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Encyclopedia > Musical notation
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Hand-written musical notation by J. S. Bach: beginning of the Prelude from the Suite for Lute in G minor BWV 995 (transcription of Cello Suite No. 5, BWV 1011)
Hand-written musical notation by J. S. Bach: beginning of the Prelude from the Suite for Lute in G minor BWV 995 (transcription of Cello Suite No. 5, BWV 1011)

Music notation or musical notation is any system which represents aurally perceived music through the use of written symbols. Diverse systems of music notation have been developed in various cultures. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (612x918, 57 KB) First page of the manuscript of Bachs lute suite in G Minor. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (612x918, 57 KB) First page of the manuscript of Bachs lute suite in G Minor. ... Places in which Bach resided throughout his life Johann Sebastian Bach (pronounced ) (21 March 1685 O.S. – 28 July 1750 N.S.) was a prolific German composer and organist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought...

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Earliest notated music in cuneiform

In 1986, Anne Draffkorn Kilmer from the University of California at Berkeley published her analysis of a cuneiform tablet that was created at Nippur in about 2000 B.C. She explained that the tablet represents fragmentary instructions for performing music, that the music was composed in harmonies of thirds, and that it was written using a diatonic scale.[1] A tablet from about 1250 B.C. shows a more developed form of notation.[2] Although the interpretation of the notation system is still controversial, it is clear that the notation indicates the names of strings on a lyre, the tuning of which is described in other tablets.[3] Although they were fragmentary, these tablets represent the earliest recorded melodies found anywhere in the world.[4] Look up Cuneiform in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In music theory, a diatonic scale (from the Greek diatonikos, to stretch out; also known as the heptatonia prima; set form 7-35) is a seven-note musical scale comprising five whole-tone and two half-tone steps, in which the half tones are maximally separated. ...


Ancient Greek musical notation

Photograph of the original stone at Delphi containing the second of the two hymns to Apollo. The music notation is the line of occasional symbols above the main, uninterrupted line of Greek lettering.
Photograph of the original stone at Delphi containing the second of the two hymns to Apollo. The music notation is the line of occasional symbols above the main, uninterrupted line of Greek lettering.

Ancient Greek musical notation was capable of representing pitch and note-duration, and to a limited extent, harmony. It was in use from at least the 6th century BC until approximately the 4th century AD; several complete compositions and fragments of compositions using this notation survive. The notation consists of symbols placed above text syllables. An example of a complete composition is the Seikilos epitaph, which has been variously dated between the 2nd century BC to the 1st century AD. Three hymns by Mesomedes of Crete exist in manuscript. The Delphic Hymns, dated to the 2nd century BC, also use this notation, but they are not completely preserved (see photograph). Ancient Greek notation appears to have fallen out of use around the time of the fall of the Roman Empire. Image File history File links Delphichymn. ... Image File history File links Delphichymn. ... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) The 6th century BC started on January 1, 600 BC and ended on December 31, 501 BC. // Monument 1, an Olmec colossal head at La Venta The 5th and 6th centuries BC were a time of empires, but more importantly, a time... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 4th century was that century which lasted from 301 to 400. ... The Seikilos epitaph is famed as the oldest surviving example of a complete musical composition, including musical notation, from anywhere in the western world. ... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) The 2nd century BC started on January 1, 200 BC and ended on December 31, 101 BC. // Coin of Antiochus IV. Reverse shows Apollo seated on an omphalos. ... The 1st century was that century which lasted from 1 to 100 according the Gregorian calendar. ... The Delphic Hymns are two musical compositions from Ancient Greece, which survive in substantial fragments. ... The Roman Empire is not the Holy Roman Empire (843-1806). ...


Western European musical notation

Early western notation

Scholar and music theorist Isidore of Seville, writing in the early 7th century, famously remarked that it was impossible to notate music. By the middle of the 9th century, however, a form of notation began to develop in monasteries in Europe for Gregorian chant, using symbols known as neumes; the earliest surviving musical notation of this type is in the Musica disciplina of Aurelian of Réôme, from about 850. There are scattered survivals from the Iberian peninsula before this time of a type of notation known as Visigothic neumes, but its few surviving fragments have not yet been deciphered. Saint Isidore of Seville (Spanish: or ) (c. ... The 7th century is the period from 601 - 700 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... As a means of recording the passage of time the 9th century was that century that lasted from 801 to 900. ... Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic, unaccompanied sacred song of the Roman Catholic Church. ... Neumes are an ancient musical notation used to write down Gregorian chant, a monophonic singing style used by the Catholic church throughout its history. ... Aurelian of Réôme (Aurelianus Reomensis) (fl. ... Events April 20 - Guntherus becomes Bishop of Cologne. ... The Iberian Peninsula, or Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ...


The ancestors of modern symbolic music notation originated in the Roman Catholic Church, as monks developed methods to put plainchant (sacred songs) to paper. The earliest of these ancestral systems, from the 8th century, did not originally utilise a staff, and used neum (or neuma or pneuma), a system of dots and strokes that were placed above the text. Although capable of expressing considerable musical complexity, they could not exactly express pitch or time and served mainly as a reminder to one who already knew the tune, rather than a means by which one who had never heard the tune could sing it exactly at sight. The Roman Catholic Church or Catholic Church (see terminology below) is the Christian Church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, currently Pope Benedict XVI. It traces its origins to the original Christian community founded by Jesus Christ and led by the Twelve Apostles, in particular Saint Peter. ... Munichs city symbol celebrates its founding by Benedictine monks—and the origin of its name A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, the conditioning of mind and body in favor of the spirit. ... Broadly speaking, plainsong is the name given to the body of traditional songs used in the liturgies of the Catholic Church. ... (7th century — 8th century — 9th century — other centuries) Events The Iberian peninsula is taken by Arab and Berber Muslims, thus ending the Visigothic rule, and starting almost 8 centuries of Muslim presence there. ... The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ...

Early Music Notation
Early Music Notation

To address the issue of exact pitch, a staff was introduced consisting originally of a single horizontal line, but this was progressively extended until a system of four parallel, horizontal lines was standardised. The vertical positions of each mark on the staff indicated which pitch or pitches it represented (pitches were derived from a musical mode, or key). Although the 4-line staff has remained in use until the present day for plainchant, for other types of music, staffs with differing numbers of lines have been used at various times and places for various instruments. The modern 5-line staff was first adopted in France, and became almost universal by the 16th century (although the use of staffs with other numbers of lines was still widespread well into the 17th century). Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... In music, a mode is an ordered series of musical intervals, which, along with the key or tonic, define the pitches. ... In music theory, the key identifies the tonic triad, the chord, major or minor, which represents the final point of rest for a piece, or the focal point of a section. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ...


Modal and mensural notation

Because the neum system arose from the need to notate songs, exact timing was initially not a particular issue as the music would generally follow the natural rhythms of the Latin language. However, by the 10th century a system of representing up to four note lengths had been developed. These lengths were relative rather than absolute, and depended on the duration of the neighbouring notes. It was not until the 14th century that something like the present system of fixed note lengths arose. Starting in the 15th century, vertical bar lines were used to divide the staff into sections. These did not initially divide the music into measures (bars) of equal length (as most music then featured far fewer regular rhythmic patterns than in later periods), but appear to have been introduced as an aid to the eye for "lining up" notes on different staves that were to be played or sung at the same time. The use of regular measures (bars) became commonplace by the end of the 17th century. The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 10th century was that century which lasted from 901 to 1000. ... This 14th-century statue from south India depicts the gods Shiva (on the left) and Uma (on the right). ... (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ...

See also: Modal notation and Mensural notation

The founder of what is now considered the standard music stave was Guido d'Arezzo, an Italian Benedictine monk who lived from 995–1050 A.D. His revolutionary method—combining a 4 line stave with the first form of notes known as 'neumes'—was the precursor to the five line stave, which was introduced in the 14th century and is still in use today. Guido D'Arezzo's achievements paved the way for the modern form of written music, music books, and the modern concept of a composer. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Menstrual notation is the musical notation system which was used from the later part of the 13th century until about 1600. ... Guido of Arezzo or Guido Monaco (995-1050) is regarded as the inventor of modern musical notation (staff notation) that replaced neumatic notation. ... A composer is a person who writes music. ...

An example of common western musical notation: Prelude, Op. 28, No. 7, by Frederic Chopin
An example of common western musical notation: Prelude, Op. 28, No. 7, by Frederic Chopin

Present day standard Western musical notation (which has been widely adopted by many non-Westerners) is based on a five-line staff. Pitch is shown by placement of notes on the staff (sometimes modified by accidentals), and duration is shown with different note values and additional symbols such as dots and ties. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 451 pixel Image in higher resolution (3103 × 1750 pixel, file size: 1,014 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This is my own edition and arrangement of the Chopin No. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 451 pixel Image in higher resolution (3103 × 1750 pixel, file size: 1,014 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This is my own edition and arrangement of the Chopin No. ... In musical notation, the staff or stave is a set of five horizontal lines on which note symbols are placed to indicate pitch and time. ... An accidental is a musical notation symbol used to raise or lower the pitch of a note. ... Parts of a note In music notation, a note value indicates the relative duration of a note, using the color or shape of the note head, the presence or absence of a stem, and the presence or absence of flags. ... In music, a dotted note is a note that is 1 1/2 times the main note of the same kind. ... In music, a tie is when multiple notes of the same pitch are to be played as one note with a duration equal to the sum of the individual notes durations. ...


