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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
2answers
228 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
104 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?
4
votes
3answers
338 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 ...
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
253 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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
123 views
13
votes
4answers
603 views

“Correct” notation for a minor chord?

Over my career as a musician, I have seen many different kinds of notation for a minor chord for example each of the chord symbols below represents a minor chord: Am Amin a A- Is there a reason ...
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 ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

How to interpret this chord notation?

How do you interpret this couple of notations? In Bar 2, Fm / Ab, what does the slash do? Do I play either chord or both? In addition, in Bar 3, what does the /9 mean?
7
votes
8answers
747 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?
13
votes
4answers
783 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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
1answer
389 views

Why is the bass clef indicated twice on the same line in this Bartok piece?

Here's an excerpt from the piece Chromatic Invention from Bartok's Mikrokosmos, volume 3, page 39. I don't get why at the end of the lower line the bass clef indication is repeated. Is this "for ...
12
votes
3answers
354 views

Odd symbol in Béla Bartók's Mikrokosmos Book 1

Today I came across an odd symbol in Béla Bartók's Microkosmos. The symbol occurs in Book 1, Score 21, Measure 8, at the end of a phrasing slur. It looks like a vertical bar that crosses only the ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
119 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
111 views

how do you play a double mortent on the piano

I am guessing the wavy line from one chord up to another chord is Double mortent. I looked online and this is the only term I could locate for this symbol. Can you tell me how it is played?
1
vote
2answers
64 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
70 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.? ...
24
votes
2answers
12k views

What does a small x-like symbol before a note mean?

I've been playing piano by ear for a long time and now I am trying to learn the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata. I am a little confused about the meaning of a little cross placed right before a ...
6
votes
1answer
206 views

What does this tablature notation mean?

There are two lines which have the number 0. Does that mean that I need to play two strings at once?
11
votes
2answers
523 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.
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, ...
2
votes
1answer
200 views

How are sharps and flats written in the nashville numbering system?

How are sharps and flats written in the Nashville numbering system. 5♯ or 5♭?
8
votes
4answers
337 views

What is the rhythmic notation for 5/8 the duration of a whole note?

Assume that the whole note time equals 8. Then a note which time equals 3 will be written as 1/4 note and dot. How you write down a note that time is equal 5/8 of a whole note?
2
votes
2answers
297 views

What does the tie across other different notes mean?

There are two ties in the bass part of the following excerpt. Both of them include some other different notes. According to the tie's definition, 16th note + 8th note = 3/16th note. In the case of the ...
3
votes
1answer
685 views

Must “first-time bars” and “second-time bars” appear together?

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repeat_sign When a repeat calls for a different ending, number brackets above the bars indicate which to played the first time (1), which to play the second time ...
3
votes
3answers
843 views

International notation system

I would like to know if there is a special order for notes in English and/or an international notation system. In french, our order is Do Ré Mi Fa Sol La Si which is equivalent to C D E F G A B, what ...
9
votes
1answer
200 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
518 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. ...
24
votes
10answers
5k views

Why do we use such complicated notation?

I have just started learning about music from the internet. I have learned how to play the piano, but I don't have a real piano so I am playing a virtual piano. In my opinion, the notation which is ...
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 ?
10
votes
2answers
929 views

What do these beamed half notes mean?

I encountered this notation and was wondering what it means.
7
votes
1answer
204 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
251 views

Learning Bossa Nova Guitar

It's been awhile since I have played guitar but I'm trying to get back into it. I really like bossa nova music and want to learn how to play it. I have some beginner sheet music that I am learning ...
11
votes
3answers
719 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
363 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
302 views

How many bars can a clarinet sustain?

Apologies if the question is too silly (my profile might explain why I don't know the answer). I am writing a piece and at some point I want a clarinet to hold a note until the performer runs out of ...
5
votes
1answer
99 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.
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) ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Why note B is marked with H in Scandinavia and Germany?

At least in Scandinavia and Germany two notes are marked differently than in most other countries: B -> H B♭ -> B I have heard that this is due to mistake in interpreting messy sheet notes, as ♭ ...
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
334 views

Why is the last semiquaver outside the last triplet of the measure?

The following measure is from "Clair De Lune ~ Adagio Sostenuto de la Sonata Op. 27 N. 2 De Beethoven", guitar sheet music . Correct me if I'm wrong but the last semiquaver isn't going to be ...
8
votes
3answers
550 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
3answers
185 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
116 views

What does “al primo” mean?

I' m currently playing a sonata from late baroque, which ends with two menuets, minuetto primo and minuetto secondo. Now under the closing repeat mark of menuet two "al primo" is notated. I assume, ...