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

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2answers
610 views

Why are these notes separated on the stave?

So I'm just learning this Coldplay piece and it has notes which are not joined but on the same stave. I'm wondering what the purpose of this is or rather what information it's trying to convey? ...
8
votes
1answer
354 views

What is the idea of “transposing by perfect unison”?

As far as I understand, a "perfect unison" refer to two notes sounding the same pitch. Why both MuseScore and Sibelius 7 (I work with these two programs) offer a feature to transpose the up or down by ...
8
votes
2answers
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
752 views

What does a pair of long horizontal lines between two whole notes mean?

While writing out some sheet music from this video, I came across notation I have never seen before. It is this on the lead guitar parts 1 and 2: I also found it interesting that it is notated with ...
8
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1answer
127 views

'+1' sign in guitar tab

What does the '+1' sign mean here?
8
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2answers
264 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?
8
votes
1answer
560 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 ...
8
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3answers
2k views

how do you choose the correct stem length for notes on a beam?

Stems are supposed to be 3.5 stave spaces tall. When the notehead is on the 2nd line outside the staff or beyond, the stem should extend to touch the center line. When the 3rd flag (or beam) is added ...
8
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1answer
469 views

What does this symbol represent? “x” with four dots

This is from Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody 2 in C# minor. Is this a double sharp sign? It looks kind of funny. The edition is by Julia Rivé-King, a Liszt student.
8
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2answers
389 views

Drum kit notation for crashes at section starts

What is the best way to notate crashes for drum kit, that happen only occasionally, while the rest of the rhythm pattern remains unchanged? Or only at the beginning of a section, but with the rest of ...
8
votes
1answer
107 views

How can I typeset a break or jump in my scores?

I am using lilypond to typeset some music. I would like to leave away some bars from the original music. Therefore, I have to jump from some bar to an other. But I want to show, that I cut something ...
7
votes
5answers
9k views

Do I play all the F's as sharp or just the one with the sharp in the space?

I am trying to teach myself how to play piano and while I know what a key signature is, I don't have a firm grasp on it. I have sheet music in the key of G major. There aren't any F's on that line, ...
7
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8answers
992 views

Limits of Fortissimo and Pianissimo

How far can pianissimo/fortissimo go? I have heard both the limit is 4 and 2 of each. Meaning pppp/ffff or pp/ff. What is the actual limit?
7
votes
4answers
372 views

Is there a rest symbol that means “rest until the end of this measure”?

Is there a rest symbol that means "rest until the end of this measure"? e.g. I've put a 16th note in the beginning of the measure and I don't want to bother calculating duration for the remaining ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

What do the terms E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4 actually mean?

I am attempting to learn guitar, and I keep coming across this notation in various apps that I've downloaded. I know that E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4 are something to do with tuning, but I'm not exactly sure ...
7
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3answers
3k 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!
7
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1answer
844 views

What does it mean when there are two 1s with a curve over a note?

I have never seen this kind of symbol before and google has failed me.
7
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4answers
870 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
221 views

How should I write a 2nd interval between two voices?

I've written two voices, and as you can see here, they are seperated by a 2nd, so the notes intersect. This is, obviously, unacceptable. So how should I handle this? If I move the note heads, it ...
7
votes
1answer
182 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?
7
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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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k 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.
7
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1answer
510 views

Why isn't the second whole note's accidental natural?

Above is a staff. After the third bar, why isn't the second C either sharp or natural?
7
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6answers
891 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). ...
7
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4answers
8k views

What does an arc mean above the notes in a piano sheet music? How do I play it?

See the picture above. Is there a website where these (perhaps not so basic) notations are collected? UPDATE: I see Wikipedia has a nice collection of musical notations. How do I play the slur on ...
7
votes
2answers
584 views

What is the name of the symbol like a combination of a mordent and f?

The Photo attached has a quaver marked with a red rectangle. Τhere is a symbol on that quaver that I do not recognize. It looks like a mordent but it's clearly different from one. Can anyone tell me ...
7
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4answers
440 views

Is there a special way to notate a repeat for the right (treble) hand but not the left (bass) hand?

I'm working with a section of music where the right hand (treble clef) plays the same thing twice, but the left hand (bass clef) differs the second time round. Usually I would just rewrite out the ...
7
votes
1answer
272 views

What are parenthesis used for in notation?

I have seen parenthesis occasionally used in notation and would like to know what they mean. Here are some examples of them I have collected. Around a note: Around an Appoggiatura: Around a ...
7
votes
1answer
457 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
4k 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?
7
votes
1answer
626 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
460 views

Notating 6 (or more) triplets with a single beam?

Does the bar labelled "One six note phrase" conform to notation standards? All the examples of triplets that I've seen before have always had the beams break every three notes, similar to the "...
7
votes
1answer
166 views

References for typesetting music

I'm looking for books or articles on typesetting (western) music. Basically the musical equivalent for traditional typesetting, i.e. rules for spacing of symbols, justification, page layout, etc. I'm ...
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3answers
3k 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
7
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1answer
2k views

Numerous questions about advanced guitar tablature notation

8 slide 0...why is 0 in parentheses? 7 slide 9...what does curve under mean? 5 7 5..7 5 0..are they hammers or pull offs..how you distinguish those how to play this? what does this long line ...
7
votes
4answers
706 views

What should I do about composing 'soft' accents for piano?

When composing for the piano, I often find myself writing a lot of sudden soft notes. I need an accent mark that suddenly softens notes. From my knowledge (and searching the web), I can not find any ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
7
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5answers
4k views

What's the correct notation for a full bar note or rest in non-common time?

Obviously for 3 and 4/4 you use the respective semebreve or dotted minim, but what about 7/8, 9/8 and 15/16? I heard the convention is to just use a semibreve, but that doesn't make sense to me ...
7
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2answers
255 views

When transcribing a song and the speed doubles or halves, is it best to change the tempo and note values to reflect that or keep them the same?

This is something I've struggled with for awhile now, and applies to both transcription and composition. So, let's say we have a song at 160 BPM. The main subdivision is eighth notes, and the beat (...
7
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3answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
374 views

In chord progressions, how can I refer to a chord that's out of the scale?

I'm training a music that is most on the G Major scale.. But then there's a B chord. As B is not on the G Major scale, how can I refer to it when I'm writing the chord progression? EDIT My guess is ...
7
votes
3answers
862 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 explanation....
7
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3answers
178 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" ...
7
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1answer
243 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
3answers
339 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
130 views

What's this horizontal bar notation in liturgy called?

I just came across a liturgical peace using horizontal bars as notation for parts where a continuous reciting tone is used. I'd like to know whether there's a specific name for this bar notation (and ...
7
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2answers
221 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
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4answers
724 views

Beamed note with unfilled heads — What is this? [duplicate]

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
272 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
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5answers
2k 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 ...