Modern musical symbols

A staff generally begins with a clef, which indicates the particular range of pitches encompassed by the staff. Notes representing a pitch outside of the scope of the five line staff can be represented using ledger lines, which provide a single note with additional lines and spaces. This is intended to be a comprehensive guide on the various symbols encountered in modern musical notation. ... A clef indicates the name of the notes on one line of the staff, in relation to which the notes of the other lines and spaces may be determined. ... Figure 1. ...


Following the clef, the key signature on a staff indicates the key of the piece by specifying certain notes to be flat or sharp throughout the piece, unless otherwise indicated. In musical notation, a key signature is a series of sharp symbols or flat symbols placed on the staff, designating notes that are to be consistently played one semitone higher or lower than the equivalent natural notes (for example, the white notes on a piano keyboard) unless otherwise altered with... In music theory, the key identifies the tonic triad, the chord, major or minor, which represents the final point of rest for a piece, or the focal point of a section. ...


Following the key signature is the time signature. Measures (bars) divide the piece into regular groupings of beats , and the time signatures specifies those groupings. This article does not cite its references or sources. ... In musical notation, a bar or measure is a segment of time defined as a given number of beats of a given duration. ... See also the beat disambiguation page. ...


Directions to the player regarding matters such as tempo and dynamics are added above or below the staff. For vocal music, lyrics are written. The first two measures of Mozarts Sonata XI, which indicates the tempo as Andante grazioso and the metronome marking as = 120. (Metronome markings were not used in Mozarts day. ... In music, dynamics refers to the volume or loudness of the sound or note, in particular to the range from soft (quiet) to loud. ...


Notation of percussion instruments

Main article: percussion notation

Percussion notation conventions are varied because of the wide range of percussion instruments. Percussion instruments are generally grouped into two categories: pitched and non-pitched. The notation of non-pitched percussion instruments is the more problematic and less standardized. Percussion notation is a type of musical notation for percussion instruments. ...


In music for ensembles, a score shows music for all players together, while parts contain only the music played by an individual musician. A score can be constructed (laboriously) from a complete set of parts and vice versa. A musical ensemble is a group of two or more musicians who gather to perform music. ...


Musical notation of other cultures

Cipher notation

In many cultures, including Chinese (jianpu or gongche), Indonesian (kepatihan), and Indian (sargam), the "sheet music" consists primarily of the numbers, letters or native characters representing notes in order. Those different systems are collectively known as cipher notations. The numbered notation is an example, so are letter notation and solfege if written in musical sequence. The numbered musical notation, better known as jianpu (PY: jiǎnpǔ, TC: 簡譜, SC: 简谱), meaning simplified notation in Chinese, is a musical notation system widely used among the Chinese people. ... Gongche notation or gongchepu (Traditional Chinese: 工尺譜; Simplified Chinese: 工尺谱; Hanyu Pinyin: ) is a traditional musical notation method, once popular in ancient China. ... Kepatihan is a type of cipher musical notation that was devised for notation of the Indonesian gamelan. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Swara. ...


India

Indian music, early 20th century
Indian music, early 20th century

The Indian scholar and musical theorist Pingala (c. 200 B.C.), in his Chanda Sutra, used marks indicating long and short syllables to indicate meters in Sanskrit poetry. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Pingala (पिङ्गल ) is the supposed author of the Chandas shastra (, also Chandas sutra ), a Sanskrit treatise on prosody considered one of the Vedanga. ... (Redirected from 200 B.C.) Centuries: 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC - 1st century BC Decades: 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC - 200s BC - 190s BC 180s BC 170s BC 160s BC 150s BC Years: 205 BC 204 BC 203 BC 202 BC 201 BC - 200...


In the notation of Indian raaga, a solfege-like system called sargam is used. As in Western solfege, there are names for the seven basic pitches of a major scale (Shadja, Rishabh, Gandhar, Madhyam, Pancham, Dhaivat and Nishad, usually shortened Sa Ri Ga ma Pa Dha Ni). The tonic of any scale is named Sa, and the dominant Pa. Sa is fixed in any scale, and Pa is fixed at a fifth above it (a Pythagorean fifth rather than an equal-tempered fifth). These two notes are known as achala swar ('fixed notes'). Each of the other five notes, Ri, Ga, ma, Dha and Ni, can take a 'regular' (shuddha) pitch, which is equivalent to its pitch in a standard major scale (thus, shuddha Ri, the second degree of the scale, is a whole-step higher than Sa), or an altered pitch, either a half-step above or half-step below the shuddha pitch. Ri, Ga, Dha and Ni all have altered partners that are a half-step lower (Komal-"flat") (thus, komal ri is a half-step higher than Sa). Ma has an altered partner that is a half-step higher (teevra-"sharp") (thus, tivra Ma is an augmented fourth above Sa). Ri, Ga, ma, Dha and Ni are called vikrut swar ('movable notes'). In the written system of Indian notation devised by Ravi Shankar, the pitches are represented by Western letters. Capital letters are used for the achala swar, and for the higher variety of all the vikrut swar. Lowercase letters are used for the lower variety of the vikrut swar. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Swara. ...


