# 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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### How to notate this ornament?

I'm transcribing a piano ballad by a contemporary-progressive-symphonic-chamber-rock band, and I have come across these two ornaments. Each first measure on the below image shows the passage without ...
447 views

### What is the clearest way to signify the harmonic function of a polychord?

Chords can be analyzed with roman numerals to indicate function: C, Am, Dm, G I, vi, ii, V (or I, VI-, II-, V in jazz theory) And inversions may be analyzed by adding an arabic numeral indicating ...
210 views

### Still Major Intervals?

I have a worksheet to prepare me for my A level music; however I'm confused when being asked to name these intervals: My logic is that as both the tonic and above note are both flat meaning the ...
556 views

### What note(s) are a diminished 3rd above D-flat?

In What is the interval between Db and D# some of the comments indicate that the interval Db->Eb can be considered as a diminished third. I would think that Fbb (double-flatted F) is a diminished ...
2k views

### Notation of multiple voices in Piano Music

I'm attempting to do some piano composition where (unfortunately) it's not my native instrument. What is the accepted way to handle the notation of multiple voices in a situation like what I've ...
376 views

### Name for pedal markings

Is there any name for the inverted V (∧) in pedal markings? Or are they just known as part of pedal markings?
437 views

### Notation for generic voicing

Is there any common notation for a generic voicing of a chord? For instance, I could specify as a kind of voicing template: "Root, 3rd and fifth in fourth octave, plus root in the fifth octave" ...
2k views

### Best name for chord consisting of G Eb F Bb C?

I have a chord progression in the key of C, which walks up from the IV chord up to a particular variation of the V7 chord, which I'm trying to name in a helpful way for a lead sheet. Here are my ...
390 views

### What is this Chord Notation?

I know how to read Roman Numerals for chord progressions. But I've seen something recently I don't understand. I've attached an image below. What are those sub/post-strip's?
1k views

### What's the name of an area split by Bar Line (s) called?

What is the unit name of an area split by Bar Line(s) called ? (See the red-circled area in below picture) The translation from my native language to English results in Time Signature . I feel that ...
599 views

### How to make nonstandard scales on Finale?

I'm trying to use the scale: A,C,F#,A And then: A,B,C#,D#,F,G,A But I'll need to input a nonstandard key signature. How can I do that?
238 views

### Notation used for harmonic context

Could someone please explain what it means to say, "the harmonic context of V/V-V-I". How should one read this? It would be nice if you could also give two or three examples if you think it would ...
6k views

### What does a marking of Trio. mean on a score?

In this version of Mozart's German Dances, the third section of each dance has "Trio." engraved above the staff. What does this indicate?
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### Has music notation become more prescriptive?

Another question asks about the Meaning of 1/1 and 1/2 beneath pedaling marking near some sustain pedal markings. It looks like they are used to specify a particular amount of pedal to use while ...
1k views

### Lilypond Conga Notes

I am writing a conga part in LilyPond. I saw on LilyPond's documentation how to write conga notes: http://www.lilypond.org/doc/v2.16/Documentation/notation/common-notation-for-percussion#percussion-...
1k views

### Meaning of 1/1 and 1/2 beneath pedaling marking

Today I saw 1/1 and 1/2 written in one of my pieces beneath the pedal markings. Do these have a meaning or is it a misprint?
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### Groups of eighths

A lot of times, I've seen eighths in groups of 2, and other times in groups of 4. Is there any difference in the way you are supposed to play them?
661 views

### What notation would you use to differentiate different types of minor keys (e.g. Em natural, Em harmonic, Em melodic)?

Are they all just 'Em', or is there some standard, concise way of differentiating between them? Thanks!
6k views

### What is this symbol, a line over the note heads? [duplicate]

Today I came across this symbol: (on top of the first four notes) What is this symbol and how am I supposed to play it? A friend of mine told me it's Marcato, but Wiki gave me this: as Marcato, ...
1k views

There is a song I want to play with my 12 holes ocarina: "The Place I Will Return to Someday" (also known as "A Place to Call Home"). These are the music sheets: Music sheet part 1 Music sheet part 2 ...
364 views

### Where do accidentals go when voices overlap?

When two different voices on the same staff have overlapping note ranges, they get shifted and written side-by-side. For example: What happens if there is an accidental on a note of the voice ...
2k views

### Why are only even values used for note duration?

So, I was wondering why there are only even numbered notes? Like half, quarter, and eighth and so on.
4k views

### Is it okay to have number of notes in a bar that doesn't conform with the time signature?

Just a newbie question. In musical notation, is it okay to have number of notes in a bar that doesn't conform with the Time Signature? For example, look at this music sheet: Can you see that the ...
605 views

### Drum kit notation for crashes at section starts

What is the best way to notate crashes for drum kit, that happen only occasionally, while the rest of the rhythm pattern remains unchanged? Or only at the beginning of a section, but with the rest of ...
1k views

