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

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3answers
1k views

Really confused about x's on a note?

So on the sheet music I was playing there were these notes with x's on top of them. Like on the stem. What am I supposed to do? Do I just not play them? This is for the piano by the way.
2
votes
2answers
74 views

Changing Time Signature

I need to change a simple piece from 4/8 to 4/4. Do I only need to double the values for each note? (Ex. quarter to half note & eighth to quarter?)
5
votes
1answer
441 views

What does Opt. S.D. mean?

I was looking at the sheet music for the Star Spangled Banner arranged for the U.S. Marine Band, and I saw that each instrument has an Opt. S.D. in the beginning. What does it mean?
5
votes
1answer
313 views

Alternative Numerical Representation of Pitch

I'm aware of a number of different ways of representing pitch as numbers (including one I developed for use in my own software) but am interested if there are others. The most widespread is probably ...
0
votes
3answers
93 views

Unusual Accidentals

I sometimes see a natural where it is unnecessary. Sometimes it is a courtesy natural but other times the note has not been flattened or sharpened at all and yet I see a natural that is already there ...
49
votes
5answers
26k views

How do you draw a quarter rest with a pen/pencil?

It seems to me that the quarter rest we see everywhere was drawn with a calligraphy pen. I don't have one of those - I have a sharpened/mechanical pencil or a ball-point pen. So usually when I try to ...
-1
votes
1answer
47 views

non-tremolo repetition rate?

with reference to this answer, tremolo notation, It's not completely clear to me how one should interpret two bars placed on a half-note, in 4/4 (or 2/4) time. I'd always treated a two-bar marking ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Determining closest key when primary contributing factors are shared among keys

Given a construct of intervals as follows: 1,#2,3,4,5,6,b7 (Dominant #2 first position) For the purpose of general notation, as the #2 is equivalent to a b3 and the 3rd is still present, would this ...
0
votes
8answers
207 views

Is it fair to say the treble clef is optimized for piano?

When playing the piano, I find that staff notation with the treble clef makes sense. However when moving to string instruments, specifically the guitar and violin (in my case), I find the notation a ...
0
votes
2answers
79 views

How to notate groove/ swing/ shuffle rhythms

I am trying to get better at notating songs, I am using Guitar Pro 5. I try to notate small part of songs or riffs to learn it and getter better with it, so that I can write and notate own pieces ...
12
votes
10answers
971 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
260 views

How to read accidentals in medieval music “modern” notation?

I am writing an instrumental orchestration of De Machaut's Messe de Nostre Dame, Kyrie. I found scores in IMSLP here and here. These scores show accidentals above notes, sometimes in parenthesis. I ...
2
votes
2answers
398 views

Naming Scale Degrees

As I understand the minor pentatonic degrees are 1 b3 4 5 7b It says b3 & 7b, does it matter which side the b is on and do they both mean flat? Scale degrees are almost always based off the ...
2
votes
3answers
166 views

Ornaments in J. S. Bach's 4th prelude

Inverted mordents and turns are frequently used in the prelude No.4 of J.S. Bach in C-sharp minor. In what follows I assume the key of the piece is known. My first question is related to the normal ...
3
votes
2answers
107 views

What are Kick Lines?

I'm reading a drum notation book and it talks about "kick lines"? Is there a precise definition somewhere? (searching doesn't help since it thinks I'm talking about the kick drum)
1
vote
1answer
48 views

To what degree would learning music notation help improve singing

I sometimes sing from a song book that contains the lyrics between two staff lines that show the notation for a piano. What I do is to try to listen only to the sound of the music so as to stay at ...
9
votes
6answers
6k views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
108 views

does a first time bar always need a repeat?

I want to notate a piece which finishes in the middle section with a fine, but to do so I need to repeat form the end and then skip a few bars. Can I put the few bars I need to skip under a first time ...
9
votes
2answers
815 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

Symbols “M”, “C”, “D”, and “P” in Guitar Tablature

I was reading a songbook by Richie Kotzen, and in the song "Shine" (which he played with Mr. Big), there's a rythm guitar part that goes like this: What do the symbols M, C, D and P mean? I'm ...
4
votes
1answer
159 views

Triplets don't seem to add up

I am starting to teach myself Piano and I have some background in music from school, but I don't remember much. I am working on a new song that has, what I believe to be, a triplet. From what I ...
1
vote
1answer
113 views

Is there a specific name for the arpeggio symbol?

Is there a specific name for the squiggly arpeggio symbol? If so, are there different names for arpeggio symbols that point up or down or spans both clefs? I find having to write out "arpeggio ...
17
votes
3answers
5k views

Rest above a note in a piano piece

I am playing a piece and wondering, what the heck is the rest making there above the note? The piece is in 3/4 so I see no purpose of the 1/4 rest. I've been googling around but did not find any ...
14
votes
4answers
10k 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 ♭ ...
2
votes
2answers
130 views

Half, Three Quarter Sharps and Microtonality

Less often (in for instance microtonal music notation) one will encounter half, or three-quarter,... or otherwise modified, sharps. A half sharp indicates the use of quarter tones, and may be ...
4
votes
2answers
117 views

Help with guitar tab - which line indicates which string?

I've seen some guitar tabs where the strings are E B G D A E from bottom to top, but in the others they are in the opposite direction, E A D G B E from bottom to top. Why? Are there two ways of ...
2
votes
3answers
73 views

Which of two enharmonic note names to use? [duplicate]

If during composition, an accidental note is used, is there a method/reason for using one name instead of the other? For example if a song is in the key of A, but a Eflat/D# note is written is there ...
7
votes
4answers
808 views

Is it possible to have a note that is both dotted and a triplet?