Other systems exist for non-twelve-tone equal temperament and non-Western music, such as the Indian svar lippi. An equal temperament is a musical temperament -- that is, a system of tuning intended to approximate some form of just intonation -- in which an interval, usually the octave, is divided into a series of equal steps (equal frequency ratios). ...


Byzantium and Russia

In ancient Byzantium and Russia, sacred music was notated with special 'hooks and banners' (see znamennoe singing). Byzantium, present day Istanbul, was an ancient Greek city-state, which according to legend was founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas or Byzantas (Βύζας or Βύζαντας in Greek). ... An example of hook and banner notation used by Okruzhniki Old Believers in 1884. ...


China

Chinese Qin notation, 1425
Chinese Qin notation, 1425

The earliest known examples of text referring to music in China are inscriptions on musical instruments found in the Tomb of Marquee Yi of Zeng (d. 433 B.C.E.). Sets of 41 chimestones and 65 bells bore lengthy inscriptions concerning pitches, scales, and transposition. The bells still sound the pitches that their inscriptions refer to. Although no notated musical compositions were found, the inscriptions indicate that the system was sufficiently advanced to allow for musical notation. Two systems of pitch nomenclature existed, one for relative pitch and one for absolute pitch. For relative pitch, a solmization system was used. [1] Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... This article is becoming very long. ... In music and sight singing solfege or solmization is a way of assigning syllables to degrees or steps of the diatonic scale. ...


The tablature of the guqin is unique and complex; the older form composed of written words describing how to play a melody step-by-step using the plain language of the time; the newer form composed of bits of Chinese characters put together to indicate the method of play. Rhythm is not indicated. Tablatures for the qin are collected in what is called qinpu. This article is becoming very long. ... Front cover of the first folio of the facsimile of Qinxue Congshu This is a list of existing Qinpu 「琴譜」 or tablature score collections for the Chinese musical instrument, the Guqin. ...


The jianpu system of notation (an adaptation of a French Galin-Paris-Cheve system) had gained widespread acceptance by 1900 C.E. In this system, notes of the scale are numbered. For a typical Pentatonic Scale, the numbers 1,2,3,5,6 would be used. Dots above or below the notes would indicate a higher or lower octaves. Time values are indicated by dots and dashes following each number. Key signatures, barlines, and time signatures are also employed. The system also makes use of many symbols from the standard notation, such as bar lines, time signatures, accidentals, tie and slur, and the expression markings. In the present-day jiampu system, only the melody is notated. Harmonic and rhythmic elements are left to the discretion of the performers. The numbered musical notation, better known as jianpu (PY: jiǎnpǔ, TC: 簡譜, SC: 简谱), meaning simplified notation in Chinese, is a musical notation system widely used among the Chinese people. ... In music, a pentatonic scale is a scale with five notes per octave. ...


Japan

Japanese music is highly diversified, and therefore requires various systems of notatation. The most common is derived from Chinese theory of around AD 700, and is inseparable from other areas of knowledge, specifically, the elements, celestial bodies and the days of the week. In Japanese music, the following associations are the basis of pentatonic musical notation, usually expressed through Japanese characters, representing the elements:


Fire day = Tuesday = Mars = Note 5; Water day = Wednesday = Mercury = Note 6; Wood day = Thursday = Jupiter = Note 3; Gold/metal day = Friday = Venus = Note 2; Earth day = Saturday = Saturn = Note 1.


Source: Japanese character notation, [2]


In the Japanese shakuhachi music, glissandos and timbres are often more significant than distinct pitches. Information regarding notation may be found at Shakuhachi musical notation. A shakuhachi flute, blowing edge up. ... Shakuhachi musical notation refers to the systems of transcribing playing instructions for shakuhachi music. ...


Java and Bali

Traditionally, the gamelan music of Java and Bali is not notated. It is unusual in that it divides the octave into various equal divisions other than the 12 semitones of Equal Temperament. Two scales are in common use: the Slendo, or equipentatonic scale, in which the octave is divided into five almost equal intervals, (5-edo). The notes of the Slendro scale are abbreviated forms of the Javanese names for the numbers 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 (ji, ro, lu ma and nem). Slight deviations from an exact mathematical division of the octave into 5 equal parts occur, varying from region to region. A numeric system has been used since about 1900, but notates only the melody. Other parts are played either by memory or by improvization. Gamelan - Indonesian Embassy in Canberra A gamelan is a kind of musical ensemble of Indonesian origin typically featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums, and gongs; bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings, and vocalists may also be included. ... An equal temperament is a musical temperament -- that is, a system of tuning intended to approximate some form of just intonation -- in which an interval, usually the octave, is divided into a series of equal steps (equal frequency ratios). ...


