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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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 ...
nilshi's user avatar
  • 809
2 votes
3 answers
4k 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, ...
gilly3's user avatar
  • 458
5 votes
5 answers
756 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: ...
Arlen Beiler's user avatar
23 votes
6 answers
54k 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 ...
arman_aegit's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
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 ...
user1159454's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
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?...
Shark4Ever's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
8k 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 ...
Sound Convincer's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
651 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?
iddober's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
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?
iddober's user avatar
  • 6,632
6 votes
3 answers
297 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 ...
iddober's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
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 ...
Cyril's user avatar
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51 votes
3 answers
209k 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 ...
Patrick Da Silva's user avatar
17 votes
3 answers
39k 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. ...
temporary_user_name's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
327 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?
Ted Wong's user avatar
  • 1,457
12 votes
2 answers
2k 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? And is that answer applicable to ...
iddober's user avatar
  • 6,632
4 votes
5 answers
1k 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 ...
Dasaru's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
21k 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 ...
Luke_0's user avatar
  • 7,459
1 vote
1 answer
254 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 ...
Peter Ehrlich's user avatar
14 votes
6 answers
30k 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#...
Nick's user avatar
  • 947
0 votes
2 answers
8k 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 ...
Patty's user avatar
  • 13
17 votes
6 answers
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 ...
slim's user avatar
  • 36.1k
21 votes
12 answers
22k 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 ...
Luke_0's user avatar
  • 7,459
4 votes
1 answer
451 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, ...
Ted Wong's user avatar
  • 1,457
11 votes
3 answers
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, ...
The Chaz 2.0's user avatar
16 votes
3 answers
10k 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). ...
Victor's user avatar
  • 679
14 votes
2 answers
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 ...
Haoest's user avatar
  • 735
1 vote
1 answer
4k 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?
Smovies's user avatar
  • 305
7 votes
1 answer
540 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?
Ted Wong's user avatar
  • 1,457
70 votes
6 answers
218k 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 ...
Ted Wong's user avatar
  • 1,457
12 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
Mallow's user avatar
  • 371
4 votes
6 answers
1k 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. ...
123's user avatar
  • 167
26 votes
3 answers
64k 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 ...
Ryan's user avatar
  • 977
5 votes
1 answer
464 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 ...
Ali's user avatar
  • 1,143
18 votes
6 answers
9k 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 ...
iddober's user avatar
  • 6,632
20 votes
4 answers
14k views

With sheet music, what happens with sharps and double sharps that are already sharpened 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 ...
Ryan's user avatar
  • 977
12 votes
2 answers
703 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 ...
RedGrittyBrick's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
44k 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 ...
Ali's user avatar
  • 1,143
5 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
Lilitu88's user avatar
  • 2,706
22 votes
3 answers
7k 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?
xpda's user avatar
  • 1,082
2 votes
1 answer
270 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 ...
Silver Light's user avatar
  • 8,082
19 votes
5 answers
6k 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 ...
user393's user avatar
  • 707
14 votes
1 answer
5k 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 ...
zundarz's user avatar
  • 285
12 votes
2 answers
5k 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 ...
Haoest's user avatar
  • 735
3 votes
2 answers
4k 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 (...
iddober's user avatar
  • 6,632
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why do the Canadian and American ways of writing chords symbols differ?

I've been studying music harmony (for the RCM program), and my teacher explained to me that the American way of writing chord symbols slightly differs from the Canadian way. For example, the chord ...
Kevin Yap's user avatar
  • 313
82 votes
7 answers
65k 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 ...
Ricket's user avatar
  • 995
27 votes
5 answers
2k views

Why do we need note names like B♭, D♭ etc.? Why not use only A♯, C♯ and so on? [duplicate]

The very same sharp/flat tones can be written in two ways: C♯ is the same as D♭ D♯ is the same as E♭ …and so on This is so confusing. What is the reason for it? ...
Silver Light's user avatar
  • 8,082
52 votes
12 answers
26k views

Key signature for writing in modes other than major and minor

I have trouble deciding what accidentals to put in the key signature for pieces in Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian or Mixolydian modes. There seem to be trade-offs associated with each choice. For example, ...
Gauthier's user avatar
  • 4,668
7 votes
1 answer
448 views

In chord progressions, how can I refer to a chord that's out of the scale?

I'm training a music that is most on the G Major scale.. But then there's a B chord. As B is not on the G Major scale, how can I refer to it when I'm writing the chord progression? EDIT My guess is ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
491 views

Alternative Numerical Representation of Pitch

I'm aware of a number of different ways of representing pitch as numbers (including one I developed for use in my own software) but am interested if there are others. The most widespread is probably ...
James Tauber's user avatar
  • 3,147