Music Notation Can Be Thought of as a:

Music Notation Can Be Thought of as a:

Visual representation of music

Manus-written musical notation by J. S. Bach (1685–1750). This is the beginning of the Prelude from the Suite for Lute in Grand modest, BWV 995 (transcription of Cello Suite No. 5, BWV 1011).

Music note
musical notation
is any system used to visually represent aurally perceived music played with instruments or sung by the man vocalization through the employ of written, printed, or otherwise-produced symbols, including annotation for durations of absence of sound such as rests.

Types and methods of notation have varied between cultures and throughout history, and much information about aboriginal music notation is bitty. Fifty-fifty in the aforementioned time menstruum, such as in the 2010s, dissimilar styles of music and different cultures utilize different music notation methods; for case, for professional classical music performers, canvas music using staves and noteheads is the most common way of notating music, just for professional state music session musicians, the Nashville Number Organisation is the main method.

The symbols used include ancient symbols and mod symbols made upon whatever media such as symbols cut into stone, fabricated in clay tablets, made using a pen on papyrus or parchment or manuscript paper; printed using a printing press (c. 1400s), a computer printer (c. 1980s) or other press or modern copying technology.

Although many ancient cultures used symbols to represent melodies and rhythms, none of them was particularly comprehensive, which has limited today’s agreement of their music. The seeds of what would eventually become mod Western notation were sown in medieval Europe, starting with the Christian Church’due south goal for ecclesiastical uniformity. The church building began notating plainchant melodies so that the same chants could be used throughout the church. Music notation developed further during the Renaissance and Baroque music eras. In the classical menses (1750–1820) and the Romantic music era (1820–1900), note continued to develop equally new musical instrument technologies were developed. In the contemporary classical music of the 20th and 21st century, music annotation has continued to develop, with the introduction of graphical notation past some modern composers and the use, since the 1980s, of estimator-based score writer programs for notating music. Music annotation has been adapted to many kinds of music, including classical music, popular music, and traditional music.



Ancient About Eastward


A tablet with the Hymn to Nikkal inscribed[one]

The earliest course of musical notation tin can exist found in a cuneiform tablet that was created at Nippur, in Babylonia (today’s Iraq), in about 1400 BCE. The tablet represents fragmentary instructions for performing music, that the music was equanimous in harmonies of thirds, and that it was written using a diatonic scale.[[[Wikipedia:Citing_sources|page needed]]]_3-0″ class=”reference”>[iii]
Although the interpretation of the notation system is withal controversial, information technology is clear that the annotation indicates the names of strings on a lyre, the tuning of which is described in other tablets.[4]
Although they are bitty, these tablets represent the primeval notated melodies found anywhere in the world.[v]

A photograph of the original stone at Delphi containing the second of the two Delphic Hymns to Apollo. The music notation is the line of occasional symbols
the main, uninterrupted line of Greek lettering.

Ancient Greece


Ancient Greek musical notation was in use from at least the sixth century BCE until approximately the 4th century CE; merely i complete limerick (Seikilos epitaph) and a number of fragments using this note survive. The note for sung music consists of letter symbols for the pitches, placed higher up text syllables. Rhythm is indicated in a rudimentary fashion simply, with long and brusk symbols. The Seikilos epitaph has been variously dated between the 2nd century BCE to the 2nd century CE.

3 hymns by Mesomedes of Crete be in manuscript. The Delphic Hymns, dated to the second century BCE also utilise this notation, but they are non completely preserved. Ancient Greek notation appears to have fallen out of employ effectually the fourth dimension of the Refuse of the Western Roman Empire.

Byzantine Empire


Byzantine music notation in the outset edition (1823) of Macarie Ieromonahul’s
anastasimatarion, a hymnal with daily dirge (including resurrection troparia chosen
apolytikia anastasima) in oktoechos order, each section began with the evening psalm 140 (here department of echos protos with Romanian transliterated in Cyrillic script)

Byzantine music once included music for courtroom ceremonies, but has but survived as song church music within diverse Orthodox traditions of monodic (monophonic) chant written down in Byzantine circular annotation (encounter Macarie’s
with the Greek text translated into Romanian and transliterated into Cyrillic script).[6]

Since the 6th century Greek theoretical categories (melos,
systema) played a cardinal role to understand and transmit Byzantine music, especially the tradition of Damascus had a strong impact on the pre-Islamic Well-nigh East comparable to the affect coming from Persian music. The earliest evidence are papyrus fragments of Greek tropologia. These fragments only present the hymn text post-obit a modal signature or key (like “
” for
echos plagios protos
or “
” for
echos devteros).

Unlike Western notation, Byzantine neumes used since the 10th century were e’er related to modal steps (same modal caste, one degree lower, two degrees higher, etc.) in relation to such a clef or modal primal (modal signatures). Originally this key or the incipit of a common tune was enough to signal a certain melodic model given within the echos. Next to ekphonetic notation, merely used in lectionaries to indicate formulas used during scriptural lessons, melodic notation developed non earlier than between the 9th and the 10th century, when a
) or
) were written nether a sure syllable of the text, whenever a longer melisma was expected. This primitive grade was called “theta” or “diple notation”.

Today, i tin can report the development of this note in Greek monastic dirge books similar those of the sticherarion and the heirmologion (Chartres note was rather used on Mount Athos and Constantinople, Coislin note within the patriarchates of Jerusalem and Alexandria), while there was another gestic note originally used for the
(choir book) and kontakarion (book of the soloist or monophonaris) of the Constantinopolitan cathedral rite. The earliest books which take survived, are “kondakars” in Slavonic translation which already bear witness a notation arrangement known as Kondakarian notation.[vii]
Similar the Greek alphabet notational signs are ordered left to correct (though the management could exist adapted like in certain Syriac manuscripts). The question of rhythm was entirely based on
(the interpretation of then-called great signs which derived from dissimilar chant books). These great signs (
μεγάλα σῃμάδια
) indicated well-known melodic phrases given by gestures of the choirleaders of the cathedral rite. They existed once as office of an oral tradition, developed Kondakarian notation and became, during the 13th century, integrated into Byzantine round annotation equally a kind of universal notation organisation.[8]

Today the chief deviation between Western and Eastern neumes is that Eastern notation symbols are “differential” rather than absolute, i.e., they betoken pitch steps (rising, falling or at the aforementioned step), and the musicians know to deduce correctly, from the score and the note they are singing presently, which correct interval is meant. These stride symbols themselves, or better “phonic neumes”, resemble brush strokes and are colloquially called
(‘hooks’) in modern Greek.

