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

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What do these unusual time signature symbols mean?

I have been studying advanced music theory lately. Having explored a wide range of musical symbols, I was surprised to encounter the following time signature symbols I've never seen before in ...
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324 views

What conventions are used with accidentals and tied notes?

If I have a tied note across a bar line, say 2 whole G notes, and I have an accidental, say a sharp, on the first G, my assumption is that the accidental applies as well to the second G because it is ...
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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 ...
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2answers
325 views

What is the standard closed hi hat hit notation?

So far I've been able to find standard notation for the hi hat hit and hi hat pedal hit but it its not clear to me what is the closed hi hat notation. As i understand, normal hi hat hit is on the G2 ...
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1answer
3k views

What does “Doubletime feel” mean?

I'm working a new cover song in my band (Volbeat - Sad Man's Tongue), the tab being a PDF file. As I like working with Guitar Pro, I'm copying the tab in that sofware. But when the distortion comes ...
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3answers
240 views

Is there a proper musical term for a piece's “roadmap”?

Band directors and other teachers will colloquially refer to a piece's "roadmap": the flow control commands denoted by repeats, repeat endings, D.C.s, D.S.es, codas, etc. Is there a proper word for ...
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1answer
446 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?
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8answers
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Why does a minor sixth chord contain a major 6th interval?

This is something that has always puzzled me. Perhaps I am going about this the wrong way but when I build chords I always build them based on the scale that corresponds to the quality of the chord. ...
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2answers
590 views

What is the terminology for how we identify numbered notes like C4, E3, D6, etc?

Does this system - where C3 is middle C - have a standard name? For instance, is there a wikipedia page which explains this system and if so how is it titled? (note: As mentioned middle C is C4, my ...
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598 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 ...
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2answers
4k views

What do the letters above the piano staff represent?

I am a beginner trying to understand the music notation for a song I want to try. Can someone kindly tell me what are the letters above the treble clef in the following figure: I've read that they ...
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510 views

Arpeggio vs. Acciaccatura

(When writing notation for piano) Scenario: I would like the player to play the chord G (G3, B3, D4, G4), in a "spreaded" way. That is, not hit all keys at once, but start with the bottom G and end ...
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1answer
323 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 ×─┼───┼───┼───┼───┼── ×─┴───┴───┴───┴───┴── ...
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1answer
1k views

What does this notation mean for the piano?

I saw this in Chopin's Op.25 No.12 etude and was bemused. On the next line, the asterisk reappears on its own. What is this called and what does it mean?
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1answer
5k views

Is there a difference between a slur and legato?

Are legato and slur one and the same? If the two are different, how do I tell which the piece is using? I know the gist of them (as opposed to staccato) but I need to know the specifics. They are ...
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5answers
215 views

Numbering measures in pieces with first/second endings and Codas

What are the rules for numbering measures in pieces with 1st and 2nd endings and Codas?I'm wondering if I should number the first ending and go back to the start and number the first measure as ...
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214 views

Fractional Beam Heading

What are the correct orientation of fractional beams? Is it true that they should always head to left except if it is the leftmost note of the outer beam (when they are forced to head to the ...
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1answer
432 views

Half step mordent in Sibelius

Is there a way I can do the mordent that is shown in the pictures below in Sibelius? When I try to just put a sharp sign below the mordent, it doesn't play it correctly.
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1answer
165 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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1answer
217 views

Word for part of a beat

I'm writing an article describing the musical tradition of a particular culture, but I'm at a loss for general terms for durations shorter than a beat. Simple prolation (such as 2/4 or 3/4) divides a ...
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1answer
467 views

How is the mordent played in the given piece from Petzold

Here is an excerpt of Petzold's Menuett in G major and I stumbled upon a mordent which I don't know how to play. The fun fact is: The excerpt is from a beginner book where there is an explanation of ...
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1answer
315 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 ...
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3answers
274 views

If the time signature changes, does the key signature change as well?

Consider the following snippet from Where Is My Mind (arranged by Maxence Cyrin). Notice how after the first few bars there's a time signature change. Does the key signature also automatically change ...
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4answers
922 views

Guitar slur. Need help on understanding notations

I'm new to the guitar so I'm stumbled upon this and am confused. I think that the curve connecting the 11th fret and 10th fret means a slur? Did some research myself and found out that a slur can mean ...
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6answers
660 views

Trying to program a piano staff/stave. Is this what it's supposed to look like?

I'm currently writing a software application which creates notes on a staff, when a piano key is pressed. Unfortunately I have no background in music, and thus am finding it quite hard to get started. ...
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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 ...
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3answers
490 views

How many bars can a clarinet sustain?

