Questions tagged [notation]

For questions about visual representation of music and its uses. If the question is about a specific type of notation like tablature, that should also be tagged. Questions about how to input specific notation are best served with the engraving tag.

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4 votes
3 answers
612 views

What is the best way to notate an arrangement and melody for a low singing voice?

I am a bass-baritone singer and am trying to figure out how best to write and and arrange my music so that I can have the best representation of what I will be performing and recording in my studio. ...
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15 votes
1 answer
2k views

What does "j" mean in a chord symbol?

In a book of jazz trumpet duets (for Bb trumpets), I keep seeing chord symbols like "Fj" (shown below). I'm familiar with the various kinds of chord symbols (the various seventh chords, ...
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9 votes
1 answer
362 views

Arrow below staff pointing to number

What does this arrow below the staff pointing to six mean? Do I repeat the measure until 6, rest until 6, or something else? If it helps at all this is pit orchestra music for a musical :) Thanks!
4 votes
0 answers
35 views

How to indicate that a part of the song should be repeated only the second time around? [duplicate]

I have a song that I am transcribing, and it has a verse that repeats. The verse starts at the very beginning of the song and is 12 measures long. The second time the verse is played, it is played ...
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6 votes
2 answers
66 views

Finale v26 break top beam of a 16th note

I'm trying to create the above form of notation in finale. All I can muster is the below. Any insights?
2 votes
3 answers
294 views

What does "2x and 4x with chorus" mean in music notation?

I am looking at "Eight days a week" by the Beatles and here in the B section of the verse there is this "2x and 4x with the chorus" above the vocal melody and I don't know what it ...
  • 8,607
6 votes
1 answer
236 views

What is the best way to notate/convey this ornament?

I'm currently writing a piece of music (solo piano) which has a certain ornament. This is the way that I want it to be played: It would be really nice if I could notate it something like the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
135 views

Bass notes on the treble scale (wavy lines)

Could someone please assist with an explanation of these wavy lines in the bass with notes moving up to the treble scale? I am not sure how to interpret this information. Anastasia - P.F. Webster, ...
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19 votes
1 answer
2k views

Notes not adding up to time signature, with weird white oval note

Any idea how to play this piece? The notes doesn't add up to 8/4, and there are some white oval notes, which I've never encountered before. Also, what does "Air" mean on the second staff? ...
  • 251
4 votes
1 answer
210 views

How to move placement of key signature in Lilypond

In LilyPond (ver. 2.18.2), I'm notating some Ligeti (as a challenge, mostly). When writing out a snippet of his Étude En Suspens, mm. 18-21, there's a passage with different keys between the bottom ...
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3 votes
2 answers
64 views

How can I write a 5add9 chord in lilypond?

When I write g:5.9 or g:9^7.3 in a Notes block, the chord is correct. But when I write it in a ChordNames block, it produces G9 rather than G5add9. Is this a missing feature, is there a workaround, or ...
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8 votes
2 answers
647 views

What does this natural cancel?

What does the natural in the last C in the second line cancel? This is from Schumann's Album für die Jugend. Since the natural is immediately followed by a sharp, which is in the key, it does not ...
5 votes
4 answers
1k views

Jarring F natural in Bartok's "Former Friends"

I'm trying to wrap my head around the awfully jarring - it hurts my ears so bad, I literally can't bring myself to play it - F natural in m16 of Bartok's "Former Friends" from his Book 1 for ...
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2 votes
1 answer
452 views

Write the following tones in the musical notation

I am currently learning music theory so I found some assignments related to writing down tones in sheet. However I am a bit confused when it comes to different note names. For example I have to write ...
7 votes
2 answers
639 views

Is there a duration or rest error in the last bar here?

