2

Look at the below graphic and please tell me how is this possible.

This is supposed to be in 4/4 time but it has 7 quarter notes??! (and an 8th note as well as a "8th note rest" - not sure if thats what it's called)

How is this possible? If I try to copy the below into Guitar Pro it gives me an error.

(There are two half notes (E and A) as well, those I am guessing are on the 2nd track and GP won't even let me put them in the same place thats shown in the graphic)

enter image description here

  • 5
    Ryan, your questions are fundamentally reasonable, but seeing as you've posted rather a lot of Guitar-Pro questions, perhaps you'd be better off reading the manual and experimenting a bit so you know how to use the tool. – Carl Witthoft Jul 20 '15 at 14:34
  • The thing is, I am very very rusty on notation and starting out on GP as well. I get what you are saying but I think I will keep posting here because when I post and people answer they sometimes go into a little more details which has taught me a LOT more compared to even had I found the answer myself. I may not be getting much input on using GP but I have gotten loads of new information about music that is pretty much invaluable. – Ryan Jul 20 '15 at 16:11
  • Looks like the middle voice is syncopating. – Neil Meyer Jul 21 '15 at 9:10
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There are 3 separate voices. Voice 1 is the high D-F#-A-G, voice 2 is the middle [eighth rest]-D-A-E-A, and voice 3 is the half notes.

  • Three voices!!! Ok, makes sense now :) Just got introduced to voices yesterday so didn't think beyond two :p Thanks! Picked your answer. – Ryan Jul 20 '15 at 13:44
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    This is a pretty strange measure of music, I will grant you that. I would have notated this differently, but it is playable if you can decipher it. The notes in the middle voice should be written as single eighth notes and tied eighth notes. "Staggering" the three syncopated notes in the middle voice by writing them as quarter notes is against the conventions of proper notation. – user1044 Jul 20 '15 at 14:01
11

This is a pretty strange measure of music, I will grant you that. I would have notated this differently, but it is playable if you can decipher it. The notes in the middle voice should be written as single eighth notes and tied eighth notes. "Staggering" the three syncopated notes in the middle voice by writing them as quarter notes is against the conventions of proper notation.

I would have notated it like this:

enter image description here

  • Sadly more and more music is seen without the tie across the middle of a 4/4 bar. May be something in the software of these computer generated progs? S'pose it's called progress... Yours looks better, though! – Tim Jul 20 '15 at 14:15
  • There's a company called Steinberg that is working on a music notation software competitor to Sibelius and Finale. I follow the development, and there was recently a video blog by the lead developer who said that the new Steinberg product would, by default, prevent people notating things like what was done in Voice 2 in the example provided by the questioner, and would default to the kind of notation I use in my example. – user1044 Jul 20 '15 at 14:19
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    The point is that you should clearly show where the beats are. Using those "staggered" syncopated quarter notes obscures where the beats are. – user1044 Jul 20 '15 at 14:21
  • I always do! Don't think the programmers are as fastidious, though. But at the end of the day, there's only four beats to get mixed up in. Bit like key sigs. We don't really need them at the beginning of each line, but they still get put in. Why stop there? Put the time sig in as well!! – Tim Jul 20 '15 at 14:42
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    Those staggered crochets are standard notation in multivoice keyboard music. That is such a standard rhythm, and so commonly occurring, that it is easier and cleaner to notate and read the rhythm without the ties. (If one or more the crochets are divided, that's a different thing - we only use this for very simple syncopations.) It is very much like the crochet-minim-crochet rhythm in that regard. I would be very surprised if Daniel disallows it altogether in the Steinberg product - he knows better. – user16935 Jul 20 '15 at 15:55
1

I'd just like to emphasise (for those that are still confused by this layout) just how the voices work and interleave with each other.

Following is the bar re-created with MuseScore with each of the voices in a different colour - Blue (primary), Green (Secondary) and Gold (Tertiary). The same colours are duplicated in the guitar tabulature to emphasise how they are transcribed from score to tabulature notation.

enter image description here

You can clearly see in this image how each of the three voices has its own timebase to work from. The primary voice is played on the beat (1-2-3-4). The secondary is played on the half-beat (and-1-and-2-and-three-and-four) offset by the quaver rest at the start (also in green). The tertiary voice is notation more normally seen for multi-voice layouts, and has the more obvious beat 1-3.

While this format is frowned upon by music purists it does make for a cleaner layout. It is though, as you have seen, slightly more cryptic than the more explicit (and correct) notation shown by @WheatWilliams, but once you have got used to looking for this style (and especially noticing that elusive rest at the start of the secondary voice) it becomes just as readable as the more strict layouts.

Personally I don't know which method is better - the strict (though maybe overwhelming to the beginner with all those ties) notation or the loose (which makes it clearer what the length of the notes are if not the timing) notation. Suffice it to say, though, that with the loose notation becoming more and more common it's important to get used to reading both of them and translating, in your head, between the two.

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