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

Julian Bradfield via Unicode unicode at
Mon May 28 04:05:42 CDT 2018

On 2018-05-28, Hans Åberg via Unicode <unicode at> wrote:
>> On 28 May 2018, at 03:39, Garth Wallace <gwalla at> wrote:
>>> On Sun, May 27, 2018 at 3:36 PM, Hans Åberg <haberg-1 at> wrote:
>>> The flats and sharps of Arabic music are semantically the same as in Western music, departing from Pythagorean tuning, then, but the microtonal accidentals are different: they simply reused some that were available.
>> The fact that they do not denote the same width in cents in Arabic music as they do in Western modern classical does not matter. That sort of precision is not inherent to the written symbols.
> It is not about precision, but concepts. Like B, Β, and В, which could have been unified, but are not.

Latin, Greek, Cyrillic etc. could not have been unified, because of the
requirement to have round-trip compatibility with previous encodings.

It is also, of course, convenient for many reasons to have the notion
of "script" hard-coded into unicode code-points, instead of in
higher-level mark-up where it arguably belongs - just as, when
copyright finally expires, it will be convenient to have Tolkien's
runes disunified from historical runes (which is the line taken by the
proposal waiting for that day). Whether it is so convenient to have a
"music script" notion hard-coded is presumably what this argument is
about. It's not obvious to me that musical notation is something that
carries the "script" baggage in the same way that writing systems do.

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