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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

8
votes
3answers
326 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
312 views

What are the limitations of the ABC notation format?

This question came up in a discussion on Meta, and I thought it might be a good question to ask on the general site. ABC notation is a relatively simple text-based format for writing music scores ...
4
votes
1answer
42 views

Is a tie needed into a second-time bar?

When I have a tie into a 1st-time-bar, and want to similarly tie into a 2nd-time-bar, I usually show the "end" of the tie onto the note at the beginning of the 2nd-time-bar. Is this necessary? The ...
3
votes
3answers
284 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
74 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.
17
votes
6answers
2k views

Relationship between 3/4 and 4/4

I understand the meaning of music notations such as 3/4, 4/4 and so on. The first number is the number of beats per measure, while the second number is the note-duration (quarter, half, one-eighth) ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why note B is marked with H in Scandinavia and Germany?

At least in Scandinavia and Germany two notes are marked differently than in most other countries: B -> H B♭ -> B I have heard that this is due to mistake in interpreting messy sheet notes, as ♭ ...
16
votes
3answers
332 views

Notation symbol I've not seen before

I'm transcribing a book of 18th Century music and have come across several instances of the notation shown in the image. A few fellow musicians I've asked, and the online Dolmetsch guide to musical ...
3
votes
3answers
318 views

Why is the last semiquaver outside the last triplet of the measure?

The following measure is from "Clair De Lune ~ Adagio Sostenuto de la Sonata Op. 27 N. 2 De Beethoven", guitar sheet music . Correct me if I'm wrong but the last semiquaver isn't going to be ...
6
votes
3answers
493 views

Flat symbol in key signature and bar

If i have a flat for a note in the key signature, and then in a bar the same note with an flat symbol, does that mean the note is "double flatted"? For example in the key of D Minor with hash one ...
5
votes
3answers
110 views

Is there piano notation for finger sustained notes (as opposed to pedal sustain)?

In piano music how does one indicate that sequential notes in the bass clef are to be sustained with the fingers, not using the sustain pedal? For example, suppose I have the three sequential quarter ...
11
votes
1answer
107 views

What does “al primo” mean?

I' m currently playing a sonata from late baroque, which ends with two menuets, minuetto primo and minuetto secondo. Now under the closing repeat mark of menuet two "al primo" is notated. I assume, ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

How can I add a solo soprano stave in finale?

I would like to add a solo soprano stave to my sheet, can anyone tell me how to accomplish this? I'm also using Garritan Personal Orchestra 4 and would like this stave to play back with a solo voice ...
8
votes
1answer
205 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
245 views

What is Dot & Tie in Drumming sheet?

What is exactly the difference of the Dot and Tie sheet music? I know how it works on piano, is it the same with the drums?
4
votes
5answers
6k views

What is the difference between swing and shuffle?

I am learning piano from a book and I can't understand the difference between swing and shuffle. I have searched, but I still can't understand the difference. Could someone please iterate the ...
12
votes
1answer
232 views

Four dotted sixteenths in a triplet

The following excerpt is from a piece called Brincado by the Brazilian composer Alberto Nepomuceno from the collection 5 Little Pieces for the Left Hand (imslp) How should I count this?
5
votes
2answers
196 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
555 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Capitalization of key names (C Minor vs. c minor)

I was taught when I was young that minor key names should be written with the note in lowercase, as well as the word "minor". Nowadays on recordings, etc., I usually see both capitalized. What was ...
4
votes
1answer
229 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?
8
votes
3answers
300 views

What is the meaning of '/5+' in a chord?

I'm trying to learn this song in piano: http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/a/antonio_carlos_jobim/corcovado_crd.htm What does /5+ or /5- means? Example: Abm6/5+ Does it mean bass is the fifth ...
8
votes
2answers
116 views

What does this split stem notation mean?

Here's sheet music for chopin's 2nd ballade. On page 6, in the 2nd measure in the 4th line of music, there's a D# and a D natural, with two lines coming out of them and connecting to the double bar ...
4
votes
3answers
110 views

How are tuplets drawn?

