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

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Accidentals in a piece with no key signature [on hold]

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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3answers
80 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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3answers
110 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
92 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
351 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
45 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
170 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
109 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
164 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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1answer
388 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
182 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
74 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
540 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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3answers
156 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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0answers
35 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
450 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
67 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 ...
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5answers
735 views

Sharps vs Flats - Formula to determine correct sharp and flat notes in a scale

I am trying to figure out how to know if a note in a scale is a sharp or a flat. So my starting point/input are the intervals of any scale. E.g. here are the Minor pentatonic intervals Interval: 1, ...
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1answer
324 views

Is there more than one use for Roman Numerals in music notation?

I'm used to the standard use of Roman Numerals to note chord sequences in a key-independent way e.g. I vi IV V But I'm sure I've seen people also use them in some other context in answers on this ...
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1answer
84 views

Time Signature Count

I have extracted the measure in question that I'm struggling to understand how the notes line up to the existing (4 4) time signature. As I understand, the bass has 16, 1/16th counts, but the ...
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5answers
266 views

Music notation for guitar [duplicate]

A friend who is a guitar teacher, told me I should learn to read music. He wrote the notes for guitar's 1st position and said to try and transcribe one of my songs as an aid to composition. So, ...
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3answers
398 views

What does the indication 9 7 mean?

I' m studying classical harmony, and on the chapter with the V9, I came upon this numbered bass: What does 9 7 mean? I know that it includes the 9th, but why is there the 7th there? Does it tell me ...
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1answer
383 views

What do dots on the tempo's equal sign mean?

What do the dots on the tempo's equal sign mean in this picture?
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2answers
548 views

What does this indication mean?

On the Jazz Theory Book, there is this example to be played on the piano: I've never had any piano training/lessons, so I don't really know the indications. What does 'Led' (or is it 'Σed') mean? ...
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3answers
87 views

How to improve the process of transcribing my music into notation?

I generally don't concern myself with the notation when I'm producing a new song; basically I just make sure everything's on beat and in key and sounds good. Writing the song down seems like such a ...
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1answer
237 views

What do multiple notes on top of each other in a staff mean?

Does it mean to play all the notes at the same time?
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9answers
1k views

Tablature vs. standard music notation? (guitar)

Under what circumstances should I write down "TAB" (tablature) or just regular music notation or both? I know how to read and write both of them, but I'm not sure which I should use for my songs when ...
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2answers
506 views

What does this notation mean?

Specifically I'd like to know about the apparent joining of a dotted quaver and a semiquaver in the second row of my photo. Is that what these are? If that is what is meant then how does this ...
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2answers
89 views

Sharps at the start of a score

I'm having difficulty identifying and playing the sharps which are C# , D# , F# and G# . Do the sharps apply to all the bars ?
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4answers
251 views

Why picking direction indicators in music?

In music notation specifically for the guitar, there are often picking symbols meaning to pick up or down. What is the purpose of these picking indicators (sorry, don't know the real term for them)? ...
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3answers
2k views

Music Notation - Little notes

Can someone please tell me what the little notes (4 bars after C) are called?
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2answers
477 views

How to play these overly extended intervals on piano?

There are two images I have attached. In the first one it says, I guess, play the top note on the treble clef with your left hand (cross hands). But how on earth am I supposed then to play the chord ...
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5answers
139 views

Sheet music equivalent of ellipses/etcetera

Let's say you're notating patterns up a scale and it becomes obvious how the pattern continues, but you don't want to write out the full thing. You'd like to use the equivalent of "..." or "etc." to ...
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4answers
228 views

Do accidentals apply to other staffs of the same type?

In this excerpt from Bach's BWV 772, does the B flat accidental on the lower staff also apply to the upper staff(second to last beat)? I know that accidentally usually do not apply to different ...
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2answers
158 views

Music notation software for JianPu and erhu notation

My wife's band, which features the erhu, uses music notation like the page shown below. We want to take hand-written scanned/faxed from stained napkins with bad handwriting and two-side bleedthrough ...
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3answers
71 views

What is the purpose of two staff lines?

I am not a musician but this question is just out of curiosity. I saw a song book (this has some Christian songs) where the words to be sung are placed between two staff lines. The top staff line ...
6
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1answer
662 views

Meaning of diamond-shape notes on guitar staff

I am playing a piece for the guitar on the piano and everything sounds fine until I reach the last few notes in the score: all the notes marked with a '19' above the staff and represented with ...
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3answers
69 views

Notation for flute trills in music score

I'm only playing simple pieces (Grade 1 in the UK) but even some of these have Tr notation next to a note, and a separate bit of score above the score. What I notice is, the note in the main score is ...
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11answers
4k views

What does this note - B# - mean?

I'm confused as to how I should play the second note below, B#. Does it mean it's C? It is possible? In which case, why is it written like this, and not just C?
3
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2answers
84 views

Octave shift context

I'm learning this amazing piece of music from Nikolai Kapustin ... although I already play it well (kind of, at least most of it), I'm still unsure about some parts... so I decided I should ask ...
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1answer
29 views

Notations mentioned in answers re. trombone

Would someone please explain the notations E2, F3, etc. which are used in answers on this site regarding trombone? I'm not familiar with those.
3
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1answer
57 views

Should ossia stave barlines connect to main stave?

I'm arranging some string-quartet music; I have been asked to do an ossia part for a section of Violin I. Should ossia staves have barlines that connect to the main stave: or barlines that don't: ...
3
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3answers
140 views

What is the '+' symbol mean in a chord?

When I played a music meet a D+9 and a A7/5+. I have tried search in google, but didn't find it. Does anybody know that?
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1answer
160 views

What does the “o” notation signify?

I just saw this comment by Tim, in another question: Do can't have a C. It's spelt D, F, Ab, Cb.Or as a triad, just the 1st 3 notes. Ao/F is F b9, and Ao/F# will just be F#o. Or D b9/F#. If this ...
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2answers
1k views

What is this musical symbol (inverted “Z” inside a staff)

Can anyone identify the symbol circled in the image below? It's from a piece of piano music. Thank you very much :)
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2answers
154 views

What did ancient cuneiform notation look like, and how did it work?

I looked at Wikipedia of course... According to Wikipedia: The earliest form of musical notation can be found in a cuneiform tablet that was created at Nippur, in Sumer (today's Iraq), in ...
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1answer
169 views

How should I write a 2nd interval between two voices?

I've written two voices, and as you can see here, they are seperated by a 2nd, so the notes intersect. This is, obviously, unacceptable. So how should I handle this? If I move the note heads, it ...
0
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1answer
69 views

Guitar Notation E-Gt

What does E-Gt at the beginning of a guitar piece mean? It's just left of the Clef. I saw something online suggesting that it had something to do with overdrive vs clean guitar, but I couldn't ...
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1answer
62 views

To which notes do dynamics notation apply? (eg. pp)

When a performer sees a dynamics notation, such as pp for pianissimo, (or p, or f or ff, or any of its siblings), in a written score, which notes are to be played softly? [1] I take it the symbol ...
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2answers
143 views

Numbers above notes

I have a number of pieces of handwritten music that have anywhere from 2 to 4 numbers written above each note. What do the numbers mean? I play accordion and I have acquired numerous pieces of ...