31 votes

Notes not adding up to time signature, with weird white oval note

The piece shown in the question is from the Punjabi psalter of 1908, which compiled the 150 psalms into a collection metrically appropriate for the Punjabi language. The complete collection can be ...
  • 62.5k
16 votes
Accepted

Jarring F natural in Bartok's "Former Friends"

There is a clue in the title: Former Friends — it's a narrative piece. The piece is given the key signature of A-minor, a minor/sad key. But it is mainly in A-dorian which evokes nostalgia, with all ...
15 votes

Meaning of a box-like symbol, sometimes with a line through it

It is one of several forms of the breve, double note, or double whole note which, as its name suggests, has twice the duration of a semibreve or whole note. The three forms commonly used in modern ...
  • 15.1k
11 votes

Jarring F natural in Bartok's "Former Friends"

The piece is mostly quite obviously in A Dorian. It does not feature a lot of G major in the first place. The F natural there is naught but a G dominant 7 chord, resolving to C. Harmonically this in ...
  • 5,991
10 votes
Accepted

Is there a duration or rest error in the last bar here?

Yes, the last bar shown contains only three beats in the treble clef, and no, this is not okay, especially since the bass clef contains four beats. Since there's a repeat sign, sometimes you might see ...
  • 8,562
9 votes
Accepted

What does this natural cancel?

It's a courtesy accidental to make extra clear that the double-sharp doesn't apply. There is sometimes confusion, especially with beginners, about whether an accidental in one octave applies to other ...
  • 62.5k
8 votes

Write the following tones in the musical notation

There are two frequently used systems Scientific notation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_pitch_notation Helmholtz notation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmholtz_pitch_notation In both ...
  • 12.3k
6 votes
Accepted

Arrow below staff pointing to number

This is an indication that the measure numbers are discontinuous. The numbering goes from 1 directly to 6, so presumably there were measures 2-5 that got cut at some point. This happens frequently in ...
  • 21.4k
6 votes
Accepted

What is the best way to notate/convey this ornament?

The ornament you're looking for is called a nachschlag. (See, for example, Trills in Clementi Op. 36 No. 1 2nd movement.) Presuming treble clef, the notation you want will look like an eighth-note B, ...
  • 62.5k
6 votes

Jarring F natural in Bartok's "Former Friends"

All those F♯s would indicate that in fact it's not in C major, as the key signature would show, but A Dorian - the second mode of G major. So they could have been put into the key signature as is the ...
  • 178k
5 votes
Accepted

Origins of musical stave notations

clefs, sharps, flats, naturals These developed from letters of the alphabet. The treble clef is a G clef, the bass clef is an F clef, and the tenor and alto clefs are C clefs. The signs denote ...
  • 15.1k
5 votes
Accepted

What do the small notes mean on 1st violin part

You're correct. Those small notes are cues, letting you know what is happening in another part during your rest. In a high-school orchestra setting, it's not unusual for the conductor to ask you to ...
  • 62.5k
5 votes
Accepted

How to move placement of key signature in Lilypond

The naturals are printed by a KeyCancellation object, while the flats are a KeySignature. When LilyPond wants to align prefatory matter (like time signatures, clefs, key signatures, etc.), it looks up ...
3 votes

Meaning of a box-like symbol, sometimes with a line through it

It is indeed a breve - twice as long as a semibreve, which is the 'standard' length of note needed to fill a bar of 4/4. Ironically, it was the shortest note used long ago - longer ones, such as the ...
  • 178k
3 votes

Bass notes on the treble scale (wavy lines)

The first example is 8ths, in 12/8 time (or possibly triplets in 4/4, well enough established for the numbers to be omitted) slurred in six-note groups. The wavy lines are one way of writing a slur ...
  • 81.3k
3 votes

What does "2x and 4x with chorus" mean in music notation?

It means "second time, fourth time with chorus." This agrees with the fact that the second and fourth times these measures are sung, there is harmony, but if that's really what it means, it'...
  • 15.1k
3 votes

What does "2x and 4x with chorus" mean in music notation?

Not at all clear. Nothing to do with repeating those bars, though. As in repeating them 2x or 4x. It actually means there's harmony at that part of the song the 2nd and 4th times it comes round. As ...
  • 178k
3 votes

The definition, and the origin of this sign notation "x"

(1) Meaning The double-sharp symbol indicates to raise the adjacent pitch two half steps (semitones) from its "natural" position (i.e., without regard to the key signature or other ...
  • 62.5k
3 votes

Meaning of a box-like symbol, sometimes with a line through it

That is a double whole-note on either middle C or bass E, depending on the clef. Double whole-notes last the length of two whole notes. Wikipedia has an article with additional details: Double whole ...
  • 62.5k
3 votes

Is there a duration or rest error in the last bar here?

The third bar is wrong. The upper stave contains three beats, the lower stave contains four. There's no room here for wriggling, it's just plain wrong. Probably just a misprint though. Adding a ...
  • 81.3k
3 votes

Jarring F natural in Bartok's "Former Friends"

As many have said, it's in A Dorian rather than G major. If it WAS G major, I don't think a detour to C major via a G7 chord would upset your ears nearly as much. Maybe we've got a bit used to ...
  • 81.3k
3 votes

How can I write a 5add9 chord in lilypond?

I at least found a workaround in the documentation: Adding a pitchPrefix \set additionalPitchPrefix = "5add" g:5.9
  • 289
2 votes

What does this natural cancel?

As Aaron states, it's a courtesy accidental. Completely unnecessary in theory, but put there to remind the reader that although the upper, earlier C is a double sharp, that one is not. However, since ...
  • 178k
2 votes
Accepted

If a chord has a note from an extension in the bass, is that note still an extension?

G B♭ D F A makes a Gm9. Usually, any other extensions are just that - extensions. There are none (higher), so for me, the chord is Gm9. However, the writer wanted a C note in the bass, so '/C' was ...
  • 178k
2 votes

Did Chopin use hairpins (adjacent crescendo and decrescendo) to indicate rubato rather than dynamics?

In addition to the fine answers already given, you might listen to what Seymour Bernstein has to say about "double hairpins" in Romantic music. He makes a very persuasive case that they are ...
  • 808
2 votes

"Crescendo" vs hair pin

I cannot say for this piece in particular, but just want to mention that during the romantic era, hairpins was also used to denote a type of rhythmic flexibility and rubato. That is, in contrast to ...
2 votes

Finale v26 break top beam of a 16th note

Speaking as someone who has only ever tried cross-beaming in Musescore and has never progressed beyond Finale Notepad...but did find in the comments that this is the method that fixed the problem... ...
  • 12.1k
2 votes

What does "2x and 4x with chorus" mean in music notation?

Something happens when that section is played the 2nd and 4th time through. That's clear enough. It's also pretty clear that what happens are the extra upper notes. The only unclear point is what is ...
  • 81.3k
2 votes

How can I write a 5add9 chord in lilypond?

It's an unusual chord, so it isn't included in the list of chords that are recognised by LilyPond. Fortunately, there is a way to teach LilyPond chord names/symbols, it just requires a little bit of ...
1 vote

Bass notes on the treble scale (wavy lines)

Two different answers. The top ones are phrase marks, meaning the 6 notes, 3 bass, 3 treble are played as one phrase - in one breath if you like. The bottom are marks to denote triplets, 3 notes ...
  • 178k

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