Musical notation

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Hand-written musical notation by J. S. Bach (1685-1750). This is the beginning of the Prelude from the Suite for Lute in G minor BWV 995 (transcription of Cello Suite No. 5, BWV 1011). Bachlut1.gif
Hand-written musical notation by J. S. Bach (1685–1750). This is the beginning of the Prelude from the Suite for Lute in G minor BWV 995 (transcription of Cello Suite No. 5, BWV 1011).

Music notation or musical notation is any system used to visually represent aurally perceived music played with instruments or sung by the human voice through the use of written, printed, or otherwise-produced symbols.

Music form of art using sound and silence

Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound organized in time. General definitions of music include common elements such as pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture. Different styles or types of music may emphasize, de-emphasize or omit some of these elements. Music is performed with a vast range of instruments and vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping; there are solely instrumental pieces, solely vocal pieces and pieces that combine singing and instruments. The word derives from Greek μουσική . See glossary of musical terminology.

Singing act of producing musical sounds with the voice

Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice and augments regular speech by the use of sustained tonality, rhythm, and a variety of vocal techniques. A person who sings is called a singer or vocalist. Singers perform music that can be sung with or without accompaniment by musical instruments. Singing is often done in an ensemble of musicians, such as a choir of singers or a band of instrumentalists. Singers may perform as soloists or accompanied by anything from a single instrument up to a symphony orchestra or big band. Different singing styles include art music such as opera and Chinese opera, Indian music and religious music styles such as gospel, traditional music styles, world music, jazz, blues, gazal and popular music styles such as pop, rock, electronic dance music and filmi.

Human voice sound made by a human

The human voice consists of sound made by a human being using the vocal tract, such as talking, singing, laughing, crying, screaming, etc. The human voice frequency is specifically a part of human sound production in which the vocal folds are the primary sound source.

Contents

Types and methods of notation have varied between cultures and throughout history, and much information about ancient music notation is fragmentary. Even in the same time period, such as in the 2010s, different styles of music and different cultures use different music notation methods; for example, for professional classical music performers, sheet music using staves and noteheads is the most common way of notating music, but for professional country music session musicians, the Nashville Number System is the main method.

Classical music broad tradition of Western art music

Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. While a more precise term is also used to refer to the period from 1750 to 1820, this article is about the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods. The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common-practice period.

Sheet music is a handwritten or printed form of music notation that uses modern musical symbols to indicate the pitches (melodies), rhythms or chords of a song or instrumental musical piece. Like its analogs – printed books or pamphlets in English, Arabic or other languages – the medium of sheet music typically is paper, although the access to musical notation since the 1980s has included the presentation of musical notation on computer screens and the development of scorewriter computer programs that can notate a song or piece electronically, and, in some cases, "play back" the notated music using a synthesizer or virtual instruments.

Country music, also known as country and western, and hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s. It takes its roots from genres such as American folk music and blues.

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

Clay tablet Writing implement

In the Ancient Near East, clay tablets were used as a writing medium, especially for writing in cuneiform, throughout the Bronze Age and well into the Iron Age.

Papyrus Writing and painting implement

Papyrus is a material similar to thick paper that was used in ancient times as a writing surface. It was made from the pith of the papyrus plant, Cyperus papyrus, a wetland sedge. Papyrus can also refer to a document written on sheets of such material, joined together side by side and rolled up into a scroll, an early form of a book.

Parchment animal skin processed for writing or painting on

Parchment is a writing material made from specially prepared untanned skins of animals—primarily sheep, calves, and goats. It has been used as a writing medium for over two millennia. Vellum is a finer quality parchment made from the skins of young animals such as lambs and young calves.

