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

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5answers
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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 ...
17
votes
3answers
509 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
224 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 ?
16
votes
1answer
510 views

How do you read Graphic Scores?

I recently found out about the graphic notation. I was reading up on it on wikipedia, but there was very little information about how the scores are read besides you read them left to right. There is ...
13
votes
3answers
801 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
334 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. ...
9
votes
2answers
214 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
613 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
167 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
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2answers
132 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
111 views

What is the clearest way to signify the harmonic function of a polychord?

Chords can be analyzed with roman numerals to indicate function: C, Am, Dm, G I, vi, ii, V (or I, VI-, II-, V in jazz theory) And inversions may be analyzed by adding an arabic numeral indicating ...
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7answers
2k views

When to use a dot or a tie in music notation?

Let's say I have the following piece in 4/4, Should it be notated as: or Are there any specific rules? From my previous experience, I believe the second one is the correct notation since it ...
18
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) ...
4
votes
4answers
140 views

Still Major Intervals?

I have a worksheet to prepare me for my A level music; however I'm confused when being asked to name these intervals: My logic is that as both the tonic and above note are both flat meaning the ...
5
votes
3answers
228 views

Notation of multiple voices in Piano Music

I'm attempting to do some piano composition where (unfortunately) it's not my native instrument. What is the accepted way to handle the notation of multiple voices in a situation like what I've ...
3
votes
3answers
484 views

When to use a2 / unis / tutti in orchestral score?

So far from most of the sheet scores I've read, a2 is used mostly in wood and brass instrument staves, while unis. (and on rarer occasion, tutti) is in string instruments. It is even possible to see ...
9
votes
2answers
429 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 ...
11
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2answers
672 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.
7
votes
3answers
110 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" ...
6
votes
2answers
566 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

How to abbreviate multiply -diminished or -augmented intervals

I know they aren't used often, but how do you abbreviate a doubly-, triply-, or otherwise multiply- diminished or augmented intervals? For instance, a perfect fifth is abnbreviated P5, a diminished ...
10
votes
2answers
979 views

What do these beamed half notes mean?

I encountered this notation and was wondering what it means.
11
votes
1answer
509 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
544 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 ...
2
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2answers
150 views

What is this Chord Notation?

I know how to read Roman Numerals for chord progressions. But I've seen something recently I don't understand. I've attached an image below. What are those sub/post-strip's?
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votes
1answer
392 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
413 views

What's the name of an area split by Bar Line (s) called?

What is the unit name of an area split by Bar Line(s) called ? (See the red-circled area in below picture) The translation from my native language to English results in Time Signature . I feel ...
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vote
1answer
96 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 ...
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vote
3answers
197 views

Deciphering the notation of this slash chord

I’m having a hard time “really” understanding the following slash chord: Notes in order: Ab Eb Gb - Db F Gb Bb My logic is telling me it's a Gb maj7/13 / Ab, butI would like to give this ...
3
votes
1answer
193 views

Note length line (beam) placement in numbered musical notation

I am making a computer application for typing numerical / numbered musical notes. I have some question regarding note length line / beam. Will it have a same meaning if we place the beam either on ...
25
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the origin of the up bow and down bow symbols for bowed string instruments?

My brother is a beginning cellist and I was helping him annotate "up bow" and "down bow". I find it particularly strange that the "up bow" symbol is similar to a V. Intuitively, I would have thought ...
6
votes
2answers
160 views

Notation used for harmonic context

Could someone please explain what it means to say, "the harmonic context of V/V-V-I". How should one read this? It would be nice if you could also give two or three examples if you think it would ...
3
votes
1answer
805 views

What does a marking of Trio. mean on a score?

In this version of Mozart's German Dances, the third section of each dance has "Trio." engraved above the staff. What does this indicate?
12
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2answers
482 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 ...
6
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1answer
283 views

Lilypond Conga Notes

I am writing a conga part in LilyPond. I saw on LilyPond's documentation how to write conga notes: ...
26
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4answers
985 views

Has music notation become more prescriptive?

Another question asks about the Meaning of 1/1 and 1/2 beneath pedaling marking near some sustain pedal markings. It looks like they are used to specify a particular amount of pedal to use while ...
6
votes
2answers
133 views

Name for pedal markings

Is there any name for the inverted V (∧) in pedal markings? Or are they just known as part of pedal markings?
5
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1answer
631 views

Meaning of 1/1 and 1/2 beneath pedaling marking

Today I saw 1/1 and 1/2 written in one of my pieces beneath the pedal markings. Do these have a meaning or is it a misprint?
16
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4answers
363 views

Is there a Relative Pitch Clef?

To start out: I am more-or-less familiar with all the standard musical clef notations, including F, C, and G clefs; as well as the fact that clefs can be movable (tenor clef, french violin clef...) ...
7
votes
1answer
178 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?
6
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4answers
411 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!
4
votes
3answers
128 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
170 views

How should 3 notes joined with 1 beam line drawn on 5-staff-line?

Straight to the question, if I have this following numerical scores notation : 4/4, Do=C How to draw it into staff musical notation (If you have better way to say this musical notation type, ...
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 ...
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, ...
4
votes
1answer
125 views

Where do accidentals go when voices overlap?

When two different voices on the same staff have overlapping note ranges, they get shifted and written side-by-side. For example: What happens if there is an accidental on a note of the voice ...
12
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3answers
393 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 ...
10
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3answers
355 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.
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2answers
491 views

What is the proper name of the dash symbol over a note and how to play it

Can anyone specify the name of the particular symbol above the crotchet? According to Wikipedia it's called a Tenuto but my teacher said it's called a "dash". Which one is correct? Or are both names ...
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5answers
1k views

Is it okay to have number of notes in a bar that doesn't conform with the time signature?

Just a newbie question. In musical notation, is it okay to have number of notes in a bar that doesn't conform with the Time Signature? For example, look at this music sheet: Can you see that the ...