Questions tagged [notation]

For questions about understanding notation and the use of it. 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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5
votes
1answer
122 views

Rehearsal Letters: Skipping I, J, O?

Sometimes in orchestral scores, rehearsal letters I, J, or O may be skipped. For example, Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 does not have a rehearsal letter J. What is the reason?
12
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3answers
2k views

Is there a specific name for Sheet music that uses numbers (二胡 Èrhú Sheet Music)?

I am searching for a software program (preferably opensource but not necessarily) that can create sheet music. However since I am a beginner at my instrument I still use a simplified notation. I play ...
0
votes
3answers
108 views

Guitar chord notation with numbers

I play moderate level guitar in church. In relation to the numbering system for musical notes, I have seen in songs showing the chord changes, there would be an E2 or an A2 chord along with an E or A ...
5
votes
1answer
120 views

What does /17 mean on a guitar tablature?

The song (or at least the 1st melody part) goes like this: d|-------------|-------------|-------------|/15----------| A|-------------|-13----------|/17------13--|-------------| F|---------12--|---...
5
votes
2answers
141 views

What's the meaning of a half note with a flag?

In Carcassi's Arpeggio exercises (for guitar) there are passages like this: Do these half notes are connected with eighth notes? What does the half notes with flag means? BTW, how to include these ...
3
votes
1answer
382 views

Weird acciaccatura (?) notation in Chopin's polonaise

I am not sure how to interpret the particular notation in Chopin's Op.53 Polonaise: Here, we have a single (smaller font) Eb (just before the trill). I should interpret it as a grace note, but then ...
3
votes
3answers
66 views

Smaller notes notation in Chopin's Polonaise Op. 53

I encountered a notation in the Chopin's Polonaise, Op. 53 that I have not seen before: smaller font notes not explicitly following the time signature. While it is pretty obvious how it is played (...
1
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2answers
52 views

Rules for naming borrowed chords in roman numeral analysis

I don't seem to find an extensive resource on how to name out of scale chords in roman numeral analysis. E.g. let's look at this piece from "All imperfect things" of Michael Nyman: I'm stuck on M5 ...
5
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4answers
867 views

Stylistically appropriate triplet interpretation of dotted eighth-sixteenth

[First time using ABC notation and I'm working on a phone. Bear with me] I recall from my private lesson days that when I see X:1 %%score (RH) (LH) V:RH clef=treble V:LH clef=bass L:1/8 K:C [V:RH] ...
2
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2answers
54 views

Weird symbol in score for harp

In this score for harp, there's this weird symbol: (outlined in red) I have no idea what it means, is it some kind of glissando?
5
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3answers
1k views

How should I write this passage to make it the most readable?

Been writing something and was wondering how I should notate these measures to ensure readability. These three ideas are floating around in my head but if anyone else has input please send it my way.
2
votes
1answer
103 views

What are the horizontal lines in this renaissance piece?

In one of the scores of Byrd's Ave verum corpus on CPDL, one notices horizontal lines : What do they mean? Are it a kind of phrasing marks? Were they added by the editor? Edit The Misa de Notre ...
5
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2answers
1k views

What are these numbers under tabs in Guitar Pro?

I know that piano sheets sometimes has something similar and suggests you which fingers to use to play the note or chord. But... this is guitar, and looking into these numbers I don't believe these ...
2
votes
5answers
84 views

What is a notational error in this measure if there is one(common time)?

What is a notational error in this measure? It is in common time and bass clef. I was thinking that the dotted half note is the problem, but I am not sure how to change it exactly. Maybe to a quarter ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

Is there a term for tablature with numerals placed between the lines?

In most of tablature notation for fretted instruments, each line represents a string and the numerals, representing the frets where to stop the string, are printed on the respective lines. However, ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

What does this double-treble double-bass staff mean?

Half-way through Rachma.’s Prelude in C#m there is this connected set of double clefs. Can anyone tell me what to do? It was a single set of bass and treble clefs for half the song. I thought maybe ...
4
votes
3answers
902 views

Is the beaming of this score following a vocal practice or it is just outdated and obscuring the beat?