In this example - my understanding is that every bar has four quarter notes, in the third bar, we can see only two eighth notes connected to a half note - does that not make a total of 3 quarter notes?...
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2 votes
0 answers
20 views

Notating Microtonal Chords [duplicate]

Normally, when notating chords, I would use the sharp and flat symbols, and it stands to reason that for chords with quarter tones, I would use demisharp, demiflat, and whatnot. However, if I want to ...
1 vote
1 answer
49 views

If a chord has a note from an extension in the bass, is that note still an extension? [duplicate]

This question stems from a recent discussion I had with a friend, neither of us are academically trained musicians. A chord was described as a Gm9/C. My point of view was that the C note makes it a ...
  • 505
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Meaning of a box-like symbol, sometimes with a line through it

I've searched high and low for the meaning of the attached symbol but can't find the answer. Can you help me? The two horizontal Bars at the end of the line, some with a strike through.
1 vote
1 answer
47 views

Origins of musical stave notations [closed]

I was wondering whether anyone knows the history of how the notations for clefs, sharps, flats, naturals, notes, and pauses, and their locations of the stave, took place. How were these shapes ...
7 votes
1 answer
175 views

What do the small notes mean on 1st violin part

I’m playing first violin in my high school’s orchestra and came across a phrase with really small notes compared to the previous section. I suspect that it’s just showing me what the 2nd part is ...
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2 votes
1 answer
84 views

The definition, and the origin of this sign notation "x"

Here is an example of the double sharp (within the red mark) from Liszt Les Preludes, see below. I suppose this notation "x" is called double sharp. Questions: What are (1) the definition, ...
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7 votes
1 answer
449 views

Bach French Suite BWV 816: Allemande - what is the ornament with the swoosh at the end?

I am using this (Henle) reference for ornamentation: https://www.henle.de/media/foreword/1816.pdf. The ornament in bar 9 looks like "idem" but the swoosh comes at the end (instead of at the ...
6 votes
1 answer
339 views

Can I use/when can I use dotted rests in time signatures such as 5/8 or 7/8?

I'm writing a song that changes to 7/8 and I'm wondering if or when dotted rests are appropriate (assuming that dotted rests are appropriate for compound meters).
0 votes
1 answer
61 views

LilyPond - Grace note too close to the barline

Lilypond places the grace notes very close to the barline (see image). Is it possible to create more room between the barline and the notes?
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5 votes
7 answers
792 views

How can Key be understood differently when composing music vs playing it as a musician?

When I was younger, for years, I played musical instruments such as the french horn, violin, acoustic ("standing") bass, electric bass, piano, and electric guitar. During these years, I also ...
2 votes
2 answers
216 views

Clef with signature keys, entering other notes

I would like to know, suppose a clef with key signature (e.g., G is always sharp), independent of octave, appears at the beginning of the staff. Then every G that appears must be read sharp. Then what ...
5 votes
1 answer
141 views

LilyPond: words connected with hyphen

I started working on a songbook with English songs and came across lyrics where the words are connected with hyphens. What would be the best way to show these in LilyPond? In the example below there ...
  • 63
2 votes
2 answers
108 views

How can I notate multiple repeats?

I'm currently using MuseScore for transcribing my drum notation and it's working great - except I can't seem to find a repeat for a section to repeat more than once. How can I notate multiple repeats?
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2 votes
1 answer
510 views

Why isn't #i just called #i?

This answer to How to write functional chord symbols with accidental roots, basically claims that (and I paraphrase) "#i is not a thing" in functional harmony. But why not just call a spade ...
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4 votes
4 answers
507 views

When is b6 a #5 in major mode?

If I am in C major I will often see the b6 described as "mode mixture" in my text books or a borrowed note from the natural minor scale. However if I am in the key of C and play a III chord ...
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1 vote
2 answers
131 views

How do you play these parts?

I don't know much about music theory but this part seems to require you to improvise or something (1st & 2nd link) , if so how do you learn to improvise something like this, where to start and ...
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12 votes
3 answers
3k views

A big "1" in the middle of a piano grand staff

The image is from a Russian edition of Alexander Goedike's 20 Little Pieces for Beginners (20 маленьких пьес для начинающих), Op. 6, no. 11. What do the big bold ones in the middle of the grand staff ...
3 votes
2 answers
61 views

What's the best way to notate a timed arpeggio with specific cutoff

This is a short excerpt (the upper hand part) from a piano piece I'm working on. I'd like this arpeggiated chord to end exactly when the trill start and to be played with the same hand. What is the ...
1 vote
1 answer
35 views

How can I include shape notes in a Google Doc?

