43 votes
Accepted

How can a non-musician recognize anacrusis?

Anacrusis (pickup) is a bit more rhythmic than melodic. Hearing it seems easy to my musical brain, but I can understand how it would not be easy for others. Most music has a set rhythm, which we can ...
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24 votes
Accepted

Do you play the upbeat when beginning to play a series of notes, and then after?

The upbeat is where the song starts. Imagine starting the song "Happy birthday to you" without the upbeat; then you would start singing "birthday to you". When you reach the end you don't play the ...
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23 votes
Accepted

Anacruses, Bar Lines, and Line Breaks

It's great that you're thinking about where your line breaks should go, and putting them at natural "punctuation" points is generally a good idea. Breaking mid-measure though is pushing this too far. ...
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  • 21.2k
16 votes

Do you play the upbeat when beginning to play a series of notes, and then after?

This is also called pickup note, pickup measure or anacrusis. You can read about it here: Wiki You can find them in a lot of songs, like Happy Birthday for example: Of course you don't have to use ...
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  • 2,881
11 votes
Accepted

Why must the final bar complete the anacrusis?

Basically, I'd say this isn't a rule. Or maybe it's a misphrasing of a rule. You generally see the last bar shortened to match the pickup bar when there's a repeat that goes right back to the start ...
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11 votes

How can a non-musician recognize anacrusis?

I'll try to give you a clearer example of a tune with an anacrusis or pick-up: The Star Spangled Banner. This melody has three beats to a measure. The first full measure contains "Say, can you". ...
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  • 4,081
11 votes

Anacruses, Bar Lines, and Line Breaks

What you're doing is doubling up on the phrase marking, which is there just for the purpose you propose. Is there any extra point in breaking up bars? Not for me. It seems an amateur thing to do, as ...
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  • 173k
10 votes

Rests in pickup measure (anacrusis)

The lower version is right, definitely. You write the pickup measure with the actual note durations, not like "read all staves and try to figure out if this is a pickup bar or not". Think about if ...
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8 votes

Notation of last measure of a song with a pickup measure

It doesn't matter how you end the piece. Centuries ago there was a convention that you compensated for the pickup measure at the end. But nowadays nobody is going to complain. I see pieces all the ...
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  • 15.3k
7 votes
Accepted

A weird form of Anacrusis

You are apparently confusing the notational peculiarity of an anacrusis right at the beginning of a piece (which is notated using a partial bar, usually without a bar number of its own) with the ...
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7 votes

Rests in pickup measure (anacrusis)

Actual note duration for the rest. What should happen at the other end of the piece is a part bar containing the two 'missing' beats - often as rests - but increasingly forgotten, sadly. So if there ...
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  • 173k
7 votes

Anacruses, Bar Lines, and Line Breaks

I would consider breaking measures like this, but only when: the music starts with an anacrusis (say one quarter note for the sake of this example) and there's a repeated section which requires you ...
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  • 9,304
7 votes

Anacruses, Bar Lines, and Line Breaks

There is a convention that scores for music theater (particularly on Broadway) are always written with four bars per line. Of course that only makes sense because the music is rhythmically boring with ...
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  • 71
6 votes

Do you play the upbeat when beginning to play a series of notes, and then after?

Upbeats (as written in the OP) are played as if they were the last beat(s) of the pickup measure. In the posted piece, one can imagine (but not play) the 3-beat rest before the quarter note. The point ...
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  • 23k
5 votes

Why must the final bar complete the anacrusis?

It is to make up for starting early in an anacrusis (pick up) measures because without making up for it at the end, you technically have one measure in a different time signature. Think of it this ...
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  • 46.1k
5 votes

Partial Measures with Matching Ending Measure

LilyPond places bars automatically on full measures. The partial bar at the end of a stanzaed piece with pickup, however, wants a double bar line (different from the default) anyway. So you'd write ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Time signature issue in MuseScore

It's called an "anacrusis" or pickup measure. 1/ Easiest way is to add one when you start a new score, just tick the checkbox and add the value: 2/ Another way, e.g. if you already have ...
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  • 2,860
5 votes
Accepted

Ignored rest at the beginning of a section

You can change the time signature for that single bar. Something along these lines:
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  • 55.2k
5 votes

Is there a name for the incomplete measure completing the anacrusis?

The simplest way to describe it would be to use its bar number. As for an actual name of this kind of incomplete bar; I don’t know of one. Incidentally, a pickup bar at the beginning of a piece is bar ...
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  • 20.9k
4 votes
Accepted

How to show an empty chord in an anacrusus

Use s4 or \skip 4 instead of r4, then Lilipond will print nothing above the anacrusis. About the bar line check, it's a notation problem. It's not common to put the anacrusis inside the volta. The ...
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  • 376
4 votes

Anacruses, Bar Lines, and Line Breaks

Is this a good practice; is it breaking any engraving guidelines or rules? Oh, yes, this would be a good practice. It helps to understand the musical structure and would support to learn a piece by ...
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4 votes

Do you play the upbeat when beginning to play a series of notes, and then after?

It makes more sense when words are involved. The upbeat is often a less emphasised word than the one following it - which needs to be emphasised. Happy birthday to you. My bonnie lies over the ocean. ...
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  • 173k
4 votes

Notation of last measure of a song with a pickup measure

Probably the acid test is to play it with a repeat - which I appreciate may well not be there. But by doing this, you'll feel that the rhythm of it all will fit better one way or the other. I suspect ...
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  • 173k
4 votes
Accepted

Partial Measures with Matching Ending Measure

You can use an s8 to fill out the measure, and cause the barline to draw. The s a spacer note -- it takes up time, but doesn't result in anything displayed. As far as requiring the partial bar at ...
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  • 17.5k
4 votes

Anacruses, Bar Lines, and Line Breaks

It's a bit unconventional, but it can work. About three years ago someone brought to my viola da gamba trio an In Nomine by John Bull. It was handwritten and had loads of linebreaks in the middle of ...
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3 votes

Is it necessary to include the anacrusis?

It really depends on the text. If the psalm that your trying to set needs the anacrusis, then you'll have to leave it in. If you can start on without it, then you can leave it out and adjust the music ...
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  • 25.1k

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