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

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5
votes
2answers
238 views

Chord symbols for inversions of 7th chords

Why are root position, first, second and third inversion labeled by V7, V65,V43,and V42 repectively? Are there reasons for the specific numbers chosen? If not how can I memorize them? Thanks.
11
votes
1answer
107 views

What do dotted stave lines mean?

I’ve seen a dotted stave lines in this piece: http://www.fullinuyasha.com/inuyasha-sheet-music-sango-theme.html What do they mean? How is this supposed to be played?
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Explanation of Phrasing, Accidentals, articulation, modulation for a piano player

A year ago I have started practicing piano. I attend a music school and the pieces now are becoming quite advanced. There are four terms I don't fully understand which are mentioned a lot when I read ...
6
votes
2answers
254 views

Meaning of “actual notes” above staff

I've been studying The Unanswered Question By Charles Ives and found a peculiarity in the trumpet part. When the trumpet comes in, it has the phrase "actual notes" written above as seen below. I'm ...
4
votes
3answers
346 views

Help with interpreting notation in Chopin's nocturne op. 9 no. 2

What are the following notations in Chopin's nocturne op. 9 no. 2: Tilde sign with accidentals: tr~~~ Striked note's flag: Small notes. (I know what mean single small notes right ...
8
votes
3answers
219 views

What does a circle before/between notes mean?

I have a score for a guitar music here, which has these strange hollow circles between notes; also before the first note: They don't look like notes, and playing them makes the music ugly, so they ...
4
votes
3answers
251 views

Sheet Notation for Am piano

I'm a beginning piano player and I have a piece of sheet music that describes a chord as Am (I'm assuming A minor). I don't understand how this chord is A minor when the notes are A-E-A. This chord ...
8
votes
2answers
124 views

What is the proper way to notate the end of a section played “sul ponticello”?

That is, what is the standard way to tell a string player to play normally again?
1
vote
3answers
69 views

Chord progression notation

from here At the top - right under "The perfect authentic cadence. V (dominant) - I (tonic)", in second measure, they have "6 over 4 over V" on first two beats and then "7" on 3rd beat... What ...
7
votes
8answers
749 views

Limits of Fortissimo and Pianissimo

How far can pianissimo/fortissimo go? I have heard both the limit is 4 and 2 of each. Meaning pppp/ffff or pp/ff. What is the actual limit?
2
votes
2answers
91 views

What are the different rhythm styles? Is that the right word?

I remember way back in music class, at the top of the sheet music it would say things like the name of the piece, beats per minute and sometimes it would say something like Style = Swing. What ...
13
votes
4answers
784 views

What does the “+” symbol mean in a keyboard piece when attached to a note?

In a Daquin pipe organ piece, "Noël «Suisse»" from his "Livre de Noëls", I see this notation in the Right Hand system: This is notated this way in the Oxford Book of Christmas Organ Music. How ...
6
votes
2answers
120 views

Rhythms notes for didgeridoo

I'm learning to play didgeridoo and have a question - How can I write the rhythms on paper? It's overtone musician instrument and I don't know how can I apply musical notation or something other. I ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Is there a standard notation for piano fingering?

Ofcourse there is the notation 1 2 3 4 5 for each finger. But are there other (quasi-)standard symbols for indicating, for example, hand movements, stretching the hand, putting the thumb under, etc.? ...
1
vote
2answers
66 views

Working out strums per second given beats per minute - using guitar tabs

Say I have a tune which has following strum pattern : DownStrum * DownStrum * DownStrum,UpStrum,DownStrum,UpStrum The * represents the end of a strum. So DownStrum,UpStrum,DownStrum,UpStrum in ...
2
votes
2answers
112 views

Octave changes on 2nd time

Suppose a music contain two consequent parts than differ only by octaves (say, second part is entirely 8va). Is any way to show this in music sheet except writing each part separatly. In other words, ...
9
votes
1answer
201 views

Soft note marking

There is the accent symbol > to mark loud note (relatively neighboring), but how should I mark soft note? (It's sems logically to mark it with <, but I never seen this in real sheets.)
7
votes
4answers
667 views

What are “Es”, “As”, etc. chords?

I cannot find these chords in my piano chord manual and think they may have alternative notations. What is an Es or As chord?
6
votes
3answers
519 views

Need help with notation and time signatures

This is my first twelve-tone composition, and I realize that it's terrible. My problem is that I was told that I'm not writing in 4/4 correctly, and I have no idea how I'm supposed to interpret that. ...
3
votes
3answers
104 views

Why are notes beamed across the barline in this piece?

In the piece Three Pieces for String Quartet by Igor Stravinsky I've noticed something very odd that I cannot explain. There are several places in the piece where eighth notes are beamed across ...
7
votes
1answer
208 views

Different Simile Marks

In the pictures below, there are many measures with different simile marks. I know there are many different types of simile marks, varying number of lines, with or without dots, on barline or in the ...
11
votes
3answers
721 views

What does Grt. and Sw. mean in this organ score?

I've come across a piece of sheet music for an organ and I was just curious what the Grt. marking above measure 1 and 17 means and what the Sw. marking above measure 9 means. I've seen it before in a ...
4
votes
1answer
59 views

Is a tie needed into a second-time bar?

When I have a tie into a 1st-time-bar, and want to similarly tie into a 2nd-time-bar, I usually show the "end" of the tie onto the note at the beginning of the 2nd-time-bar. Is this necessary? The ...
17
votes
3answers
449 views

Notation symbol I've not seen before

I'm transcribing a book of 18th Century music and have come across several instances of the notation shown in the image. A few fellow musicians I've asked, and the online Dolmetsch guide to musical ...
8
votes
3answers
552 views

Flat symbol in key signature and bar

If i have a flat for a note in the key signature, and then in a bar the same note with an flat symbol, does that mean the note is "double flatted"? For example in the key of D Minor with hash one ...
5
votes
1answer
100 views

Half step mordent in Sibelius

Is there a way I can do the mordent that is shown in the pictures below in Sibelius? When I try to just put a sharp sign below the mordent, it doesn't play it correctly.
5
votes
3answers
187 views

Is there piano notation for finger sustained notes (as opposed to pedal sustain)?

