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27

It is common to use notes that are not in the scale to add color. It's called chromaticism, from the ancient Greek word for color. Think how composers use a G# instead of a G in A minor, for example as a part of an E chord. A semitone creates more tension and the tendency of G# to resolve to (go to) A is more powerful. This is called a chromatic approach ...


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 ...


24

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, ...


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 ...


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 ...


14

It's a tremolo. The performer should rapidly alternate between the first two notes and the second two notes for two beats. The notation can be a bit confusing because it looks like it might last twice as long, but both notes of a tremolo are supposed to be written as the full length of the tremolo. Not to be confused with tremolo on orchestral string ...


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

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 ...


13

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. ...


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.


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 ...


11

It is a little hard to tell without seeing the music, but these are unlikely to be time-signatures and marcato markings. The "^" is probably a variable pedal mark, particularly if it is connected to the lines showing the pedal markings. This page shows how this is usually used, it More accurately indicates the precise use of the sustain pedal. The ...


11

"Is the song key is C Major or A Minor?" This piece is in d dorian. "How to find out if it's C Major or A Minor?" There are no accidentals at the beginning of the staff which could apply to both C major or A minor. But apart from the diatonic scales, there are also modes, and this happens to be in d dorian mode. The only way to really tell what ...


10

On the assumption that if you added up the note values in the bar concerned, and they added up correctly WITHOUT the 'little notes', they will probably be grace notes. They have no value of their own, and are played sort of crushed in just before the main note that follows. You should not blow separately, but play the little note almost like it was a ...


10

Several people advise MusicXML here but I don't see that making sense. That is an exchange format, not a format to write music in. In practice, MusicXML export/import works rather tepidly between different applications. I've seen "TuxGuitar" mentioned but the name would strongly suggest a focus on guitar I don't see in question or tags. LilyPond is a ...


9

Yes. This is a pick-up bar, also known as an anacrusis. This melody starts on beat 4 and so this note could also be called an up-beat. That is why the first bar is incomplete. When this happens the last bar should have a complementary number of beats (in other words, the number of beats in the time signature minus the pick-up bar, 3 beats in this case). As ...


9

Yes, you are, according to these dots !!! However, they're not exactly right, in that the part of the piece after the two note pick-up is in A major, but the repeat is still in A minor.The music is not really written well. You probably realised that the sharps relate to the next bit, and they should be in the next bar after the repeat, or possibly bracketed ...


9

My answer is ultimately similar to Bob Broadley's, but has one difference that can make for much more readable scores in slightly more complex situations. This is the standard notation for broken held chords like the one you describe, as recommended by Kurt Stone and Gardner Read: The difference here is that you don't rewrite any of the held notes until ...


9

In playing string instruments, the term "Position" refers to the placement of the left hand along the fretboard/fingerboard. Different instruments might number them differently, but with guitar, I think its the number of the fret that your index finger is would be stopping. So when your fingers are in the "usual" place, at 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th frets, you ...


8

As others pointed out, the piece you cite has a "pick up measure". Note though that it is not categorically ok for measures to not add up to the number of beats in the time signature, it can only happen at the first measure. There is another case where you can have an apparent mismatch in the number of notes and the time signature. This happens if the ...


8

If you are referring strictly to music written obeying to traditional rhythmic conventions (with rational time signatures and regular/even division), then your second example is more suitable. Please keep in mind that the first example is not wrong, but the second will make sight-reading much easier, as our own expectations when seeing a piece in 4/4 make us ...


8

Just to add to @MattL's answer... Great and Swell are usually assigned to different manuals. (Although they can be linked by couplers.) The Great manual will usually be assigned to principal stops, or as this page describes it, the Great manual usually: contains the meat and potatoes of the organ: the principal chorus. The Swell manual will be linked ...


8

I found the below footnote in a transcription on IMSLP: It translates: I think that one could play the + sign, as a 'pinched' lower mordent. Where this is first notated, it applies to the sign above a single note in the right hand, however, there are further places where the same notation is used on chords, and below the notes, without further ...


8

This is called a turn. The 'basic' version would be written without the accidentals, and the player would play the first note, then quickly play one tone (note) above, the main note again, a tone below, the main note, and the resolve one the final note. The accidentals clarify exactly which notes to "twiddle" to. The turn can be either directly over a ...


8

The 'actual notes' marking appears in two places in the score. The first, as you've flagged, is the first entrance of the trumpet part. The same marking then appears at a section marked specifically for clarinet (where the remainder of the part is clarinet or flute). As this marking consistently appears at the first entrances of the only parts marked ...


8

The numbers tell you which left hand finger to use (index being 1, pinky being 4 - thumb not included on guitar of course). The Roman numerals tell you which position to play in. This is similar to which fret, as you suggest, but indicates the fret position of the left hand, not the actual note. This is done by putting a Roman numeral for the fret which ...


7

It usually means it is the Trio section from a Minuet and Trio form. And, although the beginning of the score you link to is not marked "Minuet", it is in 3/4 and in the style of a Minuet. Originally the Minuet was a kind of dance, with Minuet also describing the associated 3/4 dance music form. Later it became common to combine this form with a Trio ...



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