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

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10
votes
3answers
803 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
649 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
37 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
55 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
104 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
67 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
2answers
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
263 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
82 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
108 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
103 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
37 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
36 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
52 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
792 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
85 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
473 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
70 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
218 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
44 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
62 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
73 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
74 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
83 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
111 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
54 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
406 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
125 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
478 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
99 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
73 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

What is an X symbol appearing in a piano part?

And it's not a double sharp. I saw it in Miley Cyrus Fugue in measure 88 between the 3rd and 4th beat for the right hand. It's being reached at 2:42-2:43 in the video and I don't hear anything ...
-2
votes
1answer
32 views

Composers making translation errors in their Italian directions

Virtually all composers in the Classical, and most composers in the Romantic period followed the convention of notating tempo markings and other directions in Italian. However, clearly not all of ...
2
votes
4answers
102 views

How to write very high/low notes in G/F clef?

Standard piano music sheets contain G and F clefs, which can display comfortably (without using a lot of ledger lines) around 48 keys C2-C6. I wonder how people write the very high/low notes, i.e., ...
35
votes
6answers
7k views

Why do people sometimes write notes as E♯ or C♭?

Instead of writing F or B, sometimes people use E♯ or C♭ to write these notes. Are there any advantages to this notation?
8
votes
1answer
484 views

How do I notate a 'wailing' sound?

I made this sound with my synthesized flute There are three in this particular snippet. I did this by draggging a slider button up and down that allows me to move ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

Extra measures above staff in Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6

So there is an extra two measures on top of the measure 58. What does that mean?
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Haydn sonata Landon 1

Under the 4th measure on the Andante movement, there are a few extra small measures, what does that mean?
3
votes
2answers
128 views

What's this drum symbol (X with line in the middle without tail)

Can someone please help me identify this drum symbol? It's from the second bar here:
4
votes
1answer
37 views

How to make a dal capo/segno include repeats?

I'm currently writing on musescore, and I have a problem getting the desired playback using dal segno: the second time through, repeat signs are ignored. According to this link, inner repeats in a ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

Hungarian Rhapsody no.12

So in the 2nd measure of the Hungarian Rhapsody no.12 has the word "trem" what does that mean? I don't understand it.
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Music notations of sounds, from harmonica?

I have these 2 audio files. They are the sounds of harmonica, from my favourite song, which I like best. The samples are: Sample 1 Sample 2 To create a music sheet for the sounds of harmonica, I ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Guitar Tablature: “bis” meaning

I've looked, but Google keeps interpreting "bis" as German(?) Example: |----------------|-------|-----------------------|-------| |-------7-----7--|-------|--------------7-----7--|-------| |----...
4
votes
2answers
85 views

Is there a dynamics equivalent of the marking “a tempo”?

Is there a marking (or a term) that means "go back to the dynamic played at before the last (de)crescendo"? I'd prefer to not specify a particular dynamic immediately before the crescendo (in order to ...
4
votes
2answers
89 views

Roman Numeral Notiation - Chords not in the key

I've been looking through answers related to Roman Numeral Notation and have seen similar items but I still don't understand what to do when a chord does not fit in the key. I thought I'd ask the ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Triangle above note, with dot in it

What does this symbol mean? I am asking about the symbol before the fermata, I found this in this publication of nuvole bianche, bar 98.
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Why (Occidental) conventional rhythm notation became conventional? [closed]

Human languages evolve and adapt themselves to the needs (phonetics, auditory, contextual) of the users. To what extent has been showed that Occidental music notation followed that path? Is it ...
-1
votes
2answers
129 views

How are notated the sequences of durations (13/27, 1/27, 13/27) and (4/81, 259/1296, 1/1296)?

The sequence (13/27, 1/27, 13/27) sum to a whole note, and it derives (presumably) from triplets, while the sequence (4/81, 259/1296, 1/1296) sum to a quarter, and may derive from triplets (the first ...