The methods, rules, and conventions for representing music visually.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

0
votes
2answers
27 views

Interpreting guitar tab notations (zeros, numbers, curve, arrow)

I am a beginner at guitar. I was looking at a guitar tab for a Chinese song but I have trouble understanding it. x means to pick the string where it is drawn, but what do the other symbols mean in ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

How to notate a slow strum?

How is a slow strum notated? By slow strum, I mean chords played on a plucked instrument in such a way that each note is distinct from the others, but they are not slow enough or far enough apart to ...
8
votes
2answers
230 views

Where did the symbols b and # originate from, and why those?

We're all used to flat and sharp signs, also naturals. Accidentals in some cases. But why those unusual signs? I suspect the b may have something to do with the German B, but the # sign? Something to ...
1
vote
2answers
52 views

Noation of music concerning the Trombone Player

When a Trombone player read music from the Treble Clef How does he/she reads it, does he/she reads middle C an Octave down?
3
votes
1answer
59 views

Cross hands while playing?

In the score below (from 1905 incidental score to Peter Pan by John Crook (1852–1922), see http://hdl.handle.net/1802/24425), the first few bars in both bass & treble staves have notations “L.H.” &...
4
votes
4answers
193 views

Unknown Notation in Pokémon Theme

I just purchased a copy of the Pokémon Theme and I came across this note which I'm not sure how long to play it. Can someone please help me? I'Ve attached an image of the one (or two) note/s below ...
2
votes
3answers
179 views

Time and Key Signatures

Why is it deemed necessary to put the key signature at the beginning of each line? And in the same vein, why do we need a time signature at all, when it's fairly apparent what it will be in the first ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

What is a 5/2 chord?

I was looking in a book and I came across a C5/2 chord symbol. I've never seen a chord symbol like this before. What is a C5/2 and are there other chords like it?
3
votes
2answers
97 views

What does this marking that simply says 'tempo' imply?

I cannot understand what the score is trying to say here. It simply says 'tempo'. I can understand the 'a tempo' that is used later on, but what do I have to do at the part where it simply says 'tempo'...
4
votes
1answer
71 views

Skip a note during a first repeat?

Reference: Is there any way to notate the following: When this melody starts playing, the first drum beat is skipped It plays through the melody, including the three drums beats at the end When it ...
2
votes
2answers
141 views

What does a circle under the head of a note in flute mean?

Upon reading the Modern Method for the Boehm Flute, I came upon this notation: What does the circle under the head of the note mean?
2
votes
3answers
150 views

Any pointers on how to convert 4/4 to 3/4?

I'm currently studying Music Theory using the RSA grades (formerly known as RockSchool). I'm trying to get through on my own at the moment but I'm half-way through G6 and I'm increasingly feeling the ...
5
votes
2answers
546 views

How do I notate sharps in ABC notation?

I'm trying to convert the dozenal representation of tau (=2*pi) to a series of notes. I was trying to use ABC notation, but I don't know how to indicate sharps or flats. I'd like to use a notation as ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

Representation of a 5/16 note duration

How can I write on a pentagram (another word for the staff in my country) a note that is 5 x 1/16 notes length? If I use a dotted quarter note I get 6 x 1/16 length I can get away with a quarter note ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

Correct way of notating syncopation

I'm trying to notate this particular passage here: The notes in the LH come very slightly before the RH in some places, and I've tried to notate it as follows: ...
2
votes
2answers
66 views

Tips on entry level diminished scale ideas for soloing [closed]

I am an amateur guitar player for a few years already and I have learnt the essential scales, such as major, minor, pentatonic and blues scales but I would like to increase the level of my guitar ...
2
votes
2answers
48 views

What methods are there of conveying oohs and aahs in notated vocal parts?

I'm writing a backing vocal for an already-recorded song. Since there are other melodic parts she'll be singing over, I'm going to give the singer a score to work from. In this case, the singer will ...
11
votes
3answers
875 views

What's the name, and symbol, for the “normal” dynamic volume? (between mp and mf)

Let's say I'm singing and there's no dynamic mark at the start. I'll sing at my default "normal" volume. Then there's an mp so i get a bit quieter. If there had been an mf I would have got a bit ...
8
votes
5answers
675 views

What does a mordent written to the left of a note mean?

In this arrangement of Wachet Auf, there are quite a few mordents sprinkled around, as well as trills and grace notes. I understand most of them, but in the middle of this excerpt, right before the ...
1
vote
2answers
47 views

How to interpret a finger slap notation on a guitar tab?

I am looking at this particular guitar tab: and I am trying to make sense of the notation where you have a triad with the "x" on the top string and the other strings below are in parentheses. ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

What does “sax loco” mean?

I have found the notation "sax loco" in these two songs. What does it mean? I believe it's related to the fact that there are parts for two instruments in the same staff. By why "loco"? From Moanin'. ...
0
votes
2answers
127 views

Are these C notes a slur or a tie?

On the bass clef, there are 2 C notes. I think it is a tie (wiki) and they should be played once for 6 beats. Am I correct? Or do I have to play the C twice, 3 beats each?
1
vote
1answer
69 views

What makes a composer decide between time signatures 3/4, 3/8, or 3/2? [duplicate]

Is there a logic to why, for example, a composer would choose 3/8 or 3/2 over 3/4? It seems like the n/8 would consume more ink than n/4, or make me look at more stuff at a time (cognitive overload ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What does ø mean after a chord?

Can anybody tell me what this chord with an ø symbol after F# is? The key signature is E minor.
8
votes
7answers
4k views

Is it possible to write a melody which can't be notated?

Is it possible to have a piece which can't be notated using the musical notes we currently have?
4
votes
2answers
270 views

What does the tempo marking “Andando” mean?