Notes as pitch classes or modal keys (usually memorised by modal signatures) are represented in written course only between these neumes (in manuscripts usually written in red ink). In modern notation they simply serve equally an optional reminder and modal and tempo directions have been added, if necessary. In Papadic notation medial signatures usually meant a temporary change into another echos.

The and so-called “great signs” were once related to cheironomic signs; according to modern interpretations they are understood every bit embellishments and microtonal attractions (pitch changes smaller than a semitone), both essential in Byzantine chant.[9]

with a comparing betwixt Aboriginal Greek tetraphonia (cavalcade 1), Western Solfeggio, the
Papadic Parallage
(ascending: cavalcade 3 and 4; descending: column v and half dozen) according to the
trochos arrangement, and his heptaphonic
according to the New Method (syllables in the fore-last and
in the concluding column) (Chrysanthos 1832, p. 33)

Since Chrysanthos of Madytos there are vii standard annotation names used for “solfège” (parallagē)
pá, vú, ghá, dhi, ké, zō, nē, while the older do still used the four enechemata or intonation formulas of the four echoi given by the modal signatures, the authentic or
in ascending direction, and the plagal or
in descending management (Papadic Octoechos).[x]
With exception of
vú and zō
they do roughly correspond to Western solmization syllables equally
re, mi, fa, sol, la, si, do. Byzantine music uses the viii natural, non-tempered scales whose elements were identified by
Ēkhoi, “sounds”, exclusively, and therefore the absolute pitch of each note may slightly vary each time, depending on the particular
used. Byzantine notation is still used in many Orthodox Churches. Sometimes cantors also use transcriptions into Western or Kievan staff note while adding non-notatable embellishment material from memory and “sliding” into the natural scales from experience, simply even apropos modern neume editions since the reform of Chrysanthos a lot of details are simply known from an oral tradition related to traditional masters and their experience.

13th-century Near Eastward


In 1252, Safi al-Din al-Urmawi developed a form of musical note, where rhythms were represented by geometric representation. Many subsequent scholars of rhythm accept sought to develop graphical geometrical notations. For instance, a similar geometric system was published in 1987 by Kjell Gustafson, whose method represents a rhythm as a 2-dimensional graph.[11]

Early Europe


Music notation from an early on 14th-century English language Missal

The scholar and music theorist Isidore of Seville, while writing in the early 7th century, considered that “unless sounds are held past the memory of human being, they perish, because they cannot be written downwardly.”[12]
Past the middle of the ninth century, however, a form of neumatic notation began to develop in monasteries in Europe as a mnemonic device for Gregorian dirge, using symbols known as neumes; the earliest surviving musical notation of this blazon is in the
Musica disciplina
of Aurelian of Réôme, from near 850. There are scattered survivals from the Iberian Peninsula before this time, of a blazon of notation known as Visigothic neumes, simply its few surviving fragments accept not even so been deciphered.

Notation had developed far enough to notate melody, but there was notwithstanding no system for notating rhythm. A mid-13th-century treatise,
De Mensurabili Musica, explains a set of six rhythmic modes that were in use at the time,[fourteen]
although it is not articulate how they were formed. These rhythmic modes were all in triple time and rather limited rhythm in chant to six unlike repeating patterns. This was a flaw seen past High german music theorist Franco of Cologne and summarised every bit function of his treatise
Ars cantus mensurabilis
(the fine art of measured chant, or mensural annotation). He suggested that individual notes could take their own rhythms represented by the shape of the annotation. Not until the 14th century did something like the nowadays organisation of stock-still note lengths arise.[
commendation needed

The employ of regular measures (confined) became commonplace past the terminate of the 17th century.[
commendation needed

The founder of what is at present considered the standard music staff was Guido d’Arezzo,[15]
an Italian Benedictine monk who lived from about 991 until after 1033. He taught the apply of solmization syllables based on a hymn to Saint John the Baptist, which begins Ut Queant Laxis and was written by the Lombard historian Paul the Deacon. The offset stanza is:

  1. Ut
    queant laxis
  2. resonare fibris,
  3. Mira gestorum
  4. famuli tuorum,
  5. Solve polluti
  6. labii reatum,
  7. Sancte

Guido used the offset syllable of each line, Ut, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, and Si, to read notated music in terms of hexachords; they were not note names, and each could, depending on context, be applied to any notation. In the 17th century, Ut was inverse in most countries except France to the easily singable, open syllable Do, believed to accept been taken either from the name of the Italian theorist Giovanni Battista
Doni, or from the Latin word

, significant

Christian monks developed the kickoff forms of modern European musical notation in order to standardize liturgy throughout the worldwide Church,[17]
and an enormous body of religious music has been equanimous for information technology through the ages. This led directly to the emergence and evolution of European classical music, and its many derivatives. The Baroque style, which encompassed music, fine art, and architecture, was particularly encouraged by the post-Reformation Catholic Church building as such forms offered a means of religious expression that was stirring and emotional, intended to stimulate religious fervor.[18]

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Modern staff notation


Modern music note is used by musicians of many different genres throughout the globe. The staff (or stave, in British English) consists of 5 parallel horizontal lines which acts as a framework upon which pitches are indicated by placing oval note-heads on (ie crossing) the staff lines, between the lines (ie in the spaces) or above and beneath the staff using small boosted lines called ledger lines. Notation is read from left to right, which makes setting music for right-to-left scripts hard. The
of a notation is indicated past the vertical position of the note-head inside the staff, and can be modified by accidentals. The
(annotation length or note value) is indicated past the form of the note-head or with the add-on of a notation-stem plus beams or flags. A stemless hollow oval is a whole note or semibreve, a hollow rectangle or stemless hollow oval with one or two vertical lines on both sides is a double whole note or breve. A stemmed hollow oval is a half note or minim. Solid ovals ever utilize stems, and tin can indicate quarter notes (crotchets) or, with added beams or flags, smaller subdivisions. Additional symbols such as dots and ties can lengthen the duration of a note.