Although many ancient cultures used symbols to represent melodies and rhythms, none of them were particularly comprehensive, and this has limited today's understanding of their music. The seeds of what would eventually become modern western notation were sown in medieval Europe, starting with the Catholic Church's goal for ecclesiastical uniformity. The church began notating plainchant melodies so that the same chants could be used throughout the church. Music notation developed further in the Renaissance and Baroque music eras. In the classical period (1750–1820) and the Romantic music era (1820–1900), notation continued to develop as new musical instrument technologies were developed. In the contemporary classical music of the 20th and 21st century, music notation has continued to develop, with the introduction of graphical notation by some modern composers and the use, since the 1980s, of computer-based score writer programs for notating music. Music notation has been adapted to many kinds of music, including classical music, popular music, and traditional music.

Melody linear succession of musical tones in the foreground of a work of music

A melody, also tune, voice, or line, is a linear succession of musical tones that the listener perceives as a single entity. In its most literal sense, a melody is a combination of pitch and rhythm, while more figuratively, the term can include successions of other musical elements such as tonal color. It may be considered the foreground to the background accompaniment. A line or part need not be a foreground melody.

Rhythm aspect of music

Rhythm generally means a "movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions". This general meaning of regular recurrence or pattern in time can apply to a wide variety of cyclical natural phenomena having a periodicity or frequency of anything from microseconds to several seconds ; to several minutes or hours, or, at the most extreme, even over many years.

Medieval music Western music written during the Middle Ages

Medieval music consists of songs, instrumental pieces, and liturgical music from about 500 A.D. to 1400. Medieval music was an era of Western music, including liturgical music used for the church, and secular music, non-religious music. Medieval music includes solely vocal music, such as Gregorian chant and choral music, solely instrumental music, and music that uses both voices and instruments. Gregorian chant was sung by monks during Catholic Mass. The Mass is a reenactment of Christ's Last Supper, intended to provide a spiritual connection between man and God. Part of this connection was established through music. This era begins with the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century and ends sometime in the early fifteenth century. Establishing the end of the medieval era and the beginning of the Renaissance music era is difficult, since the trends started at different times in different regions. The date range in this article is the one usually adopted by musicologists.

History

Ancient Near East

A drawing of one side of the tablet on which the Hymn to Nikkal is inscribed Hurritische hymne.gif
A drawing of one side of the tablet on which the Hymn to Nikkal is inscribed

The earliest form of musical notation can be found in a cuneiform tablet that was created at Nippur, in Babylonia (today's Iraq), in about 1400 BC. The tablet represents fragmentary instructions for performing music, that the music was composed in harmonies of thirds, and that it was written using a diatonic scale. [2] A tablet from about 1250 BC shows a more developed form of notation. [3] Although the interpretation of the notation system is still controversial, it is clear that the notation indicates the names of strings on a lyre, the tuning of which is described in other tablets. [4] Although they are fragmentary, these tablets represent the earliest notated melodies found anywhere in the world. [5]

Nippur archaeological site in Iraq

Nippur was among the most ancient of Sumerian cities. It was the special seat of the worship of the Sumerian god Enlil, the "Lord Wind", ruler of the cosmos, subject to An alone. Nippur was located in modern Nuffar in Afak, Al-Qādisiyyah Governorate, Iraq.

Babylonia Ancient Akkadian region in Mesopotamia

Babylonia was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in central-southern Mesopotamia. A small Amorite-ruled state emerged in 1894 BC, which contained the minor administrative town of Babylon. It was merely a small provincial town during the Akkadian Empire but greatly expanded during the reign of Hammurabi in the first half of the 18th century BC and became a major capital city. During the reign of Hammurabi and afterwards, Babylonia was called "the country of Akkad", a deliberate archaism in reference to the previous glory of the Akkadian Empire.

Iraq Republic in Western Asia

Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, and largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Turkmen, Shabakis, Yazidis, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan, Yezidism and Mandeanism also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.

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 above the main, uninterrupted line of Greek lettering. Delphichymn.jpg
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 above the main, uninterrupted line of Greek lettering.

