Musical notation in written or printed form

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80
votes
17answers
43k views

What is good software for learning how to sight-read?

I'd like to learn how to sight-read on my own, but practicing the same song over and over again just causes me to memorize it, and filling out worksheets is boring. Is there any good software for ...
43
votes
16answers
6k views

Quickly flip a page of sheet music while playing

This seems like such a silly question, but! When playing the piano, I sometimes struggle to turn the pages of my music without noticeably sacrificing the sound of the piece or making the book / ...
40
votes
4answers
15k views

How do you draw a quarter rest with a pen/pencil?

It seems to me that the quarter rest we see everywhere was drawn with a calligraphy pen. I don't have one of those - I have a sharpened/mechanical pencil or a ball-point pen. So usually when I try to ...
30
votes
11answers
9k views

As a guitarist, how can I learn to sight-read music?

I'm learning guitar right now, mostly from Justin Sandercoe's free online lessons, starting from the beginner's course. He has a lot of good tips for how to practice and drill chords, and scales, but ...
26
votes
10answers
1k views

Sites with a good selection of sheet music

When I look online for sheet music for the piano or flute, I find that a lot of the websites that promise great collections of sheet music are nothing but ad filled sites that talk about sheet music ...
22
votes
2answers
870 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 ...
19
votes
7answers
1k views

How to handle a newly purchased score book that won't stay opened?

With some score books, if you try to open it and put it on a support, it will close itself. For the moment I have to force and fold it but it damages the spine of the book. Do you have techniques to ...
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 ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

If Für Elise is in Am why there is a D# in it?

Für Elise intro starts with E D♯ E D♯, Wikipedia says the key is Am. What scale does it fit? Is it like a blues scale where D♯ is a flat 5? Why D♯ is used in the sheet music? Is it easier to read ...
15
votes
3answers
334 views

Resource for sheet music for blind musicians

Question: Do you know any sheet music resources for blind people, i.e. sheet music in braille notation? I don't seem to find any braille files in IMSLP (the Petrucci Library at http://www.imslp.org). ...
13
votes
3answers
632 views

What are all these symbols in some old sheet music?

Looking at this sheet music of Pietro Antonio Locatelli's "L'arte del violino" Op. 3 we see that the sheet music is pretty old. I have no idea if this is perhaps the original one or not but it does ...
13
votes
2answers
648 views

With sheet music, what happens with sharps and double sharps that are already sharped in the key signature?

For example, let's say the key signature has an f sharp and then also an individual f note has a sharp next to it. Are they just emphasizing the f sharp or does that actually become a g? Same ...
12
votes
3answers
455 views

How can I force LilyPond to repeat a chord symbol (relates to alternate endings)?

In chordmode, LilyPond chooses not to display chord symbols when they are the same as the preceding symbol, which is usually the right behavior. However, this behavior gets weird in the context of ...
12
votes
2answers
428 views

Is reading notes without an instrument a good way to practice?

As an amateur self-learner pianist, I can't take my piano with me, but I can take the sheet music books. On my current (low) level of skill, I need substantial time to read a musical piece; for ...
11
votes
9answers
1k views

Why is there a key signature if I never play those notes?

I'm just getting back to playing on keyboard. I'm trying to play "Ode to Joy" from the piano sheet but I have a basic question. At the beginning of some staffs, on the right of the treble clef I can ...
11
votes
2answers
929 views

How to notate two identical notes ringing together?

In a melody I am composing, there are 4 E notes in a row, like this: ----------------- ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ----------------- ----------------- ----------------- ----------------- (the length of the ...
11
votes
2answers
646 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
471 views

What does “TAG for Three-part voices” mean?

Reading some three-part a cappella music, I see "TAG for Three-part voices" above the staff. Any idea what that might mean? 19 is the measure number. There are 27 measures total in the song, so ...
11
votes
2answers
245 views

Small natural above C in G Major

Here is a picture of the sheet music (Eine Klein Nachtmusik, movement 1). The odd accidental has a red freehand circle around it. What does this natural sign mean? As you can see, the key is G ...
10
votes
2answers
154 views

Dyslexia and sheet music

I was quite dyslexic as a child and struggled through elementary school where reading was concerned. However my math was pretty good so I had no trouble grasping rhythms and identifying scales as ...
9
votes
3answers
302 views

Why are some measures separated by double lines?

I play piano. Sometimes, measures in pieces are separated by a double vertical line instead of a single one. What does this signify?
9
votes
4answers
2k views

What are good sources for free orchestra scores?

Are there usable free sources for (symphonic) orchestra scores? I'm talking about legal sources for pieces that are now in public domain.
9
votes
4answers
806 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?
9
votes
3answers
504 views

What does an “L” shape mean beside a note in the lower staff?

Sorry if this is trivial but I am self taught and cannot find the meaning of this bracket on a sheet. This is taken from Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence by Ryuichi Sakamoto
9
votes
3answers
4k views

With regards to piano sheet music, when are you supposed to press the pedal(s)?

I've been playing piano for about 8 months. I have a digital weighted 88-key piano with only one pedal. My friend, who used to play piano, taught me to hold the pedal down when there is an arc in ...
9
votes
2answers
432 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
213 views

Violin Sheet music - Finger 0 on non-open string note

I'm battling to understand the indicated fingering on one of the pieces of music I have for my Violin Grade 6 exam. As indicated below, the finger notation suggests that I need to play an open string ...
9
votes
2answers
635 views

How to know whether a note is to be played with the left hand or the right hand?

I stumbled upon this notation on the first page of the 3rd movement of the Beethoven Moonlight Sonata: Does the position of the note mean that it is to be played with the right hand? I can see no ...
9
votes
2answers
111 views

How to add verse-specific dynamic to sheet music

I have lyrics of two verses below the staves. Now I want the second verse to get the fortissimo (ff) dynamic. Now how do I do that? How is that written down in sheet music?
8
votes
4answers
1k views

What does an arranger do?

When you see the "arranged by" attribution on a score, what did the arranger (typically) do?
8
votes
2answers
360 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? ...
8
votes
1answer
177 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
86 views

Managing page turns with a PDF file

There's a once lively discussion about page turning here which deals alot with page turns of the wood pulp variety. However, all of my music is in PDF format and I read it from a computer. I wasn't ...
7
votes
5answers
453 views

What music notation software can handle this complex beaming?

Update: It looks like the votes are clearly in favor of Lilypond. While Sibelius and Finale appear to be the "canonical" solutions, and MuseScore has a nice showing (albeit using a "development" ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Why is it common to write tuba sheet music in concert pitch?

I play E♭ tuba in a wind orchestra, and we always get the notes written in concert pitch, and we have to logically "transpose" to the instrument key on the fly. How common is this approach? Why is ...
7
votes
2answers
399 views

Why does this note sound like it is not played?

I've been learning the second movement of Mozart's Piano Sonata 16 for a while. While I get most of the stuff memorized, some part of it just doesn't sound right comparing to recordings on YouTube ...
7
votes
3answers
558 views

Why is the left hand stave missing from the piano sheet music?

Normally, I have both the right and the left hand as here The left hand stave was always missing in that book of piano sheet music I saw yesterday, however it had letters above the stave for right ...
7
votes
2answers
544 views

When was the first recorded usage of a musical score?

Music is quite universal in the sense that you can hand a musician almost anywhere in the world a piece of sheet music and they will be able to understand it. I've been wondering this for a while now; ...
6
votes
3answers
304 views

'Fine' at the end of the song

In a lot of music sheets, I've seen that they mark the end of the song with 'Fine' (example: http://www.jazzpla.net/H/Hassansdream.jpg) What does 'Fine' mean? And why is it used to mark the end of a ...
6
votes
5answers
4k 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
6
votes
3answers
587 views

How to train playing sheet music on guitar?

I am a beginning guitar player, and I struggle to play sheet music. If I remember the piece I want to play by heart, it goes pretty fine. However, when I look at the sheet (if I forget a few notes, ...
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
419 views

What does a grid with dots above the staves mean in a piano sheet music?

First I thought it was for some other musical instrument (guitar?) but both the title and the shopkeeper told me that the music sheet was for piano.
6
votes
2answers
139 views

The Harmony of Clashing Tempos

The jazz guitarist John McLaughlin once published a book of scores for a number songs that he composed for his Mahavishnu Orchestra. There are some very unusual theoretical conundrums that come up ...
6
votes
4answers
320 views

How can I rehearse and perform with PDF scores on screen instead of paper scores?

As a chorus and opera singer, I have gotten tired of lugging thick opera scores everywhere. Most of the music I sing is public-domain, and the scores are freely available in in PDF form. I am working ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the foundational book of Czerny finger exercises for piano?

I've recently started teaching myself piano (via Bartok's Mikrokosmos) and feel it would be helpful to supplement the pieces with some standard exercises. Everyone I speak with suggests Czerny, but ...
6
votes
3answers
421 views

Does software exist to catalogue band parts?

My brass band is looking at putting our band library catalogue into a database, but we haven't been able to find any software designed for this purpose. We'd like to store not only information about ...
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?
5
votes
1answer
317 views

Is it a typo or how do I play it? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The same note on two staves I have put red arrows where I am in trouble. As I understand this, I should hit D but it is already pressed down. Do I misunderstand ...
5
votes
5answers
340 views

Where can I find music notes for classical guitar and lute online? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Sites with a good selection of sheet music Occasionally, I search for music notes online, e.g. for pieces by Sor, Dowland, Bach and others. Are there some good resources ...