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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21
votes
7answers
3k views

Is there a legitimate reason why a C-Clef could ever be used in piano music?

I'm working on a composition that I can't help but to use the C-Clef because it renders neater on paper. This one switched to treble clef twice. But this would be a mess with bass clef and treble clef ...
12
votes
1answer
465 views

What does ( ) = D.S.x mean?

As shown in the second bar of the third complete system (fourth system on the page), I guess it tells me to play like this on first/second time or something. What is the name of notation? I searched ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

Music notes longer than a maxima [duplicate]

I have been studying music since now, and since, I have been wondering if there was a note longer than a maxima. I know a dotted maxima, but what other note is longer than that? That was the most ...
7
votes
1answer
102 views

What is this weird two-notes-in-one-note notation? Scriabin Piano Sonata [duplicate]

I was looking at sheet music for Scriabin's Sonata No.2 in G-sharp Minor, and came across this interesting notation I'd never seen before. The piece is written in three-halves time signature. I was ...
6
votes
3answers
79 views

How do you set the number of measures per line or page in LilyPond / Frescobaldi when you have a score with multiple instruments?

As I am doing an arranging project, I was wondering how to set the number of measures per line and therefore page as it is a score with a rhythm section and five horns. I have seen these pages (line ...
1
vote
2answers
102 views

Why do most lead sheets have no rest notation? [closed]

All of the Mel Bay books, My Gene Autry songbook, and I'm sure many others do not indicate rests for the entire song. At the end of a four bar lyrical line they just place a whole note when it is ...
2
votes
7answers
193 views

How does one know the implied difference in time signatures? [duplicate]

I have always been told that the difference between 3/4 time and 6/8 time is that 6/8 time has two beats per measure and 3/4 has three beats per measure. However, other than people telling me this, I ...
9
votes
1answer
131 views

Defining new commands in Lilypond (for koron symbol)

I am trying to write a simple, minimalist script in LilyPond to create the koron symbol (used in Persian music). I came up with the following solution, with satisfactory results, but my code is not ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

How does the bottom number of the time signature affect counting?

I have learnt all the complicated mathematics subjects in my school, but that bottom number, I can't understand. Ok, the notation will be different, and it will say what kind of note gets the beat, ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Transcribing a PDF to Guitar Pro

I am very new to Guitar Pro and music theory/notation in general. I have a pdf with some music that I want to input into Guitar Pro, but it seems like the time signature doesn't match with the notes ...
5
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1answer
1k views

What is this circle?

Can someone tell me what this circle below a measure is?
2
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4answers
398 views

Can someone tell me what this is?

So a couple of things: first is how, at the start of the measure, after the third note, like what beat is it? Is it 16, 8, ( triplet ) 16, 16, 16? And what is the line below the top measure?
3
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1answer
97 views

What is the meaning of an 8 followed by a dotted line? [duplicate]

There is a 8 and a bunch of dots going over the notes. it doesn't look like octave lines, though.
10
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2answers
487 views

When should the last ending bracket(volta) be closed and when should it be open?

I have a question about the last volta(ultima volta, last ending bracket). When should it be closed and when should it be open? I have found a document about that topic, which can be found here on ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

What is this upside down square fermata?

I was wondering what this marking means, it looks like an upside-down square fermata or an upside-down down bow marking with a dot. I found it in a piece for cello by Nadia Boulanger.
4
votes
1answer
47 views

How do I draw ghost notes in ABC notation?

Fairly straightforward question. I can't seem to find it in the standard or the docs. Perhaps it's just a matter of terminology. Basically, what I'm looking for is this: Or, more precisely, the ghost ...
6
votes
1answer
197 views

What is the Root/Quality chord symbol for this note cluster?

