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[Elements] in Enjoyment of Music Flashcards

List of musical symbols

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For the use of musical symbols on Wikipedia, see Help:Musical symbols .

Musical symbols are the marks and symbols, used since about the 13th century in the musical notation of musical scores, styles, and instruments to describe pitch , rhythm , tempo and, to some degree, its articulation (a composition in its fundamentals).

Contents

  • 1 Lines
  • 2 Clefs
  • 3 Notes and rests
  • 4 Breaks
  • 5 Accidentals and key signatures
    • 5.1 Common accidentals
    • 5.2 Key signatures
    • 5.3 Quarter tones
  • 6 Time signatures
  • 7 Note relationships
  • 8 Dynamics
  • 9 Articulation marks
  • 10 Ornaments
  • 11 Octave signs
  • 12 Repetition and codas
  • 13 Instrument-specific notation
    • 13.1 Bowed string instruments
    • 13.2 Guitar
    • 13.3 Piano
      • 13.3.1 Pedal marks
      • 13.3.2 Other piano notation
    • 13.4 Other stringed instruments
    • 13.5 Four-mallet percussion
    • 13.6 Six-mallet percussion
  • 14 See also
  • 15 References
  • 16 External links

Lines[ edit ]

Music-staff.svg Staff
The staff is the fundamental latticework of music notation, on which symbols are placed. The five staff lines and four intervening spaces correspond to pitches of the diatonic scale ; which pitch is meant by a given line or space is defined by the clef . In British usage, the word “stave” is often used.
Music-ledger.svg Ledger or leger lines
These extend the staff to pitches that fall above or below it. Such ledger lines are placed behind the note heads, and extend a small distance to each side. Multiple ledger lines can be used when necessary to notate pitches even farther above or below the staff.
Music-bar.svg Bar line
These separate measures (see time signatures below for an explanation of measures). Also used for changes in time signature . Bar lines are extended to connect multiple staves in certain types of music, such as keyboard, harp, and conductor scores, but are omitted for other types of music, such as vocal scores.
Music-doublebar.svgDouble bar line, Double barline
These separate two sections of music or are placed before a change in key signature .
Music-endbar.svgBold double bar line, Bold double barline
These indicate the conclusion of a movement or an entire composition.
Music-dottedbar.svgDotted bar line, Dotted barline
Subdivides long measures of complex meter into shorter segments for ease of reading, usually according to natural rhythmic subdivisions.
Staff-bracket.jpgBracket
Connects two or more lines of music that sound simultaneously. In general contemporary usage the bracket usually connects the staves of separate instruments (e.g., flute and clarinet; two trumpets; etc.) or multiple vocal parts in a choir or ensemble, whereas the brace connects multiple parts for a single instrument (e.g., the right-hand and left-hand staves of a piano or harp part).
Accolade.svgBrace
Connects two or more lines of music that are played simultaneously in piano, keyboard, harp, or some pitched percussion music. [1] Depending on the instruments playing, the brace (occasionally called an “accolade” in some old texts) varies in design and style.

Clefs[ edit ]

Main article: Clef

Clefs define the pitch range, or tessitura , of the staff on which it is placed. A clef is usually the leftmost symbol on a staff. Additional clefs may appear in the middle of a staff to indicate a change in register for instruments with a wide range. In early music, clefs could be placed on any of several lines on a staff.

Music-GClef.svg G clef ( Treble clef )
The centre of the spiral defines the line on which it rests as the pitch G above middle C. [2] Positioned here, it assigns G above middle C to the second line from the bottom of the staff, and is referred to as the “treble clef”. This is the most commonly encountered clef in modern notation, and is used for most modern vocal music. Middle C is the first ledger line below the staff here. The shape of the clef comes from a stylised upper-case-G.
Music-Cclef.svg C clef ( Alto , and Tenor clefs)
These clefs point to the line representing middle C. As illustrated here, it makes the center line on the staff middle C, and is referred to as the “alto clef”. This clef is used in modern notation for the viola . While all clefs can be placed anywhere on the staff to indicate various tessitura, the C clef is most often considered a “movable” clef: it is frequently seen pointing instead to the fourth line and called a “tenor clef”. This clef is used very often in music written for bassoon , cello , trombone , and double bass ; it replaces the bass clef when the number of ledger lines above the bass staff hinders easy reading.
Until the classical era, the C clef was also frequently seen pointing to other lines, mostly in vocal music, but today this has been supplanted by the universal use of the treble and bass clefs. Modern editions of music from such periods generally transpose the original C clef parts to either treble (female voices), octave treble (tenors), or bass clef (tenors and basses). It can be occasionally seen in modern music on the third space (between the third and fourth lines), in which case it has the same function as an octave treble clef. This unusual practice runs the risk of misreading, however, because the traditional function of all clefs is to identify staff lines, not spaces.

Music-Fclef.svg F clef ( Bass clef )
The line between the dots in this clef denotes F below middle C. [2] Positioned here, it makes the second line from the top of the staff F below middle C, and is called a “bass clef”. This clef appears nearly as often as the treble clef, especially in choral music, where it represents the bass and baritone voices. Middle C is the first ledger line above the staff here. In old music, particularly vocal scores, this clef is sometimes encountered centered on the third staff line, in which position it is referred to as a baritone clef; this usage has essentially become obsolete. The shape of the clef comes from a stylised upper-case-F (which used to be written the reverse of the modern F)

Music-neutralclef.svg
Music-unpitchedclef.svg
Neutral clef
Used for pitchless instruments, such as some of those used for percussion . Each line can represent a specific percussion instrument within a set, such as in a drum set. Two different styles of neutral clefs are pictured here. It may also be drawn with a separate single-line staff for each untuned percussion instrument.
Octaveclef.svgOctave clef
Treble and bass clefs can also be modified by octave numbers. An eight or fifteen above a clef raises the intended pitch range by one or two octaves respectively. Similarly, an eight or fifteen below a clef lowers the pitch range by one or two octaves respectively. A treble clef with an eight below is the most commonly used, typically used for guitar and similar instruments, as well as for tenor parts in choral music.
Tablature.svgTablature
For stringed instruments it is possible to notate tablature in place of ordinary notes. In this case, a TAB sign is often written instead of a clef. The number of lines of the staff is not necessarily five: one line is used for each string of the instrument (so, for standard 6-stringed guitars, six lines would be used). Numbers on the lines show which fret to play the string on. This TAB sign, like the percussion clef, is not a clef in the true sense, but rather a symbol employed instead of a clef. Similarly, the horizontal lines do not constitute a staff in the usual sense, because the spaces between the lines in a tablature are never used.