A staff of written music mostly begins with a clef, which indicates the pitch-range of the staff. The treble clef or G clef was originally a letter of the alphabet G and it identifies the 2d line up on the 5 line staff as the note G to a higher place center C. The bass clef or F clef identifies the 2d line downwardly as the note F below middle C. While the treble and bass clef are the most widely used, other clefs, which identify middle C, are used for some instruments, such every bit the alto clef (for viola and alto trombone) and the tenor clef (used for some cello, bassoon, tenor trombone, and double bass music). Some instruments use mainly one clef, such as violin and flute which utilize treble clef, and double bass and tuba which use bass clef. Some instruments, such as piano and pipe organ, regularly utilize both treble and bass clefs.

Following the clef, the primal signature is a group of from 0 to 7 sharp (♯) or flat (♭) signs placed on the staff to point the key of the piece or vocal by specifying that certain notes are sharp or flat throughout the piece, unless otherwise indicated with accidentals added earlier sure notes. When a flat (♭) sign is placed before a note, the pitch of the note is lowered by 1 semitone. Similarly, a abrupt sign (♯) raises the pitch by ane semitone. For example, a abrupt on the note D would raise it to D♯ while a flat would lower it to D♭. Double sharps and double flats are less mutual, but they are used. A double sharp is placed before a notation to make information technology ii semitones higher, a double flat – two semitones lower. A natural sign placed before a note renders that notation in its “natural” form, which ways that any precipitous or flat practical to that notation from the central signature or an accidental, is cancelled. Sometimes a courtesy adventitious is used in music where it is not technically required, to remind the musician of what pitch is required.

Following the fundamental signature is the time signature. The time signature typically consists of ii numbers, with i of the virtually common being



. The pinnacle “4” indicates that there are four beats per mensurate (too called bar). The bottom “4” indicates that each of those beats are quarter notes. Measures divide the piece into groups of beats, and the time signatures specify those groupings.



is used so oft that it is besides chosen “common time”, and it may be indicated with

common time

rather than numbers. Other oftentimes used fourth dimension signatures are



(three beats per bar, with each beat being a quarter note);



(two beats per bar, with each shell being a quarter note);



(6 beats per bar, with each beat out existence an 8th note) and



(twelve beats per bar, with each beat existence an eighth notation; in exercise, the eighth notes are typically put into 4 groups of three 8th notes.



is a chemical compound time blazon of time signature). Many other fourth dimension signatures exist, such as















, and and then on.

Many brusk classical music pieces from the classical era and songs from traditional music and popular music are in once signature for much or all of the slice. Music from the Romantic music era and later, particularly gimmicky classical music and rock music genres such equally progressive stone and the hardcore punk subgenre mathcore, may use mixed meter; songs or pieces change from one meter to another, for example alternating between confined of







Directions to the player regarding matters such equally tempo (east.g., Allegro, Andante, Largo, Vif, Lent, Modérément, Presto, etc.), dynamics (pianississimo, pianissimo, piano, mezzopiano, mezzoforte, forte, fortissimo, fortississimo, etc.) appear above or below the staff. Terms indicating the musical expression or “feel” to a vocal or piece are indicated at the beginning of the slice and at any points where the mood changes (e.yard., “Boring March”, “Fast Swing”, “Medium Blues”, “Fougueux”, “Feierlich”, “Gelassen”, “Piacevole”, “Con slancio”, “Majestic”, “Hostile” etc.) For vocal music, lyrics are written near the pitches of the tune. For curt pauses (breaths), retakes (retakes are indicated with a ‘ marking) are added.

In music for ensembles, a “score” shows music for all players together, with the staves for the different instruments and/or voices stacked vertically. The conductor uses the score while leading an orchestra, concert band, choir or other large ensemble. Individual performers in an ensemble play from “parts” which contain simply the music played by an individual musician. A score can be constructed from a complete set of parts and vice versa. The process was laborious and time consuming when parts were hand-copied from the score, but since the development of scorewriter reckoner software in the 1980s, a score stored electronically can have parts automatically prepared past the program and apace and inexpensively printed out using a estimator printer.

Variations on staff notation


  • Percussion notation conventions are varied because of the broad range of percussion instruments. Percussion instruments are mostly grouped into two categories: pitched (eastward.grand. glockenspiel or tubular bells) and not-pitched (east.g. bass drum and snare pulsate). The annotation of non-pitched percussion instruments is less standardized. Pitched instruments utilize standard Western classical notation for the pitches and rhythms. In full general, notation for unpitched percussion uses the five line staff, with different lines and spaces representing unlike drum kit instruments. Standard Western rhythmic notation is used to betoken the rhythm.
  • Figured bass notation originated in Baroque basso continuo parts. It is also used extensively in accordion note. The bass notes of the music are conventionally notated, along with numbers and other signs that decide which chords the harpsichordist, organist or lutenist should improvise. Information technology does not, however, specify the exact pitches of the harmony, leaving that for the performer to improvise.
  • A atomic number 82 sheet specifies just the melody, lyrics and harmony, using one staff with chord symbols placed to a higher place and lyrics below. It is used to capture the essential elements of a popular song without specifying how the song should exist arranged or performed.
  • A chord chart or “chart” contains little or no melodic or vocalisation-leading information at all, but provides basic harmonic information about the chord progression. Some chord charts also incorporate rhythmic information, indicated using slash notation for total beats and rhythmic notation for rhythms. This is the most mutual kind of written music used by professional person session musicians playing jazz or other forms of popular music and is intended primarily for the rhythm section (usually containing piano, guitar, bass and drums).
  • Simpler chord charts for songs may contain only the chord changes, placed to a higher place the lyrics where they occur. Such charts depend on prior knowledge of the melody, and are used equally reminders in performance or breezy group singing. Some chord charts intended for rhythm department accompanists contain merely the chord progression.
  • The shape note organization is found in some church hymnals, canvass music, and song books, especially in the Southern United States. Instead of the customary elliptical note head, note heads of various shapes are used to prove the position of the note on the major calibration. Sacred Harp is ane of the about pop melody books using shape notes.

