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

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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 ...
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1answer
728 views

Meaning of 1/1 and 1/2 beneath pedaling marking

Today I saw 1/1 and 1/2 written in one of my pieces beneath the pedal markings. Do these have a meaning or is it a misprint?
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1answer
200 views

String skip in tablature

How do I play this tab ? I confused since no fret number is written on the 3rd string, and I guess it's not an open string either. Do I pick those two (2 and 4) strings only? What I did is just to ...
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1answer
2k views

What does a sideways “s” over a note mean?

For example, from Bach's two part invention no. 11 (G minor):
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279 views

How should 3 notes joined with 1 beam line drawn on 5-staff-line?

Straight to the question, if I have this following numerical scores notation : 4/4, Do=C How to draw it into staff musical notation (If you have better way to say this musical notation type, ...
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1answer
1k views

What does the 3 above the staff represent?

From the below image, What does the 3 above the three quarter notes represent? I attempted to look it up here but I did not find anything similar to it. I am assuming it makes the 3 notes shorter, ...
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1answer
735 views

Why do the Canadian and American ways of writing chords symbols differ?

I've been studying music harmony (for the RCM program), and my teacher explained to me that the American way of writing chord symbols slightly differs from the Canadian way. For example, the chord ...
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2answers
319 views

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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343 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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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 ...
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2answers
332 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
246 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
464 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
2k views

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
595 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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3answers
628 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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3answers
518 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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331 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
254 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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216 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 right)...
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1answer
443 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
168 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
36 views

Can I use general dynamic markings for an ensemble, and where do I put them on the score?

Let's say I want to make one big crescendo across the quartet, or switch the whole orchestra from p to mp. Can I put one simple marking at the top of the staff, or at the bottom, or SOMEWHERE? Or do ...
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1answer
198 views

Where do accidentals go when voices overlap?

When two different voices on the same staff have overlapping note ranges, they get shifted and written side-by-side. For example: What happens if there is an accidental on a note of the voice ...
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1answer
51 views

How do I show phrase markings on a string quartet score?

How do I show that a group of notes should be played as a phrase? Am I meant to make this marking with literally every phrase in the piece, or just be more selective about it? Any other phrase ...
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1answer
221 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
477 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
318 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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288 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
957 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
668 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
504 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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3answers
492 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
226 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
822 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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4answers
528 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 tabs/...
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4answers
807 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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2answers
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
210 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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5answers
1k views

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, in ...
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2answers
261 views

What does the tempo marking “Andando” mean?

I'm reading through Nelson Riddle's book on arranging. As you'd expect, the musical examples use common Italian tempo markings, such as Andante, Andantino, Allegro and so on. However, the marking ...
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348 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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556 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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3answers
594 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 ...