I am working on a document about shape note singing. This is music notation that is developed off of the solfège scale, where each note is given its respective shape. (Do is an equilateral triangle.) ...
7 votes
3 answers
658 views

Most readable way to write left hand flowing towards higher notes

I'm struggling to make a simple passage I've written look and feel 'comfortable'. The left hand is 'travelling' across the piano. Which of these are more readable? My instinct says to stick with the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
74 views

What does a white/hollow punctum represent in Gregorian notation?

The title resumes my question well: what does a white/hollow punctum represent in Gregorian notation? From: les Bénédictins de Solesme. (1959). Paroissien romain, contenant la Messe et l’Office: N° ...
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1 vote
0 answers
75 views

How to play a turn? [closed]

What does the turn notation symbol mean to play rhythmically? what if it is not on the note but in between 2 notes? thanks
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4 votes
2 answers
223 views

Notation shorthand for two notes going in quick succession

Ex. Could these 32-notes be notated as one note with some ornamentation/articulation? Is there a standard shorthand notation for that?
5 votes
2 answers
101 views

Is there an alternative notation for polychords that won't be confused with slash notation?

We have a terrific guide on slash notation, a notational practice in which, for example, Gm/D means a G-minor triad with a D in the bass (i.e., in second inversion). A polychord, though, is indicated ...
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4 votes
1 answer
76 views

In a reduction why are some notes stemmed together?

Here you can see in the first bar the reduction of the first bar has the ^1 on the second beat while in bar 2 the two tones are stemmed together. Why?
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0 votes
2 answers
59 views

Do I apply a sharp to all the same notes? [duplicate]

I play guitar and for one of my songs, the sheet music shows sharps for only higher notes and not the lower notes. Do I apply the sharps to the lower notes? For example, G on string 1 is a sharp but ...
2 votes
3 answers
95 views

What do those diagonal lines mean on lead sheets? [duplicate]

Here's an example I just found online and there are many more in jazz lead sheets I found, etc. I was also wondering, when I'm writing a lead sheet and there are sections that are just instrumentals, ...
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4 votes
2 answers
213 views

Suppressed repeated tuplet numbers

In older scores that have been engraved by hand, it is very common to see something like this: i.e. if there are many of the same tuplets in a row, the tuplet number is shown only for a couple of ...
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3 votes
1 answer
73 views

Ties with dots in Haydn

Here's an example of ties with dots on the end tied note in a Haydn String Quartet (Op. 76 No. 2). There appear to be many differing views on how these are to be interpreted and played. What do you ...
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6 votes
4 answers
467 views

Which is more comprehensible for a player after writing fortissimo: forte or meno forte?

So after writing ff when you want musicians to play very loud, would you rather write f alone or meno f if you want them to go a bit softer but still loud enough?
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5 votes
3 answers
436 views

Can't understand 16th notes connected by beams [duplicate]

The following section (mm. 49–52) is from "Metamorphosis II" by Philip Glass with 4/4 signature. I don't understand how beats are adding up: There are 4x6 16th notes in each G clef measure, ...
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3 votes
2 answers
89 views

How do you properly read an extended scale chart?

This question is about reading extended scale charts. Example A: Shows a small segment of notes that are easy to read and practice. Example B: Shows all possible notes and I don't know where to start ...
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4 votes
0 answers
74 views

Which publishers use editorial slurs and ties with a stroke?

A bit strange question here: have you ever encountered a slur or tie marked as editorial with short stroke in the middle (like the one that can be found e.g. in Dorico)? The thing is, I try to ...
11 votes
1 answer
349 views

What does the cross on a square symbol mean?

This symbol is on a clarinet etude sheet, but I don't have any clue what it means.
4 votes
1 answer
71 views

Timing of arpeggiated chords

Arpeggiated chord [A] can be realized by either playing the first note on time, and the following notes later [B], or starting a bit in advance and playing the last note on time [C]. When each of them ...
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