Is it acceptable to draw a tuplet line as an arc (including number in the middle of the arc of course), Or does the line strictly need to be an angled line (just like '[' rotated 90 degrees)? P.S. I ...
2
votes
2answers
229 views

Is there a MIDI music notation program (e.g. Finale) that automatically detects rhythm?

I want to notate some piano songs that I have written. My problem is that I can't find a program that will record the pitch and the rhythm of the note. In every program that I've seen, you have to ...
7
votes
3answers
1k 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
8
votes
3answers
268 views

Arbitrary length full-measure rests in Lilypond

In Lilypond one can make long full-measure rests with: \compressFullBarRests R1*12 which outputs: Is there an engraver I can turn off, or some other way to remove the number from above ...
8
votes
3answers
274 views

Percussion notes in the vocals

This an excerpt from an arragment to the song "Hakuna Matata" from the movie "The Lion King": Why are there percussion notes in the vocals?
3
votes
3answers
195 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
555 views

Origin of the 'squigly line' used for quarter note rest?

This has been driving me nuts - I can't find a single thing on the net that would indicate why the quarter rest is penned the way it is. Did it evolve from some initial or abbreviation or was it ...
6
votes
5answers
514 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
368 views

Proper symbol for this chord (1 5 7 9 11)?

I'm a songwriter in the jazz-pop idiom, and when playing through a chart with a guitarist, he told me that, in his opinion, I had labeled a chord inaccurately / incorrectly. Here's the chord as I ...
19
votes
1answer
6k views

What does a triangle mean in chord notation?

For example, what does the △ mean in C△7?
1
vote
2answers
169 views

Notation for a turn with a half step

From what I've read, turns only seem to use the notes in the key, so if I'm in C Major, what would be the notation for a turn with G-A-G-F#-G ?
6
votes
1answer
195 views

How do you read Graphic Scores?

I recently found out about the graphic notation. I was reading up on it on wikipedia, but there was very little information about how the scores are read besides you read them left to right. There is ...
13
votes
2answers
847 views

Unknown Notation - Thick Horizontal Bars Between Notes

I haven't the faintest idea of what these could mean. Some sort of run perhaps? How do you effect the dynamics/notes these bars are referring to? EDIT: For reference, this specific example is ...
6
votes
4answers
632 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
132 views

Do some measures get no numbers, in an opera score?

I'm counting measures and confirming measure numbers in an opera score, and I've come across a discrepancy. I wonder what this means about conventions for numbering measures in opera scores in ...
7
votes
2answers
313 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Is there a way to notate alternative transitions between 2 sections of music?

I'm writing out an original song I recently recorded because I need to provide both the sheet music and an audio recording for college applications. It would be okay just to submit what I wrote out ...
6
votes
2answers
100 views

How to notate this ornament?

I'm transcribing a piano ballad by a contemporary-progressive-symphonic-chamber-rock band, and I have come across these two ornaments. Each first measure on the below image shows the passage without ...
4
votes
1answer
73 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
586 views

Should one write # or b?

In the staff, would one write enharmonic notes with # or b? Does it matter which you'd use and why? For example: In the key of C Major, would it be better to write this passage with an A#, as it is, ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

When to use a dot or a tie in music notation?

Let's say I have the following piece in 4/4, Should it be notated as: or Are there any specific rules? From my previous experience, I believe the second one is the correct notation since it ...
4
votes
4answers
125 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 ...
10
votes
7answers
219 views

Are there some classical pieces that lend themselves well to guitar?

I would like to practice reading music on something other than notation written for guitar. Are there other pieces written for violin, for instance-or other instruments, that can be transposed easily ...
4
votes
2answers
228 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
93 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
70 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
346 views

Learning standard notation without succombing to simply remembering songs?

I'm in a tricky position. I've been playing guitar for around ten years and am fairly good at improvising and tinkering around on a piano, too. I understand sheet music, I can decipher it, but I can't ...