In piano music how does one indicate that sequential notes in the bass clef are to be sustained with the fingers, not using the sustain pedal? For example, suppose I have the three sequential quarter ...
4
votes
1answer
318 views

How can I find the length in seconds of a quarter-note (crotchet) if I have a tempo marking?

Given a tempo marking in bpm (beats-per-minute), how can I work out the length of a crotchet (quarter-note) beat?
4
votes
2answers
711 views

3/2 Time signature

So a bar's duration is measured in beats. A bar's duration can be represented using the whole note, so bar duration in beats is a whole note. Isn't a 3/2 measure just spilling over? 3 half notes is ...
8
votes
2answers
166 views

What does this split stem notation mean?

Here's sheet music for chopin's 2nd ballade. On page 6, in the 2nd measure in the 4th line of music, there's a D# and a D natural, with two lines coming out of them and connecting to the double bar ...
6
votes
5answers
640 views

How are double stops / divisi indicated in violin scores?

This is a short section of The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker suite. Where the notes are stacked, are they meant to be played as double stops, or do some violinists play ...
15
votes
3answers
364 views

What are the limitations of the ABC notation format?

This question came up in a discussion on Meta, and I thought it might be a good question to ask on the general site. ABC notation is a relatively simple text-based format for writing music scores ...
2
votes
2answers
189 views

Notation for a turn with a half step

From what I've read, turns only seem to use the notes in the key, so if I'm in C Major, what would be the notation for a turn with G-A-G-F#-G ?
7
votes
1answer
257 views

How do you read Graphic Scores?

I recently found out about the graphic notation. I was reading up on it on wikipedia, but there was very little information about how the scores are read besides you read them left to right. There is ...
12
votes
3answers
639 views

Origin of the 'squigly line' used for quarter note rest?

This has been driving me nuts - I can't find a single thing on the net that would indicate why the quarter rest is penned the way it is. Did it evolve from some initial or abbreviation or was it ...
9
votes
2answers
147 views

Do some measures get no numbers, in an opera score?

I'm counting measures and confirming measure numbers in an opera score, and I've come across a discrepancy. I wonder what this means about conventions for numbering measures in opera scores in ...
7
votes
2answers
379 views

Is this chord progression III I II III?

I've always been a keen music listener but never paid much attention to music lessons back in high school. Now I've decided to (attempt to) teach myself music theory with the hope of developing some ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

Is there a way to notate alternative transitions between 2 sections of music?

I'm writing out an original song I recently recorded because I need to provide both the sheet music and an audio recording for college applications. It would be okay just to submit what I wrote out ...
6
votes
2answers
112 views

How to notate this ornament?

I'm transcribing a piano ballad by a contemporary-progressive-symphonic-chamber-rock band, and I have come across these two ornaments. Each first measure on the below image shows the passage without ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

What is the clearest way to signify the harmonic function of a polychord?

Chords can be analyzed with roman numerals to indicate function: C, Am, Dm, G I, vi, ii, V (or I, VI-, II-, V in jazz theory) And inversions may be analyzed by adding an arabic numeral indicating ...
20
votes
5answers
1k views

When to use a dot or a tie in music notation?

Let's say I have the following piece in 4/4, Should it be notated as: or Are there any specific rules? From my previous experience, I believe the second one is the correct notation since it ...
17
votes
6answers
3k views

Relationship between 3/4 and 4/4

I understand the meaning of music notations such as 3/4, 4/4 and so on. The first number is the number of beats per measure, while the second number is the note-duration (quarter, half, one-eighth) ...
4
votes
4answers
132 views

Still Major Intervals?

I have a worksheet to prepare me for my A level music; however I'm confused when being asked to name these intervals: My logic is that as both the tonic and above note are both flat meaning the ...
5
votes
3answers
125 views

Notation of multiple voices in Piano Music

I'm attempting to do some piano composition where (unfortunately) it's not my native instrument. What is the accepted way to handle the notation of multiple voices in a situation like what I've ...
2
votes
1answer
130 views

When to use a2 / unis / tutti in orchestral score?

So far from most of the sheet scores I've read, a2 is used mostly in wood and brass instrument staves, while unis. (and on rarer occasion, tutti) is in string instruments. It is even possible to see ...
9
votes
2answers
347 views

Small note above a normal-sized note

I'm currently looking at a vocal score, and there's a small note right above a normal-sized note. Ordinarily, I would presume this to be a cue note, except that this isn't the start of the singer's ...
11
votes
2answers
525 views

What does circled letters mean over sheet music?

I have the following music notation and I would like to know what does (A) and (A') mean.
7
votes
3answers
95 views

Notation for generic voicing

Is there any common notation for a generic voicing of a chord? For instance, I could specify as a kind of voicing template: "Root, 3rd and fifth in fourth octave, plus root in the fifth octave" ...
6
votes
2answers
402 views

Best name for chord consisting of G Eb F Bb C?

I have a chord progression in the key of C, which walks up from the IV chord up to a particular variation of the V7 chord, which I'm trying to name in a helpful way for a lead sheet. Here are my ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

How to abbreviate multiply -diminished or -augmented intervals

I know they aren't used often, but how do you abbreviate a doubly-, triply-, or otherwise multiply- diminished or augmented intervals? For instance, a perfect fifth is abnbreviated P5, a diminished ...