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

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11
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8answers
666 views

Should I learn to read standard notation?

I've been playing guitar for the last two years, and never came in contact with pieces in standard notation. This is probably because I never had any lessons, and am self-taught. But the thing I ...
11
votes
2answers
718 views

Why “delta” chords?

Why are major seventh chords called delta chords and written with a delta symbol, like CΔ7 or CΔ? Do engravers consistently use Δ to mean a seventh chord (such that Δ7 is redundant) or do some use Δ ...
11
votes
1answer
501 views

How do I read this notation?

The wikipedia article about diminished seventh chords mentions the following: Fétis tuned the chord 10:12:14:17. What does this mean? Until very recently, I had never ever seen this before, and ...
11
votes
2answers
313 views

Is assignment of notes to measures totally arbitrary?

I am beginning to learn piano. To pep up my practising, I downloaded some sheet music for Waltzing Matilda Then I noticed, at the same place, this: Obviously it is the same music but needs to be ...
11
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2answers
589 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.
11
votes
1answer
124 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, ...
11
votes
1answer
141 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?
11
votes
4answers
886 views

Lead sheets / fake sheets without score

Several of the groups of people I play music with use song sheets that are similar to lead sheets, but without the stave showing the melody line: Note that unlike many chord sheets you can find ...
11
votes
2answers
284 views

Small natural above C in G Major

Here is a picture of the sheet music (Eine Klein Nachtmusik, movement 1). The odd accidental has a red freehand circle around it. What does this natural sign mean? As you can see, the key is G ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a highest note representable on sheet music without using an octave higher notation?

Is there a highest and lowest note that can be written on sheet music without using the one or more octave higher/lower notation? In my case for the piano specifically. I want to learn to sight read ...
10
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3answers
405 views

Why are some measures separated by double lines?

I play piano. Sometimes, measures in pieces are separated by a double vertical line instead of a single one. What does this signify?
10
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2answers
953 views

What do these beamed half notes mean?

I encountered this notation and was wondering what it means.
10
votes
1answer
100 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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2answers
3k 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 ♭ ...
10
votes
2answers
665 views

On the piano, how should you play staccato with the pedal?

In some pieces, there is a pedal designation along with staccato. How should this be played?
10
votes
1answer
2k views

“х” on tablature - how do I play it?

I'm learning "Last Christmas" arrangement for the acoustic guitar, and have encountered lots of notes marked as "x" in tablature. --------------------------------0---------------- ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Sound spectrum to notes software

I'm looking for software that can graphically assist in translating a sound frequency to notes. Closest example of what I had in mind is FL Studio's Wave Candy plugin: Hovering cursor above a ...
9
votes
2answers
997 views

Need help with a measure within Mozart's 'Rondo alla Turca'

In the 21st measure of Mozart's Rondo alla Turca/Turkish March (3rd movement of K. 331), there's a trill in the treble clef that I can't quite get right. Would you be so kind to expand the measure as ...
9
votes
9answers
1k views

Does a guitarist need to know staff notation?

There is a notation called Tablature for guitar. Most of the keyboardists I have seen, use the staff notation. Is staff notation useful for guitarists? Will it help the guitarist in learning ...
9
votes
3answers
658 views

What does an “L” shape mean beside a note in the lower staff?

Sorry if this is trivial but I am self taught and cannot find the meaning of this bracket on a sheet. This is taken from Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence by Ryuichi Sakamoto
9
votes
2answers
602 views

“Standard” drum notation alternatives

For the purpose of playing live, working through ("popular") songs involving verse, chorus, bridge, intro, outro, etc., is there a standard notation that drummers use to help them know what to play, ...
9
votes
2answers
621 views

What does the circle around a note mean in a guitar chord diagram?

I'm trying to play E/G#. I found this, but what is that symbol on the 4th string?
9
votes
2answers
274 views

Different note head uses in MuseScore?

The photo here is from "MuseScore", the free notation software. A note head replaces a note head, shown in this photo. Since I have never seen these note heads before, what are these used for (if ...
9
votes
1answer
492 views

Deciphering the series of numbers shown for songs in a hymn book

Consider almost any song in a church hymn book. Either at the top just above the ledger lines or at the bottom near the credits is a series of numbers usually a set of four to six numbers such as 87 ...
9
votes
2answers
528 views

In piano music notation how are notes distributed between the staves?

