Hot answers tagged

51

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 ...


46

You are ignoring the dotted line with 8va written above the upper G-clef. This means that the notes written in this clef should be played an octave above the written notes. (This notation is called All'ottava and is sometimes used to avoid ledger lines.) When you do this there is no conflict between the notes in the red box.


38

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 ...


32

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 ...


31

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 ...


30

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 ...


29

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 ...


29

In a key where there are already some sharps (or flats) in the key sig., as here, every time one of those notes is played, it has to be sharp (or flat). In E, or C#m, the key here, every other note is natural - E, A, and B. So if a note sounding like a C needs to be played, it can't just be written as a C, because the player would automatically sharpen it, ...


28

These are called "cues" and they show you what other instruments are playing while you have rests. They are normally placed right before an entrance, particularly after a long section of not playing, so that you can be sure of when to come in. "Tromb. e Tuba" means that these notes are being played by the trombone and tuba. (The markings in this music are ...


27

There was a trick for these that I used all the time based on what the rests look like. The whole rest looks like a hole. The words sound the same so it's a good way to equate them. The half rest looks like a hat and since hat and half both start with the letter 'h' they go together. I like this trick a lot because it associates the rests more with ...


26

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 ...


25

Time signatures and bars are not there arbitrarily, nor just to help count your way through a piece. They are there to provide guidance on the rhythm of the piece. Where it is accented, where it breathes. Some composers do write pieces with no time signature or bars, as an indication that there should be no consistent rhythm. Eric Satie did this for several ...


25

Since you're looking for software to input a score that is still under construction, MuseScore (found at musescore.org) would be my go-to application. It's a GNU-licensed graphical score editor that has playback and range-checking abilities. In case you later want to engrave a finished score with LaTeX-like typographic quality, LilyPond is considered to be ...


24

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 ...


24

So, I was wondering why there are only even numbered notes? Like half, quarter, and eighth and so on. Because, O my child, we are a weak, degenerate people. Because we live in an Iron Age, not like those who came before. Not like before, in days long past, when musicians strode the earth like giants of artistry. They divided notes into thirds. This ...


24

Yep, the second one is far better for precisely the reason you say. A general rule is that you shouldn't have dotted-notes that start on an off beat and carry through the next beat. There are exceptions even to this rule, but showing the underlying beat structure of the meter is paramount in the vast majority of situations. Elliott Carter is an example of ...


23

Everyone, when they first begin to learn to read 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.


23

Well, "Jingle Bells" ain't no Bach, but the same principles apply: if you have two voices hogging one key, you play in a manner doing justice to both. In this case, the left hand has a leading voice down, so you strike the key hard enough (and possibly with the tiniest of lead which you keep up for the rest of the left-hand phrase) to have it ...


23

Both are right, these marks are to denote the section you are playing and you don't play anything specifically for them. The proper name for these marks are rehearsal marks. In an sense you can look at them as practice checkpoints as they are typically where you would want to start playing if you needed more practice on that section instead of playing the ...


23

There is LilyPond which does what you are looking for. It was first released on 1996, but it still gets updates. LilyPond is a computer program and file format for music engraving. One of LilyPond's major goals is to produce scores that are engraved with traditional layout rules, reflecting the era when scores were engraved by hand. LilyPond ...


23

They are actually eighth note triplets instead of eighth notes. The alternative notation to this would be to group the eighth notes and rests in threes and put a 3 over them like a standard triplet, but it's easy enough to see that you are fitting 12 equally spaced notes in a measure which end up being eighth note triplets which would kind of screw up the ...


22

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 ...


22

To express the fact that 2 notes are sounding, you should use beam direction. It's as if one instrument is playing two parts simultaneously. See the picture, and note how each part gets its own "swimming lane" on the staff. Please also note that each bar on the staff that uses multiple parts should, in principle, make sure all timing for each part is ...


21

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 ...


21

It's a major 7th! C△7 would be C, E, G, and B♮.


20

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 or phrase mark arching over top 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 ...


20

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 ...


20

Fm/Ab stands for F minor with note Ab on bass. Generically, X/Y is Chord X with note Y as lowest note. This second chord could be read as Gb major with major seventh and added 9th. The slash after a chord alteration serves only as a separator to indicate every simultaneous alteration you should apply to the chord.


20

Your understanding of the math, as it were, is correct. And I would say yes, a multiple of 4 bars of music in 3/4 can be expressed as music in 4/4 (in a multiple of 3 bars), but I would dispute that the same can necessarily be represented as such. The bar line placement of a piece of music has tremendous impact upon live musicians' interpretation of, not to ...


20

In elementary school, I was taught to think of the rest like a raft in water. Since a half rest gets two beats, it's like a raft carrying two people - light enough to float on top of the water: The whole rest, on the other hand, gets four beats (in common time, anyway) and so it's like a raft carrying four people - enough weight such that it sinks down ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible