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  • 35 votes cast
Mar
2
comment When does audio latency matter and not matter?
I suspect another critical factor with the latency tolerance on keyboard and drums is that all of the actions to initiate a note must be completed before anything is audible, whereas singing or playing a saxophone requires that one adjust one's facial/vocal muscles in response to what the voice or instrument is doing.
Feb
24
comment Chord naming conventions: add2 versus add9
I think Cm7(b5) may be used notationally for consistency with C7(b5) which would be C-E-Gb-Bb--a chord which doesn't fit any "normal" pattern.
Feb
19
answered Why does plucked and bowed string of violin produces slightly different pitches?
Feb
18
comment Small note above a normal-sized note
...lyric substitution is a common reason for printing small notes in addition to full-sized ones, and often doesn't have any special explanation beyond the placement of the lyrics themselves.
Feb
18
comment Small note above a normal-sized note
In the picture above, there's insufficient context to judge what the small note is for--whether it's a note that singers aren't expected to be able to hit but should if possible, or if it's the last note of a cue-note phrase continued from the previous line, etc.? If the small note had been e.g. a bottom-line E, it might have been plausible that the top-space E was preferred, but that the lower E was suggested as an alternate for anyone who couldn't sing the upper one. That the note is the same duration as the full-size one makes lyric-based substitution unlikely, but...
Feb
18
comment Small note above a normal-sized note
@Chris: Consider the situation where a measure starts with a full-sized half note C, and small quarter notes D C, and some verses have a syllable on the second beat, but the first verse doesn't. Versus with a syllable on the second beat would use the quarter notes, and those without would use the half note. Such notation would be considered sufficiently commonplace as to not merit a special explanation.
Feb
18
comment Music Notation - Little notes
@PLL: Small notes are sometimes also used to show passages which performers may or may not play, based upon various criteria [e.g. "for rehearsal only" or "play cue notes only when flute is unavailable"]
Feb
17
comment In piano music notation how are notes distributed between the staves?
Connecting beams between two staffs can sometimes be useful, but any staff containing both left- and right-hand notes should use stem direction to indicate which hand plays what, and both left- and right-hand parts should be rhythmically complete. For the above snippet, I would have first two bass-cleff notes should be down-stem, folowed by a dotted-quarter rest and dotted-half rest placed low on the lower staff. The upper staff would then start with a dotted-quarter rest and include the remaining notes. I would also use the bass-clef "g" rather than the two-ledger-line one.
Feb
14
comment Do accidentals apply to other staffs of the same type?
@Tim: My philosophy is that notation should be generally chosen to maximize the likelihood of accurate interpretation, even while sight-reading, and an editor should use judgment as to what things might be misinterpreted. I would consider cautionary accidentals appropriate in many situations where there would be no particular "rule" calling for them, but a lot depends on judgment. For vocal music, or for instruments where performers play "relative" pitches, I favor parentheses around cautionary accidentals to help performers judge whether a note is higher or lower than what they'd "expect".
Feb
13
answered Do accidentals apply to other staffs of the same type?
Feb
10
comment Melodic Minor - Uses
I like your point about going toward the tonic. A lot of the time melodies aren't simple ascending or descending lines, but can jump and change direction. A jump to the raised seventh will tend to pull toward the tonic; a jump to the natural seventh won't. Both tonic-raised7-tonic and tonic-nat7-tonic are useful melodic figures, the former suggesting an inability to escape the tonic, and the latter suggesting a full escape and return.
Feb
10
comment When practicing on my instrument - which is more important - quantity or quality?
@Tetsujin: If one manages to get something right after a lot of frustrating effort, sometimes it may be tempting to take a break, but a minute or two of wood chopping once one finally manages to get something right can help make it much easier the next time.
Feb
10
comment When practicing on my instrument - which is more important - quantity or quality?
@Tetsujin: One thing I've found about wood chopping is that while it can sometimes seem to take forever, the amount of actual time consumed is often surprisingly short. If one's chopping wood on a four-second section from a three-minute piece, two dozen reps will feel like ages, but in reality will only take 1.6 minutes--less time than would have been required to play the piece once.
Feb
10
answered When practicing on my instrument - which is more important - quantity or quality?
Feb
4
comment If between E and F is a halftone, why can F not be an E#
Likewise in a handbell group, the bell above middle C would be played with one performer's right hand when written as a C#, and by the adjacent performer's left hand when written as a Db. The former player would generally also use his right hand for C natural, and the latter player would also use his left hand for D natural and D#.
Feb
3
comment Why do composers use seemingly/unecessarily complex time signatures?
Indeed, I think one problem is that time signatures are generally expected to go at the start of a measure where the time changes. In "The twelve days of Christmas", the time should change from three to four right at the pickup "and a | par-tri-idge in a pear | tree", but notation can't accommodate that; thus "two-oo tur-tle doves, and a" is notated as a 4/4 measure rather than a measure that starts out in 3/4 measure and changes to 4/4.
Jan
31
answered Is the following non-standard fingering for an A shaped barre chord still technically sound?
Jan
31
comment Ending a song with a dominant chord
@mey: I think fading out is a "cheat", personally; I prefer to simply end with a tonic chord where the downbeat of the next verse would be, but fading out does avoid the need to resolve.
Jan
30
answered Ending a song with a dominant chord
Jan
29
comment How is this B flat guitar chord physically possible?
An advantage of the two-finger technique is that it's a lot easier to have a finger cleanly fret strings 3-4, kinda sorta touch 2, and not touch 1, then to have it either cleanly fret 2 without touching 1, or have it cleanly miss 2 altogether. The biggest problem is that switching from major to minor requires both adding another finger to string 3 and lifting the squooshing finger so that it completely misses string 2 (it may, but doesn't have to, continue touching string 3).