71

It is "a new system of music" that was set forth in the same periodical, Scientific American, in a subsequent issue, that of March 26, 1846. The image in the question was taken from the March 19th issue.


71

I find this absolutely fascinating, so I decided to use phoog's terrific answer to figure out how this march sounded. So, I present the "Princeton Hill March"! I won't pretend that this is without error. It's an exceedingly cumbersome notational system, and even slight aberrations in printing can ruin the notation. (For instance, some of the early ...


40

I can't understand very well note duration notation. No wonder. The music you're trying to read is objectively incorrect in several ways. I won't list them all, but as you've noticed the vertical alignment is out of order. Furthermore, the rhythmic notation does not comply with the meter. Follow the advice in the comments to get a different copy. I ...


38

It's not an ornament; it's a quarter rest. The Violins I are divided, and the upper half play rest + quarter note while the lower half play half notes.


34

These are bars 10 and 11 from Chopin's first Prelude (a larger snippet from IMSLP): Different editions vary on exactly how they place the beams - the original screenshot seems quite poorly typeset. The time signature is 2/8; the initial three LH semiquavers form an unmarked triplet (tuplet markings are often omitted like this; the first bar has them ...


33

I endorse Aaron's and Richard's answers, regarding what staccato means conceptually. This answer is mostly to provide some examples and details as to how staccato will typically come out in the case of a string quartet (or, strings in general). As I already commented, I strongly disagree with the people saying a staccato note should “in theory” be the same ...


30

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, rather than the note stem. If the note is stemmed-down, them the fermata goes over the notehead, and the fermata dot will be below the fermata line. If the note ...


29

This might be more like a comment, or it may answer the actual question behind what you literally wrote. You decide. You seem to assume a musical scenario with (1) a composition, (2) a performer, (3) an audience. Would it be possible to ditch that whole preconception and think about music in other ways? Why does there have to be notation? What is the thing ...


25

Let's look at your first example, the Saint-Saëns. Yes, if there was ONLY the lowest C, it would be difficult to read and an 8vab line would help. But the higher C, on just two ledger lines, is easy to read, as is the octave interval. So we can allow the music to retain the correct 'shape' with low notes LOOKING low - this also is an important factor in ...


25

Minor nitpick: in your first example, the semiquaver should precede the minim. That will improve readability: Major nitpick: The two rhythms are identical. A crotchet triplet can be subdivided into 12 semiquavers. We're dividing two beats into 12 equally-sized divisions. The first example splits them into a group of 3 and a group of 9; that is, 1/4 (3/12) ...


25

tl;dr When notes share the same stem, they also share the same duration. While there are rare cases of (wrongly) written notes that seem to share the same stem while they're not, it's not your case. Each note you see in that score shares the length of the note "above": a sixteenth, an eight and again a sixteenth, for both bars. Some insight on stem ...


24

A broken chord like this is notated with double stems for each note. One set of stems corresponds to the eighth-note onsets of each pitch. The second set of stems corresponds to the duration of each pitch and shows the tie to the final, full chord. It is acceptable to use shared note heads in this kind of situation. For example, the first note could have a ...


22

It stands for... M.M. Metronome Marking. Formerly "Mälzel Metronome." Named after the Inventor Johann Mälzel who is the person who first manufactured a metronome for widespread use (although he did was not the first person to invent such a device, that honor went to Dietrich Nikolaus Winkel).


22

I don't think a C-clef is necessary. Consider using the treble clef for the top staff, and leaving the upper voice here. Put the middle voice with the lower, in the bottom staff in bass clef. If the middle voice gets very high, you can move it from the bottom staff to the top staff. This gives at most two ledger lines, which is not many at all. If you think ...


21

To put it very simply, the bottom number tells you what the top number is referring to. It is a little clearer to use the fractional way of discussing notes, so: minim = half (1/2) note crotchet = quarter (1/4) note quaver = eighth (1/8) note So a measure of 4/4 has four quarter notes (4 x 1/4) and a measure of 2/2 has two half notes (2 x 1/2). Technically,...


21

Just based off of the span of these pitches, most players can't play all of these pitches with one hand (assuming either a B♭–D or B–D♯ span). As such, I would argue that pedaling is the best bet. Just write the pitches as normal eighth notes, but indicate to the player to hold down the pedal, thereby sustaining the pitches until the pedal sign changes: It'...


20

The asterisk shows where the sustain pedal should be lifted after an earlier (pedal) marking


19

As is common with these sorts of questions, there's a lot of speculation in various answers. But, if the question is at least historically why C is the central note of the modern musical scale system, there's one specific and rather clear origin point: Gioseffo Zarlino's Dimostrationi harmoniche of 1571. Zarlino was perhaps the most influential music ...


19

The core difference is that eighth notes/rests and quarter notes/rests (etc.) are durations; whereas, staccato marks are articulations. While it's true that staccato affects the duration of the note, there is an important interpretive meaning either way. The version including notes and rests is giving a precise indication of how long each note and rest ...


17

In my view the F# is the way to go. First it limits the phrase to just one accidental instead of having to cancel the Gb immediately after playing it. Secondly, in context we have the key of C and a C chord where the G melody note is the 5th of the chord. This makes the spelling of F# even more logical as it is a chromatic lower neighboring tone in between ...


16

Pianists don't read C clefs. A great majority flatly don't know how, and most of the ones that can (because they play an instrument that reads them) are completely unpracticed at it for piano. It's only the rare person who regularly sight-reduces orchestral scores on piano who would be able to play this. Don't ever use 8va in bass clef or 8vb in treble, as ...


16

Double bar lines are used to mark beginnings and ends of sections but they are not the same as repeat signs. If there is no forward facing repeat sign then it repeats all the way to the beginning of the piece.


15

Yes. One of the most widely respected and utilized sources (at least in American universities and professional circles) for the precise parameters of standard notation is the book Behind Bars by Elaine Gould. Many universities in the US have that book in their music libraries and several professional organizations, such as ASMAC, refer to that book as one of ...


15

It is the same note, so no, not a hammer on or pull off. The tab should have a sheet explaining all the symbols they use (as there are variations) In the absence of other guidance I'd read it as simply holding the note, whereas the others may be staccato or shorter.


15

The brief answer is no, at least nothing like the modern sense. The more nuanced answer is sort of and sometimes. First, let's note that score format did exist historically early on. Almost all polyphonic Western music from its earliest forms (ca. late 8th or early 9th century) to the early 1200s was in score format. (See, for example, Notre Dame polyphony,...


14

Your system makes it simpler and more convenient to write music in the whole-tone scale, which is very rarely used in actual music. But commonly used diatonic music is more difficult to write with your system, because so many accidentals are needed all the time even for the most trivial melodies and chords, regardless of the key. All keys have accidentals!? ...


14

Training to be a singer includes what is called "ear training" which is the act of hearing the pitch in your "ear" (mind, really) before you phonate (sing) it. This ability keeps you in tune while you sing. You also learn how to read music and, eventually, you learn how to "sight-read" it. This means you can pick up sheet music ...


14

The symbol denotes a tone cluster that includes all chromatic pitches between D1 and D2. The notation is explained in Rautavaara's "Table of Clusters".1 The effect can be heard in this recording by Laura Mikkola. The link is timed to the cluster. Another example of this notation can be found at the end of (the ...


14

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 inner slurs as indicating words, and the outer slur as denoting a sentence. Part of the reason there are two sets is that there are some places in the phrase ...


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