### How to notate two identical notes ringing together?

In a melody I am composing, there are 4 E notes in a row, like this: ----------------- ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ----------------- ----------------- ----------------- ----------------- (the length of the ...
445 views

### Why isn't this a c flat?

I am always wondering why the second c isn't flat? There is no signs before it? I know it is supposed to be played as natural, without natural signature? This question was roughly answered by my ...
1k views

### How to play a grace note on the ukulele?

How do I play a grace note on the ukulele? I figured out that the little crossed notes are called grace notes, but how are they played? I've got the first one circled, but it occurs 8 times in the ...
2k views

### What does the circle around a note mean in a guitar chord diagram?

I'm trying to play E/G#. I found this, but what is that symbol on the 4th string?
2k views

### What does a duplicated note in a chord mean?

While reading the score of Misty (Burke, Garner, arranged by Roed), I encountered the following chord notation (it's on the bass clef in bar 32, and the signature is E-flat major): What does the ...
2k views

### What does a single square bracket next to a single note mean?

I just stumbled on a bit of notation in a music score, and I'm stumped as to what it means. It's a single square bracket, spanning the whole staff, to the left of a single note. This is measure 58 of ...
1k views

### Why use meter of 3/8? [duplicate]

I see that most online scores of Beethoven's "Für Elise" specify its meter as 3/8. However, this one has 3/4 instead, which seems to make it easier to read (all the 1/16th notes become 1/8). I don't ...
630 views

### Velocity sensitivity or attack

I have a confusion about the two concepts of velocity sensitivity and attack. Considering these two apps: http://createdigitalmusic.com/2009/10/going-mobile-...
412 views

### Quick and effective ways to learn and read scores(piano)

I have no music background or whatsoever. I am interested in self-learning piano, how do I learn to read music notes?
3k views

### Does a guitarist need to know staff notation?

There is a notation called Tablature for guitar. Most of the keyboardists I have seen, use the staff notation. Is staff notation useful for guitarists? Will it help the guitarist in learning guitar?...
891 views

I have been told that standard notation is virtually universal nowadays. Standard notation is, in my experience, read from left to right, a convention that came naturally to me because the only ...
1k views

### Is the time signature switching every measure?

I think that the reason my compositions in DAW's have seemed off is because they've actually been changing time signatures throughout, and I haven't accounted for it. I tested this by making this tab ...
2k views

### How can I force LilyPond to repeat a chord symbol (relates to alternate endings)?

In chordmode, LilyPond chooses not to display chord symbols when they are the same as the preceding symbol, which is usually the right behavior. However, this behavior gets weird in the context of ...
3k views

### How does mezzopiano relate to piano?

I just came across the sonatas a quattro by Rossini in the Schott edition and in 2nd movement of first sonata directly follow three decrescendos: from mf to p from p to mp from mp to pp This ...
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### Standard notation for an octave

There are many common chord symbols and notation for musical ideas. If you want someone to play an A major chord, just an A denotes an A major chord. If you wanted someone to play an A minor chord, Am ...
543 views

### “First ending” has a notation “2nd time R.H. 8va”

In a simple piano book I'm using, one of the songs that has a first and second ending, has the notation in the bar for the first ending ("1."): "2nd time R.H. 8va". How can there be a second time ...
643 views

### Notes in small font

Is there a name for the notes that appear in smaller size in sheet music? Not grace notes, but rather notes to accompany alternative words in lyrics in different verses that require slight variations ...
8k views

### How does the piano middle pedal work? Is there a standard symbol for it?

What are the mechanics behind the middle piano pedal? I have been using the middle pedal for a variety of music, it is wonderful, but I can't figure out how it works (I mean the mechanical process). ...
677 views

### When transcribing a song and the speed doubles or halves, is it best to change the tempo and note values to reflect that or keep them the same?

This is something I've struggled with for awhile now, and applies to both transcription and composition. So, let's say we have a song at 160 BPM. The main subdivision is eighth notes, and the beat (...
4k views

### General questions about piano sheet music notation

This is the song I wanted to do, not on a piano but in FL Studio. But I don't play the piano so I need some help in dissecting this piece. Those ##C, what do those mean (and what are they called?) ...
19k views

### C in Treble or Bass Clef

I see a 'C' like sign in the beginning of the staff. What does it mean?
1k views

### Where did the British names for different note lengths come from?

I was always taught to use a certain set of names for the length of a note, such as crotchet, minim, quaver, and so on. I'm aware though that those terms aren't used as much outside the UK, and that ...
319 views

### References for typesetting music

I'm looking for books or articles on typesetting (western) music. Basically the musical equivalent for traditional typesetting, i.e. rules for spacing of symbols, justification, page layout, etc. I'm ...
926 views

### Why some measures are marked with a roman numeral and a dashed line?

Take a look at the first of Tarrega's studies, which I'm trying to learn. In this study measures 6 and 13 are marked with a roman numeral (V and I respectively), and a dashed line above a measure. ...