The other commonly used scale of Java and Bali is the Pelog, a seven-tone scale, with unequal divisions. Its note-names are also based on abrreviated forms of the Javanese names for the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 (ji, ro, lu, pat, ma, nem and pi). These pitches appear to correspond to the division of the octave into nine equal parts (9-edo), 7 of which are used in any scale, but normally only 5 of these notes are used in any particular composition. The basic units are the "small step" (1.33 semitones), and the "large step" (2.67 semitones). A typical scale contains two "large steps". Again, a numerical system has been used since about 1900. Pelog is one of the two essential scales of gamelan music native to Bali and Java, in Indonesia. ...


Traditionally, the music of Java and Bali is not notated. Notation began during the 19th century, based on a cipher system. Notation was not intended for the reading of music, but strictly for purposes of historic preservation. Only the Balungan part (melody) is notated, other parts performing without notation, either by memorization or improvisation. Various systems of notation have been devised for Gamelan music, but no single, standardized system has yet been realized. The balungan (Javanese: skeleton, frame) is sometimes called the core melody of a gamelan composition. ... Gamelan - Indonesian Embassy in Canberra A gamelan is a kind of musical ensemble of Indonesian origin typically featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums, and gongs; bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings, and vocalists may also be included. ...

Main article: Gamelan

Gamelan - Indonesian Embassy in Canberra A gamelan is a kind of musical ensemble of Indonesian origin typically featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums, and gongs; bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings, and vocalists may also be included. ...

Other musical notation systems and practices

Figured bass

Main article: Figured bass

Figured bass notation originated in baroque basso continuo parts. It is also used extensively in accordion notation. The bass notes of the music are conventionally notated, along with numbers and other signs which determine the chords to be played. It does not, however, specify the exact pitches of the harmony, leaving that for the performer to improvise. Figured bass, or thoroughbass, is a kind of integer musical notation used to indicate intervals, chords, and nonchord tones, in relation to a bass note. ... Baroque music describes an era and a set of styles of European classical music which were in widespread use between approximately 1600 and 1750 (see Dates of classical music eras for a discussion of the problems inherent in defining the beginning and end points). ... Figured bass, or thoroughbass, is a kind of integer musical notation used to indicate intervallic content (the intervals which make up a sonority), later chords, in relation to a bass note. ... This article is about the instrument as a whole. ...


Lead sheets

Main article: Lead sheet

Fake books (such as the Real Books) use a notation similar to figured bass, but instead of providing the bass line, the melody is provided along with chord symbols. In addition, the key signature appears only on the first staff. Improvisation is implied and this system is used for jazz and popular music. A simplified form of sheet music, consisting of the tempo, key signature, melody and lyrics to a song, and also the chords to the song as they appear. ... A fake book is a collection of simplified sheet music (sometimes called fake music or lead sheets), either transcribed manually or copied from some other source. ... The Real Book can refer to any of a number of popular jazz fake books, but is generally used to refer to Volume 1 of a semi-underground series transcribed and collated by students at Berklee College of Music during the 1970s. ... In music a chord symbol is an abbreviated notation for chord names and qualities, using letters, numbers, and other symbols. ... In musical notation, a key signature is a series of sharp symbols or flat symbols placed on the staff, designating notes that are to be consistently played one semitone higher or lower than the equivalent natural notes (for example, the white notes on a piano keyboard) unless otherwise altered with... Philosophically, improvisation often focuses on bringing ones personal awareness into the moment, and on developing a profound understanding for the action one is doing. ... Jazz is a style of music which originated in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States at around the start of the 20th century. ... Popular music is music belonging to any of a number of musical styles that are accessible to the general public and are disseminated by one or more of the mass media. ...


Solfege

Main article: Solfege

Solfege is a way of assigning syllables to names of the musical scale. In order, they are today: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, and Do (for the octave). Another common variation is: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Si, Do. These functional names of the musical notes were introduced by Guido of Arezzo (c.991 – after 1033) using the beginning syllables of the first six musical lines of the Latin hymn Ut queant laxis. The original sequence was Ut, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La. "Ut" later became "Do". See also: solfege, sargam, Kodály Hand Signs. In music, solfege (or solmization) is a pedagogical technique for the teaching of sight-singing in which each note of the score is sung to a special syllable, called a solfege syllable (or sol-fa syllable). The seven syllables normally used for this practice in the West are: Do, Re... Statue of Guido in Arezzo Guido of Arezzo or Guido Aretinus or Guido da Arezzo or Guido Monaco or Guido DArezzo (991/992 – after 1033) was a music theorist of the Medieval era. ... Events Battle of Maldon Sweyn I of Denmark recovers his throne Births Deaths Theophanu, empress, mother of Otto III Emperor Enyu of Japan Categories: 991 ... Events Benedict IX becomes pope. ... Ut queant laxis or Hymnus in Ioannem is a hymn to Saint John the Baptist written by Paolo Diacono (ca 720 - 799) of Italy. ... In music, solfege (or solmization) is a pedagogical technique for the teaching of sight-singing in which each note of the score is sung to a special syllable, called a solfege syllable (or sol-fa syllable). The seven syllables normally used for this practice in the West are: Do, Re... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Swara. ... It has been suggested that Type of gesture be merged into this article or section. ...