Notes and rests[ edit ]

Main article: Note value

Musical note and rest values are not absolutely defined, but are proportional in duration to all other note and rest values. The whole note is the reference value, and the other notes are named (in American usage) in comparison; i.e., a quarter note is a quarter of the length of a whole note.

NoteBritish name / American nameRest
Music-octwholenote.svg Large (Latin: Maxima) / Octuple whole note [3] Music-octwholerest.svg
Music-quadwholenote.svg Long / Quadruple whole note [3] Music-quadwholerest.svg
Music-doublewholenote.svg Breve / Double whole note Music-doublewholerest.svg
Music-wholenote.svg Semibreve / Whole note Music-wholerest.svg
Music-halfnote.svg Minim / Half note Music-halfrest.svg
Music-quarternote.svg Crotchet / Quarter note [4] [5] Crochet2.svg
Music-eighthnote.svg Quaver / Eighth note
For notes of this length and shorter, the note
has the same number of flags (or hooks) as the rest has branches.
Music-eighthrest.svg
Music-sixteenthnote.svg Semiquaver / Sixteenth note Music-sixteenthrest.svg
Music-thirtysecondnote.svg Demisemiquaver / Thirty-second note Music-thirtysecondrest.svg
Sixtyfourth-note.svg Hemidemisemiquaver / Sixty-fourth note Music-sixtyfourthrest.svg
Music-hundredtwentyeighthnote.svg Semihemidemisemiquaver / Quasihemidemisemiquaver / Hundred twenty-eighth note [6] [7] Music-hundredtwentyeighthrest.svg
Semigarrapatea.svg Demisemihemidemisemiquaver / Two hundred fifty-sixth note [3] Silencio de semigarrapatea.svg
Music-beam.svg Beamed notes
Beams connect eighth notes (quavers) and notes of shorter value and are equivalent in value to flags. In metered music, beams reflect the rhythmic grouping of notes. They may also group short phrases of notes of the same value, regardless of the meter; this is more common in ametrical passages. In older printings of vocal music, beams are often only used when several notes are to be sung on one syllable of the text – melismatic singing; modern notation encourages the use of beaming in a consistent manner with instrumental engraving, and the presence of beams or flags no longer informs the singer. Today, due to the body of music in which traditional metric states are not always assumed, beaming is at the discretion of composers and arrangers, who often use irregular beams to emphasize a particular rhythmic pattern.
Music-dotnote.svg Dotted note
Placing a dot to the right of a notehead lengthens the note’s duration by one-half. Additional dots lengthen the previous dot instead of the original note, thus a note with one dot is one and one half its original value, a note with two dots is one and three quarters, a note with three dots is one and seven eighths, and so on. Rests can be dotted in the same manner as notes. In other words, n dots lengthen the note’s or rest’s original duration d to d × (2 − 2−n).
Ghost note.png Ghost note
A note with a rhythmic value, but no discernible pitch when played. It is represented by a ( saltire ) cross (similar to the letter x) for a note head instead of an oval.
Music-measurerest.svg Multi-measure rest
Indicates the number of measures in a resting part without a change in meter to conserve space and to simplify notation. Also called gathered rest or multi-bar rest.

Durations shorter than the 64th are rare but not unknown. 128th notes are used by many composers, including Mozart and Beethoven ; 256th notes occur in works by Vivaldi, Mozart and Beethoven. An extreme case is the Toccata Grande Cromatica by early-19th-century American composer Anthony Philip Heinrich , which uses note values as short as 2,048ths; however, the context shows clearly that these notes have one beam more than intended, so they should really be 1,024th notes. [8]

The name of very short notes can be formed as 2n + 2th note, where n is the number of flags on the note.

Breaks[ edit ]

Music-breath.svg Breath mark
In a score, this symbol tells the performer to take a breath (or make a slight pause for non-wind instruments). This pause usually does not affect the overall tempo. For bowed instruments, it indicates to lift the bow and play the next note with a downward (or upward, if marked) bow.
Music-caesura.svg Caesura
Indicates a brief, silent pause, during which time is not counted. In ensemble playing, time resumes when the conductor or leader indicates. For piano this usually means that the player should release all keys and pedals.

Accidentals and key signatures[ edit ]

Main articles: Accidental (music) and Key signature

Common accidentals[ edit ]

Accidentals modify the pitch of the notes that follow them on the same staff position within a measure, unless cancelled by an additional accidental.

Music-flat.svg Flat
Lowers the pitch of a note by one semitone .
Music-sharp.svg Sharp
Raises the pitch of a note by one semitone.
Music-natural.svg Natural
Cancels a previous accidental, or modifies the pitch of a sharp or flat as defined by the prevailing key signature (such as F-sharp in the key of G major, for example).
Music-doubleflat.svg Double flat
Lowers the pitch of a note by two chromatic semitones. Usually used when the note to modify is already flatted by the key signature.
Music-doublesharp.svg Double sharp
Raises the pitch of a note by two chromatic semitones. Usually used when the note to modify is already sharpened by the key signature.

Key signatures[ edit ]

Key signatures define the prevailing key of the music that follows, thus avoiding the use of accidentals for many notes. If no key signature appears, the key is assumed to be C major/A minor, but can also signify a neutral key, employing individual accidentals as required for each note. The key signature examples shown here are described as they would appear on a treble staff.

C-flat-major a-flat-minor.svgFlat key signature
Lowers by a semitone the pitch of notes on the corresponding line or space, and all octaves thereof, thus defining the prevailing major or minor key. Different keys are defined by the number of flats in the key signature, starting with the leftmost, i.e., B, and proceeding to the right; for example, if only the first two flats are used, the key is B major/G minor, and all B’s and E’s are “flatted” (US) or “flattened” (UK), i.e., lowered to B and E. [9]
C-sharp-major a-sharp-minor.svgSharp key signature
Raises by a semitone the pitch of notes on the corresponding line or space, and all octaves thereof, thus defining the prevailing major or minor key. Different keys are defined by the number of sharps in the key signature, also proceeding from left to right; for example, if only the first four sharps are used, the key is E major/C minor, and the corresponding pitches are raised.

Quarter tones [ edit ]

There is no universally accepted notation for microtonal music , with varying systems being used depending on the situation. A common notation for quarter tones involves writing the fraction 14 next to an arrow pointing up or down. Below are other forms of notation:

Music-demiflat.svgDemiflat
Lowers the pitch of a note by one quarter tone. (Another notation for the demiflat is a flat with a diagonal slash through its stem. In systems where pitches are divided into intervals smaller than a quarter tone, the slashed flat represents a lower note than the reversed flat.)
Music-sesquiflat.svgFlat-and-a-half (sesquiflat)
Lowers the pitch of a note by three quarter tones . As with a demiflat, a slashed double-flat symbol is also used.
Music-demisharp.svgDemisharp
Raises the pitch of a note by one quarter tone.
Music-sesquisharp.svgSharp-and-a-half (sesquisharp)
Raises the pitch of a note by three quarter tones. Occasionally represented with two vertical and three diagonal bars instead.

A symbol with one vertical and three diagonal bars indicates a sharp with some form of alternate tuning.

In 19 equal temperament , where a whole tone is divided into three steps instead of two, music is typically notated in a way that flats and sharps are not usually enharmonic (thus a C represents a third of a step lower than D); this has the advantage of not requiring any nonstandard notation.

Time signatures[ edit ]

Main article: Time signature

Time signatures define the meter of the music. Music is “marked off” in uniform sections called bars or measures, and time signatures establish the number of beats in each. This does not necessarily indicate which beats to emphasize, however, so a time signature that conveys information about the way the piece actually sounds is thus chosen. Time signatures tend to suggest prevailing groupings of beats or pulses.

Music-timesig.svgSpecific time – simple time signatures
The bottom number represents the note value of the basic pulse of the music (in this case the 4 represents the crotchet or quarter-note). The top number indicates how many of these note values appear in each measure. This example announces that each measure is the equivalent length of three crotchets (quarter-notes). For example, 3
4
is pronounced as “three-four time” or “three-quarter time”.
Compound duple drum pattern.pngSpecific time – compound time signatures
The bottom number represents the note value of the subdivisions of the basic pulse of the music (in this case the 8 represents the quaver or eighth-note). The top number indicates how many of these subdivisions appear in each measure. Usually each beat is composed of three subdivisions. To derive the unit of the basic pulse in compound meters, double this value and add a dot, and divide the top number by 3 to determine how many of these pulses there are each measure. This example announces that each measure is the equivalent length of two dotted crotchets (dotted quarter-notes). This is pronounced as “Six-Eight Time”.
Music-commontime.svg Common time
This symbol represents 4
4
time. It derives from the broken circle that represented “imperfect” duple meter in fourteenth-century mensural time signatures .
Music-cuttime.svg Alla breve or Cut time
This symbol represents 2
2
time, indicating two minim (or half-note) beats per measure. Here, a crotchet (or quarter note) would get half a beat.
Music-metronome.svg Metronome mark
Written at the start of a score, and at any significant change of tempo, this symbol precisely defines the tempo of the music by assigning absolute durations to all note values within the score. In this particular example, the performer is told that 120 crotchets, or quarter notes, fit into one minute of time. Many publishers precede the marking with letters “M.M.“, referring to Maelzel ‘s Metronome .

Note relationships[ edit ]

Music-tie.svg Tie
Indicates that the two (or more) notes joined together are to be played as one note with the time values added together. To be a tie, the notes must be identical – that is, they must be on the same line or the same space. Otherwise, it is a slur (see below).
Music-slur.svg
Music-legato.svg
Slur
Indicates to play two or more notes in one physical stroke, one uninterrupted breath, or (on instruments with neither breath nor bow) connected into a phrase as if played in a single breath. In certain contexts, a slur may only indicate to play the notes legato . In this case, rearticulation is permitted.

Slurs and ties are similar in appearance. A tie is distinguishable because it always joins two immediately adjacent notes of the same pitch, whereas a slur may join any number of notes of varying pitches. In vocal music a slur normally indicates that notes grouped together by the slur should be sung to a single syllable.

A phrase mark (or less commonly, ligature) is a mark that is visually identical to a slur, but connects a passage of music over several measures. A phrase mark indicates a musical phrase and may not necessarily require that the music be slurred.

Music-glissando.svg Glissando or Portamento
A continuous, unbroken glide from one note to the next that includes the pitches between. Some instruments, such as the trombone, timpani, non-fretted string instruments, electronic instruments, and the human voice can make this glide continuously (portamento), while other instruments such as the piano or mallet instruments blur the discrete pitches between the start and end notes to mimic a continuous slide (glissando).
Music-triplet.svg Tuplet
A number of notes of irregular duration are performed within the duration of a given number of notes of regular time value; e.g., five notes played in the normal duration of four notes; seven notes played in the normal duration of two; three notes played in the normal duration of four. Tuplets are named according to the number of irregular notes; e.g., duplets, triplets, quadruplets, etc.
Music-triad.svg Chord
Several notes sounded simultaneously (“solid” or “block”), or in succession (“broken”). Two-note chords are called dyad ; three-note chords are called triads . A chord may contain any number of notes.
Music-arpeggio.svg Arpeggiated chord
A chord with notes played in rapid succession, usually ascending, each note being sustained as the others are played. It is also called a “broken chord”.

Dynamics[ edit ]

Main article: Dynamics (music)

Dynamics are indicators of the relative intensity or volume of a musical line.

Music dynamic pianississimo.svgPianississimo [D 1]
Extremely soft. Very infrequently does one see softer dynamics than this, which are specified with additional ps.
Music dynamic pianissimo.svgPianissimo
Very soft. Usually the softest indication in a piece of music, though softer dynamics are often specified with additional ps.
Music dynamic piano.svgPiano
Soft; louder than pianissimo.
Music dynamic mezzo piano.svgMezzo piano
Moderately soft; louder than piano.
Music dynamic mezzo forte.svgMezzo forte
Moderately loud; softer than forte. If no dynamic appears, mezzo-forte is assumed to be the prevailing dynamic level.
Music dynamic forte.svgForte
Loud. Used as often as piano to indicate contrast.
Music dynamic fortissimo.svgFortissimo
Very loud. Usually the loudest indication in a piece, though louder dynamics are often specified with additional fs (such as fortississimo – seen below).
Music dynamic fortississimo.svgFortississimo [D 1]
Extremely loud. Very infrequently does one see louder dynamics than this, which are specified with additional fs.
Music expression sforzando sfz.svgSforzando
Literally “forced”, denotes an abrupt, fierce accent on a single sound or chord. When written out in full, it applies to the sequence of sounds or chords under or over which it is placed.
Music-crescendo.svgCrescendo
A gradual increase in volume.
Can be extended under many notes to indicate that the volume steadily increases during the passage.
Music-diminuendo.svgDiminuendo
Also decrescendo
A gradual decrease in volume. Can be extended in the same manner as crescendo.
  1. ^ a b Dynamics with 3 letters (i.e., ppp and fff) are often referred to by adding an extra “iss” (pianissimo to pianississimo). This is improper Italian and would translate literally to “softestest” in English, but acceptable as a musical term; such a dynamic can also be described as molto pianissimo, piano pianissimo or molto fortissimo and forte fortissimo in somewhat more proper Italian.[ citation needed ]

Other commonly used dynamics build upon these values. For example, “pianississimo” (represented as ppp) meaning so softly as to be almost inaudible, and fortississimo, (fff) meaning extremely loud. In some European countries, use of the loudest dynamics has been strongly discouraged as endangering the hearing of the performers. [10] A small s in front of the dynamic notations means subito, and means that the dynamic is to change to the new notation rapidly. Subito is commonly used with sforzandos, but can appear with all other dynamic notations, most commonly as sff (subitofortissimo) or spp (subitopianissimo).

Music-forte-piano.png Forte-piano
A section of music in which the music should initially be played loudly (forte), then immediately softly (piano).

Another value that rarely appears is niente or n, which means “nothing”. This may be used at the end of a diminuendo to indicate “fade out to nothing”.

Articulation marks[ edit ]

Articulations (or accents ) specify how to perform individual notes within a phrase or passage. They can be fine-tuned by combining more than one such symbol over or under a note. They may also appear in conjunction with phrasing marks listed above.

Music-staccato.svg Staccato
This indicates the musician should play the note shorter than notated, usually half the value; the rest of the metric value is then silent. Staccato marks may appear on notes of any value, shortening their performed duration without speeding the music itself.
Music-staccatissimo.svg Staccatissimo or Spiccato
Indicates a longer silence after the note (as described above), making the note very short. Usually applied to quarter notes or shorter. (In the past, this marking’s meaning was more ambiguous: it sometimes was used interchangeably with staccato, and sometimes indicated an accent and not staccato. These usages are now almost defunct, but still appear in some scores.) In string instruments this indicates a bowing technique in which the bow bounces lightly upon the string.
Music-marcato.svg Accent
Play the note louder, or with a harder attack than surrounding unaccented notes. May appear on notes of any duration.
Music-tenuto.svg Tenuto
This symbol indicates play the note at its full value, or slightly longer. It can also indicate a slight dynamic emphasis or be combined with a staccato dot to indicate a slight detachment ( portato or mezzo staccato ).
Music-strong-marcato.svg Marcato
Play the note somewhat louder or more forcefully than a note with a regular accent mark (open horizontal wedge). In organ notation, this means play a pedal note with the toe. Above the note, use the right foot; below the note, use the left foot.
Music-fermata.svg Fermata (Pause)
A note, chord, or rest sustained longer than its customary value. Usually appears over all parts at the same metrical location in a piece, to show a halt in tempo . It can be placed above or below the note. The fermata is held for as long as the performer or conductor desires.

Ornaments[ edit ]

Ornaments modify the pitch pattern of individual notes.

Music-trill.svg Trill
A rapid alternation between the specified note and the next higher note (according to key signature) within its duration, also called a “shake”. When followed by a wavy horizontal line, this symbol indicates an extended, or running, trill. In modern music the trill begins on the main note and ends with the lower auxiliary note then the main note, which requires a triplet immediately before the turn. In music up to the time of Haydn or Mozart the trill begins on the upper auxiliary note and there is no triplet. [11] In percussion notation, a trill is sometimes used to indicate a tremolo (q.v.).
Music-mordent.svgUpper mordent
Rapidly play the principal note, the next higher note (according to key signature) then return to the principal note for the remaining duration. In most music, the mordent begins on the auxiliary note, and the alternation between the two notes may be extended. In handbells , this symbol is a “shake” and indicates the rapid shaking of the bells for the duration of the note.
Music-inverted-mordent.svgLower mordent (inverted)
Rapidly play the principal note, the note below it, then return to the principal note for the remaining duration. In much music, the mordent begins on the auxiliary note, and the alternation between the two notes may be extended.
Music-turn-2.svg Music-turn (inverted).png Music-inverted turn.png Turn
When placed directly above the note, the turn (also known as a gruppetto) indicates a sequence of upper auxiliary note, principal note, lower auxiliary note, and a return to the principal note. When placed to the right of the note, the principal note is played first, followed by the above pattern. Placing a vertical line through the turn symbol or inverting it, it indicates an inverted turn, in which the order of the auxiliary notes is reversed.
Music-appoggiatura.svg Appoggiatura
The first half of the principal note’s duration has the pitch of the grace note (the first two-thirds if the principal note is a dotted note).
Music-acciaccatura.svg Acciaccatura
The acciaccatura is of very brief duration, as though brushed on the way to the principal note, which receives virtually all of its notated duration. In percussion notation, the acciaccatura symbol denotes the flam rudiment, the miniature note still positioned behind the main note but on the same line or space of the staff. The flam note is usually played just before the natural durational subdivision the main note is played on, with the timing and duration of the main note remaining unchanged. Also known by the English translation of the Italian term, crushed note, and in German as Zusammenschlag (simultaneous stroke).

Octave signs[ edit ]

Music-ottavaalta.svgOttava
The 8va (pronounced ottava alta) sign is placed above the staff (as shown) to tell the musician to play the passage one octave higher.

An 8va or, as alternative in modern music, an 8vb sign (both signs reading ottava bassa) is placed below the staff meaning play the passage one octave lower. [12] [13]

Music-quindicesimaalta.svgQuindicesima
The 15ma sign is placed above the staff (as shown) to mean play the passage two octaves higher. A 15ma sign below the staff indicates play the passage two octaves lower.

8va and 15ma are sometimes abbreviated further to 8 and 15. When they appear below the staff, the word bassa is sometimes added.

Repetition and codas[ edit ]

Music-tremolo.svg

Music Tremolo shortcut.jpg

Tremolo
A rapidly repeated note. If the tremolo is between two notes, then they are played in rapid alternation. The number of slashes through the stem (or number of diagonal bars between two notes) indicates the frequency to repeat (or alternate) the note. As shown here, the note is to be repeated at a demisemiquaver (thirty-second note) rate, but it is a common convention for three slashes to be interpreted as “as fast as possible”, or at any rate at a speed to be left to the player’s judgment.

In percussion notation , tremolos indicate rolls, diddles , and drags . Typically, a single tremolo line on a sufficiently short note (such as a sixteenth) is played as a drag, and a combination of three stem and tremolo lines indicates a double-stroke roll (or a single-stroke roll , in the case of timpani , mallet percussions and some untuned percussion instrument such as triangle and bass drum ) for a period equivalent to the duration of the note. In other cases, the interpretation of tremolos is highly variable, and should be examined by the director and performers.

The tremolo symbol also represents flutter-tonguing .

Music-repeat.svg Repeat signs
Enclose a passage that is to be played more than once. If there is no left repeat sign, the right repeat sign sends the performer back to the start of the piece or the nearest double bar.
Music-simile.svgSimile marks
Denote that preceding groups of beats or measures are to be repeated. In the examples here, the first usually means to repeat the previous measure, and the second usually means to repeat the previous two measures.
Music-volte.svgVolta brackets (1st and 2nd endings, or 1st- and 2nd-time bars)
A repeated passage is to be played with different endings on different playings; it is possible to have more than two endings (1st, 2nd, 3rd …).
Music-dacapo.svg Da capo
(lit. “From top”) Tells the performer to repeat playing of the music from its beginning. This is usually followed by al fine (lit. “to the end”), which means to repeat to the word fine and stop, or al coda (lit. “to the coda (sign)”), which means repeat to the coda sign and then jump forward.
Music-dalsegno.svg Dal segno
(lit. “From the sign”) Tells the performer to repeat playing of the music starting at the nearest segno. This is followed by al fine or al coda just as with da capo.
SegnoTeken.svgSegno
Mark used with dal segno.
Coda sign.svg Coda
Indicates a forward jump in the music to its ending passage, marked with the same sign. Only used after playing through a D.S. al coda (Dal segno al coda) or D.C. al coda (Da capo al coda).

Instrument-specific notation[ edit ]

Bowed string instruments[ edit ]

Music-pizzicato.svg Left-hand pizzicato or Stopped note
A note on a stringed instrument where the string is plucked with the left hand (the hand that usually stops the strings) rather than bowed. On the horn , this accent indicates a “stopped note” (a note played with the stopping hand shoved further into the bell of the horn). In percussion this notation denotes, among many other specific uses, to close the hi-hat by pressing the pedal, or that an instrument is to be “choked” (muted with the hand).
Music-snappizzicato.svgSnap pizzicato
On a stringed instrument, a note played by stretching a string away from the frame of the instrument and letting it go, making it “snap” against the frame. Also known as a Bartók pizzicato.
Music-harmonic.svg Natural harmonic or Open note
On a stringed instrument, means to play a natural harmonic (also called flageolet). On a valved brass instrument, it means to play the note “open” (without lowering any valve, or without mute). In organ notation, this means to play a pedal note with the heel (above the note, use the right foot; below the note, use the left foot). In percussion notation this denotes, among many other specific uses, to open the hi-hat by releasing the pedal, or allow an instrument to ring.
Music-upbow.svgUp bow or Sull’arco
On a bowed string instrument, the note is played while drawing the bow upward. On a plucked string instrument played with a plectrum or pick (such as a guitar played pickstyle or a mandolin ), the note is played with an upstroke.
Music-downbow.svgDown bow or Giù arco
Like sull’arco, except the bow is drawn downward. On a plucked string instrument played with a plectrum or pick (such as a guitar played pickstyle or a mandolin ), the note is played with a downstroke.

Guitar[ edit ]

The guitar has a fingerpicking notation system derived from the names of the fingers in Spanish or Latin. They are written above, below, or beside the note to which they are attached.
They read as follows:

SymbolSpanishLatinEnglish
ppulgarpollexthumb
iíndiceindexindex
mmediomediamiddle
aanularanularisring
c, x, e, qmeñiqueminimuslittle

Piano[ edit ]

Pedal marks[ edit ]

Pedal marks appear in music for instruments with sustain pedals , such as the piano , vibraphone and chimes .

Pedal Mark 1.svgEngage pedal
Tells the player to put the sustaining pedal down.
Music-pedalup.svgRelease pedal
Tells the player to let the sustain pedal up.
Music-pedal.svgVariable pedal mark
More accurately indicates the precise use of the sustain pedal. The extended lower line tells the player to keep the sustain pedal depressed for all notes below which it appears. The shape indicates the pedal is to be momentarily released, then depressed again.
Mute on1.JPGCon sordino, Una corda
Tells the player to put the soft pedal down or, in other instruments, apply the mute .
Mute off1.JPGSenza sordino, Tre corde
Tells the player to let the soft pedal up or, in other instruments, remove the mute.

Other piano notation[ edit ]

left handright hand
Englishl.h.r.h.
left handright hand
Germanl.Hr.H
linke Handrechte Hand
Frenchm.g.m.d.
main gauchemain droite
Italianm.s.m.d.
mano sinistramano destra
1, 2, 3, 4, 5Finger identifications:
1 = thumb
2 = index
3 = middle
4 = ring
5 = little

Old (pre-1940) tutors published in the UK may use “English fingering”. + for thumb, then 1 (index), 2 (middle), 3 (ring) and 4 (little). [14]

Other stringed instruments[ edit ]

(With the exception of harp)

0, 1, 2, 3, 4Finger identifications:
0 = open string (no finger used)
1 = index
2 = middle
3 = ring
4 = little

Thumb = (cello/bass) Thumb position

Four-mallet percussion[ edit ]

1, 2, 3, 4Mallet identifications:
1 = Far left mallet
2 = Inner-left mallet
3 = Inner-right mallet
4 = Far right mallet
Some systems reverse the numbers (e.g., 4 = Inner-left mallet, 3 = Inner-left mallet, etc.)

Six-mallet percussion[ edit ]

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6Mallet identifications:
1 = Far-left mallet
2 = Middle-left mallet
3 = Inner-left mallet
4 = Inner-right mallet
5 = Middle-right mallet
6 = Far-right mallet

Numbers for six-mallet percussion may be reversed as well. [15]

See also[ edit ]

  • Graphic notation
  • Music theory
  • Glossary of musical terminology
  • Musical Symbols (Unicode block)
  • Shape note
  • Musical Symbols (disambiguation)

References[ edit ]

  1. ^ U+007B left curly bracket Archived 2008-12-02 at the Wayback Machine . at decodeunicode.org; retrieved on May 3, 2009
  2. ^ a b Gerou, Tom; Lusk, Linda (1996). Essential Dictionary of Music Notation . USA: Alfred Publishing Co., Inc. p. 49. ISBN   0-88284-768-6 .

  3. ^ a b c “UNLP at the [email protected] Task: Question Answering on Musical Scores ACM” (PDF). Csee.essex.ac.uk. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  4. ^ Examples of the older form are found in the work of English music publishers up to the 20th century, e.g., W. A. Mozart Requiem Mass, vocal score ed. W. T. Best, pub. London: Novello & Co. Ltd. 1879.
  5. ^ Rudiments and Theory of Music Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, London 1958. I,33 and III,25. The former shows both forms without distinction, the latter the “old” form only. The book was the standard theory manual in the UK up until at least 1975. The “old” form was taught as a manuscript variant of the printed form.
  6. ^ Miller, RJ (2015). Contemporary Orchestration: A Practical Guide to Instruments, Ensembles, and Musicians. Routledge. p. 38. ISBN   978-0-415-74190-3 .
  7. ^ Haas, David (2011). “Shostakovich’s Second Piano Sonata: A Composition Recital in Three Styles”. In Fairclough, Pauline; Fanning, David. The Cambridge Companion to Shostakovich. Cambridge Companions to Music . Cambridge University Press. pp. 95–114. doi : 10.1017/CCOL9780521842204.006 . ISBN   978-1-139-00195-3 . The listener is right to suspect a Baroque reference when a double-dotted rhythmic gesture and semihemidemisemiquaver triplets appear to ornament the theme.(p. 112)
  8. ^ Byrd, Donald (16 December 2014). “Extremes of Conventional Music Notation” . Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  9. ^ Rudiments and Theory of Music Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, London 1958. I,24 “at least one note has to be sharpened or flattened”
  10. ^ “No Fortissimo? Symphony Told to Keep It Down” by Sarah Lyall , The New York Times (20 April 2008)
  11. ^ Rudiments and Theory of Music Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, London 1958. V,29
  12. ^ George Heussenstamm, The Norton Manual of Music Notation (New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company), p.16
  13. ^ Anthony Donato, Preparing Music Manuscript (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.), pp. 42-43
  14. ^ “Scales-continental/ English Fingering” . The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. 20 December 2004. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  15. ^ Paterson, Robert (2004). Sounds That Resonate: Selected Developments in Western Bar Percussion During the Twentieth Century. Cornell University: UMI Dissertation Services No. 3114502. p. 182.

External links[ edit ]

  • Comprehensive list of music symbols fonts
  • Music theory & history (Dolmetsch Online)
  • Dictionary of musical symbols (Dolmetsch Online)
  • Sight reading tutorial with symbol variations Amy Appleby
  • v
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      88 terms

      victoriasuzanne

      [Elements] in Enjoyment of Music

      FINAL

      STUDY

      PLAY

      The _____ of a sound is decided by the frequency of its vibrations.
      dynamics
      **Pitch
      timbre
      amplitude
      A thin piece of cane, used singly or in pairs by woodwind players, is called a
      **reed.
      mute.
      double stop.
      mouthpiece.
      The highest woodwind instrument in the orchestra is the
      **piccolo flute.
      English horn.
      oboe.
      clarinet.
      The emotional focal point of a melody is called the
      sequence.
      theme.
      cadence.
      **climax.
      The four main properties of musical sounds are pitch, dynamics, tone color, and
      **duration.
      rhythm.
      melody.
      medium.
      Melody may be defined as
      an emotional focal point in a tune.
      a resting place at the end of a phrase.
      **a series of single notes which add up to a recognizable whole.
      the organization of beats into regular groupings.
      When tones are separated by the interval called a(n) ______, they sound very much alike.
      pitch range
      dyad
      **Octave
      cycle
      Pitch is defined as
      the degree of loudness or softness in music.
      the quality that distinguishes musical sounds.
      **the relative highness or lowness that we hear in a sound.
      leaning on a musical note.
      Dynamics in music refer to
      the quality that distinguishes musical sounds.
      the relative highness or lowness we hear in a sound.
      an exemplary performance.
      **the degree of loudness and softness.
      In general, the smaller the vibrating element, the __________ its pitch.
      **higher
      softer
      lower
      louder
      Woodwind instruments are so named because they
      are made of wood.
      use a wooden reed.
      have wooden key mechanisms.
      **were originally made of wood.
      The distance between the lowest and highest tones a voice or instrument can produce is called
      **pitch range.
      an octave.
      dynamic accent.
      timbre.
      When music is created at the same time as it is performed, it is said to be
      percussive.
      **improvised.
      pizzicato.
      registered.
      A symphonic band is different fro an orchestra due to the absence of
      brass
      percussion instruments
      a conductor
      **strings
      Tone color is synonymous with
      sound.
      amplitude.
      **timbre.
      dynamic accent.
      A gradual increase in loudness is known as a
      decrescendo.
      **crescendo.
      fortissimo.
      diminuendo.
      The range of a singer’s voice depends on
      training and musical style.
      physical makeup.
      **training and physical makeup.
      which microphone the singer uses.
      The Italian dynamic markings traditionally used to indicate very soft, soft, and very loud are respectively
      piano, mezzo forte, forte.
      mezzo piano, forte, fortissimo.
      **pianissimo, piano, fortissimo.
      pianissimo, forte, fortissimo.
      A gradual decrease in loudness is known as a
      ritardando.
      crescendo.
      fortissimo.
      **diminuendo.
      A dynamic accent occurs in music when a performer
      **emphasizes a tone by playing it more loudly than the tones around it.
      plays all the notes loudly.
      stamps his or her foot on the floor.
      begins speeding up the music.
      The term ___________ refers to the speed of the beat of the music.
      meter
      syncopation
      **tempo
      dynamics
      The organization of beats into regular groups is called
      **meter.
      syncopation.
      tempo.
      dynamics.
      _____________ is the effect of unexpected accents in the music
      Meter
      **Syncopation
      Tempo
      Dynamics
      The Italian term __________ is a tempo marking to indicate a moderately slow or walking pace.
      **andante
      allegro
      adagio
      largo
      Which of the following is the slowest tempo indication?
      **Adagio
      Andante
      Allegro
      Vivace
      Western music uses ____________ letters of the alphabet to indicate pitch.
      the first five
      **the first seven
      a wide variety
      the last three
      In musical notation, silence is indicated by
      notes.
      clefs.
      **rests.
      beams.
      A part of a melody is called a
      cadence.
      sequence.
      **phrase.
      step.
      The treble clef is used for
      relatively low pitches, such as those played by a pianist’s left hand.
      **relatively high pitches, such as those played by the pianist’s right hand.
      drums and nonpitched percussion instruments.
      middle range pitches, such as those played by the violas.
      Staccato refers to playing or singing a melody
      **in a short, detached manner.
      in a smooth, connected manner.
      at a higher or lower pitch.
      in small steps.
      The triad built on the fifth step of the scale is called the
      tonic chord.
      **dominant chord.
      progression.
      resolution.
      A musical statement followed by a contrasting statement and then a return of the original statement is in
      **ternary form.
      binary form.
      free form.
      double form.
      Musical texture refers to
      how many different layers of sound are heard at the same time.
      what kind of layers of sound are heard (melody or harmony).
      how layers of sound are related to each other.
      **All answers are correct.
      Modulation refers to
      the central tone of a musical composition.
      an independence from major or minor scales.
      the sharp or flat signs immediately following the clef sign at the
      beginning of the staff of a musical composition.
      **a shift from one key to another within the same composition.
      The form consisting of a musical statement followed by a counterstatement would be called
      ternary.
      **binary.
      free.
      All answers are correct.
      A combination of tones that is considered unstable and tense is called a
      consonance.
      progression.
      **dissonance.
      chord.
      The simplest, most basic chord used in western music is the
      consonance.
      dissonance.
      dyad.
      **triad
      A sequence may be defined as
      a resting place at the end of a phrase.
      the emotional focal point of a melody.
      a part of a melody.
      **the repetition of a melodic pattern at a higher or lower pitch.
      Retaining some features of a musical idea while changing others is called
      form.
      contrast.
      repetition.
      **variation.
      In music, _________ refers to a characteristic way of using melody, rhythm, tone color, dynamics, harmony, texture, and form.
      fashion
      technique
      **style
      convention
      The dominant chord is the triad built on the _________ step of the scale.
      first
      second
      fourth
      **fifth
      A round is an example of
      homophonic texture.
      monophonic texture.
      **strict imitation.
      monophonic diversity.
      A chord is a
      pattern of accents used in music.
      **combination of three or more tones sounded at once.
      series of individual tones heard one after another.
      resting point at the end of a phrase.
      Key refers to
      the major scale.
      **a central tone, scale, and chord.
      any twelve random pitches.
      a musical symbol placed at the beginning of the staff.
      Traditionally, a western classical composition would almost always end on a
      progression.
      dissonant chord.
      dominant chord.
      **tonic chord.
      When the individual tones of a chord are sounded one after another instead of simultaneously, it is called a broken chord or a
      cadence.
      **arpeggio.
      triad.
      progression.
      When a melodic idea is presented by one voice or instrument and then restated immediately by another voice or instrument, the technique is called
      counterpoint.
      **imitation.
      copying.
      All answers are correct.
      Homophonic texture consists of
      a single melodic line without accompaniment.
      **one main melody accompanied by chords.
      two or more melodies of relatively equal interest performed
      simultaneously.
      two or more different versions of the same basic melody performed
      simultaneously.
      Repetition is a technique widely used in music because it
      creates a sense of unity.
      helps engrave a melody in the memory.
      provides a feeling of balance and symmetry.
      **All answers are correct.
      The word chromatic comes from the Greek word chroma, color, and is used in music to refer to the
      **twelve tones of the octave.
      eight tones of the octave.
      color of the instrumentation.
      use of colorful descriptions of the music.
      Classicism, as a stylistic period in western music, encompassed the years
      1450-1600.
      1600-1750.
      **1750-1820.
      1820-1900.
      The Baroque period in western music is usually given as
      450-1450.
      1450-1600.
      **1600-1750.
      1750-1820.
      Which of the following is not a brass instrument?
      cornet
      French horn
      euphonium
      **English horn
      When notating music for others to read, composers traditionally have used ____________ words to indicate dynamics
      English
      **Italian
      German
      Russian
      Register refers to
      **part of an instrument’s total range.
      playing two or more notes at the same time.
      the instrument manufacturer’s brand name.
      the number of reeds an instrument uses.
      A melody is said to move by steps if it moves by
      repeating the same notes.
      alternating rests and notes.
      large intervals.
      **adjacent scale tones.
      Which of the following is not a normal classification of male voice ranges?
      **contralto
      baritone
      tenor
      bass
      The distance between a melody’s lowest and highest tones is known as its
      cadence.
      rhythm.
      **range.
      sequence.
      The Italian term _____________ is a tempo marking to indicate a lively pace.
      andante
      allegro
      adagio
      **vivace
      The element of music defined as the ordered flow of music through time, or more specifically, the particular arrangement of note lengths in a piece of music, is
      beat.
      tempo.
      **rhythm.
      meter.
      In a musical time signature, the upper number tells
      what kind of note gets a beat.
      **how many beats fall in a measure.
      how many notes there are in a measure.
      how many measures there are in a composition.
      A _______ is placed at the beginning of a staff to show the exact pitch of each line and space.
      note
      **clef
      ledger line
      sharp sign
      The musical element that refers to the way chords are constructed and how they follow each other is
      **harmony.
      tempo.
      melody.
      meter.
      Sharp or flat signs immediately following the clef sign at the beginning of the staff are collectively called the
      time signature.
      music signature.
      **key signature.
      meter.
      An ending to a melodic phrase that sets up expectations for continuation is known as a(n)
      **incomplete cadence.
      complete cadence.
      sentence.
      theme.
      Forward motion, conflict, and change of mood are produced through
      **contrast.
      repetition.
      homogeneity.
      dynamics.
      Tonality is another term for
      **key.
      scale.
      chromaticism.
      modulation.
      In traditional western music, the __________ is the smallest interval between successive tones of a scale.
      quarter step
      whole step
      **half step
      octave
      Retaining some features of a musical idea while changing others is called
      form.
      contrast.
      repetition.
      **variation.
      When a melodic idea is presented by one voice or instrument and then restated immediately by another voice or instrument, the technique is called
      counterpoint.
      **imitation.
      copying.
      All answers are correct.
      If a flute player were to play a solo without any other accompaniment, the texture would be
      contrapuntal.
      homophonic.
      **monophonic.
      polyphonic.
      Musical texture refers to
      how many different layers of sound are heard at the same time.
      what kind of layers of sound are heard (melody or harmony).
      how layers of sound are related to each other.
      **All answers are correct.
      A melody that serves as the starting point for a more extended piece of music is called a
      **theme.
      tune.
      climax.
      cadence.
      A sequence may be defined as
      a resting place at the end of a phrase.
      the emotional focal point of a melody.
      a part of a melody.
      **the repetition of a melodic pattern at a higher or lower pitch.
      A composition that alternates often between soft and loud dynamics can be said to be high in
      form.
      **contrast.
      repetition.
      cadence.
      Romanticism, as a stylistic period in western music, encompassed the years
      1450-1600.
      1600-1750.
      1750-1820.
      **1820-1900.
      The vibrations of brass instruments come from
      valves.
      a single reed.
      a double reed.
      **the musician’s lips.
      A tone in music is a sound that
      is pleasing to the ear.
      is produced by irregular vibrations.
      has an indefinite pitch.
      **has a definite pitch.
      The ________ is a regular, recurrent pulsation that divides music into equal units of time.
      **beat
      syncopation
      tempo
      rhythm
      In musical notation, pitches are written on a set of five horizontal lines called a
      clef.
      bar.
      **staff.
      stem.
      In a musical time signature, the upper number tells
      what kind of note gets a beat.
      **how many beats fall in a measure.
      how many notes there are in a measure.
      how many measures there are in a composition.
      A smooth, connected style of playing a melody is known as
      **legato.
      staccato.
      glissando.
      vibrato.
      A cadence is
      the emotional focal point of a melody.
      **a resting place at the end of a phrase.
      a melody that serves as the starting point for a more extended piece of music.
      the repetition of a melodic pattern at a higher or lower pitch.
      When a dissonance moves to a consonance, it can be called a
      triad.
      chord.
      **resolution.
      broken chord.
      _____________ in music adds support, depth, and richness to a melody.
      Rhythm
      Tempo
      Meter
      **Harmony
      Which of the following would be a good example of a change in musical style?
      The treble clef is used for relatively high pitch ranges, but the bass clef is used for lower ranges.
      **The major and minor scales were the basic scales of western music from the 1600s to the 1900s, but in the twentieth century many composers abandoned tonality.
      The men in the New York Philharmonic wear white tie and tails during the winter season, but for the summer concerts they wear black tie and white dinner jackets.
      All answers are correct.
      A series of chords is called a(n)
      triad.
      **progression.
      arpeggio.
      consonance
      When the individual tones of a chord are sounded one after another instead of simultaneously, it is called a broken chord or a
      cadence.
      **arpeggio.
      triad.
      progression.
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