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
5answers
720 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 ...
22
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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
209 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
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4answers
217 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
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2answers
150 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) ...
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2answers
79 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 ...
26
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4answers
1k 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
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4answers
132 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
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3answers
177 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
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3answers
322 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 ...
5
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3answers
195 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 ...
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2answers
109 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
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1answer
758 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
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1answer
141 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
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1answer
97 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
7k 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, ...
19
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11answers
13k 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 ...
3
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2answers
392 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
598 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 ...
26
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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
382 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
52k 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
votes
1answer
108 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
172 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
268 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
114 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
126 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
706 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
65 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
213 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
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1answer
255 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
1k 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 ...
27
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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
716 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
593 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
110 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
92 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
139 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
423 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......
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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
1k 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
282 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 ...
5
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2answers
463 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
votes
2answers
342 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
56 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
35 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
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1answer
78 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
926 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 ...