Letter notation

Main article: Letter notation

The notes of the 12-tone scale can be written by their letter names A-G, possibly with a trailing sharp or flat symbol, such as A♯ or B♭. This is the most common way of specifying a note in speech or in written text. Music notation is a system of writing for music. ...


Tonic Sol-fa is a type of notation using the initial letters of solfege. Category: ...


Tablature

Main article: Tablature

Tablature was first used in the Renaissance for lute music. A staff is used, but instead of pitch values, the fret or frets to be fingered are written instead. Rhythm is written separately and durations are relative and indicated by horizontal space between notes. In later periods, lute and guitar music was written with standard notation. Tablature caught interest again in the late 20th century for popular guitar music and other fretted instruments, being easy to transcribe and share over the internet in ASCII format. Websites like OLGA.net have archives of text-based popular music tablature. Example of numeric vihuela tablature from the book Orphenica Lyra by Miguel de Fuenllana (1554). ... Renaissance music is European classical music written during the Renaissance, approximately 1400 to 1600. ... A medieval era lute. ... The neck of a guitar showing the first four frets. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... There are 95 printable ASCII characters, numbered 32 to 126. ...


Klavar notation

Main article: Klavarskribo

Klavar notation (or "klavarskribo") is a chromatic system of notation geared mainly towards keyboard instruments, which inverts the usual "graph" of music. The pitches are indicated horizontally, with "staff" lines in twos and threes like the keyboard, and the sequence of music is read vertically from top to bottom. A considerable body of repertoire has been transcribed into Klavar notation. Klavar notation eliminates the need of accidentals and key signatures, and thus facilitates music-reading. Klavarskribo is a music notation that was introduced in 1931 by the Dutchman Cornelis Pot. ...


Systems based on 12-note non-equal temperament

Sometimes the pitches of music written in just intonation are notated with the frequency ratios, while Ben Johnston has devised a system for representing just intonation with traditional western notation and the addition of accidentals which indicate the cents a pitch is to be lowered or raised. In music, just intonation, also called rational intonation, is any musical tuning in which the frequencies of notes are related by ratios of whole numbers. ... Ben Johnston Benjamin Burwell Johnston, Junior (born March 15, 1926 in Macon, Georgia) is a composer of contemporary music in the just intonation system. ... An accidental is a musical notation symbol used to raise or lower the pitch of a note from that indicated by the key signature. ... The cent is a logarithmic unit of measure used for musical intervals. ...


Alternative music notations using chromatic staves

Over the past three centuries, hundreds of music notation systems have been proposed as alternatives to traditional western music notation. Many of these notations seek to improve upon traditional notation by using a "chromatic staff" in which each of the 12 pitch classes has its own unique place on the staff. Examples are the Ailler-Brennink notation and John Keller's Express Stave. These notations do not require key signatures or accidentals.. They also represent interval relationships more consistently and accurately than traditional notation. The Music Notation Modernization Association has a website with information on many of these alternative notations.


Graphic notation

The term 'graphic notation' refers to the contemporary use of non-traditional symbols and text to convey information about the performance of a piece of music. It is used for experimental music, which in many cases is difficult to transcribe in standard notation. Practitioners include Christian Wolff, Earle Brown, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Krzysztof Penderecki, Cornelius Cardew, and Roger Reynolds. See Notations, edited by John Cage and Alison Knowles, ISBN 0-685-14864-5. Musical Graphic notation is a form of Music notation it refers to the use of non-traditional symbols and text to convey information about the performance of a piece of music. ... For experimental rock music, see experimental rock. ... Christian Wolff (born March 8, 1934) is an American composer of experimental classical music. ... Earle Brown (December 26, 1926 – July 2, 2002) was an American composer. ... John Cage For the character of John Cage from the TV show Ally McBeal see: John Cage (Character). ... Morton Feldman (January 12, 1926 – September 3, 1987) was an American composer, born in New York City. ... Krzysztof Penderecki. ... Cornelius Cardew (May 7, 1936 – London, December 13, 1981) was an English avant-garde composer, and founder (with Howard Skempton and Michael Parsons) of the Scratch Orchestra, an experimental performing ensemble. ... American composer and teacher at the University of California at San Diego Roger Reynolds was born July 18, 1934 in Detroit, Michigan. ...