In various countries




Jeongganbo musical annotation system

is a unique traditional musical note system created during the fourth dimension of Sejong the Great that was the first East Asian organization to represent rhythm, pitch, and time.[20]
Amid diverse kinds of Korean traditional music, Jeong-gan-bo targets a particular genre, Jeong-ak (
정악, 正樂

Jeong-gan-bo tells the pitch past writing the pitch’s proper name downwardly in a box called ‘jeong-gan’ (this is where the name comes from). One jeong-gan is one beat each, and it can be divide into two, three or more to concord one-half beats and quarter beats, and more. This makes it easy for the reader to figure out the beat out.

As well, there are many markings indicating things such as ornaments. Most of these were later created by Ki-su Kim.



Indian music, early on 20th century.

The Samaveda text (1200 BCE – 1000 BCE) contains notated melodies, and these are probably the world’s oldest surviving ones.[21]
The musical notation is written unremarkably immediately above, sometimes within, the line of Samaveda text, either in syllabic or a numerical course depending on the Samavedic
The Indian scholar and musical theorist Pingala (c. 200 BCE), in his
Chanda Sutra, used marks indicating long and short syllables to betoken meters in Sanskrit poesy.

A rock inscription from circa 7th–8th century CE at Kudumiyanmalai, Tamil Nadu contains an early instance of a musical note. It was beginning identified and published by archaeologist/epigraphist D. R. Bhandarkar.[23]
Written in the Pallava-grantha script of the 7th century, information technology contains 38 horizontal lines of notations inscribed on a rectangular rock face (dimension of effectually 13 by fourteen feet). Each line of the annotation contains 64 characters (characters representing musical notes), written in groups of four notes. The basic characters for the 7 notes, ‘sa ri ga ma pa dha ni’, are seen to exist suffixed with the vowels a, i, u, e. For case, in the place of ‘sa’, any one of ‘sa’, ‘si’, ‘su’ or ‘se’ is used. Similarly, in place of ri, whatsoever ane of ‘ra’, ‘ri’, ‘ru’ or ‘re’ is used. Horizontal lines divide the notation into 7 sections. Each section contains iv to seven lines of annotation, with a championship indicating its musical ‘manner’. These modes may have been popular at least from the 6th century CE and were incorporated into the Indian ‘raga’ arrangement that developed later. Only some of the unusual features seen in this notation have been given several not-conclusive interpretations by scholars.[24]

In the note of Indian rāga, a solfege-like arrangement called sargam is used. Every bit in Western solfege, in that location are names for the 7 basic pitches of a major scale (Shadja, Rishabha, Gandhara, Madhyama, Panchama, Dhaivata and Nishada, usually shortened to Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni). The tonic of any scale is named Sa, and the dominant Pa. Sa is fixed in whatsoever calibration, and Pa is stock-still at a fifth to a higher place it (a Pythagorean fifth rather than an equal-tempered 5th). These 2 notes are known as achala swar (‘fixed notes’).

Each of the other v notes, Re, Ga, Ma, Dha and Ni, can accept a ‘regular’ (shuddha) pitch, which is equivalent to its pitch in a standard major scale (thus, shuddha Re, the 2nd degree of the scale, is a whole-step higher than Sa), or an contradistinct pitch, either a one-half-stride higher up or half-pace below the shuddha pitch. Re, Ga, Dha and Ni all have altered partners that are a half-step lower (Komal-“apartment”) (thus, komal Re is a half-stride higher than Sa).

Ma has an contradistinct partner that is a one-half-footstep higher (
-“sharp”) (thus,


Ma is an augmented 4th higher up Sa). Re, Ga, Ma, Dha and Ni are called

vikrut swar

(‘movable notes’). In the written arrangement of Indian annotation devised past 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.

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Other systems be for not-twelve-tone equal temperament and non-Western music, such as the Indian

Russian federation


An case of Znamenny note with so-called “reddish marks”, Russian federation, 1884. “Thy Cross we honour, oh Lord, and Thy holy Resurrection we praise.”

Hand-drawn lubok featuring ‘hook and banner notation’

Znamenny Chant is a singing tradition used in the Russian Orthodox Church which uses a “hook and banner” notation. Znamenny Chant is unison, melismatic liturgical singing that has its own specific notation, called the
notation. The symbols used in the stolp annotation are called


крюки, ‘hooks’) or


знамёна, ‘signs’). Oftentimes the names of the signs are used to refer to the stolp notation. Znamenny melodies are role of a system, consisting of Eight Modes (intonation structures; called glasy); the melodies are characterized past fluency and well-balancedness (Kholopov 2003, 192). There exist several types of Znamenny Dirge: the so-called
(Little) and
(Great) Znamenny Chant. Ruthenian Dirge (Prostopinije) is sometimes considered a sub-segmentation of the Znamenny Dirge tradition, with the Muscovite Chant (Znamenny Dirge proper) existence the second co-operative of the aforementioned musical continuum.

Znamenny Chants are not written with notes (the so-chosen linear note), but with special signs, called
(Russian for “marks”, “banners”) or
(“hooks”), as some shapes of these signs resemble hooks. Each sign may include the following components: a large black claw or a blackness stroke, several smaller black ‘points’ and ‘commas’ and lines near the hook or crossing the claw. Some signs may hateful only ane annotation, some 2 to four notes, and some a whole melody of more than ten notes with a complicated rhythmic structure. The stolp note was adult in Kievan Rus’ as an East Slavic refinement of the Byzantine neumatic musical notation.

