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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

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, ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


18

One of the clearest examples is a tablet from Ugarit that is generally labelled h.6. If you search around for Hurrian Hymns, h.6, and Hymn to Nikkal you can see some drawings and photographs. Some of the primary scholars that have written and attempted to decode the notation system are Anne Draffkorn Kilmer, Martin West, Richard Crocker, and ...


17

Is this handwritten or printed? Is the notation of German origin? In German, the notes E flat and A flat are called Es and As.


17

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 ...


16

Graphic notation is a fascinating topic. There's no one type of graphic notation, so there's no one answer about how to read it. For example, George Crumb sometimes uses traditional notation, but bent into different shapes—sometimes in order to define complex formal schemes, sometimes just to make form more visually immediate, and sometimes primarily for ...


16

I believe the symbol is an Italian notation, referred to as 'Mordente' - although not always the mordent as we know it! It was commonly used 1710-1760, which fits the time period you specified. How to play it seems to vary according to who wrote it, but one of the most 'defined' examples was from Germiniani's 1748/51 ornament tables, where it was specified ...


16

The triangle symbol Δ originally meant "triad" (meaning major triad) [1]. However, nowadays it is - at least to my knowledge - exclusively used to denote a major seventh chord, even though it is a bit sloppy. I recommend you use Δ7 for denoting a major seventh chord. This will avoid any possible confusion, and it is also the symbol I come across most often. ...


16

They're cue notes. Notice the "Tromb.e Tuba" below them, indicating that the trombones and tuba(s) are playing those. It's there to reassure you that you've counted the rests properly.


14

No, it is still a B♭. The flat is just reminding you that the B is flat. This is typically done if the previous measure uses a B that was different then the one in the key signature or if there was a different quality of B used in the measure it is used to cancel out the other quality. In the key D minor, if you were ascending from A to D, a typical melody ...


14

They refer to divisions (manuals) of the organ: Grt. for Great (French 'Grand Choeur', German 'Hauptwerk') and Sw. for Swell (French 'Grand Orgue', German 'Schwellwerk'). For English, American and German organs, in a two-manual configuration, the lower manual is the Great, and the top manual is the Swell. French organs usually have the Swell at the bottom. ...


14

No, you can't substitute quarter notes. This notation indicates that the player should continue alternating between the two pitches in a sixteenth-note rhythm. Look at the first bar: although the first two beats are written as 8 sixteenths and the second two beats are the unfilled beamed noteheads, the second half of the measure should sound identical to the ...


14

Standard music notation and Tablature (Tab) can both tell a guitarist what notes to play. But each can do certain things better than the other. Tablature is a common and increasingly popular form of music notation for stringed fretted instruments. It has the advantage of a very short learning curve and does not require extensive study to learn. It is ...


14

It's a simile. There are a few different types of similes and this one means "play the last notated measure again". So in this piece you will end up playing the measure before the simile marks 3 times, then play the next notated measure. It's pretty much a very shorthand way of saying "Play what you just played again".


13

This will just be an embellishment of @user15077’s answer. This is the beginning of your piece as you’ve notated it: Here is what it would look like with a more standard approach: As you can see, many of the notes are expressed as tied notes now. For example, the quarter-note D-sharp in the first measure is written as a sixteenth tied to a dotted ...


13

They indicate open-string notes (E,A,D,G,B,E); note that they are in the same position of the numbers that indicate which fingers to use to fret the notes.


13

p-i-m-a indicate which finger to pluck with (thumb, index, middle and ring, the letters come from the Spanish names), and thus are guitar specific. Similarly the small numbers to the left of the noteheads indicate which left hand finger to use to fret that note. The diamond shaped notes are natural harmonics. I believe that the way it is notated here is: ...


13

In this particular quartet, the solid bar lines are being used for coordination, but the instruments themselves are following their own metres which are demarcated by the dotted bar lines: the music is polymetric. The beaming across the bar line confirms this interpretation. In the first example, the first violin is counting 4/8, 5/8, 3/8, 4/8; the 2nd ...


12

Yes, that's a "play both notes". See http://musescore.org/node/14449 for a note on the standard from the US Music Publisher's Association.


12

Ordinary quarter rest in a somewhat uncommon but not unheard-of style. French publisher?


12

Yes a B# is just a C, but it is written that way because that note is function like a "B" instead of a "C". If you look at the notes you have G#, B#, and F#. Look familiar? It's a G# dominant 7th (5th is omitted, but thats not unheard of). A more focused question on this idea can be seen in this question as to why notes get alternative names.


12

The note is the same key as C. It is written as B# instead of "C natural" to indicate note's "role" according to rules of classical (musical) harmony. My guess is this portion of musical piece is written in Cis-moll, and the arrpegio being played is dominant chord (G# B# D# F#). Because in minor tonalities Dominant chord always has VIIth tone (B is VIIth ...


12

This means "approximately equal to". I found this with a quick Google search. Here is an example of a webpage confirming the meaning of this symbol. I must confess, I prefer to use "c.", the abbreviation for circa, in metronome markings. Here's an example: I've also seen the "wiggly" equal sign used in metronome marks. It's the top one at this webpage ...


12

A whole-note (semibreve) rest hangs D-O-W-N from the line (four letters, so four beats). A half-note rest points U-P from the line (two letters, so two beats).


11

It's... tricky. With no other indication, this probably means to play double stops. They're all pretty easy to play and there's no marking to the contrary. To indicate divisi, the composer should either mark "div.", or would split the stems, so that the top note stems point up and the bottom note stems point down. That being said, there are exceptions ...


11

You can use ordinario or normale: ordinario or normale: to bow in the ordinary or normal fashion, canceling a previous instruction to play s.p. or s.t. abbreviations: ord. ; norm.; N. - source



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