Sylphyo Font Folio

  • I’ve developed a package of TrueType fonts that contains finger diagrams for the Sylphyo. The package is freely available under an open-source license (SIL’s “Open Font License”).


    The package of fonts and (rather extensive) documentation can be downloaded from my Flutopedia web site:

    The primary documentation is:

    … both of which are in the release package.

    And … be aware that you do not need to install all the nine typefaces. Each of the typefaces has all the finger diagrams – you might consider just installing the Sylphyo Text or Sylphyo Sans group of fonts.

    This version contains finger diagrams for the Flute, Sax, and Native American flute (a fingering that will likely be in an upcoming firmware release). I hope to be able to extend the fonts to the other fingerings that the Sylphyo offers.

    Feedback would be most welcome. In particular, I am curious about how folks like my use of the “Don’t Care” symbol (And “x” through an open hole) for finger locations that can be open or closed. The Sylphyo manual tends to show an open or closed fingering for these locations, but I (as a player) like to know when the fingering is optional. However, it might not be as easy to sight-read with these “Don’t Care” symbols.

  • Wow Thanks !!

  • ,Hi Clint

    you have put a lot of work in it.

    What are the exact setting in each mode? Specially the sax has several options



  • Both the Sax and Flute have different "Flavors" of fingerings on the Sylphyo, but I only have one definition file for the Sax and one for the Flute. I had assumed that the different flavors of sax/flute use the same finger patterns, but produce different notes. I have not looked into it that deeply ... maybe my assumption is wrong ...

    Thanks for pointing this out ... I had forgotten that I made that assumption early on (i.e. 4 days ago).

  • @Clint

    Hi Clint

    I am a sax player: so sax fingering. I changed to EWI and a pinky mode, to have more legato fingerings.

    Did not write down the fingerings yet, time , and it is a lot of work.



  • It looks like the version that I implemented in the font folio is the "Saxophone", not the "Alt" or "Alt2" or the "Old".

    What I really need to do is to expand the existing Sax block with the (very) few additional finger diagrams so that the superset of the 4 Sax fingerings is covered.

    I also need to augment the Character Map document to show each of the four Sax alternatives separately, since those sections of the Character Map document imply a mapping not only from patterns to code points (e.g. ED01) but also from pitches to code points.

    Good catch @frank !!

  • @Clint

    OK i do my best to check that and compare with my EWI sax...

    I guess the fonts help

    Thanks for the quick reponse !



  • Wow! Great work @Clint . Thanks for taking the time to do this. For everyone, please keep in mind the native american flute fingerings referenced are currently in beta and will likely be released with the next update. We also have some new flute fingerings (extended range) as well as a new sax fingering mode which will likely come out at the same time.

  • Well done Clint, huge job! To be studied in detail!

  • Thank you @reidid789 and @Support_AODYO for your kind words. The folio is derived from my Kurinto project, so was not that much of an effort.

    I might suggest installing just one of the typefaces - maybe Sylphyo Text or Sylphyo Sans. This initial v1.007 is certainly not the final version, and that will save some re-installation effort.

    Any feedback is welcome!

    • Is the Quick Start clear?

    • Is it clear how to actually get finger diagrams to show up in your document?

    • How do the finger diagrams look to you? (Especially my use of the "X" "Don't Care" symbols).

  • I LOVE this project, huge thanks to you Clint!

    I like that the font could display "don't care", "half-hole" and "trill" alternatives. However, I share your concern about how easy it would be to sight-read the fingerings with the "don't care" symbols on it. Maybe something like a dot inside the circle would make it easier?

    Also, I'm not an font expert, but I'm wondering whether it would be possible to offer any possible combination of fingerings, limited to open and closed states, which would amount to 512 different characters. This could help facilitate discussions over future fingerings and changes over existing ones by providing a way to quickly create fingering charts. This would also be beneficial for fingerings that offer many alternatives for a single note, such as the EWI.
    In the same vein, would it be possible to compose a fingering using a succession of Unicode code points? I'm thinking about fonts like FF Chartwell that cleverly interpret characters so as to layout a drawing. Again, not a font expert, but I imagine it isn't that simple, and maybe limited to formats like OpenType?

  • Thanks for the feedback @join !!

    Love the "Dot for Don't Care" idea. I'll run a test case shortly ... One thing that Aodyo does in the Sylphyo User Manual is to choose the most appropriate symbols - open or closed - for the Don't Care locations based on what a player would usually use. Maybe there are two Don't Care symbols one for "This looks Closed but really it's Don't Care" and "This looks Open but really it's Don't Care" ... maybe a small white dot on a big black circle and then a small black dot inside a white circle for those two symbols. I may be overcomplicating this, and it would be complex to explain to users ... most of whom just want to get on with things ...

    A 512-character block with all 2^9 combinations of open and closed is straightforward ... excellent idea! I can probably do this programmatically. I would map it out literally like the bit patterns starting from all holes closed at (say) code point U+EB00 and ending with all open at U+ECFF.

    FF Chartwell uses Discretionary Ligatures, a feature I've tended to avoid for font features that are central to what users need. I'm generally concerned with complexity and implementation of the features in apps (including older versions that many people tend to use).

    However, I have done something similar without any OpenType layout features at all. I could create a block of Composite Characters. Each Composite character has a piece of a finger diagram - the outline, the open hole symbol in each of the 9 locations, the closed hole symbol in 9 locations, and etc for don't care, trill, half-hole - a total of around 50 characters. All the Composite characters would all be set to "Zero Advance Width" ... the cursor would not move after typing each of these characters, so you simply build up your image by typing 9-10 characters over each other. You then hit the space bar to advance to the next character. Laborious, but at least you can get any finger diagram you want. In practice, this scheme works "Pretty Well" - most applications seem to render them correctly. I have had cases where PDF viewers have micro-errors in positioning, so a composite character comes out a bit "fat".

    This Composite Character scheme could be added to the fonts in a small 64 character block without too much hassle. It would take a fair bit in the User Guide to document it ...

    Another alternative would be to use Stylistic Sets. This could allow us to map the QWERTY keyboard onto the finger diagram glyphs. OpenType allows 20 Stylistic Sets to be specified. Each stylistic set could be used for a different instrument (Flute, Sax, etc.). A stylistic set could also be used for those Composite glyphs described above. So a finger diagram could be accessible at a code point (e.g. U+ED01) and also by choosing Stylistic Set (eg. SS01) and typing a "1".

    The Sylphyo fonts actually are OpenType fonts - technically "OpenType with TrueType Outlines", but the term TrueType is more familiar, so I tend to use that colloquially.

    Thanks again for the feedback!!

  • I've just posted an updated version - v1.008 - of the Sylphyo font package. It has some of the updates discussed above. Feedback welcome!

Log in to reply