Aaron
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Obscure markings in BWV 814 I. Allemande, Bach, Henle edition
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Small ornaments The smaller ornaments indicate an editorial addition. These additions are typically based on alternative sources or common practice, but which cannot be conclusively determined by the ...

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Term for reverse engineering a song
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Transcription: Is the process of listening to a piece of music and "reverse engineering" it. It can also mean just the process of writing down a piece of music. You'll find a number of ...

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Where did "The Real Book" originally come from?
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The Real Book is a well-known example of a "fake book". For the history of fake books, see What is a Fake Book?. Secret origin of The Real Book Two (anonymous) Berklee students compiled The ...

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Circle of Fifths (Added Sharps and Flats)
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11 votes

Adding sharps / Removing flats Consider the following definition of a major scale (W = Whole Step; H = Half step): W W H W W W H This gives us scale degrees and intervals between as follows: 1 W 2 W ...

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How to indicate flutter technique in a score?
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The notation shown in the video — the standard tremolo notation — is the correct way to indicate a flutter. In can (should) be supplemented with "f.t" (flutter tongue) for clarity. As long ...

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Why does G# sound right when my melody is in C major?
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Although A minor does not natively include G#, it is common practice to use G#, because it is the leading tone in A minor (and major). That is, it "leads" the ear to A, just as you've ...

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Why practice enharmonic equivalent keys as separate keys
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11 votes

The music-reading aspect of this is well covered. So, another perspective... Consider that Victor Wooten is best known an improvising musician. Moreover, he's a bass player, where understanding ...

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How does counting E twice explain the discrepancy between the 5th between C and G vs. the 3rd between C and E, 3rd between E and G?
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What the quotation is complaining about is that if you count the notes of the third from C to E ... C = first note D = second note E = third note Thus, three notes in total. ... and then you count ...

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Music notation: Left side dot
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It's a printing error in the original. Similar dots appear here and here and the dot is missing from this treble-staff fermata However There is a different copy of the score in a YouTube video, and ...

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Confused as to why one scale fits four different chords
11 votes

Chord tones and not chord tones When improvising against any chord, the "primary" notes are those in the chord itself. Other notes are more or less decorative: adding color, passing from one ...

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Is there a legitimate reason why a C-Clef could ever be used in piano music?
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The reason to write in C clef is the one you've come up with: the notes fit better on the staff. That's how clefs came into being — so that the core range of a particular voice (or instrument) fits ...

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Why do guitarists move fingers up and down on the same note?
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That is vibrato, which is a common technique with most stringed instruments. a slightly tremulous effect imparted to vocal or instrumental tone for added warmth and expressiveness by slight and rapid ...

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Is there any official/semi-official standard for music symbol visual appearance?
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The Music Publishers Association published a style guide: "Standard Music Notation Practice". It does not address notehead size, but it does address other visual parameters. For example ...

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Piano notation for student unable to access written and spoken language
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Provided writing out scores for the student is an option, I suggest creating a notation that matches an image on the "score" with the same image placed on the keyboard. For example, you ...

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To what extent is music theory just giving us a language to describe/break down music, or does it really have significant "scientific content"?
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It's a broad generalization that discussion of "music theory" usually refers to Common Practice Tonality, or related ideas of scales, chords, modes, and so forth. These ideas are primarily ...

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Is it possible to have perfect pitch but zero sense of relative pitch?
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Yes, one can have perfect pitch but not relative pitch. Here's a question from SE Music Practice and Theory seeking help with exactly that issue: How can I develop relative pitch if I have perfect ...

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Is there such a thing as F♯ position on the piano?
11 votes

Given that 1-2-3-4-5 isn't working for you because of the awkward A, then yes, your next best option is 2-3-1-2-3. The idea of fixed hand positions is generally a learning tool for beginners, and ...

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Sight reading piano - How far ahead do you look?
10 votes

When you are sight-reading, how far ahead in the music do you look? This is highly individual and depends on the complexity of the music. Taking myself as an example, when reading very basic music, I ...

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How to increase LilyPond horizontal spacing?
10 votes

This is accomplished with the SpacingSpanner spacing-increment property (see the Lilypond documentation) For example, this code % LilyBin \score{ \relative c' { c d e f g a b c } } ...

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What does F.O. mean, and is it related to a repeat?
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10 votes

F.O. = "Fade Out". In the first case, for example, it means that after the D.S., once arriving at A, fade out rather than complete the section. In the second case, allowing the repeat covers ...

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When you specify an EDO (Equal Divisions per Octave) value, is it always a whole number?
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10 votes

A fractional value would represent an equal division of multiple octaves rather than a single octave. 12.5 EDO, for example, would be equivalent to 25 ED2O (equal division of two octaves). As an ...

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What this is, and how can it be put into Sibelius?
10 votes

The three eighth notes (not 16th notes) with the "3" above the beam are a "triplet": three notes in the space of one beat. There are exactly four beats in the measure. For ...

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What purpose do chords serve in music?
10 votes

To understand chords, I find some history helpful. Pre-chord history The earliest Western music we know about is chant. ("Earliest" in this case meaning the first music where we can "...

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Is it a reasonable assumption that the best singers perform the lead roles?
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10 votes

No. Firstly, often auditions are for specific roles, so at that level, it could be possible that the "best" singers all happen to be auditioning for a supporting role. Further, who's to say ...

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What do you call a very brief change of key
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The most common term is tonicization. For example: Tonicization is the process of making a non-tonic chord temporarily sound like tonic (SOURCE) In music, tonicization is the treatment of a pitch ...

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What do you mean by the tonic chord feels as 'home'?
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About the "tonic" Not every scale has a tonic chord. Tonic is primarily a concept in major/minor Tonality and does not apply (the same way) in modality or to non major/minor-Tonal music. ...

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Rests in 10/16 time
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NOTE: See bottom of post for edit in light of new information since the original answer There are two sets of pulses involved here: the "small" pulses -- in groups of 3 or 2 -- and the "...

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History of self-duets
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Self-duets of the sort you have in mind are an example of "overdubbing", a technique allowing a musician to record one part and then record a second part while playing back the first. The ...

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Why does pentatonic + diatonic embellishments sound so much better than just using the diatonic for guitar solos?
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The general answer is that pentatonic scales avoid some of the dissonances against the chords that occur naturally in the diatonic scales. For example, suppose you're playing over a C Major chord. ...

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Who decides chord details in published songs?
10 votes

The arranger or editor will make those decisions. Often they are simplifications (or someone's idea of a simplification) or clarifications, sometimes alternative harmonizations, sometimes the composer ...

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