Skip to main content
31 votes
Accepted

What is this upside down square fermata?

By convention, a square fermata has a longer duration than a rounded fermata. It's not "upside down". Traditional notation convention usually tries to put the fermata over the note head, ...
Dr H's user avatar
  • 506
22 votes

What is this "<>" thing above a note

"It looks like a crescendo and a decrescendo on one note, but I don't think that's it:" That's EXACTLY what it is. Think of it perhaps as a soft-attack accent. 'Lean on' the note. You'll ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 94.3k
15 votes
Accepted

How would you notate a non-accent?

There's a marking—borrowed from poetry I believe—that has become relatively standard to indicate a note that should be unaccented. I've seen it in Schoenberg especially, but some other composers as ...
Pat Muchmore's user avatar
  • 18.3k
14 votes

Isn't a tenuto marking redundant?

Tenuto markings often show that a note has extra weight to it. Notes with these markings would not have a sharp/edgy beginning like an accented note, but they are often slightly louder than the notes ...
Heather S.'s user avatar
  • 5,587
14 votes

Fermata tie confusion

The notes are not tied. This is relatively conventional notation for portato, which is rather like a "sticky" staccato with longer but still detached notes.
Dekkadeci's user avatar
  • 14.2k
14 votes

Slurs within slurs

The outer/larger slur is a phrase marking, letting you know that the entire passage constitutes a single musical idea. The inner slurs are similar, but indicating smaller units. One could think of the ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 91.3k
13 votes
Accepted

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

That is a bend or a dip. You make a clear attack on the note and then do a very slight glissando around a quarter or half step down and then return to the original pitch.
mkingsbu's user avatar
  • 1,409
12 votes

Isn't a tenuto marking redundant?

There is more to a tenuto marking than that. It can mean slightly different things in different contexts. For example, if there is just one note in a phrase with a tenuto marking, then it would ...
Jomiddnz's user avatar
  • 5,067
12 votes

Trill notation with a wavy line

The sign for a trill is 'tr' (in bold italics). The wavy trill line is used to indicate the extent of the trill. The trill line is optional for a single note value, but it's necessary for tied notes. ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 21.4k
11 votes

Two dots below a note in the Bass Clef

The notes which have two dots below their heads also happen to have a half-time tremolo sign (the dash across the stem). This implies that you should play those notes as groups of two eight notes ...
SeuMenezes's user avatar
  • 1,698
11 votes

How does one maintain voice integrity when longer and shorter notes of the same pitch occur in two voices

One of the things my first piano teacher taught me when looking at Bach was to isolate the voices and play the parts by themselves to get to know how the individual lines sounded like, not just their ...
Andrew the Programmer's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Multiple staccato dots on minim with tremolo repeat in Lilypond

One possible solution could be based on this snippet for multiple tonguing. \version "2.20.0" tongue = #(define-music-function (parser location dots) (integer?) #{ \tweak stencil ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.8k
10 votes

Meaning of dots below note heads

In addition to David's as-usual great answer, I thought I'd offer a clarification to a common misunderstanding among beginning musicians: Staccato does not mean short. The term comes from the Italian ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.8k
10 votes

What is this articulation mark that looks like a short upside-down slur?

This is called a bend! It (normally) means exactly what it sounds and looks like: you start on the pitch, bend it down, and then return to the original pitch. More rarely, composers will notate bends ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.8k
10 votes
Accepted

Slur for same-pitch notes in chords: Tie or not?

The C should be repeated. In order to be considered a tie, the mark would have to begin at the first C and go directly to the second C. So in this case the mark is a slur.
Aaron's user avatar
  • 91.3k
9 votes
Accepted

What is the mark that looks like a slur but with straight lines, not curved

This is called the shake! It adds a short grace figure to the transition to the second note like this: Always start the shake figure by holding the first note slightly. For a descending shake you ...
Richard Barber's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Errors with slashed grace notes in LilyPond

That's issue 34 in the issue tracker, old, infamous, obstinate, annoying. When starting staves on grace notes, all need to start at the same point of time. Start the notes of the bottom voice with \...
user54948's user avatar
  • 106
9 votes

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

It's a bend: an articulation mark representing a brief flattening of the note.The note is attacked in tune but is immediately flattened - by up to a semitone - before coming up to pitch again.
Old Brixtonian's user avatar
9 votes

Multiple staccato dots on minim with tremolo repeat in Lilypond

A very simple solution would be to just places some bold full-stops in a markup, and align if necessary: (to maintain the staccato effect in the midi file, sill use the normal staccato dot but \omit ...
Elements In Space's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

What do '4eCe' and '2eCe' mean in Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole?

They're abbreviations for the French "quatrième corde", meaning "fourth string", and "deuxième corde", meaning "second string". It appears that the posted ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 91.3k
8 votes
Accepted

Should slurs encompass tied notes from before and/or after?

The top staves are "correct" for a slur, the bottom staves are correct for a phrasing slur. For music like violin music, this difference is more poignant than for piano since a slur has separate ...
user39917's user avatar
8 votes

Articulation between staccato and full note length?

Okay, very obvious answer: you can simply use the text marking poco staccato. This means, a little bit staccato. However, I actually think the solution suggested in one of the comments, to use shorter ...
Bob Broadley's user avatar
  • 21.4k
8 votes

What do these triangles above and below the staff mean?

That's a marcato, indicating that this note/chord needs to be played much louder than the surrounding notes, even louder than with a more common sforzando accent (the wedge pointing to the right). (...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 3,648
8 votes

Series of semiquavers vs staccato quavers

Staccato quavers aren't necessarily the length of semiquavers (they could be in more of a 40:60 ratio with the rests right afterward, for instance). Semiquavers with semiquaver rests in between are ...
Dekkadeci's user avatar
  • 14.2k
8 votes

How does one maintain voice integrity when longer and shorter notes of the same pitch occur in two voices

The short, general answer All things (all voices) being equal, solution #1 is the correct technical approach. The shorter note should interrupt the longer one, but then continue to be held (allowing ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 91.3k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible