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

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9
votes
3answers
2k views

Four dots over tremolo minim (half note with slash)

I'm working on National Emblem by E. E. Bagley. In the second strain, there is a minim with the tremolo mark. Above it are four dots. What do they mean? Here is a picture. The mark in question is ...
8
votes
5answers
620 views

What does a mordent written to the left of a note mean?

In this arrangement of Wachet Auf, there are quite a few mordents sprinkled around, as well as trills and grace notes. I understand most of them, but in the middle of this excerpt, right before the ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
33 views

How to interpret a finger slap notation on a guitar tab?

I am looking at this particular guitar tab: and I am trying to make sense of the notation where you have a triad with the "x" on the top string and the other strings below are in parentheses. ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

What does “sax loco” mean?

I have found the notation "sax loco" in these two songs. What does it mean? I believe it's related to the fact that there are parts for two instruments in the same staff. By why "loco"? From Moanin'. ...
4
votes
1answer
166 views

Why is this stripe (or N) used to display a crotchet rest?

In the book "The Beatles Complete Scores", there are many instances that instead of the normal crotchet rest :, the author uses this kind of rest: One example is on page 1000, on the song "When I'm ...
14
votes
3answers
883 views

What is this music symbol and how to play it?

I've attached a picture of the music sheet I am learning that has a music notation that I do not know and would like to get some help to understand what it means. The music notation is on the first ...
0
votes
2answers
101 views

Are these C notes a slur or a tie?

On the bass clef, there are 2 C notes. I think it is a tie (wiki) and they should be played once for 6 beats. Am I correct? Or do I have to play the C twice, 3 beats each?
3
votes
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
340 views

Physiological basis for note durations?

For some reason (probably read something like this a long time ago), I have it in my head that there was some sort of physiological basis for some note durations. This may have been something like, a ...
28
votes
8answers
10k views

Is there any practical difference between 3/4 and 3/8 time?

Is there any practical difference between 4/4 and 8/8? regards a common and unusual time signature; both 3/4 and 3/8 time are pretty common. What difference in performance is implied in the the ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

What makes a composer decide between time signatures 3/4, 3/8, or 3/2? [duplicate]

Is there a logic to why, for example, a composer would choose 3/8 or 3/2 over 3/4? It seems like the n/8 would consume more ink than n/4, or make me look at more stuff at a time (cognitive overload ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What does ø mean after a chord?

Can anybody tell me what this chord with an ø symbol after F# is? The key signature is E minor.
8
votes
7answers
4k views

Is it possible to write a melody which can't be notated?

Is it possible to have a piece which can't be notated using the musical notes we currently have?
28
votes
1answer
5k views

Why is C the base note of standard notation and keys?

Why is it that notes "start" with C? In key signatures, for example, C Major is the basis and accidentals are added for all other key signatures. I know that the musical alphabet starts with A and ...
3
votes
2answers
98 views

How to put this one half note and three eighth notes concatenation in Guitar Pro 6?

I've seen this concatenation (sorry for not knowing the jargon) a lot and the way I've been playing it was like playing four eighth notes but letting go of the first E note ever since it's plucked (...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What staff affected by a dynamic mark?

If I see in piano sheet music, say, "mp" mark between bass and treble staves, which staff should be played in "mp" dynamics? Reverse question: if I want to apply a dynamic mark to a specified staff, ...
4
votes
2answers
262 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
85 views

Is there a dynamics equivalent of the marking “a tempo”?

Is there a marking (or a term) that means "go back to the dynamic played at before the last (de)crescendo"? I'd prefer to not specify a particular dynamic immediately before the crescendo (in order to ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Grand staff with 2 bass clefs

I am trying to play a tune in my keyboard textbook and I am having trouble figuring out what the notes are for the lower clef and what octave they are in. Can someone help me with this please? Also ...
1
vote
3answers
106 views

Left and right hand playing same note on piano?

Occasionally I run across sheet music that has the left and right hand playing the same note at the same time. Is this on purpose? If so... Why? And how do I play it? For example, see the first ...
5
votes
3answers
101 views

Which chord is Cm6?

I am not sure if this is an inversion or some other chord. Notation is Cm6. Is this an inversion of C minor chord? Or is it a sixth chord of some sort - C minor with a sixth added? Key signature ...
5
votes
1answer
37 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
52 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Why crescendo or decrescendo over one long note in piano music?