The most notable feature of this annotation system is that it records transitions of the tune, rather than notes. The signs also stand for a mood and a gradation of how this part of melody is to exist sung (tempo, force, devotion, meekness, etc.) Every sign has its ain name and too features as a spiritual symbol. For example, there is a specific sign, called “little pigeon” (Russian: голубчик
(golubchik)), which represents two rising sounds, but which is also a symbol of the Holy Ghost. Gradually the system became more and more complicated. This system was also ambiguous, so that near no one, except the almost trained and educated singers, could sing an unknown melody at sight. The signs only helped to reproduce the melody, not coding information technology in an unambiguous way. (See Byzantine Empire)

Communist china


The earliest known examples of text referring to music in Mainland china are inscriptions on musical instruments institute in the Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng (d. 433 B.C.). Sets of 41 chimestones and 65 bells bore lengthy inscriptions concerning pitches, scales, and transposition. The bells all the same audio the pitches that their inscriptions refer to. Although no notated musical compositions were plant, the inscriptions indicate that the system was sufficiently advanced to allow for musical notation. Two systems of pitch classification existed, one for relative pitch and 1 for absolute pitch. For relative pitch, a solmization system was used.[25]

Gongche notation used Chinese characters for the names of the scale.



Tempyō Biwa Fu


(circa 738 Advertisement), musical notation for Biwa. (Shōsōin, at Nara, Nippon)

Japanese music is highly diversified, and therefore requires various systems of notation. In Japanese shakuhachi music, for instance, glissandos and timbres are often more significant than distinct pitches, whereas taiko notation focuses on detached strokes.

Ryukyuan sanshin music uses kunkunshi, a notation organization of kanji with each character corresponding to a finger position on a detail string.



Notation plays a relatively pocket-sized role in the oral traditions of Republic of indonesia. Nevertheless, in Java and Bali, several systems were devised get-go at the end of the 19th century, initially for archival purposes. Today the near widespread are cipher notations (“not angka” in the broadest sense) in which the pitches are represented with some subset of the numbers 1 to 7, with 1 corresponding to either highest note of a particular octave, equally in Sundanese gamelan, or lowest, as in the kepatihan notation of Javanese gamelan.

Notes in the ranges exterior the cardinal octave are represented with one or more dots above or beneath the each number. For the most role, these goose egg notations are mainly used to notate the skeletal melody (the balungan) and vocal parts (gerongan), although transcriptions of the elaborating musical instrument variations are sometimes used for assay and teaching. Drum parts are notated with a system of symbols largely based on letters representing the vocables used to learn and remember drumming patterns; these symbols are typically laid out in a grid underneath the skeletal melody for a specific or generic piece.

The symbols used for drum annotation (as well as the vocables represented) are highly variable from identify to identify and performer to performer. In improver to these current systems, 2 older notations used a kind of staff: the Solonese script could capture the flexible rhythms of the pesinden with a squiggle on a horizontal staff, while in Yogyakarta a ladder-like vertical staff allowed notation of the balungan by dots and also included important drum strokes. In Bali, there are a few books published of Gamelan gender wayang pieces, employing alphabetical annotation in the quondam Balinese script.

Composers and scholars both Indonesian and foreign take also mapped the slendro and pelog tuning systems of gamelan onto the western staff, with and without various symbols for microtones. The Dutch composer Ton de Leeuw also invented a three line staff for his composition
Gending. Still, these systems do non bask widespread use.

In the 2d half of the twentieth century, Indonesian musicians and scholars extended zero annotation to other oral traditions, and a diatonic scale cipher note has become common for notating western-related genres (church hymns, popular songs, and so along). Unlike the cipher annotation for gamelan music, which uses a “stock-still Practice” (that is, 1 e’er corresponds to the same pitch, within the natural variability of gamelan tuning), Indonesian diatonic cipher annotation is “moveable-Do” notation, so scores must point which pitch corresponds to the number 1 (for example, “1=C”).

Other systems and practices


Cipher annotation


Cipher notation systems assigning Arabic numerals to the major scale degrees have been used at least since the Iberian organ tablatures of the 16th-century and include such exotic adaptations as
Siffernotskrift. The one near widely in use today is the Chinese
Jianpu, discussed in the primary commodity. Numerals tin also be assigned to different scale systems, as in the Javanese
annotation described above.



Solfège is a style of assigning syllables to names of the musical scale. In order, they are today:
Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do

(for the octave). The classic variation is:
Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Si Do
. The first Western system of functional names for the musical notes was introduced past Guido of Arezzo (c. 991 – later 1033), using the beginning syllables of the beginning six musical lines of the Latin hymn Ut queant laxis. The original sequence was
Ut Re Mi Fa Sol La, where each poesy started a scale notation college. “Ut” afterward became “Do”. The equivalent syllables used in Indian music are:
Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni. See besides: solfège, sargam, Kodály manus signs.

Tonic sol-fa is a type of note using the initial letters of solfège.

Letter annotation


The notes of the 12-tone scale can be written past their letter of the alphabet names A–G, perchance with a trailing sharp or flat symbol, such as A

or B




Tablature was commencement used in the Middle Ages for organ music and later on in the Renaissance for lute music.[27]
In most lute tablatures, a staff is used, but instead of pitch values, the lines of the staff correspond the strings of the instrument. The frets to finger are written on each line, indicated by letters or numbers. Rhythm is written separately with 1 or another variation of standard note values indicating the duration of the fastest moving office. Few seem to have remarked on the fact that tablature combines in one notation system both the physical and technical requirements of play (the lines and symbols on them and in relation to each other representing the bodily performance actions) with the unfolding of the music itself (the lines of tablature taken horizontally represent the actual temporal unfolding of the music). In later on 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.

Klavar notation


Klavarskribo (sometimes shortened to
klavar) is a music notation organization that was introduced in 1931 by the Dutchman Cornelis Pot. The proper name ways “keyboard writing” in Esperanto. Information technology differs from conventional music notation in a number of ways and is intended to exist hands readable. Many klavar readers are from the netherlands.

Piano-roll-based notations


Some chromatic systems have been created taking advantage of the layout of blackness and white keys of the standard piano keyboard. The “staff” is almost widely referred to equally “piano roll”, created by extending the black and white piano keys.

Chromatic staff notations


Over the past iii centuries, hundreds of music notation systems have been proposed as alternatives to traditional western music notation. Many of these systems seek to better upon traditional notation by using a “chromatic staff” in which each of the 12 pitch classes has its own unique place on the staff. An example is Jacques-Daniel Rochat’s Dodeka music annotation.[28]
These notation systems do not require the use of standard key signatures, accidentals, or clef signs. They besides represent interval relationships more than consistently and accurately than traditional notation, thousand. major 3rds announced wider than minor 3rds. Many of these systems are described and illustrated in Gardner Read’southward “Source Book of Proposed Music Annotation Reforms”.

