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Feb
3
comment What is this cross staff tied/slurred note supposed to be?
I have played this piece, and the chord must definitely be e-a-c sharp-d sharp. So the fact that there isn't a natural accidental in front of the e is simply an editor's error.
Jan
7
comment Need help figuring out the key of this melody
This is not in any single key, since you're using too many contradictory alterated notes. A tune that contains b, d and d sharp cannot be played in any of the diatonic keys.
Jan
4
comment Typeset whole note as full measure in 6/8 time in Lilypond
Sure, you can just say c1*6/8 to get a note that looks like a whole note but sounds for 6/8. But I agree that simply correcting the score is the better option.
Dec
22
comment slur options in sheet music
Composers rarely use dashed slurs to express their intent (they're a pain to write and make you look indecisive). If you find a dashed slur in a printed score, it's almost always either an alternate-lyrics caution or a caution to signify "added by the editor" (editor's additions are usually set in italics, but slurs can't be italicized, so you dash them instead).
Dec
20
comment accidentals in measure
That may be the rule in theory, but in practice any musician would curse you loudly if you published a bar like this. Contradictory notes within one bar are so unusual and so disruptive that every practitioner expects a cautionary 'natural' mark for the non-affected note, and this is virtually always done (just like for non-altered notes in the next measure).
Dec
16
comment Do the notes of a chord form parallel octaves, even when they are not played simultaneously?
These aren't parallel octaves, because your voices don't make simultaneous steps separated by an octave (the bass moves to e flat before the alto does). There are, however, parallel ninths.
Dec
14
comment How to transcribe a score without a rigid tempo?
Tempo fluctuation has nothing whatsoever to do with being "a capella". That simply means "without accompaniment".
Dec
11
comment notating a cappella liturgy music
It's quite possible that there is no consistent time signature in your liturgy. Notating something as 3/4 or 4/4 is useful for pieces that continually repeat the same accent pattern, but that definitely doesn't apply to all music.
Nov
19
comment Piano - Hand position when playing “double octaves”
Almost no one can play this. Even hands that comfortably span 11 keys could not press the 3rd and 9th key simultaneously with 1 and 11, because human hands are rather asymmetrical. This is a bad piano reduction by someone clueless.
Nov
1
comment Unusual Accidentals
About half of the annotations I make to music I'm preparing is courtesy accidentals on top of what the editor considered necessary (the rest is fingerings and footings).
Nov
1
comment Is it possible to get the actual sheet music for a particular song?
Very often there is no original sheet music. Singer-songwriters don't compose their pieces on paper, they usually don't play them from sheet music, they aren't in the business of selling notated music, and they don't particularly want others to copy their set lists. (When you live in a free-market society and some obvious good simply isn't to be had for sale, the most probable reason is that it doesn't exist in the first place.)
Oct
9
comment does a first time bar always need a repeat?
You don't need a repeat sign for this. In addition to the "Fine" sign (traditionally this was just a fermata), there are also various "reentry" signs which mean exactly what you want: "when returning from the middle section, jump here rather than to the very beginning". (I'm leaving this as a comment because I don't have a handy link to a notation example.)
Oct
8
comment Is there a specific name for the arpeggio symbol?
This is the relevant internal documentation from the ultimate music engraver, lilypond: lilypond.org/doc/v2.19/Documentation/notation/… Nowhere do they call the line anything else than "arpeggio".
Oct
7
comment What does the word technique mean in Opera singing?
I would call someone solid if they get everything right to a professional standard (e.g., hitting every note to a high degree of accuracy, with no intonation lapses). To be polished there would have to be something above and beyond that, e.g. executing multiple, clearly distinguished volume levels in a long diminuendo convincingly (this is surprisingly difficult).
Sep
17
comment Why is 1/128th note's prefix “semihemidemisemi”?
All name conventions are arbitrary and weird. The ones that are rarely used are particularly weird because there is less pressure for them to get normalized over time. And 128th notes are extremely rare - I've been playing for 30 years and I've come upon one piece that actually specifies them.
Jun
25
comment Why is the double bass the only instrument in the violin family tuned in fourths?
+1 because this is the likely root cause. The fact that the double bass comes from a long line of instruments that were already tuned in fourths is true but misleading; if that family had never existed and the violin family had included a native bass instrument, it would have had exactly the same fingering problems, and I believe that it would have had to implement the same solution, i.e. different tuning.
Jun
25
comment What conventions are used with accidentals and tied notes?
If the second note is not augmented, then you can't have a tie at all, since it doesn't connect equal pitches. (However, if you use a slur for phrasing or legato, which looks similar and can be confused with a tie, then you should definitely include a complementary cancellation sign.)
Jun
12
comment Are whole notes/rests really used to signify variable lengths of time?
Well, yes. Absolutely. Look at any relevant music score - for instance. the beginning of Beethoven's 8th. The first page is crawling with whole rests that are actually 3/4 rests.
Jun
12
comment Are whole notes/rests really used to signify variable lengths of time?
The note, no. The rest, yes. (If I were allowed to speculate why, it's probably to do with the fact that people are more willing to spend a bit of effort getting the detailed notation right for something that sounds than for something that doesn't.)
Jun
11
comment Is there a rest symbol that means “rest until the end of this measure”?
Leaving bars entirely blank to signify "all rests" is becoming more accepted even in printed scores nowadays.