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

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15
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) ...
6
votes
2answers
83 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
58 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
544 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
116 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
205 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
211 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
70 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
37 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
330 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
76 views

Name for pedal markings

Is there any name for the inverted V (∧) in pedal markings? Or are they just known as part of pedal markings?
9
votes
2answers
321 views

Small note above a normal-sized note

I'm currently looking at a vocal score, and there's a small note right above a normal-sized note. Ordinarily, I would presume this to be a cue note, except that this isn't the start of the singer's ...
9
votes
2answers
429 views

In piano music notation how are notes distributed between the staves?

I recently stumbled across a piece of music for the piano that confused me a little. The first image is how I found the score, the second is how I rearranged it myself. How I usually find ...
8
votes
2answers
206 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
805 views

How to interpret this chord notation?

How do you interpret this couple of notations? In Bar 2, Fm / Ab, what does the slash do? Do I play either chord or both? In addition, in Bar 3, what does the /9 mean?
7
votes
3answers
86 views

Notation for generic voicing

Is there any common notation for a generic voicing of a chord? For instance, I could specify as a kind of voicing template: "Root, 3rd and fifth in fourth octave, plus root in the fifth octave" ...
9
votes
2answers
421 views

What does circled letters mean over sheet music?

I have the following music notation and I would like to know what does (A) and (A') mean.
6
votes
2answers
303 views

Best name for chord consisting of G Eb F Bb C?

I have a chord progression in the key of C, which walks up from the IV chord up to a particular variation of the V7 chord, which I'm trying to name in a helpful way for a lead sheet. Here are my ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Rest above a note in a piano piece

I am playing a piece and wondering, what the heck is the rest making there above the note? The piece is in 3/4 so I see no purpose of the 1/4 rest. I've been googling around but did not find any ...
6
votes
5answers
304 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
25 views

How to abbreviate multiply -diminished or -augmented intervals

I know they aren't used often, but how do you abbreviate a doubly-, triply-, or otherwise multiply- diminished or augmented intervals? For instance, a perfect fifth is abnbreviated P5, a diminished ...
9
votes
2answers
534 views

“Standard” drum notation alternatives

For the purpose of playing live, working through ("popular") songs involving verse, chorus, bridge, intro, outro, etc., is there a standard notation that drummers use to help them know what to play, ...
20
votes
10answers
5k views

Why do we use so complicated notation?

I have just started learning about music from the internet. I have learned how to play the piano, but I don't have a real piano so I am playing a virtual piano. In my opinion, the notation which is ...
10
votes
2answers
881 views

What is this notation?

I encountered this notation and was wondering what it means.
11
votes
1answer
481 views

How do I read this notation?

The wikipedia article about diminished seventh chords mentions the following: Fétis tuned the chord 10:12:14:17. What does this mean? Until very recently, I had never ever seen this before, and ...
8
votes
3answers
220 views

Can the double stop E natural F sharp be played on cello?

I'd like to find out if it is possible to play the double stop of E natural and F sharp on the cello. Thank you
1
vote
2answers
107 views

What is this Chord Notation?

I know how to read Roman Numerals for chord progressions. But I've seen something recently I don't understand. I've attached an image below. What are those sub/post-strip's?
1
vote
3answers
115 views

Deciphering the notation of this slash chord

I’m having a hard time “really” understanding the following slash chord: Notes: Ab Eb Gb - Db F Gb Bb (in that order) Logic is telling me: Gb maj7/13 / Ab I would like to give this chord a ...
19
votes
1answer
8k views

What does a small x-like symbol before a note mean?

I've been playing piano by ear for a long time and now I am trying to learn the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata. I am a little confused about the meaning of a little cross placed right before a ...
7
votes
1answer
170 views

Different trill notations in Schubert piano music

I'm trying to teach myself some Schubert and am playing through Sonate 1 (Op. 42). The piece employs a lot of trills. However, there are two notations in use: tr and the up & down squiggle. Is ...
1
vote
1answer
51 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
308 views

What's the name of an area split by Bar Line (s) called?

What is the unit name of an area split by Bar Line(s) called ? (See the red-circled area in below picture) The translation from my native language to English results in Time Signature . I feel ...
3
votes
1answer
110 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?
4
votes
5answers
239 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: ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

Note length line (beam) placement in numbered musical notation

I am making a computer application for typing numerical / numbered musical notes. I have some question regarding note length line / beam. Will it have a same meaning if we place the beam either on ...
10
votes
2answers
533 views

On the piano, how should you play staccato with the pedal?

In some pieces, there is a pedal designation along with staccato. How should this be played?
24
votes
3answers
915 views

What is the origin of the up bow and down bow symbols for bowed string instruments?

My brother is a beginning cellist and I was helping him annotate "up bow" and "down bow". I find it particularly strange that the "up bow" symbol is similar to a V. Intuitively, I would have thought ...
9
votes
3answers
243 views

Odd symbol in Béla Bartók's Mikrokosmos Book 1

Today I came across an odd symbol in Béla Bartók's Microkosmos. The symbol occurs in Book 1, Score 21, Measure 8, at the end of a phrasing slur. It looks like a vertical bar that crosses only the ...
5
votes
2answers
141 views

Notation used for harmonic context

Could someone please explain what it means to say, "the harmonic context of V/V-V-I". How should one read this? It would be nice if you could also give two or three examples if you think it would ...
3
votes
1answer
207 views

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?
23
votes
4answers
868 views

Has music notation become more prescriptive?

Another question asks about the Meaning of 1/1 and 1/2 beneath pedaling marking near some sustain pedal markings. It looks like they are used to specify a particular amount of pedal to use while ...
11
votes
1answer
315 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
71 views

Lilypond Conga Notes

I am writing a conga part in LilyPond. I saw on LilyPond's documentation how to write conga notes: ...
5
votes
1answer
544 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?
16
votes
2answers
225 views

Is there a Relative Pitch Clef?

To start out: I am more-or-less familiar with all the standard musical clef notations, including F, C, and G clefs; as well as the fact that clefs can be movable (tenor clef, french violin clef...) ...
7
votes
1answer
173 views

Groups of eighths

A lot of times, I've seen eighths in groups of 2, and other times in groups of 4. Is there any difference in the way you are supposed to play them?
3
votes
3answers
291 views

The origin of “Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father” [closed]

The order of the flats is given by the mnemonic "*B*attle *E*nds *A*nd *D*own *G*oes *C*harles' *F*ather". What is the history behind this strange phrase?
6
votes
4answers
330 views

What notation would you use to differentiate different types of minor keys (e.g. Em natural, Em harmonic, Em melodic)?

Are they all just 'Em', or is there some standard, concise way of differentiating between them? Thanks!
4
votes
3answers
83 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 ...