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

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2
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2answers
111 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
155 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
122 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?
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vote
2answers
116 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
99 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.? ...
6
votes
1answer
233 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
623 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
1answer
216 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
431 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?
3
votes
1answer
803 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
930 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
224 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.)
6
votes
3answers
541 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. ...
25
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
202 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 ?
9
votes
1answer
541 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
129 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
284 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
823 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
448 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
88 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
325 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
142 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) ...
11
votes
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 ♭ ...
17
votes
3answers
503 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
362 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
131 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, ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

How can I add a solo soprano stave in finale?

I would like to add a solo soprano stave to my sheet, can anyone tell me how to accomplish this? I'm also using Garritan Personal Orchestra 4 and would like this stave to play back with a solo voice ...
8
votes
1answer
258 views

How do you write a continuous arpeggio in sheet music?

How would you write an arpeggio that never stops the notes that are played . . . they just keep on ringing. E.g, in the example below, when the E is played in measure 1 beat 1, it continues ringing ...
4
votes
5answers
8k views

What is the difference between swing and shuffle?

I am learning piano from a book and I can't understand the difference between swing and shuffle. I have searched, but I still can't understand the difference. Could someone please iterate the ...
12
votes
1answer
238 views

Four dotted sixteenths in a triplet

The following excerpt is from a piece called Brincado by the Brazilian composer Alberto Nepomuceno from the collection 5 Little Pieces for the Left Hand (imslp) How should I count this?
4
votes
2answers
971 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Capitalization of key names (C Minor vs. c minor)

I was taught when I was young that minor key names should be written with the note in lowercase, as well as the word "minor". Nowadays on recordings, etc., I usually see both capitalized. What was ...
4
votes
1answer
627 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?
8
votes
3answers
497 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
2answers
230 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
120 views

How are tuplets drawn?

Is it acceptable to draw a tuplet line as an arc (including number in the middle of the arc of course), Or does the line strictly need to be an angled line (just like '[' rotated 90 degrees)? P.S. I ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What is Tempo (Speed): Moderate 4

I can look up the range of tempos that classify as moderate, but cannot find a source that tells me the specific bpm for: Tempo (Speed): Moderate 4 Assuming the time signature is 4:4
8
votes
3answers
315 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
305 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?
3
votes
3answers
235 views

Chord notation for stacked and inverted chords or intervals?

I understand how chord notation works for the most part, but I'm wondering how I would notate intervals, octaves, and specific chords. P1, m3, & P5 is Cmin. P1, P5 is C5 But, how do we notate P1 ...
12
votes
3answers
702 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
903 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Unknown Notation - Thick Horizontal Bars Between Notes

I haven't the faintest idea of what these could mean. Some sort of run perhaps? How do you effect the dynamics/notes these bars are referring to? EDIT: For reference, this specific example is ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

How does “triplet feel” for eighth notes affect non-eighth notes?

I'm a software developer creating a MIDI player that can play with "triplet feel" -- that is, when it sees two eighth notes, it plays them as if they were a triplet of quarter note + eighth note. This ...
9
votes
2answers
182 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
491 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
123 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
125 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 ...