Questions tagged [sheet-music]

Musical notation in written or printed form. Questions asking people to find or transcribe (make) sheet music for a particular song are off-topic.

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16
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2answers
2k views

Why is the “longest note value still in common use” called a “breve”, when breve means “short”?

This Wikipedia page says that the double whole note, or breve, is the "longest note value still in common use". However, breve in Italian means 'short'. How did the longest commonly-used note value ...
16
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3answers
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How can I force LilyPond to repeat a chord symbol (relates to alternate endings)?

In chordmode, LilyPond chooses not to display chord symbols when they are the same as the preceding symbol, which is usually the right behavior. However, this behavior gets weird in the context of ...
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8answers
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When you read sheet music do you read the notes or the intervals?

I have found myself doing both but not sure which is the right way. Sometimes I see a note then I can see the next note is a 4th above it so I play it but I actually don't know what note I just played ...
15
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3answers
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What does a straight horizontal line above a few notes, after a changed tempo mean?

The piece is for playing guitar using plectrum: I am guessing the horizontal line represents the stretch of notes to be played at the changed tempo, and begin playing at the initial tempo after that.
15
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7answers
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Why is it common to write tuba sheet music in concert pitch?

I play E♭ tuba in a wind orchestra, and we always get the notes written in concert pitch, and we have to logically "transpose" to the instrument key on the fly. How common is this approach? ...
15
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12answers
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How can I learn to read bass clef score more naturally?

I hadn't read music for about 20 years, after doing a little classical guitar as a young child, and recently started learning piano. I was pleasantly surprised to find that reading music on the treble ...
15
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5answers
10k views

How long do you hold a fermata?

I am new to piano and just downloaded this book, it seems simple enough for a beginner like me but there is a symbol that I don't really understand, a fermata. Googling I see I am supposed to hold ...
15
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2answers
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LilyPond - how to write a basic makefile

During the last years I tought myself to write scores using LilyPond and furthermore to make file handling easier by using Bash scripts. Recently I started a project a little bigger than only one or ...
15
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4answers
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How does “triplet feel” for eighth notes affect non-eighth notes?

I'm a software developer creating a MIDI player that can play with "triplet feel" -- that is, when it sees two eighth notes, it plays them as if they were a triplet of quarter note + eighth note. This ...
14
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4answers
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Is it better practice to read straight from sheet music rather than memorize it?

My music teacher sometimes tells me too memorize a song, but sometimes also tells me to read straight from sheet music. This confuses me as I am unsure which one is better practice. Is it better ...
14
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5answers
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Identifying bass notes on piano with strange clef

I'm not musician, I'm old man and I would like to hear again some specific music. I have the sheet music and I bought a piano. I was reading this Wikipedia article and would like to identify the notes ...
14
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5answers
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Are accidentals in the key signature and measure additive?

If I have a flat for a note in the key signature, and then in a bar the same note with an flat symbol, does that mean the note is "double flatted"? For example in the key of D Minor with ...
14
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9answers
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How to keep music books open?

You know, many sheet music books are quite springy and would rather close than stay open on the music stand while practising. How do you keep them open while allowing to turn the pages easily?
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2answers
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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 ...
14
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9answers
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Transcribing a Standard MIDI File to sheet music

I have a couple of nice guitar midi files that I would like the scores for; is there any software out there that can do this sort of conversion, and output it as a PDF file? Thanks
14
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2answers
995 views

Trumpet type or technique?

In Wagner’s “Rule, Britannia”, the orchestration calls for two trumpets. I’ve had no luck searching for what “vent.” and “ord.” mean. “Open” and “muted”, or ...?
14
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1answer
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What does “m.Iz.” or “m.Tz.” mean in a score?

What does "m.Iz." or "m.Tz." (or "m.I%." or "m.T%.": I don't know if it is a "%" or a "z") mean in this score? The piece is the waltz "Diana Triste" of the Colombian composer Luis A. Calvo (1882-1945)....
14
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1answer
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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 ...
14
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2answers
2k views

What does “TAG for Three-part voices” mean?

Reading some three-part a cappella music, I see "TAG for Three-part voices" above the staff. Any idea what that might mean? 19 is the measure number. There are 27 measures total in the song, so this ...
14
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4answers
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What does the “+” symbol mean in a keyboard piece when attached to a note?

In a Daquin pipe organ piece, "Noël «Suisse»" from his "Livre de Noëls", I see this notation in the Right Hand system: This is notated this way in the Oxford Book of Christmas Organ Music. How should ...
14
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3answers
962 views

Small natural above C in G Major

Here is a picture of the sheet music (Eine Klein Nachtmusik, movement 1). The odd accidental has a red freehand circle around it. What does this natural sign mean? As you can see, the key is G Major ...
13
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10answers
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What techniques do you use to read sheet music faster

As I'm learning piano without any teacher due to lack of resources, I wanted to know what techniques other people employ to read sheet music without much effort. For example, right now, I use the ...
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5answers
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Why am I seeing more notes than allowed to be in a bar?

Consider: Quarter notes + 4 32nd notes + 8th note. In a 3/8 time signature, there should be no space for the 8th note. What am I not seeing?
13
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3answers
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What is this type of notehead called?

