68 votes
Accepted

Why can't drums produce melody?

Instruments don't just produce one frequency at a time. When you play a single note on a melodic instruments (like piano, wind instruments, string instruments, etc.), you produce many different ...
jdjazz's user avatar
  • 11.2k
51 votes

Why can't drums produce melody?

The drums CAN play melodies, but the number of pitches and notes you have available are limited by the number of drums you have (not counting creative applications of "bending" the drum head to ...
Tekkerue's user avatar
  • 2,578
51 votes
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Is there a name for this famous “memeish” rhythm?

The "Shave and a haircut — two bits" rhythm... X: 1 T: Shave and a Haircut – Two Bits T: Rhythm K: clef=perc stafflines=1 middle=B M: 4/4 L: 1/4 B B/2B/2 B B | z B B z |] w: shave and a hair-...
Aaron's user avatar
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47 votes
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Two voices for a solo singer written in a sheet music

The notes with stems up are for singing in Italian, while the notes with the stems down are for singing in German. Thus, in the first picture of the original posting, in Italian it would be ... ...
Jasper Habicht's user avatar
45 votes
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Is it true that classical musicians are not rhythmical?

From the point of view as a primarily jazz player that later in my career spent a lot of time in an orchestra I think the hypothesis is an oversimplification, and probably due to the eg. pop musicians ...
OwenM's user avatar
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41 votes
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How do I know when the next note starts in sheet music?

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 ...
phoog's user avatar
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33 votes
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How are very long tuplets in Romantic music played in practice?

They aren't necessarily supposed to be played with metronomical precision of the 13:8 ratio, but they are supposed to make up a homogeneous run with no unequal subdivision. In particular, there should ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
31 votes

Notes don't add up to time signature

The dot above the quarter note is a staccato articulation which doesn't affect its rhythmic value. It's still a quarter note. If the dot was to the right of the note it would change its rhythmic value....
Brian THOMAS's user avatar
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29 votes

Why are time signatures not used in this score?

This free-thinking question has already provoked at least one thoughtful answer. The sample score happens to have time signatures, however, beginning with 4 bars of 4⁄4 and going into a bar of ...
lauir's user avatar
  • 652
28 votes

What is this "┌─3─┐" notation called? What is the count?

Those are simply triplets. Think of it as : But with the first two triplets tied: Which results in your notation: (since two eighths equal one quarter). If you wanted a more specific name for it, ...
Shevliaskovic's user avatar
27 votes
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How is it that 12 eighth notes fit in a measure labeled as common time?

They are actually eighth note triplets instead of eighth notes. The alternative notation to this would be to group the eighth notes and rests in threes and put a 3 over them like a standard triplet, ...
Dom's user avatar
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26 votes
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How "hard" to read is this rhythm? A rhythmic comparison

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 ...
endorph's user avatar
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25 votes
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Difference between half note and quarternote with quarter rest

You can answer this easily by asking simply, "What is the difference between a note and a rest?" One is sound; the other is silence. note = sound rest = silence Therefore, whereas you will ...
Neal's user avatar
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24 votes
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What does 'fingered' mean with regard to accompaniment on an electronic keyboard?

I don't know what keyboard that is, but that looks like the control for the ABC [Auto Bass Chord] system [That's a Yamaha term, other manufacturers may call it something else, but they all do a ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
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23 votes
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What is the clearest way to notate this rhythm?

Is this subjective or is there [a] method to this? This question gives me another occasion to link to the Jacobs School Music Notation Style Guide, which is a great resource for beginning composers. ...
Michael Seifert's user avatar
22 votes
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Notation for fast notes across two measures

I'd go with grace notes, they are not counted in the rhythm, so you don't need to fiddle with the unreadable rest durations. Also, they are supposed to be played very fast. I provide several options ...
yo''s user avatar
  • 2,472
21 votes
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How do you know if a song has triplets in 4/4 or if the tempo is 3/4?

Technically speaking, you can't ever say for certain until you see the composer's original score (if there even is one); a piece could literally be written in an infinite number of time signatures. As ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.5k
21 votes

Why can't drums produce melody?

No-one's mentioned pans - aka steel drums They certainly are used to play melodies. The main problem is that melodies usually contain long and short duration notes, and drums generally can only ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 193k
20 votes

How is it that 12 eighth notes fit in a measure labeled as common time?

The eighth notes in the left hand are all triplets. The ones in the right hand are normal. Note how the note heads line up vertically in measure 4. On a purely technical level, this is incorrect ...
MattPutnam's user avatar
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20 votes
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Are ties necessary?

There are note values not notateable without ties. For example: A note the length of a crotchet (quarter note) + a semiquaver (sixteenth note) would need to be written with a tie, as there's no ...
Matthew Walton's user avatar
20 votes
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Notation of note duration

The note on the second space up is a quaver (1/8th note) and a demi-semiquaver (1/32 note). It's actually written in two parts - sort of top half of SATB, if you will. The stems' or tails' direction ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 193k
20 votes

How to represent 5 eighth-notes as one note?

It has to be this. An 8th tied to a half. Or, possibly, if the grouping is 2+3, split the dotted quarter into a tied quarter and 8th. I know you asked for NOT a tie. But that isn't how rhythmic ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93k
20 votes

Is it necessary to practice staying in time while improvising?

While playing by yourself, you do what you want. In time, out of time, seems no-one cares! The potential problems will come when you play with others. I've played with many like you appear to be, and ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 193k
19 votes

What does this rhythm notation after the tempo mean?

The 3 on top of a set of notes indicates a triplet. Triplet eighth notes would play three eighth notes in the time that you would normally have two. You may also see other divisions such as 5 and 7. ...
Alphonso Balvenie's user avatar
19 votes
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Is it hopeless in terms of becoming decent musicians, if they can't count beats?

It's not hopeless, but may take more time than others would. A couple of ideas. While listening to music, start tapping, singing, nodding, whatever, and turn down the sound, initially so it's still ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 193k
19 votes

Is there a name for a 3-3-2-2-2 rhythm?

There are several rhythms that use the 3-3-2-2-2 pulse in flamenco music from Spain. One of the most well known is Bulerías, a seemingly simple but very complex sounding rhythm made even more complex ...
John Belzaguy's user avatar
19 votes

Sextuplets in 6/8 time

Are we talking about what's in my picture below? (Yes, now you've added the picture, I see we are.) Two groups of six notes in a bar of 6/8 isn't any sort of tuplet, it's just normal notation. Six ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93k
19 votes

How do I count this rhythm? What is the name of this? It has a triplet but also an 8th note?

Yes, it is a sixteenth-note triplet followed by an eighth note. The triplet takes the time of one eighth note, then the eighth note itself, so the entire figure takes the time of a quarter note — half ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 88.1k
19 votes

Is there a notation for borrowing a beat from the next measure?

If possible please avoid uncommon notation! It will often not be easier to read. Maybe do something like this This is more or less how Schumann does this in Mondnacht:
Lazy's user avatar
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