The source is c.1770... https://imslp.org/wiki/Scots_Songs_for_Voice_and_Harpsichord_(Bremner%2C_Robert) ...first book. I can see that the beaming matches the words of the vocal part. But it ...
6
votes
1answer
113 views

What does an isolated horizontal dash mean in figured bass notation

Here you see a fragment from Francesco Geminiani's Guida Armonica (ca. 1752), a sort of 'dictionary' or catalogue of figured bass snippets. My question is, what do the isolated horizontal dashes mean ...
3
votes
0answers
25 views

Song Cycle Texts, all at the beginning or placed individually before each song?

Following the recommendation that the text for a song be provided separately as part of the front matter of a vocal composition, what is the best way to handle the texts for a song cycle if each text ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

GuitarPro Notes Displaying One Octave Too Low

I have been using the software GuitarPro, and the file I am working in has suddenly begin displaying the notes one octave too low. In short, it acts as if 8va is on, even though it isn't. Everything ...
11
votes
6answers
32k views

What is the difference between swing and shuffle?

I am learning piano from a book and I can't understand the difference between swing and shuffle. I have searched, but I still can't understand the difference. Could someone please iterate the ...
18
votes
1answer
3k views

What is this 4 sharp symbol and what does it mean?

I came across this symbol (unfortunately not in context—I was looking through some engraving font glyphs) that looks like a sharp with a 4 above it: What is this symbol called and what does it mean? ...
2
votes
3answers
78 views

Duplicate / unison notes in piano sheets [duplicate]

From time to time I see some unison / duplicate notes in piano sheets like this one: Is there a reason why you would write it like that, or would you actually play it any different? Isn't it ...
6
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2answers
3k views

What does “Mm.” in this case mean?

I don't know what Mm. means. It can't be beats per minute because it's not possible to have 4-6 beats per minute.
2
votes
1answer
48 views

When are the historical landmarks in the evolution of the bass (F) clef?

I found this image on the web showing the evolution of the bass (F) clef but there's no date or source for each instance. Can anyone provide the approximate date of these changes?
1
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3answers
94 views

Recorder out of tune by a half tone up

When playing my Recorder I found out that each note was half tone (sharp) up... I was wondering if this is a problem with the flute, or with my technique of blowing... I have also noticed that when ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Should slurs encompass tied notes from before and/or after?

What are the rules when it comes to how a slur handles tied notes set at the start or end of the legato passage? I think it looks nicer when the tied notes are included in the slur, but I don’t know ...
4
votes
3answers
273 views

Are extended chords assumed to have each extended interval below it and a 7th? [duplicate]

For instance, is a 13th chord assumed to have an 11th, 9th, 7th, 5th and 3rd along with it unless otherwise noted? And a 9th is assumed to have a 7th along with the triad, an 11th is assumed to have a ...
1
vote
3answers
67 views

Ties over some notes in beamed group, and stems in both directions

I am having trouble interpreting the ties in the following picture. It looks like the first four notes in the left hand are just playing eighth notes G, F, C, D. Why do we need ties and those weird ...
7
votes
2answers
291 views

Bracket symbol added to G clef

What does the symbol mean that is added to the clef in the Tenor voice in Poulenc’s Mass in G Major? It has a similar shape to an old C clef, but it is added to the existing G clef.
2
votes
5answers
654 views

Is it wrong to alter bar numbers after repeat endings so they reflect the performance progression rather than the last repeated measure +1?

I'm part of a small group and we have our own pieces, which I'm not allowed to share. But I'll describe the situation and hopefully get the point across. In nearly all the songs in my group's ...
21
votes
3answers
4k views

What do these three diagonal lines that cross through three measures and both staves mean, and what are they called?

I think they indicate that you repeat the previous three measures, but I'm not entirely sure.
6
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7answers
173 views

Is there a musical difference between a work ending with a whole note and one ending with a whole note tied to an eighth?

Occasionally I come across pieces of music written for wind ensembles (or similar groups) such that the final held note of a piece is notated like so: In other words, the final note of the piece ends ...
2
votes
4answers
212 views

Is there a simplified version of music theory / notation for Western music?

