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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 ...
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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 ...
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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-...
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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 ... ...
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40 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 ...
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32 votes
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How to help students remember Half vs. Whole rests

There was a trick for these that I used all the time based on what the rests look like. The whole rest looks like a hole. The words sound the same so it's a good way to equate them. The half rest ...
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32 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....
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30 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 ...
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29 votes
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When to use a dot or a tie in music notation?

Yep, the second one is far better for precisely the reason you say. A general rule is that you shouldn't have dotted-notes that start on an off beat and carry through the next beat. There are ...
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28 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 ...
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25 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 ...
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24 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, ...
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24 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, ...
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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 ...
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23 votes

How to help students remember Half vs. Whole rests

In elementary school, I was taught to think of the rest like a raft in water. Since a half rest gets two beats, it's like a raft carrying two people - light enough to float on top of the water: The ...
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22 votes
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Whole bar rest in 6/8 time?

A semibreve rest CAN be used in 6/8 time - or ANY time (apart from 4/2 - quite unusual)) to represent one bar's rest. At that point, it isn't actually a 'semibreve', but represents just one bar of ...
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22 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. ...
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22 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 ...
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21 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 ...
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  • 2,247
20 votes

Why can some people play music well who don't "know music"?

Sounds like you are trying to intellectually and analytically "understand" music. In my opinion, this can be done to some extent. Just like you can intellectually understand language and grammar, and ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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20 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 ...
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20 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 ...
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  • 174k
19 votes

In 3/2 time why is a whole-note rest used as a bar's rest when a whole-note doesn't fill the measure?

A bar's duration can be represented using the whole note No, not always! This is the incorrect assumption you're making. A bar's 'duration' depends on the time signature. So, in a standard 4/4 bar, ...
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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. ...
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19 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 ...
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  • 174k
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 ...
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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 ...
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