I recently stumbled across a piece of music for the piano that confused me a little. The first image is how I found the score, the second is how I rearranged it myself. How I usually find ...
9
votes
1answer
185 views

Why some measures are marked with a roman numeral and a dashed line?

Take a look at the first of Tarrega's studies, which I'm trying to learn. In this study measures 6 and 13 are marked with a roman numeral (V and I respectively), and a dashed line above a measure. ...
9
votes
1answer
6k views

What is the difference between sharp note & flat note?

In guitar or generally in any musical instruments, what is the difference between sharp notes & flat notes? For example : Are A♯ & B♭ the same? And are C♯ & D♭ the same? Does that make ...
9
votes
1answer
331 views

Do accidentals on ornaments carry over to the other notes in the measure?

In the first measure from this section of Schubert's Serenade, does the accidental on the ornamental C at the beginning affect the "regular" C that follows?
9
votes
2answers
361 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
292 views

Are instructions on organ stop settings included in the notation of Baroque organ music?

I am currently listening to a collection of Bach's complete organ works for the organ. I love Baroque music and Bach in particular, but I am not very familiar with the organ from the performer's ...
9
votes
2answers
831 views

Is there a specific name for Sheet music that uses numbers (二胡 Èrhú Sheet Music)?

I am searching for a software program (preferably opensource but not necessarily) that can create sheet music. However since I am a beginner at my instrument I still use a simplified notation. I play ...
9
votes
2answers
164 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
306 views

Where did the British names for different note lengths come from?

I was always taught to use a certain set of names for the length of a note, such as crotchet, minim, quaver, and so on. I'm aware though that those terms aren't used as much outside the UK, and that ...
9
votes
1answer
213 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.)
9
votes
3answers
419 views

What does the arc under fingerings mean?

What does the arc under fingerings mean as seen in these two pictures? It seems like first image, the arc means to transition fingerings from thumb (left hand) to second finger, but on the second ...
8
votes
4answers
784 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?
8
votes
3answers
307 views

Why are only even values used for note duration?

So, I was wondering why there are only even numbered notes? Like half, quarter, and eighth and so on.
8
votes
3answers
584 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
301 views

Arbitrary length full-measure rests in Lilypond

In Lilypond one can make long full-measure rests with: \compressFullBarRests R1*12 which outputs: Is there an engraver I can turn off, or some other way to remove the number from above ...
8
votes
3answers
301 views

Percussion notes in the vocals

This an excerpt from an arragment to the song "Hakuna Matata" from the movie "The Lion King": Why are there percussion notes in the vocals?
8
votes
4answers
538 views

Is there any difference between these two note values?

I have never understood if these two note values are supposed to be played in the same way: Mathematically, I can understand that they are the same, since both of them have 6 notes that are being ...
8
votes
3answers
304 views

Can the double stop E natural F sharp be played on cello?

I'd like to find out if it is possible to play the double stop of E natural and F sharp on the cello. Thank you
8
votes
1answer
248 views

How do you play this tablature notation?

How do I play this on my guitar? A side question, is there a reference site for checking music and tablature notation?
8
votes
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 :)
8
votes
3answers
275 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
4answers
289 views

Effective way to notate triplets

I was directed by America Luke to this forum site. I hope this is the correct place. I have a score with a lot of triplets. It's awkward to write always \times 2/3 {c16 d e} \times 2/3 {d e f}. ...
8
votes
2answers
327 views

How to read these notes

The below picture shoes a part of the notes from Mozart's Alla Turca. It occurs quite early on my note sheet, so it is likely to be found on the first page of whatever note sheet you may have it on. ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

What is this symbol, a line over the note heads? [duplicate]

Today I came across this symbol: (on top of the first four notes) What is this symbol and how am I supposed to play it? A friend of mine told me it's Marcato, but Wiki gave me this: as Marcato, ...
8
votes
2answers
202 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
386 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?