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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4
votes
1answer
91 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
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3answers
6k 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
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11answers
12k 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
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2answers
242 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
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3answers
346 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
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4answers
19k 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 ...
7
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3answers
371 views

Accidentals and ties [duplicate]

There are two specific situations I'm interested in. note with accidental tied into next bar (G♯ say, in key C) and in the next bar the ♯ is repeated on the note at the end of the tie. ...
66
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5answers
51k views

How do you draw a quarter rest with a pen/pencil?

It seems to me that the quarter rest we see everywhere was drawn with a calligraphy pen. I don't have one of those - I have a sharpened/mechanical pencil or a ball-point pen. So usually when I try to ...
4
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1answer
88 views

What does a small slash through a line on the staff mean?

The slash mark is shown multiple times in the piece, and it’s not just shown on the top line. The slash goes between notes and on any of the staff lines. I just want to know what it signifies.
0
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2answers
165 views

Can anyone help with the use of a “Non Chord tone” in Arctic Monkeys' “R U Mine?”

I've recently had a go at analysing Arctic Monkeys' song R U Mine and was wondering about this part shown here: The key of the song is F# minor and and the measure shown starts with a non-chord tone....
14
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1answer
2k views

What do these symbols mean?

This is part of Hasse's "Mea Tormenta, Properate". I think the one on the second staff is some sort of repeat sign, from the research I've been able to do, but I have no idea what the one on the ...
8
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4answers
265 views

Notating for the pianist to lift the pedal slowly?

So in various sections of a piece I want the pianist to lift the pedal slower than usual, achieving an interesting effects as the harmonics fade. In some areas the pedal lift might be slower or faster,...
3
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3answers
100 views

Do I change the key signature or add accidentals for a section in a different key?

I am composing a piano piece that starts out in G# minor (which is the set key) and later on I have a section that goes into E major. For that section, do I simply just change the key signature, or ...
6
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2answers
106 views

Would an accidental in a mordant still be effective for the whole measure?

This is from Bach's Chromatic Fantasie and Fugue: This would obviously be played D, C#, D. Let's say that there was a C on the same octave later in that measure. Would the C be sharp?
3
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4answers
643 views

How do you write a dominant ninth in fourth inversion?

How do you write in music notation a dominant ninth chord in its fourth inversion? I only know of the ways to write first, second and third inversion. Fourth I have never come across.
3
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2answers
64 views

Figured bass and ties

How does one play figured bass when the bass line contains ties? For example, here are the first three measures of Vivaldi's "Filiae maestae Jerusalem" (sheet music source). Do I understand ...
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2answers
207 views

Notation problems in ABCjs

In the below ABCjs sample: X: 1 T: Symphony No. 7 C: Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) R: Langsam (Adagio) M: 4/4 L: 1/4 K: Bm [F,^G,B,D]/z//[F,G,B,D]///[F,G,B,D]/// [F,G,B,D]/z//[F,G,B,D]///[F,G,B,D]/// !///...
1
vote
1answer
241 views

Note Positioning: .abc files and note length

Sequel to this question... sorta: Understanding MIDI Files I'm using Starbound Composer to directly edit a .midi file. I'm not really sure if it's .abc or .midi that's the main focus here. BGM ~ The ...
6
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2answers
996 views

How do I notate sharps in ABC notation?

I'm trying to convert the dozenal representation of tau (=2*pi) to a series of notes. I was trying to use ABC notation, but I don't know how to indicate sharps or flats. I'd like to use a notation as ...
26
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3answers
2k views

What are the limitations of the ABC notation format?

This question came up in a discussion on Meta, and I thought it might be a good question to ask on the general site. ABC notation is a relatively simple text-based format for writing music scores ...
8
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1answer
704 views

Why use cross notes in sheet music for hip hop tracks?

This is an excerpt from the sheet music for a song by Eminem. What do the cross notes mean, and what is their purpose? Why not use normal notes? (I see this frequently in hip-hop sheet music.)
15
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3answers
558 views

Is the Baroque Schleifer, slide, or glissando symbol evolved from the Gregorian chant quilisma?

I posted this question on Wikipedia a year ago, with no answers. These two musical signs look eerily similar. The Baroque Schleifer or slide (see Wikipedia page): The quilisma in Gregorian chant (...
5
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2answers
97 views

What is the point of repeating the same dynamic mark?

See this video The audio is the orchestral version of Shosty 7, but the video shows a two piano arrangement, which is what the question is about. If you look at 1:06:...
3
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1answer
85 views

Quintuplet over 3/16th

For quintuplets over 4/16th notes I can use 16th note quintuplet. For quintuplets over 2/16th notes I can use 32nd note quintuplet. Is there any notation for quintuplets over 3/16th notes? Imagine ...
4
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2answers
107 views

Notation for strumming piano strings

At this piece of mine, I have the pianist (at an upright piano, with the front lid removed) at a certain point holding down a chord with his left hand and with his right hand strumming the strings of ...
6
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2answers
407 views

Irrational meter - why the mark of a triplet in 4 half notes

Can someone please explain to me why the mark of a triplet in this 4 half notes? I understood how to play it but from what i read you can only write triplets on 3 notes like 3 eighths 3 quarters etc......
13
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12answers
14k views

Tablature vs. standard music notation? (guitar)

Under what circumstances should I write down "TAB" (tablature) or just regular music notation or both? I know how to read and write both of them, but I'm not sure which I should use for my songs when ...
12
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5answers
978 views

Which instrument (generally) has to read the largest number of clefs?