I am just starting to learn the music for Leigh Harline's song : "When You Wish Upon A Star" In measure 5 the LH notes are C, D, and E and the RH notes are G♭, A♭, B♭ and C. The beginning ...
6
votes
1answer
155 views

What do (P5) and (P6) mean? (Guitar)

Nocturne (Noturno) Op.9, No. 2 by Chopin. Tarrega's version, revised by Edson Lopes. In bars 18 and 19. P(5) and P(6) are written below the music. They are repeated throughout the piece with the same ...
9
votes
4answers
931 views

How should I read this tab?

What does this mean, is it an hammer-on? Is it a pull-off? What is it?
28
votes
5answers
4k views

How do I know when the next note starts in sheet music?

I can't understand the note duration notation very well. In the image below, the highlighted A in the second measure seems to start half a beat between the first and the second beat. But shouldn't we ...
4
votes
2answers
70 views

How should tuning systems / temperaments be notated in modern scores?

Similar to this question: How were tuning/temperaments indicated on scores (if they ever were)? In modern musical notation how should the use of something other than equal temperament be notated? See ...
5
votes
2answers
831 views

What is the meaning of “M. M.” in this tempo mark?

The music is Shostakovich's 7th symphony, the orchestral score; sadly not publicly available as it's under copyright but there are a few versions floating about online. At rehearsal mark 141 the tempo ...
6
votes
2answers
479 views

How to notate multiple keyboard parts for the same player in a rock song?

I'm working on a transcription of a rock song with three parts that would be played on keyboard: piano, organ, and strings. One keyboardist would play all of these parts on multiple keyboards. In some ...
4
votes
3answers
249 views

Percussion duration notation issue

As I understand it: For most percussion instruments "notes" don't really have durations in the same sense as other instruments. Percussion instruments are struck, and thus usually sound ...
6
votes
2answers
110 views

Sudden note end notation

I've been studying musical notation for some time now and I decided to take a shot at writing my own piece. It's going pretty smooth, but I have a question to make sure I follow common practices and ...
6
votes
3answers
324 views

Does the chord-symbol spelling of a polychord have musical meaning?

The chord C Eb G Bb D F A would typically be notated Cm13. However, it makes a convenient example for this question. Suppose I want to write that same Cm13 chord as a polychord. I have two choices: ...
1
vote
3answers
137 views

When using Functional Chord symbols, how can we distinguish between a Dominant 7th chord and a Major 7th chord? [duplicate]

In the key of F major (for example), we can have the chords C7 and Cmaj7. C7 = C-E-G-Bb and Cmaj7 = C-E-G-B Using Functional Chord symbols, the basic tonic chord is "I", and the basic ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

note with stem above and below [duplicate]

What is the meaning of the following type of notation? All I know regarding the stem location is the common rule of going down below the third line and up otherwise, but I'm not familiar with the one ...
4
votes
2answers
144 views

Hand duplication in music notation

I'm writing a montuno two piano ensemble and primo has its melody in the right hand completely duplicated by the left, an octave lower. How could this be abbreviated in the score? I can't find any ...
3
votes
2answers
155 views

Drum chart standards

I'm currently notating a drum chart in Sibelius. The song is "Best to You" by Blood Orange. It's an R&B/Electropop/Afrobeat song. I am not a drummer, and I have only just figured out ...
3
votes
2answers
80 views

Questions about Renaissance music notation

I see that in Renaissance music printings, the noteheads are diamond and square shaped as opposed to circular, and the stem for each note comes up or down from the middle instead of from one side (I'...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it a G flat or a G natural?

I've got a doubt here. Do I play G flat or G natural?? The accidental doesn't come in till the 3rd beat while the key signature does not have G flat, while the lyric has an accidental but at the ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How “hard” to read is this rhythm? A rhythmic comparison

I've recently heard a rhythm that sounded like this It seems slightly tricky to play it perfectly, so I wonder if I could somehow improve this writing to make it more natural and "readable"....
5
votes
2answers
106 views

Which octave should sound for Stravinsky's viola harmonics in the “Pulcinella Suite”?

