpArabic", and at U+E444 as
> "accidentalKomaSharp". They are graphically identical, and the first three
> even all mean the same thing, a quarter tone sharp!
> >
> > But the tuning system is different, E24 and Pythagorean. Some Latin and
> Greek uppercase letters are exactly the same but have different encodings.
> >
> > Tuning systems are not scripts.
> That seems obvious. As I pointed out above, the Arabic glyphs were
> originally taken from Western ones, but have a different musical meaning,
> also when played using E12, as some do.
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