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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7
votes
3answers
424 views

Does the existence of a chord tone (and its enharmonic spellings) imply the absence of another?

My question is about the notation of chords and what that notation conveys (mostly applied to jazz and the notes that are implied by the chord symbol). A chord symbol notated with a '7' alone ...
6
votes
9answers
42k views

In 3/2 time why is a whole-note rest used as a bar's rest when a whole-note doesn't fill the measure? [duplicate]

A bar's duration is measured in beats and can be represented using a whole note. So, a bar duration in beats is just a whole note. So isn't a 3/2 measure just spilling over? 3 half notes is equal to ...
27
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6answers
6k views

Why you need a rest here in this score?

Beginner warning :-) This is the piano sheet music for Elgar’s Variation, Nimrod. Please do note: I am currently learning time and key signatures with my theory teacher, but in looking at the ...
19
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3answers
5k 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?
15
votes
3answers
828 views

Why is the bass clef indicated twice on the same line in this Bartok piece?

Here's an excerpt from the piece Chromatic Invention from Bartok's Mikrokosmos, volume 3, page 39. I don't get why at the end of the lower line the bass clef indication is repeated. Is this "for ...
13
votes
9answers
3k views

Opposite of a Fermata?

I'm notating a musical chant and there is a part where there is a shortened syllable. I don't think changing the time signature and/or shortening the actual rhythmic value of the note makes sense. ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Shake and Growl on French Horn

I came across some interesting notation in a piece I'm playing earlier this week, and I'm really not quite sure what the composer intended for me to do. I play French Horn, and here's the notation (2 ...
10
votes
2answers
163 views

Notation of triplets in Bach’s *Orgelbüchlein*

In the following piece from J.S. Bach’s Orgelbüchlein, the nearly constant triplet line seems to be incorrect: The time signature is 3/2, but there are 9 eighth-note triplets per measure rather than ...
10
votes
1answer
374 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 ...
10
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2answers
2k views

What do these beamed half notes mean? [duplicate]

I encountered this notation and was wondering what it means.
9
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2answers
1k views

What do the dots and lines underneath these chords mean?

The piece is called "Cello Melody"
8
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5answers
1k views

What music notation software can handle this complex beaming?

Update: It looks like the votes are clearly in favor of Lilypond. While Sibelius and Finale appear to be the "canonical" solutions, and MuseScore has a nice showing (albeit using a "development" ...
8
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5answers
3k views

Do the notes in a scale have to be played in order?

Beginner here, it seems like a scale just defines a particular set of notes that don't have to be played in any order to me. But if you look at A minor pentatonic scale you have A, C, D, E, G, yet ...
8
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4answers
16k views

Help with interpreting notation in Chopin's nocturne op. 9 no. 2

What are the following notations in Chopin's nocturne op. 9 no. 2: Tilde sign with accidentals: tr~~~ Striked note's flag: Small notes. (I know what mean single small notes right before a normal ...
7
votes
2answers
610 views

What does the chord notation X/Y (“slash chord”) mean?

Questions about slash chords are frequent enough that this question was created to answer the general concerns as well as link to related or more specific questions on the topic. Chords notated like ...
7
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4answers
2k views

Do accidentals apply to other staffs of the same type?

In this excerpt from Bach's BWV 772, does the B flat accidental on the lower staff also apply to the upper staff(second to last beat)? I know that accidentally usually do not apply to different staffs,...
7
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1answer
473 views

How to cross staff slurs in lilypond?

\language "english" global = { \key c \minor \numericTimeSignature \time 4/4 } right = \relative c'' { \global < g c d g >1\arpeggio \bar "||" } left = \relative c, { \global <&...
6
votes
2answers
898 views

Angled line over a note — standard notation or made up?

I have come across notation I don't recognise in a vocal score, and no amount of Googling can find it (and it's not in my notation software either). The notation in question is the sloping line over ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

why is guitar music written one octave higher?

I was always a guitar player and so I never really cared about the difference but since starting piano it is a bit annoying writing the guitar parts since I always have to transpose by an octave. Is ...
5
votes
2answers
380 views

Why are the same notes written on different staves?

I am learning Chopin's Prelude No. 15 in D flat Major, and I was curious as to why the Db F notes in the bass are written in the lower stave in the first bar but then the upper stave in the second bar....
5
votes
3answers
2k views

8 under clef and timing questions

Please look at the below graphic, there are a few things that are confusing me: 1 - Why is there an 8 under the treble clef? 2 - This is in common 4/4 time, yet one of the beginning 8th notes (in ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Time signature 3/4 seems to have more than 3 quarter notes in a measure

I'm learning the basics of musical theory and I see this sheet and get this question, the white dotted noted has a time of (2 + 1/2) right? But with the value of the black note the compass make a ...
5
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4answers
2k views

Temporarily Changing Keys - Which accidentals to use?

I've was taught that whenever you write a run of notes going up, you should use sharps instead of flats; And whenever you go downwards, you should generally write flats instead of sharps. My question ...
4
votes
1answer
152 views

was the 12/16 measure usual in the time of Bach?