This is the viola part from Stravinsky "Pulcinella" Suite, movement 3a "Scherzino". How should the harmonics (diamond notes written on open string places) sound? Norman del Mar, &...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

Help! How would you write this rhythm (audio linked below)? [closed]

The audio source can be found here. I'm interested in the section highlighted in blue. There is naturally some freedom in the artist's interpretation, but I would like to transcribe it in a relatively ...
3
votes
1answer
193 views

What is the best way get rhythm section notation (rhythmic notation, kicks over time, and slash notation) to display in LilyPond / Frescobaldi?

I have an arranging project due very soon, so I decided to ask this while I might still get help and a response. What is the best way to get rhythm section notation techniques like rhythmic notation, &...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Wagner Parsifal ouverture, non fitting rhythyms

(click to enlarge image) As a studying method I am making a reduction of Wagner's Parsifal ouverture. In bar 3, the rhythm does not fit. The quarter, dotted eight, sixteenth and half note take up a ...
1
vote
2answers
130 views

How do you count the 1st 4 bars of Beethoven's Pathétique, Op. 13, 1st movement?

There are two counting problems in the opening of Beethoven's Pathétique, Op. 13, 1st movement. How do the subdivisions of the beat work here? The tempo is very slow, so it can be hard to keep a ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there any official/semi-official standard for music symbol visual appearance?

Is there any official or at least widely recognized source that documents the visual parameters of music symbols? Something that says things like: "The note head shall be an ellipse with the ...
6
votes
4answers
757 views

Is there any reason to use F flat in notating this blues riff (jazz)?

I am reading though Dariusz Terefenko's Jazz theory book, and in the chapter on Improvisation (chapter 10) he lists a few typical 1-, 2- and 4-bars blues riffs, all on a Bb blues scale. Several of ...
5
votes
2answers
325 views

Roman numerals below the note in violin

I thought the number over the note was the string number for violin. But what are the roman numerals below the score? How do I finger this score in violin? Could you number on the score please...
3
votes
3answers
351 views

How should I notate a three-voiced chord?

I've got a nice chord that's composed of three voices: octaved A half notes, a quarter note C, and an eighth note F that's tied to more F's behind the chord. Problem is that with three voices, there's ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

How do you begin a 16th note triplet on the last third of an eighth note triplet?

My piece has a 16th note triplet motif. In the B section, the theme is slower and is based on eighth note triplets. I would like to begin the 16th triplet motif again on the last eighth note of an ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a historical reason why we say “C sharp” but notate on the staff “sharp C”?

Early music students are often confused with where to place accidentals: When we speak, we say the note name first and then the accidental: C sharp. When we're writing away from the staff, we do the ...
10
votes
1answer
450 views

“C-Four-Sharp” or “C-Sharp-Four”?

I apologize if this is an overly obvious question, but I have been having difficulty finding the answer here or elsewhere. I am making a deck of sheet music flash cards for use with piano, and I am ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Why use 5 or more ledger lines below the bass clef instead of ottava bassa lines for piano sheet music?

One thing that has bothered me when listening to classical music with the sheet music also scrolling by is its persistent use of 5 or more ledger lines for low enough bass clef parts instead of ottava ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

How are these 2 notes theoretically possible? [duplicate]

In this 4/4 piece, the 2 quavers (highlighted in red) don't seem to "occupy" any time since there is a crotchet rest at each end of the bar. I'm assuming this is a composition/notation ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Slurs within slurs

How do I play the slurs with in the larger slur? Can you play this two ways? One big slur or individual slurs?
6
votes
1answer
389 views

Two different clefs at the start of a piece on the same hand

I am looking at the intro for the "Piano collections" of Nobuo Uematsu's Final Fantasy VI Terra's theme, which starts like this . The right hand is pretty straight forward, but the first bar ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

What is the origin of the notation A4, B3, F5, etc. (i.e. <letter><number>)

Long before I started to play an instrument I used to tune my young son's guitar for him using a device which told me how close the strings were to the correct notes of E2, A2, D3, G3, B3 and E4. When ...

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