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31

There are several reason. The most basic would be “so that they could play together”. A symphonic orchestra is much bigger than a band, and being in perfect sync with the player at the other side of the stage or pit can be hard without visual cues. In smaller ensemble, such as a quartet, quintet, or even chamber orchestra, there might be no conductor or the ...


28

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, ...


17

Let me try to add to the excellent answers. In general: Your question is legit, but it can be readily explained with scale. Compare: "me and my brother built a doghouse yesterday - why building a skyscraper needs an architect and blueprints?" :) More in detail: The musicians are presumably professionals who have had much practice at this point, so why ...


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 Geminiani's 1748/51 ornament tables, where it was specified ...


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

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

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

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


10

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 ...


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

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 ...


9

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 ...


9

All transcribed notation is an approximation. The classic dots and stems are simply not adequate for many types of music. But before we even talk about transcription, consider that many composers have conceived of sounds that are far beyond the status quo -- often called the avant garde, but not necessarily so. Many of these composers have then invented ...


9

Dave is right, but there's a little more to it. You can break the part up into two different lines. One that looks like this: And another that looks like this: When you put them together, you get the two part represented by different stems. It's pretty much telling you to hold the first note for the length of a quarter note, but play the set of notes ...


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

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

Make or buy yourself some flash cards for bass clef notes. Begin with a very small subset of cards -- choose several that you can identify reliably, such as middle C. If you have, say, 3 easy cards and 2 slightly harder cards, that's a good combination. On the back of the card, write the name of the note. Now shuffle and quiz yourself. Say the names of ...


8

the numbers are indeed fingerings. The circle indicates that the hand position is changing. The long curved lines are not sostenuto pedal markings, they're "legato" markings. Legato means that you play the marked phrase smoothly note into note, without spaces or rests between the notes. You're correct that the numbered measures near the repeat sign are ...


7

My sense (after writing parsers for ABC, MusicXML, Cappella, Noteworthy, and about 6 other formats; and output to Lilypond, etc.) is the limitations of ABC, the format, cannot be completely separated from the limitations of ABC parsers. As both Kevin and Chris noted above, the ABC format has the capacity to encode much of the complexity of MusicXML and ...


7

Typically dotted stave lines suggest a continuation of the stave without having the stave actually be present. Quite often you'd just see the top and bottom lines of the stave extended to where the stave re-appears in full. This technique is predominately used for cut-away scores to help line things up. In this context of what you presented however, there ...


7

Here are some of example of where alternate note heads are useful. There are probably more that I can't think of, or am unaware of. The "ladder" shape is one form of the double-whole note (aka breve). As you might expect, it has twice the duration of a regular whole note. Notation for percussion instruments oftens use various shapes to indicate different ...


7

Some of it appears to be a variation of shape notes (5,8,9,10,11,12), others seem based on larger note values that are quite rare in modern music and clef like (6,14). Some (mainly the Xs and triangles) seem based on percussion notation (2,7,8) and some just seem to be decorations (1,3,4,13). As these notes heads come from different places and are used in ...



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