That C-chord on measure 6 of the system, from Grieg Piano Sonata, Op. 7, IV. Finale - Molto Allegro: Why couldn't they just mark that D7 chord with a p? That G chord is marked pp. Once you press a ...
13
votes
3answers
621 views

How do I read this text-only musical notation from Wikipedia

I have practically no music notation experience, so please consider me a dummie when answering. I am reading this Wikipedia article, about the clave rhythm. They use a text only notation looking ...
5
votes
2answers
791 views

Fermata over Rest

I was learning Santa Lucia when I came across a Fermata (bird's eye) over a whole rest. I wasn't sure how to play it. Is it that we have to rest for a little more time, like an eighth/sixteenth more? ...
1
vote
3answers
139 views

Sharps at the start of a score

I'm having difficulty identifying and playing the sharps which are C# , D# , F# and G# . Do the sharps apply to all the bars ?
4
votes
2answers
84 views

What does “moderato” in the middle of a musical score mean?

A study I am playing has these tempo hints: Slowly, Freely in the beginning Accelerando when the next section starts moderato shortly afterwards (I cut the score in the middle) What does ...
8
votes
1answer
471 views

What does this symbol represent? “x” with four dots

This is from Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody 2 in C# minor. Is this a double sharp sign? It looks kind of funny. The edition is by Julia Rivé-King, a Liszt student.
7
votes
4answers
440 views

Is there a special way to notate a repeat for the right (treble) hand but not the left (bass) hand?

I'm working with a section of music where the right hand (treble clef) plays the same thing twice, but the left hand (bass clef) differs the second time round. Usually I would just rewrite out the ...
0
votes
2answers
70 views

How to notate that the hand should be lifted after playing a note?

In piano notation, how can I indicate for the player to lift his/her hand after playing a note? I've been advised to use laissez vibrer ties, but they get messy with other markings present in my ...
3
votes
7answers
215 views

How to notate that a specific note be underlined in a piano chord?

I have the following set of chords for piano. How can I tell the performer to either stress or underline specific notes in the chord (so as to show the melody), i.e. the notes on the heads of which I'...
0
votes
3answers
44 views

How to notate pickup measures in the middle of peices?

I'm writing a song where some measures have less than the full number of beats indicated in the time signature. This occurs in the middle of the price, but it is a pickup to the next phrase. How is ...
0
votes
3answers
81 views

Does this dectuplet make sense?

I recently encountered this dectuplet as you can see in the picture attached. To me this doesn't make sense. This makes 10 16th notes instead of 4. This reduces the notes' lentgh 2.5 times. Should ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Where should whole notes be drawn within a measure?

In this Lilypond-generated score, the whole notes are in different positions. The first is slightly to the left, the middle one is approximately centered, and the right one is slightly to the right. ...
1
vote
2answers
73 views

How to notate triplets longer than 1 measure?

I was listening to the theme from "Game of Thrones" and noticed this section (listen for the drum). There is a hemiola that takes four beats, but the song fits 3/4 best. That would make the hemiola ...
1
vote
3answers
74 views

How do I play this double bass part? (16th note + 3 grace notes)

In Simandl's 30 Etudes for String Bass, on Etude #26, there is this passage (last measure of the first line and first measure of the second line), where I have to play a 16th C# note, followed by 3 ...
3
votes
3answers
645 views

What does this notation mean?

Specifically I'd like to know about the apparent joining of a dotted quaver and a semiquaver in the second row of my photo. Is that what these are? If that is what is meant then how does this differ ...
5
votes
2answers
790 views

How do I read guitar tabs written in this format?

I need some help learning how to read some Chinese guitar tabs I found online. They seem completely different to the standard Western format: I don't even know where to start with these, I suppose ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Merging several measures of score's part in LilyPond

I'm wandering is it possible to notate a score like on the picture below in LilyPond. The problem here is that the third measure of the topmost part (which is flute, actually) should be stretched ...
4
votes
3answers
402 views

Swing feel - are triplets and 8th note notations rhythmically the same?

I'm going through some exercises in a blues piano book[*]. I've noticed that some rhythms are written with triplets (with an 8th note (quaver) rest in the middle), and others are written using 8th ...
9
votes
1answer
478 views

Markings in Second Waltz by Dimitri Shostakovich

I came across these indications in a piano piece: the Second Waltz by Dimitri Shostakovich. What do "1.3. x p" and "2. x f" mean?
3
votes
2answers
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?
7
votes
1answer
627 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 ...
4
votes
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. ...
2
votes
2answers
94 views

What is the length of the beat?

As I understand, the quarter note is a note that lasts for one beat. the half note, is a note that lasts for two beats, the full note, is a note that lasts for four beats, now i get that, but what ...
2
votes
0answers
72 views

Key-agnostic voicing-based notation (piano)

Looking for a simplified notation for piano that is 1) key agnostic but 2) chord and voicing specific. Here's kind of what I'm going for: The chord and extensions are expressed to the left, and the ...
4
votes
1answer
77 views

Tuxguitar - entering verses

Is there a way to widen the measures in Tuxguitar, so that the words in my song verses don't get cut off or scrunched up?