Shape note

Main article: Shape note

The shape note system is found in some church hymnals, sheet music, and song books, especially in the American south. Instead of the customary elliptical note head, note heads of various shapes are used to show the position of the note on the major scale. Sacred Harp is one of the most popular tune books using shape notes. Shape notes are a system of music notation designed to facilitate congregational singing. ... The U.S. Southern states or the South, also known colloquially as Dixie, constitute a distinctive region covering a large portion of the United States, with its own unique heritage, historical perspective, customs, musical styles, and cuisine. ... Sacred Harp singing is a tradition of sacred choral music that took root in the Southern region of the United States. ...


Parsons code

Main article: Parsons code

Parsons code is used to encode music so that it can be easily searched. This style is designed to be used by individuals without any musical background. The Parsons code, formally named the Parsons Code for Melodic Contours, is a simple notation used to identify a piece of music through melodic motion—the motion of the pitch up and down. ...


Braille music

Main article: Braille music

Braille music is a complete, well developed, and internationally accepted musical notation system that has symbols and notational conventions quite independent of print music notation. It is linear in nature, similar to a printed language and different from the two-dimensional nature of standard printed music notation. To a degree Braille music resembles musical markup languages such as XML for Music or NIFF. See Braille music. Braille music code allows music to be notated using braille cells so that music can be read by visually impaired musicians. ... NIFF (Notation Interchange File Format) is a music notation file format, primarily for transferring music notation between different scorewriters. ... Braille music code allows music to be notated using braille cells so that music can be read by visually impaired musicians. ...


Integer notation

In integer notation, or the integer model of pitch, all pitch classes and intervals between pitch classes are designated using the numbers 0 through 11. It is not used to notate music for performance, but is a common analytical and compositional tool when working with chromatic music, including twelve tone, serial, or otherwise atonal music. Music notation is a system of writing for music. ... The integers are commonly denoted by the above symbol. ... In music and music theory a pitch class contains all notes that have the same name; for example, all Es, no matter which octave they are in, are in the same pitch class. ... In music theory, the term interval describes the difference in pitch between two notes. ... Musical analysis can be defined as a process attempting to answer the question how does this music work?. The method employed to answer this question, and indeed exactly what is meant by the question, differs from analyst to analyst. ... Musical composition is: a piece of music the structure of a musical piece the process of creating a new piece of music // A piece of music exists in the form of a written composition in musical notation or as a single acoustic event (a live performance or recorded track). ... Twelve-tone technique is a system of musical composition devised by Arnold Schoenberg. ... Serialism is a technique for composing music that uses sets to describe musical elements, and allows the composer manipulations of those sets to create music. ... Atonality describes music not conforming to the system of tonal hierarchies, which characterizes the sound of classical European music between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. ...


Computer musical notation

Main article: computer music

Beside notations developed for human readers and performers, there are also many computer oriented representations of music designed to either be turned into conventional notation, or read directly by the computer. Computer music is music generated with, or composed with the aid of, computers. ...


There are a great many software programs designed to produce musical notation. These are called musical notation software, or sometimes Scorewriters. In addition to this software, there are many file formats used to store musical information that this software and other programs can convert into notation, sound, or into some other usable form. In a sense, these file formats are a "notation" for computers. A scorewriter, or music notation program, is software used to automate the task of writing and engraving sheet music. ... A file format is a particular way to encode information for storage in a computer file. ...


The most common musical file format is probably the MIDI file format, which stores pitch and timing information about music (as well as velocity, volume, pitch bend, and modulation) and can be used to control a MIDI instrument which will produce the specified sound. Musical Instrument Digital Interface, or MIDI, is a system designed to transmit information between electronic musical instruments. ...


There are also hybrid formats, such as ABC notation, Lilypond, and MusicXML that are text files that can be read and edited by a capable human, but can also be manipulated by the computer. One notable system is the NEUMES standard, which is being used to form a computerized catalog of Medieval plainchant that can be searched by melody, text, or any encoded aspect of the music. Similarly the Mutopia project maintains a library of scores available in such formats (though they are not searchable by content). abc is a language designed to notate music - tunes and lyrics - in an ascii format. ... GNU LilyPond is a free software program for engraving sheet music. ... MusicXML is an open, XML-based music notation file format. ... Broadly speaking, plainsong is the name given to the body of traditional songs used in the liturgies of the Catholic Church. ... The Mutopia project is a volunteer-run effort to create a library of public domain sheet music, in a way similar to Project Gutenbergs library of public domain books. ...


Finally there are notational forms that are not intended to be processed by computer, but are nonetheless commonly used to transmit information via computer, such as text file guitar tablature which has become extremely popular following the growth of the world wide web. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Plain text. ... Example of numeric vihuela tablature from the book Orphenica Lyra by Miguel de Fuenllana (1554). ... WWWs historical logo designed by Robert Cailliau The World Wide Web (or simply the Web) is a system of interlinked, hypertext documents that runs over the Internet. ...


Perspectives of musical notation in composition and musical performance

According to Richard Middleton (1990, p.104-6), and also Philip Tagg (1979, p.28-32), musicology and to a degree European-influenced musical practice suffer from a 'notational centricity'; a methodology slanted by the characteristics of notation. Richard Middleton FBA is Professor of Music at Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne. ...


