I'm fairly new to music and have been transcribing melodies in the name of ear training and becoming more fluent with standard notation. I'm presently creating a lead sheet for this song:

I've transcribed the melody for the first verse and intend to add chord symbols down the line:

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I have a few queries about this. In decreasing order of specificity:

  1. About measure 11. Is the D note in measure 11 (highlighted with the red arrow) correctly tied?
  2. Corollary question. If I were to instead have a half note spanning beats 3 and 4 and tied to the dotted eighth on beat 5, would it violate convention by stretching across the middle of the measure of 6/4? (For much the same reasoning that you can't have a quarter note across the middle of a measure of 6/8.) If so, does the lack of a clear triple pulse exempt it from having to follow a 3+3 subdivision? I ask because it's an isolated measure of 6/4 in a piece that's otherwise in 7/4.
  3. Second verse. When I transcribe the second verse, should I a) use a repeat and add the second verse's lyrics to the existing notes, or b) create new measures specifically for it? I've seen some lead sheets for other songs that do the former, but I find that it doesn't accommodate subtle melodic and rhythmic alterations between verses. As such, an awkward "middle ground" is notated instead. What's the best practice here, or is it a case-by-case choice?
  4. Any other matters. Are there any glaring errors/other things or best practices I should take note of? Anything and everything would be appreciated.

Many thanks for your help!

  • 0. The incomplete measure at the start (the anacrusis) shouldn't be given a bar number (or perhaps be given the number zero). So all the bar numbering is off by one. Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 6:03

1 Answer 1


First let me say I don’t know how new you are to music but this is a very good transcription! Here are my responses to your questions:

1&2: This bar is beamed correctly. 6/4 is generally treated as 3+3. Some will say that you can use a half note and group a 6/4 bar in different ways and I don’t disagree. If I personally were to do that I would show the subdivision at the top of the bar, for example 2+2+2. In this song the 7/4 groove feels like a 3+4 and that bar feels like a 2+4 so I think the half note would be ok.

3: If there are differences in the notes and rhythms there’s no reason to try and squeeze the second verse lyric line onto the first. You can Copy/paste the first verse to the end and then make the subtle changes necessary on the second verse if they are very similar. It will look cleaner and be easier to read. In general don’t create a road map (repeats, multiple endings, D.S. etc.) when there is no need to. If you need or want to use road maps always be logical about it. In my personal experience the more complicated the road map the more mistakes and problems pop up in rehearsals and performances.

4: As I said at first, excellent transcription. One very subtle thing, the last 16th note of bar 6 sounds like a F, not a Bb but great work, keep it up!

  • Thank you very much, this was extremely clarifying! Commented May 7, 2020 at 14:03
  • The 2+2+2 bar could be written as 3/2 Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 12:08
  • @ElementsinSpace Absolutely but within the context of a single bar within a 7/4 piece I would prefer 6/4. Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 17:36

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