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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3 votes
5 answers
298 views

Changing time signature mid bar

I have a puzzle about the notation of this score, specifically the bar divided by the dotted line in the second system: My intention is that the first half of the bar should have the stresses of 6/8, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
188 views

How do you distinguish an upper mordent from a trill?

I recently learned of the upper mordent. (first ornament in this image from Wikipedia) To me, it looks identical to the trill from the table of ornaments I'm familiar with: When encountering this ...
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5 votes
2 answers
227 views

Lilypond: barre marker for single note values

This question deals with barre chord notation for guitar using the TextSpanner command in Lilypond. This approach is also described in the Lilypond documentation. However, this approach only works if ...
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5 votes
4 answers
449 views

When should I use polyphonic voicing for the upper piano staff?

I am learning to use some notation software, but I am unsure if what I have so far is the best way to notate this piano piece. The ties kind of bug me, and I am not sure if I should have polyphonic ...
  • 8,729
2 votes
1 answer
76 views

What is the meaning of two vertical bars surrounding notes? [duplicate]

I am seeing notes surrounded by two vertical bars that I cannot interpret (see the first notes in the treble and bass below). I have checked the liner and Google/Wikipedia for ideas but cannot find a ...
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7 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the meaning of a notation that looks like a rest superimposed on a note

In the picture above, it looks like a rest superimposed on top of a note. What does that mean?
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1 vote
0 answers
39 views

Sideways Z shaped dynamics in sheet music [duplicate]

I have come across these Z shaped dynamics (?)… accessories? In my piano sheet music and wondered what they mean. I have circled them in red in this photo. Thanks
3 votes
1 answer
68 views

What's this flat squiggly line below the notes at the end of this clarinet jazz solo?

This is from cuphead. Youtube link here: It kind of sounds like vibrato.
5 votes
4 answers
144 views

Name and meaning of "mirrored" accent sign

I'm currently engraving a hand-written SATB piece in LilyPond and encountered some music notation I'm not really sure what to do with. It consists of four consecutive quarter notes with each note ...
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5 votes
4 answers
626 views

How to notate a "softened" dotted rhythm?

In a score I'm preparing, I have many pairs of notes whose durations should be played in the ratios 2:1 or 1:2, with each pair having a total duration of a half note. The common way to notate this is ...
4 votes
4 answers
180 views

Can a tuplet cross a barline?

In correct music notation, can a tuplet (like a triplet or a quintuplet) cross a barline? I have never seen this, but if it's not allowed, why not? It looks to me like it should be possible.
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3 votes
1 answer
123 views

Proper use of D.C. al Coda with repeat voltas

I have a score template like this... I expect this to be the performance by measure numbers and rehearsal marks... A 1-8, 1-7, 9 B 10-25 C 26-33, 26-31, 34-38 D.C. al Coda A ...
6 votes
2 answers
895 views

What's the (italian or classical) name of a single slash repeat?

I know, the "percent" sign, to repeat the previous bar, is also called due volte. See here: taken from here. However, I'm looking for the (classical name of a) single slash, like here in ...
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2 votes
0 answers
47 views

Why is G the lowest note of the Gamut? [duplicate]

The Gamut made use of the seven letters of Saint Gregory: A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. It represents the twenty notes of “true music” (musica recta), from low G to high e2. Why was the lowest note in ...
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1 vote
1 answer
75 views

How do I count these rhythms for the shaker?

How do I count these rhythms for the shaker part? It is in 4/4 and I know it’s not difficult. But, I’ve never played shaker before and want to write in the counting in my score. Also, the same for the ...
8 votes
1 answer
344 views

Notation: How to notate a note at the start of the first bar that is only played during the first repeat?

I have read this answer, which relates to a different problem. I want to know how to include a note to be played at the start of my first bar (ie: within the bar, not prior to it), but only during the ...
4 votes
3 answers
84 views

Are these 2 clef-change notations equivalent in meaning and result?

I've been copying over my purchased PDF of John Adams's score for "China Gates" into a new MuseScore copy for my personal use. There are frequent clef changes which he notates in this manner ...
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5 votes
5 answers
935 views

Best approach to count Seven Four Signature (7/4)?

I listened Pink Floyd "Money" from the album "Dark Side of the Moon" for a while break after and started to think about Seven Four (7/4) time signature in music theory and how to ...
5 votes
1 answer
122 views

Lilypond: B-note stem up

I want B note to have its stem going up most of the time so I don't need to use every time \stemUp and \stemNeutral commands. Is that possible? Thank you.
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7 votes
1 answer
89 views

Chord Notation: Superscript number in brackets

I'm a beginner piano student and have come across a type of chord notation I'm not familiar with, and can't find anything on the internet. Below is a photo of part of the chord chart for the worship ...
4 votes
3 answers
613 views

What is the conventional way to notate a meter with accents on every second 8th note?

In rock music (or jazz, or pop, or funk) it is a common practice to make accents on every second quarter note in 4/4 time signature. But it is also quite common to make accents on every second eighth ...
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0 votes
1 answer
33 views

How to notate repeat section for lead sheet [duplicate]

I'm having trouble writing a compact lead sheet for a song with this form: A A B A B C B B How to write it with repeat sign without make it too confusing? Thank you.
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1 vote
4 answers
97 views

Should a scale like C double harmonic major or C phrygian dominant be notated as a 4 flats or natural key?

I'm not really looking for an "objective" answer, but a list of pros and cons for the 2 options I listed (and maybe other options like notating the key as 3 flats or making a weird custom ...
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9 votes
2 answers
601 views

Unknown notation: square brackets, triangles, and numbers

What do these square brackets, triangles, and the numbers next to them mean, in Le Marteau sans maître by Pierre Boulez.
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1 vote
1 answer
104 views

Mood instruction to play a section messily, asynchronously

Another question for my amateur Shostakovich Symphony 11 arrangement for solo piano. The part I am asking about is 29:36 to 29:56 in this video, or rehearsal marks 80 to 82 in the original score. I'm ...
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4 votes
3 answers
700 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. ...
  • 8,729
16 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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10 votes
1 answer
387 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
75 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
306 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 ...
  • 8,729
6 votes
1 answer
252 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
145 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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20 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? ...
  • 361
4 votes
1 answer
220 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
69 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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9 votes
2 answers
665 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
458 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
645 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
51 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 ...
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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
49 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
186 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
88 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
465 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
350 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
69 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
804 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 ...

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