Juggling - Juggling Notation

Juggling Notation

Juggling tricks and patterns can become very complex, and hence can be difficult to communicate to others. Therefore notation systems have been developed for specifying patterns, as well as for discovering new patterns.

Diagram-based notations are the clearest way to show juggling patterns on paper, but as they are based on images, their use is limited in text-based communication. Ladder diagrams track the path of all the props through time, where the less complicated causal diagrams only track the props that are in the air, and assumes that a juggler has a prop in each hand. Numeric notation systems are more popular and standardized than diagram-based notations. They are used extensively in both a written form and in normal conversations among jugglers.

Siteswap is by far the most common juggling notation. Various heights of throw, considered to take specific "beats" of time to complete, are assigned a relative number. From those, a pattern is conveyed as a sequence of numbers, such as "3", "744", or "97531". Those examples are for two hands making alternating or "asynchronous" throws, and often called vanilla siteswap. For showing patterns in which both hands throw at the same time, there are other notating conventions for synchronous siteswap. There is also multiplex siteswap for patterns where one hand holds or throws two or more balls on the same beat. Other extensions to siteswap have been developed, including passing siteswap, Multi-Hand Notation (MHN), and General Siteswap (GS).

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Juggling Notation - Numeric Systems - Siteswap
... Bengt Magnusson and Bruce Boppo Tiemann in 1985, siteswap is by far the most common juggling notation ... "Multiplex", in the world of juggling, means "more than one ball is in the hand at the time of the throw" ... are they understood by jugglers, there are also many computer programs capable of animating juggling patterns entered in siteswap notation ...

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