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

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Must “first-time bars” and “second-time bars” appear together?

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repeat_sign When a repeat calls for a different ending, number brackets above the bars indicate which to played the first time (1), which to play the second time (...
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118 views

Fermata until note fades away

Usually, the length of a fermata depends on the performer. In a song I'm composing, I use fermatas quite often and the way I want the performer to interpret them is to tell him to hold the note until ...
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2answers
272 views

Is there a key signature for harmonic minor scale?

I know that sharp key signatures are applied in the order: F C G D A E B and that flat key signatures are applied as: B E A D G C F. But these are for major and minor scales, right? Is there a way to ...
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342 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?
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E chord with arc and dot symbol over it - What is this symbol in a guitar chord song book?

I have a book which has the lyrics and guitar chords for some songs. It shows the tab at the top of the page for each chord and each chord letter to be played above the lyrics. This seems simple ...
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What does a marking of Trio. mean on a score?

In this version of Mozart's German Dances, the third section of each dance has "Trio." engraved above the staff. What does this indicate?
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When to use a2 / unis / tutti in orchestral score?

So far from most of the sheet scores I've read, a2 is used mostly in wood and brass instrument staves, while unis. (and on rarer occasion, tutti) is in string instruments. It is even possible to see ...
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641 views

Notating Original Songs for Musicians

I have written many songs in a rock band setting and I have notated them in a multitude of ways including lead sheets, standard scores written in Finale, and guitar tabulate. Over the years I have ...
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149 views

“crescendo” vs hair pin

symphony no.1 movement 1 page 16 by the string sections Working on Peter I. Tchaikovsky first symphony manuscript Conductor score. I came to a interesting observation. On the same page all ...
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4answers
511 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" ...
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2answers
287 views

What's the tempo?

I bought some sheet music for "Canon in D" by JP. I am trying to put that sheet music into Guitar Pro so I can practice it bar by bar, my question is: If the tempo is not specified, is there a "...
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538 views

Is there more than one use for Roman Numerals in music notation?

I'm used to the standard use of Roman Numerals to note chord sequences in a key-independent way e.g. I vi IV V But I'm sure I've seen people also use them in some other context in answers on this ...
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265 views

Why are notes beamed across the barline in this piece?

In the piece Three Pieces for String Quartet by Igor Stravinsky I've noticed something very odd that I cannot explain. There are several places in the piece where eighth notes are beamed across ...
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2answers
176 views

Accidental in Chopin Opus. 69 No. 2

This is an excerpt from Opus. 69 No. 2 by Chopin from the Henle Urtext: In the last bar seen in the excerpt, there is a sharp on the A in bass line. Since A is already "sharped" in the key ...
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1answer
98 views

What does the +3 mean in G7+3?

It occurs in the piano part of Sleepy Lagoon (Harry James Orchestra). The context is as follows: C | | | | | Am | D9 | | G7+3 / G96 / | G7+3 / G96 / | G7 / Em F#m° | G7 I ...
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118 views

A question about quarter notes

I have a question about the term quarter note. I thought of putting clarity in the question by doing a little calculation. Let us say BPM = 120 .So Beat time is 0.5 s. So in 4/4 signature the ...
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3answers
217 views

How to think in number chord notation for Major and Minor

I learned most of my songs in the Major key and used a number system to learn it to be able to transpose the song easily. I now have a minor song I am learning and originally used the Major numbers to ...
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2answers
392 views

Square bracket next to two notes

I was looking though some old music today and I found a symbol I did not recognize. This symbol as shown below looks like a square bracket next to two notes. So what is the bracket suppose to mean?
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224 views

how do you play a double mortent on the piano

I am guessing the wavy line from one chord up to another chord is Double mortent. I looked online and this is the only term I could locate for this symbol. Can you tell me how it is played?
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263 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 ...
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1answer
219 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 ...
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1answer
398 views

What is a “7-9” chord? (G7-9, etc..)

There's a chord in the Lennie Niehaus arrangement of the Stan Kenton Orchestra version of Laura, written by Johnny Mercer and David Raksin. This chord is written as G7-9. In googling, I get G7(#9) a ...
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111 views

Octave shift context

I'm learning this amazing piece of music from Nikolai Kapustin ... although I already play it well (kind of, at least most of it), I'm still unsure about some parts... so I decided I should ask ...
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1answer
123 views

Notation on Schubert's Op.94, D760, piece 6

I was practicing the 6th moment musicaux of Schubert's Op. 94 using a Henle edition (which is in public domain in imslp, Here) and I encountered something I have never seen before. Over the bars 30, ...
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1answer
110 views

The development of the musical staff: If and when did it have fifteen lines?

I am doing research on music history and I cannot find information between the four line chant staff and the grand staff. Also, I do believe that at different times in its development the staff ...
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123 views

What do Single brackets on notes in guitar music mean?

Anyone got any idea what these single brackets on notes mean in this guitar music?
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How do I retrain myself to memorize germanic note naming (C-D-E) if I've been taught the latin one (Do-Re-Mi) as a kid?

