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

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2answers
526 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
513 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
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1answer
418 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
271 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
1k 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
1answer
163 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
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1answer
286 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
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2answers
405 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.
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3answers
232 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 ...
9
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1answer
4k 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
201 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
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2answers
193 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 ...
8
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3answers
234 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
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3answers
828 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
242 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
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3answers
207 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
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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
398 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
186 views

What is the meaning of '/5+' in a chord?

I'm trying to learn this song in piano: http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/a/antonio_carlos_jobim/corcovado_crd.htm What does /5+ or /5- means? Example: Abm6/5+ Does it mean bass is the fifth ...
8
votes
3answers
664 views

how do you choose the correct stem length for notes on a beam?

Stems are supposed to be 3.5 stave spaces tall. When the notehead is on the 2nd line outside the staff or beyond, the stem should extend to touch the center line. When the 3rd flag (or beam) is added ...
8
votes
2answers
687 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
82 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, ...
7
votes
2answers
392 views

Why does this note sound like it is not played?

I've been learning the second movement of Mozart's Piano Sonata 16 for a while. While I get most of the stuff memorized, some part of it just doesn't sound right comparing to recordings on YouTube ...
7
votes
2answers
222 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
172 views

Groups of eighths

A lot of times, I've seen eighths in groups of 2, and other times in groups of 4. Is there any difference in the way you are supposed to play them?
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7answers
1k views

Can legato notes be played staccato?

I've been working on this piece by Sousa, and I came across this oddity: Does this mean to play these notes somehow legato and staccato at the same time? If so, how would I play it? If not, what ...
7
votes
1answer
244 views

What is the idea of “transposing by perfect unison”?

As far as I understand, a "perfect unison" refer to two notes sounding the same pitch. Why both MuseScore and Sibelius 7 (I work with these two programs) offer a feature to transpose the up or down by ...
7
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1answer
114 views

References for typesetting music

I'm looking for books or articles on typesetting (western) music. Basically the musical equivalent for traditional typesetting, i.e. rules for spacing of symbols, justification, page layout, etc. I'm ...
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3answers
167 views

Does anyone know a good site to share guitar and bass tabs? [closed]

I know I can search in Google and get a lot of good tabs but I would like to use some wiki where I can keep the tabs I like and everyone can improve and share the tabs. I searched but did not found ...
7
votes
3answers
222 views

Is there a special way to notate a repeat for the right (treble) hand but not the left (bass) hand?

I'm working with a section of music where the right hand (treble clef) plays the same thing twice, but the left hand (bass clef) differs the second time round. Usually I would just rewrite out the ...
7
votes
1answer
777 views

Numerous questions about advanced guitar tablature notation

8 slide 0...why is 0 in parentheses? 7 slide 9...what does curve under mean? 5 7 5..7 5 0..are they hammers or pull offs..how you distinguish those how to play this? what does this long line ...
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votes
4answers
427 views

What should I do about composing 'soft' accents for piano?

When composing for the piano, I often find myself writing a lot of sudden soft notes. I need an accent mark that suddenly softens notes. From my knowledge (and searching the web), I can not find any ...
7
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4answers
207 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?
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votes
1answer
150 views

Different trill notations in Schubert piano music

I'm trying to teach myself some Schubert and am playing through Sonate 1 (Op. 42). The piece employs a lot of trills. However, there are two notations in use: tr and the up & down squiggle. Is ...
7
votes
2answers
270 views

In chord progressions, how can I refer to a chord that's out of the scale?

I'm training a music that is most on the G Major scale.. But then there's a B chord. As B is not on the G Major scale, how can I refer to it when I'm writing the chord progression? EDIT My guess is ...
7
votes
2answers
276 views

Drum kit notation for crashes at section starts

What is the best way to notate crashes for drum kit, that happen only occasionally, while the rest of the rhythm pattern remains unchanged? Or only at the beginning of a section, but with the rest of ...
7
votes
2answers
132 views

When transcribing a song and the speed doubles or halves, is it best to change the tempo and note values to reflect that or keep them the same?

This is something I've struggled with for awhile now, and applies to both transcription and composition. So, let's say we have a song at 160 BPM. The main subdivision is eighth notes, and the beat ...
7
votes
3answers
81 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" ...
7
votes
1answer
91 views

Notes in small font

Is there a name for the notes that appear in smaller size in sheet music? Not grace notes, but rather notes to accompany alternative words in lyrics in different verses that require slight variations ...
6
votes
3answers
196 views

How do I write good tablature?

Often, I hear a song that I would like to learn to play, but I can't find good tablature on the Internet. How do I write up my own tab quickly, so I can use it for reference in the future?
6
votes
5answers
263 views

Proper symbol for this chord (1 5 7 9 11)?

I'm a songwriter in the jazz-pop idiom, and when playing through a chart with a guitarist, he told me that, in his opinion, I had labeled a chord inaccurately / incorrectly. Here's the chord as I ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

Transcribing a Standard MIDI File to sheet music

I have a couple of nice guitar midi files that I would like the scores for; is there any software out there that can do this sort of conversion, and output it as a PDF file? Thanks
6
votes
4answers
322 views

What notation would you use to differentiate different types of minor keys (e.g. Em natural, Em harmonic, Em melodic)?

Are they all just 'Em', or is there some standard, concise way of differentiating between them? Thanks!
6
votes
2answers
294 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
220 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}. ...
6
votes
3answers
443 views

Learning guitar via staff

I am learning guitar from my tutor and he is teaching me to read notes on a staff. However when I search for guitar music on internet it comes like: A C♯m E Bm F♯m etc. How do I convert these to a ...
6
votes
3answers
252 views

What do multiple l's and r's beneath a note mean?

I do a tad of drumming, but not enough at all to call myself a drummer (or anything close). I understand what a R or a L means under a note, but i'm not sure what two or three under each note means. I ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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 ♭ ...
6
votes
2answers
742 views

Four dots over tremolo minim (half note with slash)

I'm working on National Emblem by E. E. Bagley. In the second strain, there is a minim with the tremolo mark. Above it are four dots. What do they mean? Here is a picture. The mark in question is ...
6
votes
4answers
313 views

What are the various ways of vocalizing rhythmic figures?

I know of the standard western technique where the beats (quarter notes) are numbered and eighths are vocalized as 'and' and sixteenths are vocalized as 'ee' and 'uh' (One-ee-and-uh Two-ee-and-uh). ...