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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41
votes
10answers
41k views

Is there any practical difference between 3/4 and 3/8 time?

Is there any practical difference between 4/4 and 8/8? regards a common and unusual time signature; both 3/4 and 3/8 time are pretty common. What difference in performance is implied in the the ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

how do you choose the correct stem length for notes on a beam?

Stems are supposed to be 3.5 stave spaces tall. When the notehead is on the 2nd line outside the staff or beyond, the stem should extend to touch the center line. When the 3rd flag (or beam) is added ...
11
votes
4answers
782 views

What does 'on' mean in chord notation?

For example, Em(onD) and Em(onC♯). I found these in a Japanese guitar tab book I bought.
35
votes
2answers
112k views

What does a triangle mean in chord notation?

For example, what does the △ mean in C△7?
14
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4answers
5k views

What are some interesting ways notes and chords are spelled in cultures outside of the U.S.?

I've heard that German musicians spell the seventh note of the C major scale with an "H" where an American musician would use a "B". And, for the fourth note of the F major scale, where an American ...
5
votes
3answers
882 views

Is there a proper musical term for a piece's “roadmap”?

Band directors and other teachers will colloquially refer to a piece's "roadmap": the flow control commands denoted by repeats, repeat endings, D.C.s, D.S.es, codas, etc. Is there a proper word for ...
0
votes
2answers
541 views

Why is the note name “a” not on any important scale position? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is C the base note of standard notation and keys? The note names are derived from the alphabet, which starts with "a". But why is our note "a" not on any important ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Should “Ooh” be sung as “oo” or “oh”?

In my last choir rehearsal, while going over a new piece, after I said, "Let's go back to the beginning and go over the 'oo's", my lead tenor, whom I respect immensely as a musician, responded "Uh, ...
5
votes
5answers
677 views

Does an implied tie exist

Is there such a thing as an implied tie? Like some kind of symbol or notation that would specify to hold a note through the duration of all the notes on a pitch as if they were tied together. Edit: ...
19
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6answers
44k views

What is the difference between swing and shuffle?

I am learning piano from a book and I can't understand the difference between swing and shuffle. I have searched, but I still can't understand the difference. Could someone please iterate the ...
4
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2answers
2k 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 ...
7
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1answer
3k views

Numerous questions about advanced guitar tablature notation

8 slide 0...why is 0 in parentheses? 7 slide 9...what does curve under mean? 5 7 5..7 5 0..are they hammers or pull offs..how you distinguish those how to play this? what does this long line mean?...
13
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2answers
7k views

What is the device used to draw 5-line staff (empty) with a pencil/pen?

I remember seeing something like that long ago but can't remember what it was called. It is basically a metal gadget that holds 5 pencils or only pencil led and you can draw by hand your own empty ...
14
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1answer
554 views

Four dotted sixteenths in a triplet

The following excerpt is from a piece called Brincado by the Brazilian composer Alberto Nepomuceno from the collection 5 Little Pieces for the Left Hand (imslp) How should I count this?
9
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3answers
1k views

Percussion notes in the vocals

This an excerpt from an arragment to the song "Hakuna Matata" from the movie "The Lion King": Why are there percussion notes in the vocals?
6
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3answers
252 views

Different representation of consecutive sixteenth notes

These are two different bars from "John Thompson's Grade 3" arrangement "Hungarian Rhapsody no.2". Is there a difference between the time value of the first F in the first picture and the first D in ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

International notation system

I would like to know if there is a special order for notes in English and/or an international notation system. In french, our order is Do Ré Mi Fa Sol La Si which is equivalent to C D E F G A B, what ...
42
votes
2answers
148k views

What does a small x-like symbol before a note mean?

I've been playing piano by ear for a long time and now I am trying to learn the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata. I am a little confused about the meaning of a little cross placed right before a ...
13
votes
3answers
32k views

What exactly does a 3 mean over a quarter note and an 8th note?

There is an eighth note followed by a quarter note, and above them is a little overarching bracket with a little 3 in it. I know this has something to do with the timing, but I have no idea what. ...
9
votes
1answer
316 views

How do you play this tablature notation?

How do I play this on my guitar? A side question, is there a reference site for checking music and tablature notation?
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Do accidentals on ornaments apply to the same notes elsewhere in the measure?

In the first measure from this section of Schubert's Serenade, does the accidental on the ornamental C at the beginning affect the "regular" C that follows?
3
votes
2answers
835 views

Notating Augmented Chords

When writing an Augmented chord, which inversion of the chord should I use? The problem came up while I was composing (piano). I came to an augmented chord and couldn't think of which version to use ...
13
votes
1answer
17k views

Is there a difference between a slur and legato?

Are legato and slur one and the same? If the two are different, how do I tell which the piece is using? I know the gist of them (as opposed to staccato) but I need to know the specifics. They are ...
1
vote
1answer
238 views

How do you play these ukelele tabs?

I'm trying to learn ukelele, following the tablerature given here: http://www.ukulele-tabs.com/uke-songs/cake/commissioning-a-symphony-in-c-uke-tab-1909.html I can do the first verse, which has the ...
10
votes
6answers
25k views

Do accidentals in one staff apply to notes in other staffs?