So far as I understand it, Western music uses a 12-note chromatic scale from octave to octave, and modern instruments use even temperament. Other cultures have smaller intervals, meaning a different ...
6
votes
2answers
131 views

Letters m, n and v above roman numerals in functional harmony notation

I'm reading a functional harmony textbook and found the notation in the following passage confusing: Consecutive VI and VII degrees in melody are harmonised with chords IV-VII6 (in minor: IVm-VII6) ...
1
vote
2answers
69 views

When to use sub-brackets for similar instruments within a section?

In some scores, especially printed sheet music, “like” instruments in larger sections will be grouped together with sub-brackets, such as piccolos with flutes, oboes with English horns, clarinets and ...
24
votes
4answers
991 views

Where do the double accidentals go in “theoretical” key signatures?

Recent questions led me to discussions of theoretical keys, which are defined by Wikipedia as keys with at least one double accidental in the key signature. (Unfortunately, the source of that ...
4
votes
4answers
94 views

5/7b in figured bass

What does 5/7b mean in figured bass? If it is just a 7th chord in root position, then why is it not just 7b? In other places in the same score, 7 or 7b are used to denote a 7th chord. Here is the ...
3
votes
3answers
94 views

Is there a way to notate octaves for chords?

Say I wanted someone to play a C major triad in the 4th octave at one point in a song I've written, while I wanted them to play the same chord (a C major triad) in the 5th octave instead of the 4th at ...
0
votes
3answers
141 views

Formula for finding relative chords/scales of the same notes

Is there a way to quickly calculate relative/enharmonic chords or scales that are based off the same notes as another, like you can with the notes themselves, i.e. C being equivalent to A minor? For ...
4
votes
3answers
122 views

Markings and symbols in Paganini violin compositions

In a lot of Paganini's violin compositions, there are bolded but sometimes not bolded capital letters like A, B, and C. I look at the note that it is above and it doesn't click for me. In Nel cor piu ...
1
vote
2answers
102 views

Is 1e&a2e&a3e&a4e&a timing notation commonly used and understood?

I've found "1e&a2e&a3e&a4e&a" notation is often used to describe ballroom step timing, but I've not found any authoritative source for it. It even looks like a recent invention for the ...
5
votes
1answer
742 views

How do I use efficient repeats in sheets for pop music?

I'm transcribing some music with the following structure: Intro AB AC AB AC Outro How in the world can I notate this with repeats and codas? Do I just have to write it all out? I'm using Musescore.
4
votes
1answer
124 views

Identifying piano notation symbol in Chopin Mazurka

I'm trying to identify what this symbol is (circled in pencil) in the sheet music for Mazurka no.4 op.17 by Chopin. It looks like two connected diamond shapes, and I can't find an explanation of it ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

What was the shortest note length commonly used during baroque period?

Eighth and sixteenth notes were obviously common enough. I've also seen some examples of 1/32 and 1/64 (link). Were 1/32 and 1/64 used frequently? And what was the shortest note length commonly used ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the meaning of time signatures with fractions on the top like ⅘ /4?

Recently I came across this List of musical works in unusual time signatures on Wikipedia. Some of the time signatures mentioned have fractional numbers on the top. e.g. two and a half over four, ...
17
votes
11answers
11k views

Can legato notes be played staccato?

I've been working on this piece by Sousa, and I came across this oddity: Does this mean to play these notes somehow legato and staccato at the same time? If so, how would I play it? If not, what does ...
2
votes
2answers
126 views

Equivalency between Indian Classical Saptak and Western Notes

Can anyone tell me the equivalency between Indian Classical Saptak, i.e. Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa and Western Notes, C D E F G A B It is Sa ~ C, Re ~ D, Ga ~ E, etc, or is it something else. Please ...
4
votes
3answers
188 views

How do you identify a key signature's name?

Normally, I'm really bad with key signatures. The thing is, I cannot memorize their names associated with their look. Is there an easy method/technique to recognizing the name of a key signature upon ...
25
votes
4answers
18k views

Rest above a note in a piano piece

I am playing a piece and wondering, what the heck is the rest making there above the note? The piece is in 3/4 so I see no purpose of the 1/4 rest. I've been googling around but did not find any ...