Graphic note


The term ‘graphic annotation’ refers to the contemporary use of not-traditional symbols and text to convey data about the performance of a piece of music. Composers such every bit Johanna Beyer. Christian Wolff, Carmen Barradas, Earle Brown, Yoko Ono, Anthony Braxton, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Cathy Berberian, Graciela Castillo, Krzysztof Penderecki, Cornelius Cardew, Pauline Oliveros and Roger Reynolds are amid the early generation of practitioners. The book Notations, by John Cage and Alison Knowles, is another instance of this kind of notation.

Simplified music notation


Simplified Music Notation is an alternative form of musical notation designed to make sight-reading easier. It is based on classical staff note, only incorporates sharps and flats into the shape of the annotation heads. Notes such as double sharps and double flats are written at the pitch they are actually played at, only preceded by symbols called
history signs
that show they take been transposed.

Modified Stave Note


Modified Stave Annotation (MSN) is an alternative way of notating music for people who cannot hands read ordinary musical notation even if it is enlarged.

Parsons code


Parsons lawmaking is used to encode music so that it can exist hands searched.

Braille music


Braille music is a complete, well developed, and internationally accepted musical note organisation that has symbols and notational conventions quite independent of print music notation. It is linear in nature, similar to a printed language and dissimilar from the two-dimensional nature of standard printed music notation. To a degree Braille music resembles musical markup languages[29]
such as MusicXML[30]
or NIFF.

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.

Rap notation


The standard form of rap notation is the “menstruum diagram”, where rappers line upwardly their lyrics underneath “beat numbers”.[31]
Hip-hop scholars also make use of the same flow diagrams that rappers employ: the books
How to Rap
How to Rap 2
extensively use the diagrams to explain rap’due south triplets, flams, rests, rhyme schemes, runs of rhyme, and breaking rhyme patterns, among other techniques.[32]
Like systems are used by musicologists Adam Krims in his book
Rap Music and the Poetics of Identity
and Kyle Adams in his work on rap’s menstruation.[34]
As rap usually revolves around a strong 4/4 beat,[35]
with certain syllables aligned to the beat, all the notational systems have a similar structure: they all have 4 beat numbers at the top of the diagram, so that syllables can exist written in-line with the shell.[35]

Popular:   Which Three Processes Are Methods of Genetic Recombination



ABC notation is a compact format using obviously text characters, readable by computers and by humans. More than 100,000 tunes are now transcribed in this format.[36]

Music notation on computers




The Musical Symbols Unicode block encodes an extensive system of formal musical notation.

The Miscellaneous Symbols cake has a few of the more common symbols:

  • U+2669


  • U+266A

    Eighth Note

  • U+266B


  • U+266C


  • U+266D


  • U+266E


  • U+266F

    MUSIC Sharp SIGN

The Miscellaneous Symbols and Pictographs block has 3 emoji that may include depictions of musical notes:

  • U+1F3A7


  • U+1F3B5


  • U+1F3B6




Many computer programs have been developed for creating music notation (chosen
music notation software). Music may likewise exist stored in various digital file formats for purposes other than graphic notation output.

Perspectives of musical annotation in limerick and musical performance


According to Philip Tagg and Richard Middleton, musicology and to a caste European-influenced musical exercise suffer from a ‘notational centricity’, a methodology slanted by the characteristics of notation.[37]
A diversity of 20th- and 21st-century composers accept dealt with this problem, either past adapting standard Western musical annotation or by using graphic notation.[
description needed

These include George Crumb, Luciano Berio, Krzystof Penderecki, Earl Brown, John Muzzle, Witold Lutoslawski, and others.[[[Wikipedia:Citing_sources|page needed]]]_40-0″ class=”reference”>[40]

See also


  • List of musical symbols of mod note.
  • Hebrew cantillation
  • Colored music annotation
  • Eye movement in music reading
  • Guido of Arezzo, inventor of modern musical note
  • History of music publishing
  • List of scorewriters
  • Mensural annotation
  • Modal note
  • Music engraving, drawing music notation for the purpose of mechanical reproduction
  • Music OCR, the application of optical graphic symbol recognition to interpret sheet music
  • Neume (plainchant notation)
  • Pitch form
  • Rastrum, a 5-pointed writing implement used to draw parallel staff lines beyond a bare piece of canvas music
  • Scorewriter
  • Semasiography
  • Sail music
  • Time unit box system, a notation system useful for polyrhythms
  • Tongan music notation, a subset of standard music note
  • Tonnetz
  • Znamenny chant



  1. ^

    Giorgio Buccellati, “Hurrian Music”, associate editor and webmaster Federico A. Buccellati Urkesh website (n.p.: IIMAS, 2003).

  2. ^

    Kilmer & Civil (1986), p.[
    page needed

  3. ^

    Kilmer (1965), p.[
    folio needed

  4. ^

    West (1994), pp. 161–63

  5. ^

    West (1994), p. 161

  6. ^

    Printed chant books with a mod simplified version of round annotation were published since the 1820s and also used in Greece and Constantinople and in One-time Church Slavonic translation within the slavophone Balkans and later on the territory of the autocephalous foundation of Bulgaria.

  7. ^

    Simply 1 Greek asmatikon written during the 14th century (Kastoria, Metropolitan Library, Ms. viii) preserved this gestic notation based on the exercise of cheironomia, and transcribed the gestic signs into sticherarion notation in a 2nd row. For more about kondakar, see Floros & Moran (2009) and Myers (1998).

  8. ^

    Later on the decline of the Constantinopolitan cathedral rite during the fourth crusade (1201), its books
    had been written in monastic scriptoria using Byzantine round notation. For more, run across Byzantine music.

  9. ^

    Run across Alexandru (2000) for a historical give-and-take of the great signs and their modern interpretations.

  10. ^

    Chrysanthos (1832) fabricated a departure between his monosyllabic and the traditional polysyllabic

  11. ^

    Toussaint (2004), 3.

