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

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Half, Three Quarter Sharps and Microtonality

Less often (in for instance microtonal music notation) one will encounter half, or three-quarter,... or otherwise modified, sharps. A half sharp indicates the use of quarter tones, and may be ...
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17 views

Tuxguitar - entering verses

Is there a way to widen the measures in Tuxguitar, so that the words in my song verses don't get cut off or scrunched up?
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44 views

Necessity of Time Signature & Tempo in Music Recording application

I won't go too much into detail regarding the piece of software I'm building, but it's a very small side-project which will allow for the recording of Midi inputs. Currently I'm thinking of displaying ...
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5answers
218 views

Are there any situations when one needs to make a distinction between slurs and ties?

In the comment section to a question about notating tied notes, the discussion of whether it's necessary to make a distinction between ties and slurs came up. The reasoning goes as follows: If one ...
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1answer
178 views

Squiggly Line Above Note

I just found a Bach score, and there is this squiggly line above the A eighth note in the first measure (and a few other places). This is the score. What does it mean?
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2answers
119 views

What conventions are used with accidentals and tied notes?

If I have a tied note across a bar line, say 2 whole G notes, and I have an accidental, say a sharp, on the first G, my assumption is that the accidental applies as well to the second G because it is ...
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3answers
69 views

Correctly notating sharps and flats [duplicate]

I always had this issue when naming certain notes in the music scale. For example, when I spell out certain notes such as Eb, some people have advised me to use D# instead of Eb stating that it is the ...
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334 views

How do I read guitar tabs written in this format?

I need some help learning how to read some Chinese guitar tabs I found online. They seem completely different to the standard Western format: I don't even know where to start with these, I suppose ...
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52 views

A question about quarter notes

I have a question about the term quarter note. I thought of putting clarity in the question by doing a little calculation. Let us say BPM = 120 .So Beat time is 0.5 s. So in 4/4 signature the ...
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94 views

What does this crossed-note notation mean?

What does this notation mean? It is in 5/8 time. Is it some sort of a performance direction?
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772 views

Music Notation for Bass - Unknown Symbol : Slash with two dots

I have checked through music notation lists and have asked a number of musicians but nobody knows what this symbol is actually supposed to mean. It's from the sheet found here.
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2answers
67 views

What notation systems exist for indicating rhymes, alliteration and cadence in rap lyrics?

The only example I've seen so far is The Rapper's Flow Encyclopedia, which uses standard musical notation with phrasing to indicate cadence, and lyric capitalization to indicate (but not group) ...
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87 views

Alternative ways of notating this example of metric modulation

At 3:08 Seconds into this video (Johnny Winter, Mama talk to your daughter, Live CPH 1971): ...
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52 views

What exactly is a scale, what are they for, and how does practising them make me a better guitarist? [closed]

I found a similar question on SE already, but it still didn't adequately explain what I'm trying to figure out, so here goes: What exactly is a scale, what are they for, and how does practising them ...
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2answers
62 views

How to read this measure of music with “in between” notes?

I have a score in 4/4 time with the following measure: My music program (MuseScore) plays this with the two 16th F notes "in between" beats 2 and 3, with the second F/C chord playing at beat 3 and ...
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3answers
94 views

Are whole notes/rests really used to signify variable lengths of time?

I saw this answer and I thought the guy was absolutely crazy for assuming that a whole note automatically equaled one measure regardless of time signature. However, there does appear to be more than ...
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161 views

Is there a rest symbol that means “rest until the end of this measure”?

Is there a rest symbol that means "rest until the end of this measure"? e.g. I've put a 16th note in the beginning of the measure and I don't want to bother calculating duration for the remaining ...
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2answers
63 views

What is this mirrored rest? [duplicate]

Haven't seen this mirrored rest before (from Gymnopedia No. 1). What does it mean? How long of a rest is it? Thanks.
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16answers
2k views

How to help students remember Half vs. Whole rests

The symbols for the half rest and whole rest are pretty much the same and in the literature my students play we rarely encounter them. Is there a good, memorable way to describe which is which to ...
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5answers
360 views

How should I notate repeated dotted eighth notes?

I am transcribing the Spin-Dig Galaxy Theme from Super Mario Galaxy 2. At 0:21, there is a rhythm that I think is four dotted eighth notes and then two regular eighth notes. Should I notate that as ...
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2answers
90 views

two symbols on the same note

I'm having trouble learning Moonlight Sonata without a piano teacher. What does a natural notation and a sharp symbol mean in front of the f, which is already sharp in the key signature?
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39 views

Markdown for music notation fragments

is there an equivalent of JSFiddle or Markdown for music notation? That would be useful for posting fragments of notation into StackExchange questions, as math.stackexchange.com does with MathJax for ...
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5answers
515 views

Same note to be played with both hands?

Why some notes in the piano are written the same for the left and right hand ? What is the purpose of this ? And how do we play them ? Do we just choose one hand to play them or do we play them ...
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1answer
50 views

Priority of Da Coda vs. Repeat sign

There are three different cases I can think of, with a Da Coda embedded within repeat signs. My question for these three cases is the same: Do you jump to the Coda right when you reach the Da Coda or ...
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1answer
50 views

b3 == m3, bb3 == d3 and b5 == d5?

I just need some clarification. Am I getting chords notated this way - 1-5-b7-9-11, 1-3-5-b7-#11, 1-3-5-b7-9-13, 1-4-5-b7-9-13 - right? 3 == M3 5 == P5 b7 == m7 bb7 == d7 (?) ...
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2answers
70 views

How to change all hihats to ride cymbal in GuitarPro

I'm not sure if this qn belongs here, but it is related to music, so here it goes. I've been modifying some drum tabs on Guitar Pro. The problem is, for a specific section all the HiHat notes need to ...
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3answers
241 views

Note duration in Hindemith's “Elementary Training For Musicians”

On the recommendation of a friend (and Nadia Boulanger), I am working through Hindemith's "Elementary Training For Musicians", with an eye to using a small selection of its exercises for some of my ...
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What do the terms E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4 actually mean?