We met today this work by Bach with this strange time - strange to me as I've never met before this meter. Of course it is possible ... but I ask if someone knows another composition with this meter, ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

How to make unpitched percussion and a pitched instrument share a staff in LilyPond?

For parts where the percussionist switches from vibraphone to maracas, for example, is there a way to combine the two on the same staff? IIRC, LilyPond treats normal staves and percussion staffs ...
4
votes
1answer
341 views

How can I change slur from above to below notes when switching staff in Lilypond?

I have a music passage that crosses from the bottom staff to the top (in a Grand Staff) with a slur. But, I want the slur to go from above the notes on the bottom to underneath the note on the top ...
3
votes
2answers
848 views

Ornament Symbol for Triplet

I am writing a piece of music that has a lot of triplets used as ornaments. Is there a symbol like this: that will be played as as a triplet on the note? Example: note is G. With symbol over it, ...
2
votes
1answer
356 views

What does H.V. mean in music notation?

On a music sheet I am reading, the letters "H.V." (without quotation marks) are written occasionally just above specific notes, above the top line of a bar, but lower than where chords are written, ...
2
votes
1answer
310 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 ...
1
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2answers
327 views

Naming of notes in choral music?

I've got to grips with Scientific Pitch Notation (e.g middle C is C4) but in a choral setting I am often confused because there seems to be a whole nomenclature where certain notes have specific names....
25
votes
17answers
9k views

How to help students remember Half vs. Whole rests

The symbols for the half rest and whole rest are pretty much the same and in the literature my students play we rarely encounter them. Is there a good, memorable way to describe which is which to ...
23
votes
4answers
4k views

How is it that 12 eighth notes fit in a measure labeled as common time?

I am looking at Franz Liszt's Consolation S.172 No.3. I have checked out two different music scores of the same composition and they both have the same time signature (standard), however the base line ...
17
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2answers
3k views

What do Four Vertical Dots mean?

I was looking through a score by Bartok (5th String Quartet) and came across a symbol I didn't recognize. There is a dot between each line in the clef. What does this mean? Edit: Here's another ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Mystery bowing notation

A cellist friend asked if I had come across this coloured in cross marking (hourglass?) in bar 35 and it has me stumped. (Beethoven Sonatina, so you can discount any crazy new music articulation.) ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I read this text-only musical notation from Wikipedia

I have practically no music notation experience, so please consider me a dummie when answering. I am reading this Wikipedia article, about the clave rhythm. They use a text only notation looking ...
13
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the rhythmic notation for 5/8 the duration of a whole note?

Assume that the whole note time equals 8. Then a note which time equals 3 will be written as 1/4 note and dot. How you write down a note that time is equal 5/8 of a whole note?
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Notation clarity question for a conglomerate of accidentals

I have encountered the following slightly weird notation for three close-by notes intended to be taken together. However, in order to fit the sharp and double sharp accidental symbols at appropriate ...
12
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
12
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4answers
17k views

Small notes on the staff

What are these and how do I play them on the piano?
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Dynamic marking “f-p”

I know that: The dynamic marking f means forte, or play loud. And that p means piano, or play soft. The dynamic marking fp means fortepiano, or play this note loud, and play the following notes ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Small note above a normal-sized note

I'm currently looking at a vocal score, and there's a small note right above a normal-sized note. Ordinarily, I would presume this to be a cue note, except that this isn't the start of the singer's ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Arbitrary length full-measure rests in Lilypond

In Lilypond one can make long full-measure rests with: \compressFullBarRests R1*12 which outputs: Is there an engraver I can turn off, or some other way to remove the number from above the ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

What does a circle before/between notes mean?

I have a score for a guitar music here, which has these strange hollow circles between notes; also before the first note: They don't look like notes, and playing them makes the music ugly, so they ...
10
votes
1answer
229 views

Notation for depressing piano keys without sounding them

This question was inspired by playing around on the piano. I held some keys gently in one hand without letting them sound: sometimes one, sometimes two a fifth apart, and sometimes a major triad. I ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

Many, seemingly arbitrary time signature changes

So, I'm an intuitive composer. I start noting the music down as it comes to my mind. I'm very, very exact in this, it has to be exactly as in my head. So I just have a score in 4/4 and set a tempo and ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Different note head uses in MuseScore?

The photo here is from "MuseScore", the free notation software. A note head replaces a note head, shown in this photo. Since I have never seen these note heads before, what are these used for (if ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

What are the numbers under the Harpsichord

I have a manuscript with strings and harpsichord. Under the bottom staff of the harpsichord there is numbers, like 7. What are these numbers and what do they represent?
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a rest symbol that means “rest until the end of this measure”?

Is there a rest symbol that means "rest until the end of this measure"? e.g. I've put a 16th note in the beginning of the measure and I don't want to bother calculating duration for the ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Are there solfege syllables for diminished and augmented imperfect intervals?

Sometimes it is necessary to name notes and intervals differently based on how they are functioning and I was curious if this idea caired over to solfege. For example, the notes of a Co7 are C, Eb, ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Upside-down down bow

On my Cello Salut D'amour by Elgar score, it has upside-down down bow symbols on it. Does this just mean up bow? I have this on other pieces too: Salut d'amour, Op.12 (Elgar, Edward) Mainz: Schott, ...