  12. ^

    Isidore of Seville (2006), p. 95.

  13. ^

    Zapke (2007), p.[
    page needed

  14. ^

    Christensen (2002), p. 628.

  15. ^

    Otten (1910).

  16. ^

    McNaught (1893), p. 43.

  17. ^

    Hall, Neitz & Battani (2003), p. 100.

  18. ^

    Murray 1994, p. 45

  19. ^

    Gnanadesikan (2011), p.[
    page needed

  20. ^

    The DONG-A ILBO. Retrieved
    twenty September

  21. ^

    Bruno Nettl, Ruth M. Stone, James Porter and Timothy Rice (1999), The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Routledge, ISBN 978-0824049461, pages 242–245

  22. ^

    KR Norman (1979), Sāmavedic Dirge by Wayne Howard (Book Review), Mod Asian Studies, Vol. xiii, No. 3, page 524; Wayne Howard (1977), Samavedic Chant, Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0300019568

  23. ^

    Bhandarkar (1913–1914).

  24. ^

    Widdess (1979).

  25. ^

    Bagley (2004).
  26. ^





    Lindsay (1992), p. 43–45

  27. ^

    Apel (1961), pp. xxiii, 22.

  28. ^

    Dodeka Alternative Music Notation; Rochat (2018)

  29. ^

    “”. Archived from the original on 24 June 2004. Retrieved
    1 June

  30. ^ Archived 1 July 2015 at the Wayback Car

  31. ^

    Edwards (2009), p. 67.

  32. ^

    Edwards (2013), p. 53.

  33. ^

    Krims (2001), p. 59–60.

  34. ^

    Adams (2009).
  35. ^



    Edwards (2009), p. 69

  36. ^

    . Retrieved
    10 May

  37. ^

    Tagg (1979), p. 28–32.

  38. ^

    Middleton (1990), p. 104–106.

  39. ^

    Pierce (1973), p.[
    page needed

  40. ^

    Cogan (1976), p.[
    page needed



  • Adams, Kyle (October 2009). “On the Metrical Techniques of Flow in Rap Music”.
    Music Theory Online.
    (nine). Retrieved
    four April

  • Alexandru, Maria (2000).
    Studie über dice ‘großen Zeichen’ der byzantinischen musikalischen Notation unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Periode vom Ende des 12. bis Anfang des nineteen. Jahrhunderts
    [Study of the ‘smashing signs’ of Byzantine musical notation with special reference to the period from the finish of the 12th to the beginning of the 19th century] (in German). Copenhagen: Københavns Universitet, Det Humanistiske Fakultet.

    total citation needed
  • Apel, Willi (1961).
    The Notation of Polyphonic Music, 900–1600. Publications of the Mediaeval Academy of America, no. 38 (5th revised and with commentary ed.). Cambridge, Mass.: Mediaeval University of America.

  • Bagley, Robert (26 October 2004).
    The Prehistory of Chinese Music Theory
    (Spoken language). Elsley Zeitlyn Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Culture. British University’s Autumn 2004 Lecture Programme. London: British University. Archived from the original on 9 June 2008. Retrieved
    thirty May

  • Bhandarkar, D. R. (1913–1914). “28. Kudimiyamalai inscription on music”. In Konow, Sten (ed.).
    Epigraphia Indica. Vol. 12. pp. 226–237.

  • Christensen, Thomas (2002).
    The Cambridge History of Western Music Theory. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.

  • Chrysanthos of Madytos (1832).
    Theoritikón méga tís Mousikís
    Θεωρητικὸν μέγα τῆς Μουσικῆς
    [Great Theory of Music]. Tergeste: Michele Weis. Retrieved
    11 April

  • Cogan, Robert (1976).
    Sonic Design The Nature of Audio and Music. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. ISBN0-13822726-8.

  • Edwards, Paul (2009).

    How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC
    . foreword by Kool G. Rap. Chicago: Chicago Review Press.

  • Edwards, Paul (2013).
    How to Rap 2: Avant-garde Menstruum and Delivery Techniques. foreword by Souvenir of Gab. Chicago: Chicago Review Press.

  • Floros, Constantin; Moran, Neil Grand. (2009).
    The Origins of Russian Music: Introduction to the Kondakarian Notation. Frankfurt am Principal etc.: Peter Lang. ISBN9783631595534.

  • Gnanadesikan, Amalia E. (2011).
    The Writing Revolution: Cuneiform to the Internet. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN9781444359855
    . Retrieved
    20 September

  • Hall, John; Neitz, Mary Jo; Battani, Marshall (2003).
    Folklore on Civilization. London: Routledge. ISBN978-0-415-28484-4.

  • Isidore of Seville (2006).
    The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville
    (PDF). translated with introduction and notes past Stephen A. Barney, W. J. Lewis, J. A. Beach, and Oliver Berghof, with the collaboration of Muriel Hall. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Printing. ISBN978-0-521-83749-1.

    {{cite book}}: CS1 maint: ref duplicates default (link)
  • Kholopov, Yuri (2003).
    Гармония. Теоретический курс
    (Harmony: A Theoretical Course), second edition. Moscow; Saint Petersburg: Lan’. ISBN five-8114-0516-2.
  • Kilmer, Anne Draffkorn (1965). “The Strings of Musical Instruments: Their Names, Numbers, and Significance”. In Güterbock, Hans G.; Jacobsen, Thorkild (eds.).
    Studies in Honor of Benno Landsberger on His Seventy-5th Birthday, Apr 21, 1965. Assyriological Studies 16. Chicago: Academy of Chicago Press. pp. 261–68.

  • Kilmer, Anne Draffkorn; Civil, Miguel (1986). “Erstwhile Babylonian Musical Instructions Relating to Hymnody”.
    Journal of Cuneiform Studies.
    (1): 94–98. doi:10.2307/1359953. JSTOR 1359953. S2CID 163942248.

  • Krims, Adam (2001).
    Rap Music and the Poetics of Identity. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Printing.

  • Lindsay, Jennifer (1992).
    Javanese Gamelan. Oxford and New York: Oxford Academy Press. ISBN0-xix-588582-one.