Ancient Greece

Ancient Greek musical notation was in use from at least the 6th century BC until approximately the 4th century AD; several complete compositions and fragments of compositions using this notation survive. The notation consists of symbols placed above text syllables. An example of a complete composition is the Seikilos epitaph, which has been variously dated between the 2nd century BC to the 1st century AD.

Music of ancient Greece

The music of ancient Greece was almost universally present in ancient Greek society, from marriages, funerals, and religious ceremonies to theatre, folk music, and the ballad-like reciting of epic poetry. It thus played an integral role in the lives of ancient Greeks. There are significant fragments of actual Greek musical notation as well as many literary references to ancient Greek music, such that some things can be known—or reasonably surmised—about what the music sounded like, the general role of music in society, the economics of music, the importance of a professional caste of musicians, etc. Even archaeological remains reveal an abundance of depictions on ceramics, for example, of music being performed.

Seikilos epitaph

The Seikilos epitaph is the oldest surviving complete musical composition, including musical notation, from anywhere in the world. The epitaph has been variously dated, but seems to be either from the 1st or the 2nd century AD. The song, the melody of which is recorded, alongside its lyrics, in the ancient Greek musical notation, was found engraved on a tombstone from the Hellenistic town Tralles near present-day Aydın, Turkey, not far from Ephesus. It is a Hellenistic Ionic song in either the Phrygian octave species or Iastian tonos. While older music with notation exists, all of it is in fragments; the Seikilos epitaph is unique in that it is a complete, though short, composition.

Three hymns by Mesomedes of Crete exist in manuscript. The Delphic Hymns, dated to the 2nd century BC, also use this notation, but they are not completely preserved. Ancient Greek notation appears to have fallen out of use around the time of the Decline of the Western Roman Empire.

Byzantine Empire

Byzantine music notation style in a Romanian anastasimatarion, a "Book of Hymns at the Lord's Resurrection", 1823 Stavropoleos-anastasimatar-macarie-viena-1823-p11.png
Byzantine music notation style in a Romanian anastasimatarion, a "Book of Hymns at the Lord's Resurrection", 1823

Byzantine music has mainly survived as music for court ceremonies, including vocal religious music. It is not known if it is based on the monodic modal singing and instrumental music of Ancient Greece. Greek theoretical categories played a key role to understand and transmit Byzantine music, especially the tradition of Damascus had a strong impact on the pre-Islamic Near East comparable to Persian music.

Unlike Western notation Byzantine neumes always indicate modal steps in relation to a clef or modal key (modal signatures which had been in use since papyrus fragments dating back to the 6th century). Originally this key or the incipit of a common melody was enough to indicate a certain melodic model given within the echos. Despite ekphonetic notation further early melodic notation developed not earlier than between the 9th and the 10th century. [6] Like the Greek alphabet notational signs are ordered left to right (though the direction could be adapted like in certain Syriac manuscripts). The question of rhythm was entirely based on cheironomia, well-known melodical phrases given by gestures of the choirleaders, which existed once as part of an oral tradition.

Today the main difference between Western and Eastern neumes is that Eastern notation symbols are differential rather than absolute, i.e. they indicate pitch steps (rising, falling or at the same step), and the musicians know to deduce correctly, from the score and the note they are singing presently, which correct interval is meant. These step symbols themselves, or better "phonic neumes", resemble brush strokes and are colloquially called gántzoi ("hooks") in Modern Greek.

Notes as pitch classes or modal keys (usually memorised by modal signatures) are represented in written form only between these neumes (in manuscripts usually written in red ink). In modern notation they simply serve as 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 so-called "great signs" were once related to cheironomic signs; according to modern interpretations they are understood as embellishments and microtonal attractions (pitch changes smaller than a semitone), both essential in Byzantine chant. [7]