I'm reading through Nelson Riddle's book on arranging. As you'd expect, the musical examples use common Italian tempo markings, such as Andante, Andantino, Allegro and so on. However, the marking ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Grand staff with 2 bass clefs

I am trying to play a tune in my keyboard textbook and I am having trouble figuring out what the notes are for the lower clef and what octave they are in. Can someone help me with this please? Also ...
1
vote
3answers
117 views

Left and right hand playing same note on piano?

Occasionally I run across sheet music that has the left and right hand playing the same note at the same time. Is this on purpose? If so... Why? And how do I play it? For example, see the first ...
5
votes
3answers
109 views

Which chord is Cm6?

I am not sure if this is an inversion or some other chord. Notation is Cm6. Is this an inversion of C minor chord? Or is it a sixth chord of some sort - C minor with a sixth added? Key signature ...
5
votes
1answer
38 views

Can I use general dynamic markings for an ensemble, and where do I put them on the score?

Let's say I want to make one big crescendo across the quartet, or switch the whole orchestra from p to mp. Can I put one simple marking at the top of the staff, or at the bottom, or SOMEWHERE? Or do ...
3
votes
1answer
41 views

How to notate extended vocal techniques (i.e. inhaling)?

While the Wikipedia article indicates many types of extended vocal techniques, their notations are not available. Despite hearing such effects in modern pieces, I've never had the chance of knowing ...
5
votes
1answer
58 views

How do I show phrase markings on a string quartet score?

How do I show that a group of notes should be played as a phrase? Am I meant to make this marking with literally every phrase in the piece, or just be more selective about it? Any other phrase ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Why crescendo or decrescendo over one long note in piano music?

That C-chord on measure 6 of the system, from Grieg Piano Sonata, Op. 7, IV. Finale - Molto Allegro: Why couldn't they just mark that D7 chord with a p? That G chord is marked pp. Once you press a ...
5
votes
2answers
801 views

Fermata over Rest

I was learning Santa Lucia when I came across a Fermata (bird's eye) over a whole rest. I wasn't sure how to play it. Is it that we have to rest for a little more time, like an eighth/sixteenth more? ...
4
votes
2answers
87 views

What does “moderato” in the middle of a musical score mean?

A study I am playing has these tempo hints: Slowly, Freely in the beginning Accelerando when the next section starts moderato shortly afterwards (I cut the score in the middle) What does ...
8
votes
1answer
500 views

What does this symbol represent? “x” with four dots

This is from Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody 2 in C# minor. Is this a double sharp sign? It looks kind of funny. The edition is by Julia Rivé-King, a Liszt student.
0
votes
2answers
72 views

How to notate that the hand should be lifted after playing a note?

In piano notation, how can I indicate for the player to lift his/her hand after playing a note? I've been advised to use laissez vibrer ties, but they get messy with other markings present in my ...
3
votes
7answers
230 views

How to notate that a specific note be underlined in a piano chord?

I have the following set of chords for piano. How can I tell the performer to either stress or underline specific notes in the chord (so as to show the melody), i.e. the notes on the heads of which I'...
0
votes
3answers
46 views

How to notate pickup measures in the middle of peices?

I'm writing a song where some measures have less than the full number of beats indicated in the time signature. This occurs in the middle of the price, but it is a pickup to the next phrase. How is ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Where should whole notes be drawn within a measure?

In this Lilypond-generated score, the whole notes are in different positions. The first is slightly to the left, the middle one is approximately centered, and the right one is slightly to the right. ...
1
vote
2answers
76 views

How to notate triplets longer than 1 measure?

I was listening to the theme from "Game of Thrones" and noticed this section (listen for the drum). There is a hemiola that takes four beats, but the song fits 3/4 best. That would make the hemiola ...
1
vote
3answers
75 views

How do I play this double bass part? (16th note + 3 grace notes)

In Simandl's 30 Etudes for String Bass, on Etude #26, there is this passage (last measure of the first line and first measure of the second line), where I have to play a 16th C# note, followed by 3 ...
0
votes
3answers
85 views

Does this dectuplet make sense?

I recently encountered this dectuplet as you can see in the picture attached. To me this doesn't make sense. This makes 10 16th notes instead of 4. This reduces the notes' lentgh 2.5 times. Should ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

The development of the musical staff: If and when did it have fifteen lines?

I am doing research on music history and I cannot find information between the four line chant staff and the grand staff. Also, I do believe that at different times in its development the staff ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Merging several measures of score's part in LilyPond

I'm wandering is it possible to notate a score like on the picture below in LilyPond. The problem here is that the third measure of the topmost part (which is flute, actually) should be stretched ...
4
votes
3answers
441 views

Swing feel - are triplets and 8th note notations rhythmically the same?

I'm going through some exercises in a blues piano book[*]. I've noticed that some rhythms are written with triplets (with an 8th note (quaver) rest in the middle), and others are written using 8th ...
3
votes
2answers
140 views

What do Single brackets on notes in guitar music mean?

Anyone got any idea what these single brackets on notes mean in this guitar music?
9
votes
1answer
486 views

Markings in Second Waltz by Dimitri Shostakovich

I came across these indications in a piano piece: the Second Waltz by Dimitri Shostakovich. What do "1.3. x p" and "2. x f" mean?
2
votes
2answers
116 views

What is the length of the beat?

As I understand, the quarter note is a note that lasts for one beat. the half note, is a note that lasts for two beats, the full note, is a note that lasts for four beats, now i get that, but what ...
2
votes
0answers
76 views

Key-agnostic voicing-based notation (piano)

Looking for a simplified notation for piano that is 1) key agnostic but 2) chord and voicing specific. Here's kind of what I'm going for: The chord and extensions are expressed to the left, and the ...