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

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21
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
838 views

The same note on two staves

On rare occasions, I encounter the same note on two staves with overlapping durations. Attached is an example from an arragement of "The Long and Winding Road" by The Beatles (The note in question is ...
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?
10
votes
7answers
220 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
914 views

What is the the Nashville Numbers system?

Recently, a couple of my bandmates were talking about a technique they use called Nashville Numbers. It's similar to writing out chords, but instead uses numbers. These numbers are a pattern that ...
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 ♭ ...
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, ...
6
votes
2answers
863 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
555 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?
4
votes
2answers
283 views

What is the proper name of the dash symbol over a note and how to play it

Can anyone specify the name of the particular symbol above the crotchet? According to Wikipedia it's called a Tenuto but my teacher said it's called a "dash". Which one is correct? Or are both names ...
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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
5k views

Transcribing a Standard MIDI File to sheet music

I have a couple of nice guitar midi files that I would like the scores for; is there any software out there that can do this sort of conversion, and output it as a PDF file? Thanks
22
votes
2answers
910 views

How to interpret half notes combined with thirty-second stems?

I want to play Also Sprach Zarathustra (IMSLP PDF), but there is something I don't understand there. In the first few bars there are 4 half notes beamed in pairs as thirty-second notes. Because the ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “16va” proper notation?

Is the notation "16va" or "16vb" ever used to mean to transpose what is written up or down two octaves? I cannot think of how else you would represent the highest and lowest notes on a piano without ...
12
votes
2answers
351 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
117 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
748 views

Is there a specific name for Sheet music that uses numbers (二胡 Èrhú Sheet Music)?

I am searching for a software program (preferably opensource but not necessarily) that can create sheet music. However since I am a beginner at my instrument I still use a simplified notation. I play ...
6
votes
2answers
240 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 ...
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
3answers
562 views

Same note in two staves [duplicate]

I have only just started to learn (on my own) to read music and play the piano at the grand old age of 64! Please can someone tell me how to play the same note on two staves? I keep being asked to ...
4
votes
5answers
658 views

Is it okay to have number of notes in a bar that doesn't conform with the time signature?

Just a newbie question. In musical notation, is it okay to have number of notes in a bar that doesn't conform with the Time Signature? For example, look at this music sheet: Can you see that the ...
4
votes
1answer
347 views

Why the second whole note or accidental is natural?

Below is a staff. After the third bar, why the second c isn't either sharp or flat?
4
votes
3answers
661 views

What does the roman numeral notation mean for this borrowed chord?

I am working my way through Asturias (Leyenda) in E minor for classical guitar. I believe the arrangement is based on the one by Segovia. I am using this sheet music, and comparing it to the tablature ...
4
votes
3answers
528 views

What are some interesting ways notes and chords are spelled in cultures outside of the U.S.?

I've heard that German musicians spell the seventh note of the C major scale with an "H" where an American musician would use a "B". And, for the fourth note of the F major scale, where an American ...
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 ...
2
votes
5answers
474 views

Why transpose at the octave?

If an instrument has a range too high or too low for composers to easily write its music on bass or treble clef, the music may be written either an octave higher or an octave lower than it sounds, ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

What exactly does a 3 mean over a quarter note and an 8th note?

There is an eighth note followed by a quarter note, and above them is a little overarching bracket with a little 3 in it. I know this has something to do with the timing, but I have no idea what. ...
2
votes
6answers
475 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. ...