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

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What do these beamed half notes mean?

I encountered this notation and was wondering what it means.
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3answers
2k views

What does ø mean after a chord?

Can anybody tell me what this chord with an ø symbol after F# is? The key signature is E minor.
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2answers
482 views

What is the proper way to notate the end of a section played “sul ponticello”?

That is, what is the standard way to tell a string player to play normally again?
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1answer
7k 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---------------- -3--------3-----1---...
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1answer
416 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. ...
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3answers
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What staff affected by a dynamic mark?

If I see in piano sheet music, say, "mp" mark between bass and treble staves, which staff should be played in "mp" dynamics? Reverse question: if I want to apply a dynamic mark to a specified staff, ...
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1answer
340 views

Shake and Growl on French Horn

I came across some interesting notation in a piece I'm playing earlier this week, and I'm really not quite sure what the composer intended for me to do. I play French Horn, and here's the notation (2 ...
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2answers
399 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 ...
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4answers
977 views

What is a “D-10” Chord?

I found a Paul McCartney Song, "Maybe I'm Amazed" that showed a chord which still has me stumped: The name of the chord is D-10. Now, I understand that most chord names are 'even' (as opposed to ...
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3answers
647 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 ...
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2answers
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Why is there a natural accidental on this C?

In Simandl's 30 Etudes for String Bass, Etude #10, there is this natural accidental on the note C (fourth bar of the second line): Since there is no alteration of the note either by the key ...
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3answers
972 views

What is this straight line at the beginning of the measure?

Could this just be a error on the editors part? Is it possible that i could also be a ghost note of some sort?
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6answers
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Do accidentals in one staff apply to notes in other staffs?

For example, when reading piano music on a grand staff, I know that if there is an A# in the treble clef staff (where it's normally natural), it changes all of the A's in the rest of that measure to A#...
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Music Notation for Bass - Unknown Symbol : Slash with two dots

I have checked through music notation lists and have asked a number of musicians but nobody knows what this symbol is actually supposed to mean. It's from the sheet found here.
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9answers
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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 guitar?...
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2answers
875 views

How to play these overly extended intervals on piano?

There are two images I have attached. In the first one it says, I guess, play the top note on the treble clef with your left hand (cross hands). But how on earth am I supposed then to play the chord ...
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4answers
1k 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 ...
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4answers
562 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}. ...
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3answers
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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
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1answer
922 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?
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2answers
906 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, ...
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1answer
487 views

Markings in Second Waltz by Dimitri Shostakovich

I came across these indications in a piano piece: the Second Waltz by Dimitri Shostakovich. What do "1.3. x p" and "2. x f" mean?
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2answers
598 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 ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
764 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 ...
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3answers
1k views

What does this note have a stem pointing up and another pointing down?

What does the first note below mean? Does it need to pressed down while playing the second notes? If not, why is there two stems, one pointing up, and one pointing down?
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1answer
703 views

What do dots on the tempo's equal sign mean?

What do the dots on the tempo's equal sign mean in this picture?
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2answers
539 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 (...
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2answers
838 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 pieces,...
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4answers
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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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2answers
567 views

Αre these three dots over a note supposed to be staccato?

I'm learning Rhapsody in Blue. In the second and third measures(of the below portion) some of the chords have three dots over them. Are they staccatos? I am not sure how to play them. The only ...
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1answer
421 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?
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2answers
726 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 ...
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1answer
507 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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2answers
269 views

Where did the symbols b and # originate from, and why those?

We're all used to flat and sharp signs, also naturals. Accidentals in some cases. But why those unusual signs? I suspect the b may have something to do with the German B, but the # sign? Something to ...
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1answer
445 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.)
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7answers
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Is it possible to write a melody which can't be notated?

Is it possible to have a piece which can't be notated using the musical notes we currently have?
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4answers
1k 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?
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3answers
850 views

What are the numbers under the Harpsichord

I have a manuscript with strings and harpsichord. Under the bottom staff of the harpsichord there is numbers, like 7. What are these numbers and what do they represent?
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6answers
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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 ...
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3answers
390 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?
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4answers
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Piano (sheet music) curves on top and numbers in circles

I am new to Piano and sheet music in general so I downloaded a "simple version" of Fur Elise to play as I already know how the tune goes in my head. Presently, I only play it with my right hand. A ...
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6answers
16k 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
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4answers
820 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 ...
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3answers
522 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
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1answer
277 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?
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5answers
603 views

The Tritone - is it a #4 or a b5?

Generally, in Blues and jazz, the oft-used tritone (C to F#/Gb) is referred to as a b5. Why is this a better term than #4? In the Blues scale, there will always be two notes of the same name, but why ...
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2answers
2k 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 :)
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4answers
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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, ...