Basically the title contains the entire question. I learned music as a kid in Ukraine. In Eastern Europe (ex-USSR), commonly used note naming is "Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Si" ("fixed do solfège"), not the ...
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2answers
112 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)
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296 views

How to indicate left hand for piano sheet music

The Chopin - Godowsky Revolutionary Etude No 12 is arranged for the left hand only, and we're only informed about this by a note under the title. Please see the excerpt below: I am currently ...
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228 views

Should chords in Bach's solo violin pieces be arpeggiated if not marked as such?

So I came across this interesting statement about the way we should play Bach's solo violin pieces. One source claimed that Bach was not a lousy writer — he was actually a very accurate and ...
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267 views

Note Flag instead of Beam

INTRODUCTION Hello, I am an IT student which have to make an application to write sheet-music. I basically know nothing about music. But, I won't explain why I stumbled upon this project even ...
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350 views

Chord notation for stacked and inverted chords or intervals?

I understand how chord notation works for the most part, but I'm wondering how I would notate intervals, octaves, and specific chords. P1, m3, & P5 is Cmin. P1, P5 is C5 But, how do we notate P1 ...
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225 views

How to make nonstandard scales on Finale?

I'm trying to use the scale: A,C,F#,A And then: A,B,C#,D#,F,G,A But I'll need to input a nonstandard key signature. How can I do that?
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1answer
36 views

How to notate extended vocal techniques (i.e. inhaling)?

While the Wikipedia article indicates many types of extended vocal techniques, their notations are not available. Despite hearing such effects in modern pieces, I've never had the chance of knowing ...
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121 views

What's this drum symbol (X with line in the middle without tail)

Can someone please help me identify this drum symbol? It's from the second bar here:
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1answer
83 views

Alternatives to standard western notation geared towards composers?

While the western standard for music notation is good for both composers and performers alike, there are certain areas where it is lacking, especially when it comes to new developments in music (...
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84 views

What is this mirrored rest? [duplicate]

Haven't seen this mirrored rest before (from Gymnopedia No. 1). What does it mean? How long of a rest is it? Thanks.
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235 views

Notation for flute trills in music score

I'm only playing simple pieces (Grade 1 in the UK) but even some of these have Tr notation next to a note, and a separate bit of score above the score. What I notice is, the note in the main score is ...
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35 views

Notations mentioned in answers re. trombone

Would someone please explain the notations E2, F3, etc. which are used in answers on this site regarding trombone? I'm not familiar with those.
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1answer
129 views

Should ossia stave barlines connect to main stave?

I'm arranging some string-quartet music; I have been asked to do an ossia part for a section of Violin I. Should ossia staves have barlines that connect to the main stave: or barlines that don't: ...
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How do you do accidentals (eg. E♭) in solfège (Do Re Mi)? [duplicate]

I only ever learned the basics of the major scale syllables, mostly from the "Doe, a deer" song. In C Major, Do - C Re - D Mi - E Fa - F Sol - G La - A Ti (or Si) - B Do - C So how ...
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1answer
406 views

Is there a standard notation for piano fingering?

Ofcourse there is the notation 1 2 3 4 5 for each finger. But are there other (quasi-)standard symbols for indicating, for example, hand movements, stretching the hand, putting the thumb under, etc.? ...
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1answer
516 views

Why use meter of 3/8? [duplicate]

I see that most online scores of Beethoven's "Für Elise" specify its meter as 3/8. However, this one has 3/4 instead, which seems to make it easier to read (all the 1/16th notes become 1/8). I don't ...
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1answer
284 views

How to use chords notations in the tab?

Most guitar tabs I've seen contains a chord notations(in the top of the tab), but I don't know how to use them. For example I'm reading Love Story Francis Lai, Should I play(Em,C,B7 and Am) chords ...
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1answer
517 views

Metric modulation, ordering of the notes around the equals sign

I could find some references stating that the old note value is placed on the left while the new one is placed on the right. For example: "dotted eigth = quarter" means that the tempo just got faster....
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1answer
89 views

Upside-down down bow

On my Cello Salut D'amour by Elgar score, it has upside-down down bow symbols on it. Does this just mean up bow? I have this on other Elgar pieces .
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How to transcribe Indian classical music using Western music notation?

I recently started playing violin in the Western musical style (as opposed to Indian music). At the end I want to play some Indian music like this example http://rushisbiz.com/bombay-theme-piano-notes/...
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2answers
100 views

Is there a convention to notate anticipation?

I'm trying to chart out a song, just so I have a chord chart to use for comping. It's in 4/4, and most chord changes happen on the strong beats (1 and 3), but there's a couple of places where beat 3 ...
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3answers
100 views

Meaning of sfr on sheet music

I have seen this on sheet music before But cannot find any definion of what it means. If you can tell me that would be great.
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1answer
176 views

What does this horizontal dotted line mean?

This appears in the sheet music for Luigi Legnani's 36 Caprices (for guitar). This is in Caprice no. 18. What I'm asking about is the dotted line that appears between the F notes in the third and ...