I recently had a (light-hearted) argument with a violin-playing friend, I play the trombone and we were discussing which instrument is more difficult to play. We talked about the relative difficulty ...
4
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4answers
207 views

Are there any simple ways to improve the sound quality of songs I made in MuseScore?

I have composed several tracks using MuseScore. I exported these as MIDIs and played them on my phone to my friend. His comment was: "It sounds like the music from an old computer game like Super ...
8
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2answers
169 views

Piano Pedal Notation P, Pw, with and without *

I'm transcribing a piano reduction of Suppé's Light Cavalry into MuseScore. This particular score has pedal notation P. *, Pw. *, and then some parts where there's no *. I'm assuming (perhaps ...
5
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2answers
406 views

How to notate a (harp) glissando extending beyond the first beat of the next bar

I want to write a harp glissando that starts at the end of one bar (Bar 1) and ends in the next bar (Bar 2), only rather than end on the first beat of Bar 2, I want it to extend an 8th further, as ...
3
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2answers
275 views

When to use tied notes vs. an unconnected “laissez vibrer” (l.v.) tie?

Consider this little passage on the orchestral bass drum (time is 4/4), where bars 62 and 63 are meant to be played identically: I want to indicate clearly that the third note (second 8th) is meant ...
1
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1answer
51 views

The metre/rhythm of classical guitar piece “Recuerdos de la Alhambra”

In all sheets I can find the famous piece "Recuerdos de la Alhambra" for classical guitar (see these search results) is written in 3/4. But in some way I hear it most of the time as a 4/4 with a 2/4; ...
19
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3answers
4k views

Why is this 4th-note written as two 8th-notes tied together?

In the second measure of the first voice, the 8th notes are tied together in pairs. Why would it be notated this way instead of as fourth-notes?
2
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0answers
31 views

How do you play the triplets in Chopin's prelude no 4 in e minor? [duplicate]

I'm learning Chopin's prelude no 4 in e minor and have a question about the sheet music: In the first and seventh measure in the picture, there is a 3 under the c and e respectively. Previously I ...
4
votes
1answer
62 views

How to transition between notes in Bansuri

Ok, at this point, I am teaching myself Bansuri (A Scale) by playing simple tunes 10-15 min a day (totally swamped nowadays) Playing Om Jai Jagdish Hare it quite straightforward (plus I am familiar ...
17
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4answers
875 views

Odd symbol in Béla Bartók's Mikrokosmos Book 1

Today I came across an odd symbol in Béla Bartók's Microkosmos. The symbol occurs in Book 1, Score 21, Measure 8, at the end of a phrasing slur. It looks like a vertical bar that crosses only the ...
10
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5answers
2k views

Roman numeral chord notation in minor scale?

I need help to understand chord intervals (not single note intervals) explains what the numbers I, IV, vi, III+ usually stand for in major chord theory. But what's it like with a minor scale? What ...
2
votes
2answers
107 views

Why is there a natural symbol on the second note? [duplicate]

Just begining to learn to read musical scores. I don't understand why there is a natural on the second note of the 9th measure, since there is no previous sharp or flat? I assume the natural in the ...
8
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2answers
442 views

Rests in pickup measure (anacrusis)

Which of the following examples is correct? I know that in regular measures you can use the whole rest to indicate a complete measure of rest in any time signature, but does that also apply to a ...
3
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0answers
61 views

What is a good app, software or other efficient method to type out staff notations? [closed]

I’m asking for suggestions and recommendations from music theory educators who often need to prepare music lesson notes and set tests that will require a lot of staff notation images, for e.g. an ...
24
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7answers
4k views

Is it true that cut time means “play twice as fast as written”?

I was just reading an e-book and saw this sentence which really confused me: "Played twice as fast as written" - This isn't what cut time actually means right, or are there situations where cut time ...
0
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0answers
78 views

A repeat barline in the middle of a tie

How would I play a tie when a barline is in the middle of it? Here is an example: In the picture, there is a tie, which has a repeat sign in the middle. When I play the repeat inside of the repeat, ...
5
votes
1answer
184 views

What are the notes on this instrument? [duplicate]

I happen to have what I believe is called a bansuri. It seems to be of Chinese or Indian origin from what I can find out on Google, but I don't seem to be able to find note equivalents for it in a ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

Grace notes at beginning of “A Media Luz”

I'm trying to transcribe some part of "A media luz" from this video. Here it is what I did: I'm wondering if there is an alternative way to notate the first four notes. Could I use graces notes or ...
2
votes
2answers
816 views

Alto saxophone fingering for notes written below the staff

I am a beginner on the alto saxophone. I understand the fingering for playing notes on the staff but I do not understand the fingering for playing notes below the staff. Sometimes there are two extra ...
3
votes
4answers
503 views

How does the staff work above/below the main lines?

With a G clef the pattern seems to be A B C D E F G repeated. Does it repeat for all octaves above/below the main lines as well? Is it the same pattern of semitones added recursively or how does it ...
18
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6answers
3k views

Why does standard notation not preserve intervals (visually)

(Disclaimer: I don't know much about music theory but ...) The notes A, B are a whole step apart, and B, C are a semitone apart, yet their distance in standard notation is the same visually (from a ...
13
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2answers
1k views

What does this 'x' mean on the stem of the voice's note, above the notehead?

I was looking at the score for Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire (On Youtube), and on the voice staff none of the notes are connected with each other and they have this x or * on their stem: What ...
16
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5answers
3k views

How to play this trill in Mozart's Piano Sonata 14 (K457)

How does one play this trill in this Mozart Sonata? Does it mean we play 3 notes (Eb, F, Eb) before the last two notes of the second bar? Or how many trills does one have to play?