I am attempting to learn guitar, and I keep coming across this notation in various apps that I've downloaded. I know that E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4 are something to do with tuning, but I'm not exactly sure ...
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2answers
1k views

What do Four Vertical Dots mean?

I was looking through a score by Bartok (5th String Quartet) and came across a symbol I didn't recognize. There is a dot between each line in the clef. What does this mean? Edit: Here's another ...
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3answers
124 views

How to think in number chord notation for Major and Minor

I learned most of my songs in the Major key and used a number system to learn it to be able to transpose the song easily. I now have a minor song I am learning and originally used the Major numbers to ...
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1answer
93 views

Should chords in Bach's solo violin pieces be arpeggiated if not marked as such?

So I came across this interesting statement about the way we should play Bach's solo violin pieces. One source claimed that Bach was not a lousy writer — he was actually a very accurate and ...
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1answer
784 views

Beginner guitar : Ode to Joy - is it chords shown in sheet? E.g. C is shown, but not played in note [duplicate]

I am beginning guitar and still playing notes on the B and E string while learning. We have this song to play: Can I please enquire as to why e.g. the first bar says "C", while the notes are E E F ...
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75 views

Accidentals in a piece with no key signature [closed]

I have a piece that has no sharps or flats in the key signature, but in the body of the piece there are sharps and flats. How come?
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110 views

If the time signature changes, does the key signature change as well?

Consider the following snippet from Where Is My Mind (arranged by Maxence Cyrin). Notice how after the first few bars there's a time signature change. Does the key signature also automatically change ...
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139 views

What is the origin and advantages of this system of chord naming/ notation? e.g. G7 is major minor seventh not Dominant 7th

I've received a few emails through my website asking me what a major minor seventh chord was. At first I thought they had mixed up the sequence and were referring to the A-#7 chord (root chord of ...
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2answers
148 views

Square bracket next to two notes

I was looking though some old music today and I found a symbol I did not recognize. This symbol as shown below looks like a square bracket next to two notes. So what is the bracket suppose to mean? ...
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5answers
404 views

The Tritone - is it a #4 or a b5?

Generally, in Blues and jazz, the oft-used tritone (C to F#/Gb) is referred to as a b5. Why is this a better term than #4? In the Blues scale, there will always be two notes of the same name, but why ...
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1answer
57 views

Grace note in Bar 20 of Chopin's Op. 10 No. 3

What is the correct interpretation of the ornament in bar 20 of Chopin's Etude Op. 10 No. 3 — that is, the final full bar below: The recordings I've heard generally repeat the G# but not all of ...
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1answer
201 views

What is a “7-9” chord? (G7-9, etc..)

There's a chord in the Lennie Niehaus arrangement of the Stan Kenton Orchestra version of Laura, written by Johnny Mercer and David Raksin. This chord is written as G7-9. In googling, I get G7(#9) a ...
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2answers
131 views

Αre these three dots over a note supposed to be staccato?

I'm learning Rhapsody in Blue. In the second and third measures(of the below portion) some of the chords have three dots over them. Are they staccatos? I am not sure how to play them. The only ...
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1answer
191 views

Chord symbols for diminished and half-diminished

An augmented sign can be '+', which signifies a larger interval in an augmented chord in comparison to , say, the major. But where did the 'o' sign originate for the opposite - diminished? Is there a ...
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2answers
404 views

Why is “A” not used for augmented in Chord symbols?

On Wikipedia it says: Some of the symbols used for chord quality are similar to those used for interval quality: m, or min for minor, M, maj, or no symbol (see rule 2 below) for major, ...
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1answer
400 views

Duration of a quarter note with a 3 written beside it (on a synth display)?

I'm currently reading the manual to my old synthesizer (Roland MC-505) and for setting the quantization level amongst other settings it displays the note duration on the LCD using the symbols for the ...
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2answers
208 views

What does this b5 indication refer to?

I've been studying Jazz for some years now, and when I come upon a chord like Abm (b5), I play a diminished chord. But recently, on the classical harmony I'm studying, I came upon this exercise: ...
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2answers
101 views

So, what does this tenuto mark mean in Bernstein's piano music?

This is a bar from the fifth of Bernstein's Five Anniversaries, "For Susanna Kyle". It's a nice and easy tune that sounds vaguely like what Satie would have composed in his youth were he not wasted ...
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1answer
584 views

What does this notation mean for the piano?

I saw this in Chopin's Op.25 No.12 etude and was bemused. On the next line, the asterisk reappears on its own. What is this called and what does it mean?
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200 views

Are tonal (sharp, flat and natural) key signatures octave specific? [duplicate]

I recently bought a piano for learning (by myself at the moment) and apart from doing basic exercises, I decided to start learning a piece to get a grip on music sheet reading as I go. On the sheet ...
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54 views

Combine Rests in Finale

I want to combine the two highlighted rests in the picture into a dotted-eighth rest with a single command. Is it possible? I'm using Finale 2014d (Mac).
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4answers
461 views

Small clefs on score

I have small bass and treble clefs on the piece I'm learning. This picture shows two lines where these small clefs appear. Please, could someone explain what they mean. Update: I appreciate the ...
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1answer
93 views

“Ut” and “La” notation on horn and cornet instruments in orchestral score?

I'm looking at an orchestral score from the late 1800's (well, OK, it's "The Mikado" by Arthur Sullivan). In the portion of the score that I am looking at, the non-transposing instruments all have no ...