Notation-centric training induces particular forms of listening, and these then tend to be applied to all sorts of music, appropriately or not. Musicological methods tend to foreground those musical parameters which can be easily notated...they tend to neglect or have difficulty with widened parameters which are not easily notated. Examples include the unique vocal style of Joni Mitchell and the String Quartets of Elliott Sharp. Due to the limitations of conventional musical notation, many present-day composers of various genres prefer to compose music which is either not notated, or notated only through the computer language of digital recording. Joni Mitchell, CC (born Roberta Joan Anderson on November 7, 1943) is a noted Canadian musician, songwriter, and painter. ... The resident string quartet of the Library of Congress in 1963 A string quartet is a musical ensemble of four string instruments—usually two violins, a viola and cello—or a piece written to be performed by such a group. ... Elliott Sharp (born 1951) is an American multi-instrumentalist, composer, and performer who has personified the avant-garde experimental music scene in New York City for over thirty years. ...


A further perspective on musical notation is provided in the "Composer's Note" from "Brushed with Blue", Op. 55, by Fredrick Pritchard (pub. Effel Publications, 2002):

"The written language of music is at once indispensable yet hopelessly inadequate in conveying every detail of a musical concept. While musical scores are static, music itself is a living art, and as such requires the freedom to change, not only from bar to bar but from day to day and from year to year, the elements of experience and spontaneity unleashing the various potentials of a given work. The composer therefore entrusts the performer as co-creator of his art."

Patents

Recent US patent 6987220 on a new color based musical notation scheme
Recent US patent 6987220 on a new color based musical notation scheme

In some countries, new musical notations can be patented. In the United States, for example, about 90 patents have been issued on new notation systems. The earliest patent, US patent 1383 was published in 1839. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 374 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (738 × 1182 pixel, file size: 175 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) First page of US patent 6987220 File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 374 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (738 × 1182 pixel, file size: 175 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) First page of US patent 6987220 File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to... A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to a patentee (the inventor or assignee) for a fixed period of time in exchange for the regulated, public disclosure of certain details of a device, method, process or composition of matter (substance) (known as an invention) which...

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Statue of Guido in Arezzo Guido of Arezzo or Guido Aretinus or Guido da Arezzo or Guido Monaco or Guido DArezzo (991/992 – after 1033) was a music theorist of the Medieval era. ... An example of hook and banner notation used by Okruzhniki Old Believers in 1884. ... This page aims to list articles related to music. ... Music Theory is a field of study that investigates the nature or mechanics of music. ... Time Unit Box System (TUBS) is a simple system for notating events that happen over a period of time. ... The Tuʻungafasi or Tongan music notation is a subset of the standard music notation, originally developed by the missionary James Egan Moulton in the 19th century for singing church hymns in Tonga The notation The Tongan music notation has been developed by Moulton, as an alternative to the very... A string trio comprising a pianist, violinist and cellist. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Kilmer 1986
  2. ^ Kilmer 1965
  3. ^ West 1994
  4. ^ West 1994

References

  • Middleton, Richard (1990/2002). Studying Popular Music. Philadelphia: Open University Press. ISBN 0-335-15275-9.
  • Tagg, Philip (1979). Cited in Middleton, Richard (1990/2002). Studying Popular Music. Philadelphia: Open University Press. ISBN 0-335-15275-9.
  • Albrecht Schneider: Music, sound, language, writing. Transcription and notation in comparative musicology and music ethnology, in: Zeitschrift für Semiotik, 1987, Volume: 9, Number: 3-4.
  • Kilmer, Anne Draffkorn, 'The Strings of Musical Instruments: their Names, Numbers, and Significance', Studies in Honor of Benno Landsberger = Assyriological Studies, xvi (1965), 261-8
  • Kilmer, Anne Draffkorn, Journal of Cuneiform Studies, xxxviii (1986), 94-98
  • West, M. L., 'The Babylonian Musical Notation and the Hurrian Melodic Texts', Music & Letters, Vol. 75, No. 2. (May, 1994), pp. 161-179

Further reading

Saint Josephs University is a private, coeducational Roman Catholic university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States. ... W. W. Norton & Company is an American book publishing company that has remained independent since its founding. ...

External links

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Image File history File links Wikibooks-logo-en. ... Wikibooks logo Wikibooks, previously called Wikimedia Free Textbook Project and Wikimedia-Textbooks, is a wiki for the creation of books. ... Image File history File links Metawiki. ...

Musical notation edit
Staff : Bar line | Clef | Key signature | Ledger line | Time signature | Rehearsal letter
Notes : Accidental | Dotted note | Note value | Rest | Slur | Tie
Expression marks: Articulation | Dynamics | Octaves | Ornaments | Tempo

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