27 votes
Accepted

C Trumpet in Beethoven's 5th symphony

Back in Beethoven’s days trumpets and horns were not in fact chromatic, which is also the reason why scores call for trumpets in different transpositions. It was possible to play horns chromatically ...
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  • 3,793
19 votes

What is the meaning of headless notes?

The absence of noteheads may also be used to represent ad libitum pitch choices — a performance note can specify free pitch/vary pitch at will, and so on. (Elaine Gould, Behind Bars, p. 160) The ...
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  • 55k
10 votes

Notes not adding up to time signature How to play this?

The meter is 6/8. So, one bar is 6 eighth notes = 3 quarter notes = 2 dotted quarter notes = 12 sixteenth notes. "Notes" means pitched notes or rests. In this bar... ...there are 5 eighth ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Need help reading Muddy Waters's "Got my mojo working"

A graphical supplement to @HaveProblemsEveryday's answer with strumming pattern suggested by @Tim (see comments below). Note that the chords occur on every third sixteenth note (semiquaver).
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  • 55k
9 votes

What is the meaning of headless notes?

The Spanish instructions: "el orden, velocidad y extensión del arpegio puede variar mientras se respete la armonía" translates as: "the order, speed and extension of the arpeggio can ...
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7 votes

C Trumpet in Beethoven's 5th symphony

Looks like C trumpets to me. In the second bar of this snippet, the trumpets are playing in unison with the timpani, where the timpani are notated at concert pitch. You have a transposing score, so ...
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  • 9,304
6 votes
Accepted

What are these playing instructions for classical guitar?

They're fret numbers. Sometimes they refer to that fret barred, sometimes (as in the sign lke cut time) they refer to a part barre. The lowest notes are usually best left played as open, although here,...
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  • 173k
5 votes

What symbol is used to go from common time to half time?

To change the meter, use whatever symbol denotes the meter you want to change to. To change the tempo, you can either use numerical metronome marks or give a relative indication. So if you start in 4/...
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5 votes

Need help reading Muddy Waters's "Got my mojo working"

Since we are dealing with sixteenth notes here, we can break the bar in to 1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a The first chord is on the and of 1 The second chord is on the e of 2 The third chord is right ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Strange "less than" accent or ornament in Sullivan's "The Mikado" score

I received this in a private email from Albert Bergeret, the Artistic Director of the NY G&S Players: I had never taken notice of the mark that you mention, and I wouldn’t necessarily consider ...
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  • 365
4 votes

How do I notate for the sostenuto pedal?

The symbol for the sostenuto pedal is "Sost. Ped.". The "S" should be aligned directly below the first moment that it is applied (usually just after the note it is acting on is ...
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4 votes

C Trumpet in Beethoven's 5th symphony

Trumpets, horns and timpani were (and still are, despite today's fully chromatic instruments) traditionally written without key signature. (And don't forget we're in C minor, not E♭ major!)
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3 votes
Accepted

Suite Venezolana, I Registro by Antonio Lauro notations & fingerings [for classical (nylon strings) guitar]

Since the harm (harmonics) for each note written refer to notes G B and E, the circled numbers tell which string each harmonic is played on. Tha numbers (12, etc.) are for the fretwire each string is ...
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  • 173k
3 votes

Need help reading Muddy Waters's "Got my mojo working"

What you might want to do is either: Find a youtube video of Muddy playing it. You Tube allows you to slow down the playback without changing the pitch. Click on the settings icon and then on ...
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3 votes

Notes not adding up to time signature How to play this?

As it turns out, F. Schuyler Mathews, Field Book of Wild Birds and Their Music is the original source, and its Page 241 details this for additional playback instructions: Note how the tiny notes are ...
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  • 11.5k
2 votes

Why do notes have stems?

Current meaning With the style of note heads and other signs, note stem (along its flag which is attached to the stem) is a way to show the length of a note in Western style of writing music (see here)...
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  • 206
2 votes

Meaning of left parenthesis notation on chords

TL;DR The vertical slurs and wavy arpeggio markings both indicate arpeggios. Summary It seems that Chopin's arpeggio notation evolved over time. In the autograph of his Prelude in A minor, the final ...
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  • 55k
2 votes

Piano Sheet Music Symbols of Long Diagonal Lines

As others have supposed, there is no formal name for these lines. In Elaine Gould's Behind Bars, which is the standard reference for music notation, she just refers to them as "diagonal lines&...
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  • 55k
1 vote

What are these playing instructions for classical guitar?

The C with a slash through means a half-barre of some sort 2 - 5 strings as the harmony dictates. The straight C probably indicates a full barre but the notation is awkward. The position is indicated ...
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  • 13.8k
1 vote

What are these playing instructions for classical guitar?

These are fret numbers, as @Tim already said, but they do not necessarily indicate full or partial barré. They indicate position. This sometimes does mean a barré, sometimes it indicates just the ...
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  • 151
1 vote

Notes not adding up to time signature How to play this?

Based on reading the grace notes, fermatas and most importantly performance directions under the notes, I think it's supposed to sound like this bird. As explained in other answers, the note durations ...
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  • 1,756
1 vote

Strange "less than" accent or ornament in Sullivan's "The Mikado" score

The Musescore desktop software program has the "reverse accent" labelled as "Fade in":
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  • 11.5k
1 vote

Why is there no indication of relative loudness on sheet music?

TL;DR It's simply impractical to unambiguously denote the music in such detail. Because even with the indication that one note should be louder and another quieter, it immediately begs the question of ...
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  • 55k
1 vote

Are there any standardized single-letter names for the flats and sharps?

I'm finding this problem when learning the bass. The syllable of "flat" just gets in the way and interrupts any flow I have. I've taken to just adding an "eef" when I'm saying the ...
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