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37

http://www.lancastersymphony.org/Portals/1/docs/pdfs/music%20notation/Rests_8_lowres.pdf http://www.openguitar.com/theory/tw02_preparing_score.html To draw the quarter rest, draw the right side of a letter “R”, omitting the vertical, or start with a number “2”, but pull the horizontal line down on the right. Put the hook on the bottom and ...


33

The equivalences you mention---C♯/D♭, D♯/E♭, etc.---aren't actually the same note. They're called enharmonically equivalent pairs, but only in Equal Temperament are they tuned to the same frequency. See this question for more information on why they're not the same note. As for why we need flatted notes at all, let's look at ...


23

Your notation may work for a free form melody, but that's it. How will you notate several notes played at once? How will you notate exact rhythms if you don't split up a bar into beats and subbeats and give each note an exact duration? Which octaves are those notes? I agree that standard notation (common music notation) is complicated, but there are pretty ...


22

This type of notation is used to indicate tremolos. A single figure is made up of two noteheads of identical value (in this case, half notes) that are beamed together in a way that indicates the speed of the tremolo. The rhythmic length to be played is that of one of the beamed half notes. You would alternate between the two noteheads at a speed of 32nd ...


22

There are a few general rules. Most accidentals should be of the type found in the key signature. For example, in G Major, use G# -- not Ab. In F# major, use A# instead of Bb. If the accidental is in a chromatic scale, use sharps ascending and flats descending In any other scale, use the accidental that typically goes with the scale. For example, Bb and Eb ...


21

I don't know for sure, but I'm fairly certain "C" means a string bend and "D" means a release. Here's why I think so: Notice the tab in the rhythm part. Where the "C" occurs, you play the D-string, 4th fret---that's an F#. And sure enough, the standard notation shows an F#. But then the standard notation shows that note becoming a G, while the tab ...


19

We most commonly use staff notation because it is a good compromise between expressiveness and readability for a wide range of music. There are alternatives, however these alternatives are specialized in one dimension or another, and thus, in a sense, less expressive than standard staff notation. The overall problems relate to the fundamental issues in ...


18

The convention generally follows that which we see for minor key signatures. There is not a 1 to 1 relationship of key signature to root, rather, the key signature is there to tell us what notes exist in the scale. Then, we use the music itself to figure out where the root is. If you were writing in D phrygian, for example, would you have two sharps in the ...


18

In cases like this you should play the second D, cutting the first one slightly short to accommodate it. It's not a typo, just a choice by the arranger to take the least complicated & most readable approach to notating the music. Think of the printed music as communicating the intended sound, rather than exact movements of your fingers, and it should ...


17

This is a tie, meaning that the initial D is held through the eighth note, the quarter note, and the first sixteenth note before the hammer-on to E. It appears that the reason it was written this way (i.e. two ties) was to give the rhythm along with the notes, as in standard notation the ties would be written in the same way. The way this tie is written is ...


17

Everyone, when they first begin to learn to play an instrument with music notation, is puzzled by all the complexities and nuances. Music notation is the way that it is because it works well. You know so little about playing music at this point that you cannot fully appreciate all that is involved. The more you learn, the more sense it will make to you.


16

This was already partially answered here, and there's a pretty comprehensive explanation here. Notes do not "start" with C; C major is just the easiest major key to notate in modern notation. The concept of a major key came about long after letters were assigned to the notes. Before there were major (and minor) keys, people used modes, usually just using ...


16

It's called a rastrum. The rastrum came into use in preparing copper-plate engravings for music printing. It was simply a fork that one dragged across the plate to "score" the surface. Rastrum is Latin for rake. As for constructing such a tool samizdat (DIY), I see potential in a paperclip, 5 ballpoint refills, and a pair of chaining pliers. I'll say ...


16

NC (or N.C.) is short for "No Chord". It means that you should only play the indicated notes or melody, and not try to infer or add a chordal accompaniment. This is as opposed to the chord symbols that you probably find everywhere else than where the N.C. notation is. See for example http://dictionary.onmusic.org/terms/2344-no_chord (Although their example ...


15

It is just for emphasis. It is usually just an instance where, in a recent measure in the piece, the F note had a natural attached to it. The F-Sharp would be included in the following measure as a reminder that F is no longer natural, that it is back to the F-Sharp that it is in the key signature. If there is an X next to a note, it is just a double ...


