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

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13
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3answers
946 views

What does Grt. and Sw. mean in this organ score?

I've come across a piece of sheet music for an organ and I was just curious what the Grt. marking above measure 1 and 17 means and what the Sw. marking above measure 9 means. I've seen it before in a ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What do Four Vertical Dots mean?

I was looking through a score by Bartok (5th String Quartet) and came across a symbol I didn't recognize. There is a dot between each line in the clef. What does this mean? Edit: Here's another ...
3
votes
3answers
104 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
687 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Is there a particular word, name, classification or designation that differentiates “Slavic Sung” Vibrato?

I introduce this question with something I'll amateurishly call "Slavic sung vibrato", because I don't know of a better term. It's a sort of recognizable extendeded and pronounced vibrato that ...
2
votes
3answers
179 views

Are tonal (sharp, flat and natural) key signatures octave specific? [duplicate]

I recently bought a piano for learning (by myself at the moment) and apart from doing basic exercises, I decided to start learning a piece to get a grip on music sheet reading as I go. On the sheet ...
20
votes
2answers
11k views
8
votes
2answers
492 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? ...
3
votes
1answer
78 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
388 views

Why is “A” not used for augmented in Chord symbols?

On Wikipedia it says: Some of the symbols used for chord quality are similar to those used for interval quality: m, or min for minor, M, maj, or no symbol (see rule 2 below) for major, ...
1
vote
3answers
198 views

Deciphering the notation of this slash chord

I’m having a hard time “really” understanding the following slash chord: Notes in order: Ab Eb Gb - Db F Gb Bb My logic is telling me it's a Gb maj7/13 / Ab, butI would like to give this ...
1
vote
3answers
131 views

What is the origin and advantages of this system of chord naming/ notation? e.g. G7 is major minor seventh not Dominant 7th

I've received a few emails through my website asking me what a major minor seventh chord was. At first I thought they had mixed up the sequence and were referring to the A-#7 chord (root chord of ...
12
votes
1answer
177 views

Chord symbols for diminished and half-diminished

An augmented sign can be '+', which signifies a larger interval in an augmented chord in comparison to , say, the major. But where did the 'o' sign originate for the opposite - diminished? Is there a ...
1
vote
0answers
71 views

Accidentals in a piece with no key signature [closed]

I have a piece that has no sharps or flats in the key signature, but in the body of the piece there are sharps and flats. How come?
4
votes
3answers
96 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
122 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? ...
7
votes
5answers
369 views

The Tritone - is it a #4 or a b5?

Generally, in Blues and jazz, the oft-used tritone (C to F#/Gb) is referred to as a b5. Why is this a better term than #4? In the Blues scale, there will always be two notes of the same name, but why ...
9
votes
2answers
8k views

What is the difference between sharp note & flat note?

In guitar or generally in any musical instruments, what is the difference between sharp notes & flat notes? For example : Are A♯ & B♭ the same? And are C♯ & D♭ the same? Does that make ...
8
votes
8answers
1k views

Can legato notes be played staccato?

I've been working on this piece by Sousa, and I came across this oddity: Does this mean to play these notes somehow legato and staccato at the same time? If so, how would I play it? If not, what ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Grace note in Bar 20 of Chopin's Op. 10 No. 3

What is the correct interpretation of the ornament in bar 20 of Chopin's Etude Op. 10 No. 3 — that is, the final full bar below: The recordings I've heard generally repeat the G# but not all of ...
3
votes
1answer
182 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
120 views

Αre these three dots over a note supposed to be staccato?

I'm learning Rhapsody in Blue. In the second and third measures(of the below portion) some of the chords have three dots over them. Are they staccatos? I am not sure how to play them. The only ...
6
votes
1answer
396 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
4answers
253 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?
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Combine Rests in Finale

I want to combine the two highlighted rests in the picture into a dotted-eighth rest with a single command. Is it possible? I'm using Finale 2014d (Mac).
4
votes
2answers
190 views

What does this b5 indication refer to?

I've been studying Jazz for some years now, and when I come upon a chord like Abm (b5), I play a diminished chord. But recently, on the classical harmony I'm studying, I came upon this exercise: ...
7
votes
4answers
4k 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, ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Do accidentals in one staff apply to notes in other staffs?

For example, when reading piano music on a grand staff, I know that if there is an A# in the treble clef staff (where it's normally natural), it changes all of the A's in the rest of that measure to ...
6
votes
2answers
444 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
80 views

So, what does this tenuto mark mean in Bernstein's piano music?

This is a bar from the fifth of Bernstein's Five Anniversaries, "For Susanna Kyle". It's a nice and easy tune that sounds vaguely like what Satie would have composed in his youth were he not wasted ...
5
votes
1answer
556 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?
2
votes
5answers
854 views

Sharps vs Flats - Formula to determine correct sharp and flat notes in a scale

I am trying to figure out how to know if a note in a scale is a sharp or a flat. So my starting point/input are the intervals of any scale. E.g. here are the Minor pentatonic intervals Interval: 1, ...
6
votes
4answers
455 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
484 views

Why is the bass clef indicated twice on the same line in this Bartok piece?

Here's an excerpt from the piece Chromatic Invention from Bartok's Mikrokosmos, volume 3, page 39. I don't get why at the end of the lower line the bass clef indication is repeated. Is this "for ...
5
votes
3answers
328 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

“Ut” and “La” notation on horn and cornet instruments in orchestral score?

I'm looking at an orchestral score from the late 1800's (well, OK, it's "The Mikado" by Arthur Sullivan). In the portion of the score that I am looking at, the non-transposing instruments all have no ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Sound spectrum to notes software

I'm looking for software that can graphically assist in translating a sound frequency to notes. Closest example of what I had in mind is FL Studio's Wave Candy plugin: Hovering cursor above a ...
3
votes
3answers
496 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

Time Signature Count

I have extracted the measure in question that I'm struggling to understand how the notes line up to the existing (4 4) time signature. As I understand, the bass has 16, 1/16th counts, but the ...
5
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
335 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
278 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, ...
6
votes
3answers
402 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
698 views

Are whole and half note rests supposed to only be written on specific lines?

I've always written the whole note rest on the 4th line of the staff and the half note rest on the 3rd. I always see it that way and never thought much about it until recently a musician with a lot ...
9
votes
1answer
405 views

What do dots on the tempo's equal sign mean?

What do the dots on the tempo's equal sign mean in this picture?
6
votes
2answers
562 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? ...
12
votes
2answers
159 views

What did ancient cuneiform notation look like, and how did it work?

I looked at Wikipedia of course... According to Wikipedia: The earliest form of musical notation can be found in a cuneiform tablet that was created at Nippur, in Sumer (today's Iraq), in ...
2
votes
3answers
94 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
301 views