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Is the head of a note properly referred to as a note head, or a notehead? As far as I can determine, the Sibelius and Finale programs use the compound word in their interfaces and documentation, but the LilyPond documentation and the Wikipedia article use two separate words. I suspect that "notehead" is more commonly used, but I want to know what's more correct.

  • This is already answered properly with good references. I just want to add that the reason the separated version exist, is probably that it is common in the english language to not compound two words into one like this, but obviously, in some cases like this, it is done. – awe Mar 15 '16 at 10:41
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Merriam Webster defines this as notehead. The Oxford dictionary defines notehead as well.

There are varying spellings of this found online such as note head and note-head. Based of the commonality of both dictionaries and usage generally accepted I would say the correct spelling would be notehead.

  • Thank you. I should have searched in dictionaries first—it looks like they agree on "notehead." – Isaac Mar 15 '16 at 21:44
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Elaine Gould's book http://www.behindbarsnotation.co.uk/ uses "notehead". That is a more credible authority than Wikipedia. See http://www.behindbarsnotation.co.uk/contents/sample_pages.pdf

  • Thank you. I've heard of "Behind Bars" before, but I don't own a copy. I'm sure Gould would use the more correct term, so thank you for the sample pages. – Isaac Mar 15 '16 at 21:49

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