I was looking through some sheet music when I came across a notehead that looked very odd. It looks like a whole note with two lines on both its sides. Here is an image of the notehead: What is this ...
13
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4answers
22k views

What does an arranger do?

When you see the "arranged by" attribution on a score, what did the arranger (typically) do?
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3answers
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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. ...
13
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2answers
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Which is the correct version of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition?

I was using a score of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition from https://imslp.org/wiki/Pictures_at_an_Exhibition_(Mussorgsky%2C_Modest). This one was published by V. Bessel & Co. in St. ...
13
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3answers
6k views

Four dots over tremolo minim (half note with slash)

I'm working on National Emblem by E. E. Bagley. In the second strain, there is a minim with the tremolo mark. Above it are four dots. What do they mean? Here is a picture. The mark in question is ...
13
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2answers
2k views

Is reading notes without an instrument a good way to practice?

As an amateur self-learner pianist, I can't take my piano with me, but I can take the sheet music books. On my current (low) level of skill, I need substantial time to read a musical piece; for ...
13
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3answers
622 views

What's this rectangular notation symbol?

I recently encountered a symbol in a Violoncello score which I was not able to identify. It is shown in the image below after the p (piano). I looked for it in the Musescore documentation and in the ...
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14answers
5k views

Do I have to learn music theory to learn piano?

I've been learning piano, and I just got up to music theory. I find it very confusing, and don't see the point. My plan for learning piano is just to read and learn songs, and I know how all the notes ...
12
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3answers
3k views

What does it mean when a dotted half note has two dots instead of one?

I know one dot on the dotted half note means to play the note for 3 beats, but what do two dots mean:
12
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9answers
3k views

What's your trick to play the exact amount of repeated notes

Not sure if I am the only one, (maybe reminiscences of dyslexia?), but when I have to play repeated series of notes like in 'Schradiek, school of violin technics' I tend to under or overcount the ...
12
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5answers
58k views

Piano music with two treble clefs, and notes between staves

I do not understand why there are two treble cleff staves and why there are music notes in the middle of the two staves. Which hand should I play those notes with and why are there two treble cleff ...
12
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3answers
1k views

What's the “normal” opposite of flautando?

I'm writing a piece in which I need string instruments to switch regularly between flautando and normal timbre. How do I denote this? Basically, I need a word which means "normal" with regard to where ...
12
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3answers
8k views

Why are some measures separated by double lines?

I play piano. Sometimes, measures in pieces are separated by a double vertical line instead of a single one. What does this signify?
12
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3answers
475 views

How are names of enharmonic notes determined?

In our current 12TET system, is it really incorrect to refer to E♭ as D♯ if one mentions them standalone with no reference to tonality? I understand how the notes in a diatonic scale are ...
12
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2answers
2k views

How to notate two identical notes ringing together?

In a melody I am composing, there are 4 E notes in a row, like this: ----------------- ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ----------------- ----------------- ----------------- ----------------- (the length of the ...
12
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5answers
2k views

Understanding guitar music sheet

I am a beginner and I have some really basic questions regarding the notations of this guitar sheet music and how to read them. First, what is the purpose of the chord's names above the staff ? Also ...
12
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5answers
5k views

What exactly is a beat in sheet music/music?

A quick google search will reveal common answers, such as, beat is a steady "pulse" of music, beat is the foundation of rhythm, or beat is a basic unit. However, to me these are vague answers and I ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Do some measures get no numbers, in an opera score?

I'm counting measures and confirming measure numbers in an opera score, and I've come across a discrepancy. I wonder what this means about conventions for numbering measures in opera scores in ...
12
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2answers
2k views

What does circled letters mean over sheet music?

I have the following music notation and I would like to know what does (A) and (A') mean.
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2answers
1k views

Dyslexia and sheet music

I was quite dyslexic as a child and struggled through elementary school where reading was concerned. However my math was pretty good so I had no trouble grasping rhythms and identifying scales as ...
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1answer
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What do dotted stave lines mean?

I’ve seen a dotted stave lines in this piece: http://www.fullinuyasha.com/inuyasha-sheet-music-sango-theme.html What do they mean? How is this supposed to be played?
12
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1answer
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Different Simile Marks

In the pictures below, there are many measures with different simile marks. I know there are many different types of simile marks, varying number of lines, with or without dots, on barline or in the ...
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2answers
3k views

What does /r mean in a score?

Does anyone know what the "/r" in this score might mean? Thank you so much...
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7answers
6k views

File formats for sheet music

I'm starting to learn music. Complete newbie here. There is a plethora of formats for music sheets. I don't know which one to choose. My requirements are: I must use to exchange music with friends, ...
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2answers
1k views

How much is convention when it comes to time signatures?

I know that in 3/4 you group eights by two and in 6/8 you group them by three. My question is simply, is this simply a convention or could I derive this from the time signature itself somehow? Or is ...
11
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2answers
2k views

I don't recognize the symbol on top of this note. What is it, and how does it affect the note?

This is a picture of the note and the symbol. It's part of a blues trombone solo. I would like to know what the symbol is and how I should play it.
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7answers
8k views

How best to handwrite scores?

I'm currently terrible at writing scores, my handwritten scores look ugly and are often unreadable. I'm wondering if there are any tips/tricks for producing handwritten scores which other musicians ...

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