Basically, I am coding a C# function that returns a number of milliseconds depending on the given note. I was wondering if it's possible to have a note that is both dotted and a triplet, it would be ...
5
votes
1answer
314 views

Best name for a chord consisting of D - E - F?

What is the best notation for this guitar chord? V о─┬───┬───┬───┬───┬── e ──┼───┼─•─┼───┼───┼── f ──┼───┼───┼─•─┼───┼── d о─┼───┼───┼───┼───┼── d ×─┼───┼───┼───┼───┼── ×─┴───┴───┴───┴───┴── ...
3
votes
4answers
436 views

Clementi Op. 42 Lesson 5 Arietta (ABRSM Grade 1, A1), use of crescendo and diminuendo

I'm new to piano (and music theory) and I'm a little confused by the notation used for what I understand to be crescendo and diminuendo for the Arietta A1 piece. The first bar starts off with a "p" ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What is the name of this musical symbol (squiggly line)?

If you look super close at the music chart, you will notice that the last notes of each part (for example, the low G in the bass part) has a squiggly line attached to it. What is this called, and ...
0
votes
2answers
95 views

What is the name of a description of a pattern of motives?

I have to describe short melodies composed by beginner students. They are typically just a few bars long, and are composed bar by bar, so most of the times there is a 1-to-1 correspondence between bar ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Meaning of diamond-shape notes on guitar staff

I am playing a piece for the guitar on the piano and everything sounds fine until I reach the last few notes in the score: all the notes marked with a '19' above the staff and represented with ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Same note to be played with both hands?

Why some notes in the piano are written the same for the left and right hand ? What is the purpose of this ? And how do we play them ? Do we just choose one hand to play them or do we play them ...
8
votes
3answers
739 views

What is this music symbol and how to play it?

I've attached a picture of the music sheet I am learning that has a music notation that I do not know and would like to get some help to understand what it means. The music notation is on the first ...
2
votes
1answer
302 views

What is the meaning of the dotted lines in Hanon exercise 33?

In The Virtuoso Pianist in 60 exercises exercise 33 (page 44 of the pdf) there are dotted lines with the numeral 8 above and below joining three measures together - what is their meaning?
8
votes
2answers
232 views

How do I express humming in music notation?

I have a section in a vocal piece where I want singers to hum. I'm going to include "mmm" in my music notation, but is there a good way to more clearly express the intent to hum in the notation?
3
votes
2answers
326 views

Why do composers use fermatas?

I am taking part in a music theory course on coursera, and I could not understand the difference between a tie and a fermata. Could someone please explain it to me?
1
vote
2answers
99 views

Guitar tab reading

I Read that I must play the notes from first guitar string(e bottom)and after that notes on the B G D A and hight E string,but sometimes guitar players hit two or three strings together and at the ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

Do accidentals override key signature?

I am wondering how the accidental in the first chord (see what is circled) is played? Does any accidental simply move the note up or down a half-step from what the note is supposed to be based on the ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

How to direct alternating measures of 6/8 and 5/8 time signatures?

This is a allegro piece eighth note = 204 and alternates measures from 6/8 and 5/8. My question is how to direct this? The 6/8 would be in two. Would the 5/8 also be in two with the next 6/8 measure ...
2
votes
2answers
280 views

Lilypond chord mode not rendering minor modifier in alternate chord

I'm engraving some music using Lilypond and have been requested to engrave an alternate chord name next to a chord. For some reason I can't get the output I expected. What is wrong here (with either ...
3
votes
1answer
204 views

Half oval 3 over notes

I'm a bit confused about this graphic, notice the half ovals on top with the 3 in the center: Is that a "triplet" and the same as this graphic in guitar pro? Please note that I have searched but ...
28
votes
3answers
2k views

How to interpret half notes combined with thirty-second stems?

I want to play Also Sprach Zarathustra (IMSLP PDF), but there is something I don't understand there. In the first few bars there are 4 half notes beamed in pairs as thirty-second notes. Because the ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the relationship between notes sung and chords played?

When I sing and play guitar, I don't play every note I sing. Usually the guitar plays one chord where I may sing a number of notes. I understand that it is necessary to listen to the song to know ...
4
votes
4answers
653 views

How long do you hold a fermata?

I am new to piano and just downloaded this book, it seems simple enough for a beginner like me but there is a symbol that I don't really understand, a fermata. Googling I see I am supposed to hold ...
0
votes
2answers
281 views

What does the caret symbol ^, mean in guitar tablature?

I'm reading a piece of acoustic guitar music containing both tablature and standard music, and I've come across a symbol I'm unfamiliar with in the tab. ^ The tab shows: 0^24 but the ^ is on top of ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Guitar pro 5 slash line to rest

Can someone tell what is that weird note? Not the tie between the 12 and 12, afterwards there a slash line that I can't recognize and it sounds similar to a slide but not exactly. It from "The ...
6
votes
4answers
15k views

Piano music with two treble clefs, and notes between staves

I do not understand why there are two treble cleff staves and why there are music notes in the middle of the two staves. Which hand should I play those notes with and why are there two treble cleff ...
1
vote
2answers
88 views

What is this notation? Tremolo? [duplicate]

I found this odd notation in some music by Verdi. The part is 9/8, and there are several notes with four bars. In particular, there are some dotted half notes connected with four bars, and 16/th notes ...