14

It's not a slur; it's a tie. The marking is obviously easy to confuse, but in this case you'll note that there is a slur arching over top of the phrase as well, so this must be something different since there can't be a "double-slur" :) When two notes of the same pitch are tied together they are played as one whose duration is the sum of the duration of ...


14

I'm assuming that you're talking about the one that looks like a blocky X.....this is a double sharp. Instead of shifting the tone up one half step, it shifts the tone up 2 half steps (i.e. 1 whole step). This image shows G double-sharp in the treble clef, and E double-flat in the bass clef. G double sharp is enharmonic with A natural, and E double-flat ...


14

Obviously the answer depends on your point of view, and there probably isn't one "right" answer. There are 12 unique named tones in Western music; all pitches are one of these 12 tones. Thus, from a purely sonic perspective, there are only twelve starting notes for a key, and with major and minor scale qualities, there are 24 tonally unique keys. For my ...


13

In addition to indicating the end of a distinct section of the piece, a change in key signature, time signature or major tempo change, the double bar is also used to mark the location of a Da Capo or Dal Segno (a notation system that marks the repeating of a certain section of music without requiring additional measures to be written/printed.) It is also ...


13

The double notes indicate that the note serves two purposes in the piece. It's not uncommon as you progress through keyboard literature to find a single hand doing two independent things at the same time, with different rhythms, and that's what's happening here: a slow-moving bass line and an arpeggiated accompaniment. Let's call them parts, though you'll ...


12

While Raskolnikov's answer is correct, I'd like to explain the theory behind this. Based on your question, you currently understand music as a collection of equal notes. That is, there are various sounds/notes/pitches that are played at the same volume at certain times. Sometimes they are on, and sometimes they are off. One is not more important than the ...


12

After a quick listen I see no reason not to just use 4/4. The beat is definitely even, so whatever time signature you go with you should stick with or at least similar times (e.g., 2/2). You certainly shouldn't be switching signatures almost every measure. It's hard to say where you went wrong here, especially since you didn't describe your method, but ...


12

This is an Turn, an ornament consisting of four notes. The double-sharp symbol indicates that the lower note to be performed is a g double-sharp rather than a natural g, so the sequnce to be performed is b, a sharp, g double-sharp, a sharp.


11

The stuff you are finding on the internet looks like chords. It sounds like you are learning single notes in your guitar lessons. If you want to play some songs you will need to learn some chords. A chord is a group of notes ( more than two to be precise) strummed or played together where as a single note is, well, a single note. I have a page of ...


11

If you don't already know how to play the song, you will have to go through the process of learning by ear. If you can, try searching for the chords of a song; there are usually more chord charts for songs than there are tabs. Knowing the chords will give you a basic idea of where to start. When it comes to picking out riffs and lines by ear, try starting ...


11

x means to dampen the string with your fretting hand depending on what you are playing. You see this a lot in tabs for metal and other driven music In the case above, the sounded note is an open string and so shouldn't be too difficult to play; more complex lines may require some finger picking or hybrid picking if you are using a pick. Often you see ...


11

C# is not the same as Db any more than the English word "hear" is the same word as "here". Understanding why there is a difference is an important foundation to Western melody and harmony. It's important to understand the following: the vast majority of western music involves 12 notes in an octave the vast majority of western music is based around a scale ...


11

I agree with the speed of the trill in Ben's answer, but this documents the fact that Mozart started his trills on the upper note (either directly or suspended). This is further proven by the fact that skipping directly from C to A is both unnatural and unlikely. Here is how it should be played: Starting on the upper note leaves us to end on the B, leaving ...


11

The numbers you are referring to are most likely hymn meters. No, not a scale of how well the hymn was received, or how loud it should be, but actually an indication of the meter of the hymn. (Wikipedia has a good article on hymn meters.) The numbers themselves refer to the meter (number of syllables) of each line. Thus, 87.87.87 would mean the first line ...


11

There are two different ways that the middle pedal on American pianos works. This pedal is called the "Sostenuto" pedal and, unlike the Sustain pedal, does not sustain every note on the piano. This website gives great videos and explanations of each piano pedal. On higher end pianos, the middle pedal (Sostenuto pedal), sustains only those notes which are ...



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