  • McNaught, Due west. G. (January 1893). “The History and Uses of the Sol-fa Syllables”.
    Proceedings of the Musical Association.
    19: 35–51. doi:10.1093/jrma/nineteen.1.35. ISSN 0958-8442.

  • Middleton, Richard (1990).
    Studying Popular Music. Philadelphia: Open up Academy Press. ISBN0-335-15275-9.

  • Murray, Chris (1994).

    Dictionary of the Arts
    . New York: Facts on File. ISBN978-0-8160-3205-1.

  • Myers, Gregory (1998). “The medieval Russian Kondakar and the choirbook from Kastoria: a palaeographic written report in Byzantine and Slavic musical relations”.
    Plainsong and Medieval Music.
    (1): 21–46. doi:10.1017/S0961137100001406.

  • Otten, J. (1910). “Guido of Arezzo”.
    The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved
    30 May

  • Pierce, Brent (1973).
    New Choral Notation (A Handbook). New York: Walton Music Corporation.

  • Rochat, Jacques-Daniel (2018).
    Dodeka: la révolution musicale
    (in French). Chexbres: Crea 7. ISBN9782970127505. OCLC 1078658738.

  • Tagg, Philip (1979).
    Kojak—l Seconds of Boob tube Music: Toward the Analysis of Touch on in Popular Music. Skrifter från Musikvetenskapliga Institutionen, Göteborg ii. Göteborg: Musikvetenskapliga Institutionen, Göteborgs Universitet. ISBN91-7222-235-2.

    English translation of “Kojak—l sekunders goggle box-musik”.
  • Toussaint, Godfried (2004).
    A Comparison of Rhythmic Similarity Measures
    (PDF). Technical Study SOCS-TR-2004.6. Montréal: School of Information science, McGill University. Archived from the original
    on seven July 2012.

  • West, Martin Litchfield (May 1994). “The Babylonian Musical Note and the Hurrian Melodic Texts”.
    Music & Letters.
    (2): 161–179. doi:ten.1093/ml/75.2.161.

  • Widdess, D. R (1979). “The Kudumiyamalai inscription: a source of early Indian music in note”.
    Musica Asiatica. Oxford University Printing.
    2: 115–150.

  • Zapke, Susana, ed. (2007).
    Hispania Vetus: Musical-Liturgical Manuscripts from Visigothic Origins to the Franco-Roman Transition (ninth–12th Centuries). Foreword by Anscario K Mundó. Bilbao: Fundación BBVA. ISBN978-84-96515-l-5.

Farther reading


  • Gayou, Évelyne (August 2010). “Transcrire les musiques électroacoustiques”.
    (in French). Montréal: Canadian Electroacoustic Community.
    Perspectives on the Electroacoustic Work / Perspectives sur fifty’œuvre électroacoustique).

  • Gould, Elaine (2011).
    Backside Bars – The Definitive Guide to Music Note. London: Faber Music.

  • Hall, Rachael (2005).
    Math for Poets and Drummers
    (PDF). Saint Joseph’southward University. Archived from the original
    on 16 June 2012. Retrieved
    21 March

  • Karakayali, Nedim (2010). “Two Assemblages of Cultural Transmission: Musicians, Political Actors and Educational Techniques in the Ottoman Empire and Western Europe”.
    Periodical of Historical Sociology.
    (three): 343–71. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6443.2010.01377.x. hdl:11693/22234.

  • Lieberman, David (2006). “Game Enhanced Music Manuscript”. In Y Tina Lee; Siti Mariyam Shamsuddin; Diego Gutierrez; Norhaida Mohd Suaib (eds.).
    Graphite ’06: Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Calculator Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Australasia and South Eastern asia, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), 29 November–ii December 2006. 4th International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Australasia and S Eastern asia. New York: ACM Press. pp. 245–50. ISBN1-59593-564-9.

  • Read, Gardner (1978).
    Mod Rhythmic Note. Victor Gollance.

  • Read, Gardner (1987).
    Source Volume of Proposed Music Notation Reforms. Greenwood Press.

  • Reisenweaver, Anna (2012). “Guido of Arezzo and His Influence on Music Learning”.
    Musical Offerings.
    (ane): 37–59. doi:x.15385/jmo.2012.iii.1.four.

  • Savas, Savas I. (1965).
    Byzantine Music in Theory and Practice
    (PDF). Boston: Hercules. ISBN0-916586-24-three
    . Retrieved
    27 Jan

  • Schneider, Albrecht (1987). “Musik, Sound, Sprache, Schrift: Transkription und Notation in der Vergleichenden Musikwissenschaft und Musikethnologie” [Music, sound, language, writing: Transcription and notation in comparative musicology and music ethnology].
    Zeitschrift für Semiotik
    (in German).
    (iii–four): 317–43.

  • Sotorrio, José A. (1997).
    Bilinear Music Notation: A New Notation System for the Modern Musician. Spectral Music. ISBN978-0-9548498-2-5.

  • Stone, Kurt (1980).

    Music Annotation in the Twentieth Century: A Applied Guidebook
    . Due west. West. Norton.

  • Strayer, Hope R. (2013). “From Neumes to Notes: The Evolution of Music Annotation”.
    Musical Offerings.
    (1): 1–14. doi:ten.15385/jmo.2013.4.1.i.

  • Touma, Habib Hassan (1996).
    The Music of the Arabs
    (book with accompanying CD recording). Translated by Laurie Schwartz (new expanded ed.). Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press. ISBN0-931340-88-8.

  • Williams, Charles Francis Abdy (1903).
    The Story of Note. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

External links


  • Byzantine Music Notation. Contains a Guide to Byzantine Music Notation (neumes).
  • CCARH—Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities Information on Stanford University Class on music representation. Links page shows examples of different notations.
  • Music Markup Language. XML-based language for music notation.
  • Synopsis of Musical Notation Encyclopedias (An index from topics of CWN into the books of Gould, Vinci, Wanske, Rock and Read.)
  • Gehrkens, Karl Wilson
    Music Notation and Terminology. Project Gutenberg.
  • Gilbert, Nina. “Glossary of U.S. and British English language musical terms.” Posted 17 June 1998; updated seven September 2000.

Music Notation Can Be Thought of as a: