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

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7
votes
1answer
165 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
281 views

Physiological basis for note durations?

For some reason (probably read something like this a long time ago), I have it in my head that there was some sort of physiological basis for some note durations. This may have been something like, a ...
6
votes
3answers
613 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. ...
6
votes
4answers
505 views

Beamed note with unfilled heads — What is this?

In the 1905 incidental score to Peter Pan by John Crook (1852–1922), there’s a notation I’m unfamiliar with: double-beamed notes with unfilled heads. (See the first four bars of the score below.) In ...
6
votes
4answers
260 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
1k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
506 views

Chopin op. 28 no. 4 - bar 16 symbols

There are two symbols I do not recognise below the stretto in this excerpt: What are these symbols? And also, form what I read the stretto here should be interpreted as an accelerando, am I ...
6
votes
4answers
470 views

Small clefs on score

I have small bass and treble clefs on the piece I'm learning. This picture shows two lines where these small clefs appear. Please, could someone explain what they mean. Update: I appreciate the ...
6
votes
2answers
717 views

What does this indication mean?

On the Jazz Theory Book, there is this example to be played on the piano: I've never had any piano training/lessons, so I don't really know the indications. What does 'Led' (or is it 'Σed') mean? ...
6
votes
4answers
914 views

Is there piano notation for finger sustained notes (as opposed to pedal sustain)?

In piano music how does one indicate that sequential notes in the bass clef are to be sustained with the fingers, not using the sustain pedal? For example, suppose I have the three sequential quarter ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Music sheet notation explanation (Alto sax)

I just got some new sheet-music for alto sax and wonder how to play this notation: For example in these contexts: Thanks for every helpful answer!
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Help with interpreting notation in Chopin's nocturne op. 9 no. 2

What are the following notations in Chopin's nocturne op. 9 no. 2: Tilde sign with accidentals: tr~~~ Striked note's flag: Small notes. (I know what mean single small notes right ...
6
votes
1answer
262 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?
6
votes
1answer
986 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
417 views

Meaning of “actual notes” above staff

I've been studying The Unanswered Question By Charles Ives and found a peculiarity in the trumpet part. When the trumpet comes in, it has the phrase "actual notes" written above as seen below. I'm ...
6
votes
4answers
432 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
6answers
632 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). ...
6
votes
2answers
173 views

Simplified notation for two-note tremolo

Does first and second bar mean the same thing? If no, is there a simplified notation for the first one?
6
votes
2answers
960 views

Chord symbols for inversions of 7th chords

Why are root position, first, second and third inversion labeled by V7, V65,V43,and V42 repectively? Are there reasons for the specific numbers chosen? If not how can I memorize them? Thanks.
6
votes
2answers
635 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
3answers
466 views

Learning standard notation without succombing to simply remembering songs?

I'm in a tricky position. I've been playing guitar for around ten years and am fairly good at improvising and tinkering around on a piano, too. I understand sheet music, I can decipher it, but I can't ...
6
votes
3answers
595 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
642 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?
6
votes
1answer
423 views

Duration of a quarter note with a 3 written beside it (on a synth display)?

I'm currently reading the manual to my old synthesizer (Roland MC-505) and for setting the quantization level amongst other settings it displays the note duration on the LCD using the symbols for the ...
6
votes
3answers
421 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
1answer
671 views

What are these small numbers, and squiggly lines on this guitar sheet music

I'm trying to learn the Twilight at the Zocalo, and I found some odd notation I havent seen before. I'm asking for what these symbols are: The squiggly line between 2 notes The small numbers next to ...
6
votes
2answers
345 views

Musical notation/tablature for isomorphic instruments

I've started playing the harpejji, a 16-stringed instrument with an isomorphic fretboard. Due to its very nature, there are several different frets for a given pitch. Has there been an attempt to ...
6
votes
1answer
505 views

What is B II, followed by a dashed line, and what does it mean?

In the guitar tab of Opus 35, No 22 in B minor of Fernando Sor that I get from classical clef, there is a notation BII as shown in the above picture. What does it mean?
6
votes
1answer
108 views

Half notes with slashed stem

How should I play the half bass notes with the slashed stem? See please the attached image:
6
votes
3answers
438 views

What does the indication 9 7 mean?

I' m studying classical harmony, and on the chapter with the V9, I came upon this numbered bass: What does 9 7 mean? I know that it includes the 9th, but why is there the 7th there? Does it tell me ...
6
votes
2answers
166 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
320 views

Lilypond Conga Notes

I am writing a conga part in LilyPond. I saw on LilyPond's documentation how to write conga notes: ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
259 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Same note in two staves [duplicate]

I have only just started to learn (on my own) to read music and play the piano at the grand old age of 64! Please can someone tell me how to play the same note on two staves? I keep being asked to ...
6
votes
1answer
357 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
571 views

What does the notation “2/3BII” mean?

What does the note "2/3BII" mean here? The notation below is a part of the piece "Canon in D", arranged in classical guitar. Update This piece is arranged by Allan Alexander. Here is his ...
6
votes
1answer
288 views

What is this cross staff tied/slurred note supposed to be?

So I am learning Messiaen's Transports de Joie from L'Ascension suite. Things are fine until there is an ambiguous note on the top of page 16 (we are in F♯ Major and both hands are in the treble ...
6
votes
2answers
78 views

What notation systems exist for indicating rhymes, alliteration and cadence in rap lyrics?

The only example I've seen so far is The Rapper's Flow Encyclopedia, which uses standard musical notation with phrasing to indicate cadence, and lyric capitalization to indicate (but not group) ...
6
votes
2answers
150 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
168 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?
6
votes
1answer
654 views

Sources for sight-reading exercises that focus on subdivisions (emphasis on drums)

As is the case for all drummers, for me, it's a great fun to find weird rhythmic patterns and to practice over basic beats to create some tension in the straight sections of various songs. However, ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

What exactly does a 3 mean over a quarter note and an 8th note?

There is an eighth note followed by a quarter note, and above them is a little overarching bracket with a little 3 in it. I know this has something to do with the timing, but I have no idea what. ...
5
votes
1answer
359 views

Is it a typo or how do I play it? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The same note on two staves I have put red arrows where I am in trouble. As I understand this, I should hit D but it is already pressed down. Do I misunderstand ...
5
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
403 views

How should I notate repeated dotted eighth notes?

I am transcribing the Spin-Dig Galaxy Theme from Super Mario Galaxy 2. At 0:21, there is a rhythm that I think is four dotted eighth notes and then two regular eighth notes. Should I notate that as ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What does the roman numeral notation mean for this borrowed chord?

I am working my way through Asturias (Leyenda) in E minor for classical guitar. I believe the arrangement is based on the one by Segovia. I am using this sheet music, and comparing it to the tablature ...
5
votes
2answers
367 views

How do I read guitar tabs written in this format?

I need some help learning how to read some Chinese guitar tabs I found online. They seem completely different to the standard Western format: I don't even know where to start with these, I suppose ...
5
votes
3answers
618 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...