For example, when reading piano music on a grand staff, I know that if there is an A# in the treble clef staff (where it's normally natural), it changes all of the A's in the rest of that measure to A#...
0
votes
2answers
7k views

The use of the root note in a scale

I found an article on Cyberfret.com showing how to play C major scale : The Whole Guitar Neck Mapped Out Ref. Pattern 3 Well, I can guess how to play the pattern number 3 but, what the purpose ...
15
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6answers
3k views

Lead sheets / fake sheets without score

Several of the groups of people I play music with use song sheets that are similar to lead sheets, but without the stave showing the melody line: Note that unlike many chord sheets you can find ...
20
votes
12answers
18k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
398 views

What does this weird notation mean (looks like “#.1”)?

I play guitar using the following scale, which I think is C major. (I don't know the name, but I follow the number on the music note, and it works.) I came across the following note: As you can see, ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

“Standard” drum notation alternatives

For the purpose of playing live, working through ("popular") songs involving verse, chorus, bridge, intro, outro, etc., is there a standard notation that drummers use to help them know what to play, ...
15
votes
3answers
9k 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). ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does this note sound like it is not played?

I've been learning the second movement of Mozart's Piano Sonata 16 for a while. While I get most of the stuff memorized, some part of it just doesn't sound right comparing to recordings on YouTube ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Best way to notationally indicate that a solo phrase in an instrumental section should end

After writing "solo" over a part intended for one instrumentalist in a section, what's the best way to indicate that the the entire section should again begin playing?
6
votes
1answer
488 views

What does this tablature notation mean?

There are two lines which have the number 0. Does that mean that I need to play two strings at once?
70
votes
6answers
204k views

What is the relationship between “do re mi” and note letter names?

When people sing the song, they use do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, (si), etc, but sometimes I hear that the music people say A, B, C, D flat, etc. Is there a relationship or are they two different ...
12
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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 ...
4
votes
6answers
984 views

Trying to program a piano staff/stave. Is this what it's supposed to look like?

I'm currently writing a software application which creates notes on a staff, when a piano key is pressed. Unfortunately I have no background in music, and thus am finding it quite hard to get started. ...
23
votes
3answers
50k views

With regards to piano sheet music, when are you supposed to press the pedal(s)?

I've been playing piano for about 8 months. I have a digital weighted 88-key piano with only one pedal. My friend, who used to play piano, taught me to hold the pedal down when there is an arc in ...
5
votes
1answer
449 views

Is it a typo or how do I play it? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The same note on two staves I have put red arrows where I am in trouble. As I understand this, I should hit D but it is already pressed down. Do I misunderstand something or ...
16
votes
6answers
6k views

The same note on two staves

On rare occasions, I encounter the same note on two staves with overlapping durations. Attached is an example from an arragement of "The Long and Winding Road" by The Beatles (The note in ...
18
votes
4answers
9k views

With sheet music, what happens with sharps and double sharps that are already sharped in the key signature?

For example, let's say the key signature has an f sharp and then also an individual f note has a sharp next to it. Are they just emphasizing the f sharp or does that actually become a g? Same ...
12
votes
2answers
618 views

Is assignment of notes to measures totally arbitrary?

I am beginning to learn piano. To pep up my practising, I downloaded some sheet music for Waltzing Matilda Then I noticed, at the same place, this: Obviously it is the same music but needs to be ...
11
votes
4answers
33k views

What does an arc mean above the notes in a piano sheet music? How do I play it?

See the picture above. Is there a website where these (perhaps not so basic) notations are collected? UPDATE: I see Wikipedia has a nice collection of musical notations. How do I play the slur on ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Are whole and half note rests supposed to only be written on specific lines?

I've always written the whole note rest on the 4th line of the staff and the half note rest on the 3rd. I always see it that way and never thought much about it until recently a musician with a lot ...
20
votes
3answers
5k views

On the piano, how should you play staccato with the pedal?

In some pieces, there is a pedal designation along with staccato. How should this be played?
2
votes
1answer
241 views

How to play given notes on the guitar

I'm sorry, if my question is not too generic, but I'm having trouble playing instrumental acoustic peace and would appreciate if you could help me out. Here are the notes I have (sorry for scan ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

Why is a note sometimes a 4th and sometimes an 11th?

If I play the chord: GBDA, then this is considered a Gadd9. But if I play the 3rd above the 5th (GDB), it is not called a 10th. Why don't we refer to all notes by 1-7, and is there a system to ...
14
votes
1answer
4k views

Deciphering the series of numbers shown for songs in a hymn book

Consider almost any song in a church hymn book. Either at the top just above the ledger lines or at the bottom near the credits is a series of numbers usually a set of four to six numbers such as 87 ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

Need help with a measure within Mozart's 'Rondo alla Turca'

In the 21st measure of Mozart's Rondo alla Turca/Turkish March (3rd movement of K. 331), there's a trill in the treble clef that I can't quite get right. Would you be so kind to expand the measure as ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Must “first-time bars” and “second-time bars” appear together?

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repeat_sign When a repeat calls for a different ending, number brackets above the bars indicate which to played the first time (1), which to play the second time (...