Apologies if the question is too silly (my profile might explain why I don't know the answer). I am writing a piece and at some point I want a clarinet to hold a note until the performer runs out of ...
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489 views

Question about time signatures with voices

I'm learning the basics of musical theory and I see this sheet and get this question, the white dotted noted has a time of (2 + 1/2) right? But with the value of the black note the compass make a ...
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4answers
210 views

Can you have more dots on a note than a triple dotted note?

Recently I've come across some double-dotted notes, and even some triple-dotted ones which seem a bit quirky to me, but who knows? For one dot, you add 1/2 of the note's length, so I suppose for two ...
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2answers
814 views

Is the time signature switching every measure?

I think that the reason my compositions in DAW's have seemed off is because they've actually been changing time signatures throughout, and I haven't accounted for it. I tested this by making this tab ...
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501 views

Do musicians share the tabs/chords of their music?

I kinda thought about this question, after watching a guy teaching how to play little Walter's Juke intro Riff. He said that scholars have analyzed the lick to death. So do musicians share the ...
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716 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 ...
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4k views

3/2 Time signature

So a bar's duration is measured in beats. A bar's duration can be represented using the whole note, so bar duration in beats is a whole note. Isn't a 3/2 measure just spilling over? 3 half notes is ...
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150 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 ...
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3answers
198 views

How does mezzopiano relate to piano?

I just came across the sonatas a quattro by Rossini in the Schott edition and in 2nd movement of first sonata directly follow three decrescendos: from mf to p from p to mp from mp to pp This ...
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Why transpose at the octave?

If an instrument has a range too high or too low for composers to easily write its music on bass or treble clef, the music may be written either an octave higher or an octave lower than it sounds, ...
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346 views

What note(s) are a diminished 3rd above D-flat?

In What is the interval between Db and D# some of the comments indicate that the interval Db->Eb can be considered as a diminished third. I would think that Fbb (double-flatted F) is a diminished ...
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532 views

Are there any situations when one needs to make a distinction between slurs and ties?

In the comment section to a question about notating tied notes, the discussion of whether it's necessary to make a distinction between ties and slurs came up. The reasoning goes as follows: If one ...
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587 views

Sheet Notation for Am piano

I'm a beginning piano player and I have a piece of sheet music that describes a chord as Am (I'm assuming A minor). I don't understand how this chord is A minor when the notes are A-E-A. This chord ...
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5answers
407 views

Music notation for guitar [duplicate]

A friend who is a guitar teacher, told me I should learn to read music. He wrote the notes for guitar's 1st position and said to try and transcribe one of my songs as an aid to composition. So, ...
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1answer
2k views

What does “1 x Tacet” mean?

What does 1xTacet mean? Does it mean "play the following in 1st round only"?
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364 views

Swing feel - are triplets and 8th note notations rhythmically the same?

I'm going through some exercises in a blues piano book[*]. I've noticed that some rhythms are written with triplets (with an 8th note (quaver) rest in the middle), and others are written using 8th ...
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1answer
160 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 ...
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3answers
611 views

Are whole notes/rests really used to signify variable lengths of time?

I saw this answer and I thought the guy was absolutely crazy for assuming that a whole note automatically equaled one measure regardless of time signature. However, there does appear to be more than ...
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3answers
586 views

What is the '+' symbol mean in a chord?

When I played a music meet a D+9 and a A7/5+. I have tried search in google, but didn't find it. Does anybody know that?
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410 views

Does an implied tie exist

Is there such a thing as an implied tie? Like some kind of symbol or notation that would specify to hold a note through the duration of all the notes on a pitch as if they were tied together. Edit: ...
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239 views

Is there an accepted way to numerically represent note values out of standard notation?

Say, a quarter note, how is it most commonly represented? "1/4"?, "quarter"? What if it's a dotted-note? It would be useful to have a simplified numeric representation for note values, e.g. the ...
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3answers
181 views

How to improve the process of transcribing my music into notation?

I generally don't concern myself with the notation when I'm producing a new song; basically I just make sure everything's on beat and in key and sounds good. Writing the song down seems like such a ...
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2k views

General questions about piano sheet music notation

This is the song I wanted to do, not on a piano but in FL Studio. But I don't play the piano so I need some help in dissecting this piece. Those ##C, what do those mean (and what are they called?) ...
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Roman Numeral Notiation - Chords not in the key

I've been looking through answers related to Roman Numeral Notation and have seen similar items but I still don't understand what to do when a chord does not fit in the key. I thought I'd ask the ...