Chrysanthos' Kanonion with a comparison between Ancient Greek tetraphonia (column 1), Western Solfeggio, the Papadic Parallage (ascending: column 3 and 4; descending: column 5 and 6) according to the trochos system, and his heptaphonic parallage according to the New Method (syllables in the fore-last and martyriai in the last column) (1832, p. 33) ChrysanthosTable.png
Chrysanthos' Kanonion with a comparison between Ancient Greek tetraphonia (column 1), Western Solfeggio, the Papadic Parallage (ascending: column 3 and 4; descending: column 5 and 6) according to the trochos system, and his heptaphonic parallage according to the New Method (syllables in the fore-last and martyriai in the last column) (1832, p. 33)

Since Chrysanthos of Madytos there are seven standard note names used for "solfège" (parallagē) pá, vú, ghá, dhē, ké, zō, nē, while the older practice still used the four enechemata or intonation formulas of the four echoi given by the modal signatures, the authentic or "kyrioi" in ascending direction, and the plagal or "plagioi" in descending direction (Papadic Octoechos). [8] With exception of vú and zō they do roughly correspond to Western solmization syllables as re, mi, fa, sol, la, si, do. Byzantine music uses the eight 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 Ēkhos used. Byzantine notation is still used in many Orthodox Churches. Sometimes cantors also use transcriptions into Western or Kievan staff notation while adding non-notatable embellishment material from memory and "sliding" into the natural scales from experience, but even concerning modern neume editions since the reform of Chrysanthos a lot of details are only known from an oral tradition related to traditional masters and their experience.

13th-century Near East

In 1252, Safi al-Din al-Urmawi developed a form of musical notation, where rhythms were represented by geometric representation. Many subsequent scholars of rhythm have sought to develop graphical geometrical notations. For example, a similar geometric system was published in 1987 by Kjell Gustafson, whose method represents a rhythm as a two-dimensional graph. [9]

Early Europe

Music notation from an early 14th-century English Missal Head of Christ1.jpg
Music notation from an early 14th-century English Missal

The scholar and music theorist Isidore of Seville, while writing in the early 7th century, considered that "unless sounds are held by the memory of man, they perish, because they cannot be written down." [10] By the middle of the 9th century, however, a form of neumatic notation began to develop in monasteries in Europe as a mnemonic device for Gregorian chant, using symbols known as neumes; the earliest surviving musical notation of this type is in the Musica disciplina of Aurelian of Réôme, from about 850. There are scattered survivals from the Iberian Peninsula before this time, of a type of notation known as Visigothic neumes, but its few surviving fragments have not yet been deciphered. [11] The problem with this notation was that it only showed melodic contours and consequently the music could not be read by someone who did not know the music already.

Early music notation EarlyMusicNotation.JPG
Early music notation

Notation had developed far enough to notate melody, but there was still 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, [12] although it is not clear how they were formed. These rhythmic modes were all in triple time and rather limited rhythm in chant to six different repeating patterns. This was a flaw seen by German music theorist Franco of Cologne and summarised as part of his treatise Ars cantus mensurabilis (the art of measured chant, or mensural notation). He suggested that individual notes could have their own rhythms represented by the shape of the note. Not until the 14th century did something like the present system of fixed note lengths arise.[ citation needed ] The use of regular measures (bars) became commonplace by the end of the 17th century.[ citation needed ]

The founder of what is now considered the standard music stave was Guido d'Arezzo, [13] an Italian Benedictine monk who lived from about 991 until after 1033. He taught the use 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 first stanza is:

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

Guido used the first 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 note. In the 17th century, Ut was changed in most countries except France to the easily singable, "open" syllable Do, said to have been taken from the name of the Italian theorist Giovanni Battista Doni, but rather Do have been taken from the word "Dominus" in Latin with the meaning "the Lord". [14]

Catholic monks developed the first forms of modern European musical notation in order to standardize liturgy throughout the worldwide Church, [15] and an enormous body of religious music has been composed for it through the ages. This led directly to the emergence and development of European classical music, and its many derivatives. The Baroque style, which encompassed music, art, and architecture, was particularly encouraged by the post-Reformation Catholic Church as such forms offered a means of religious expression that was stirring and emotional, intended to stimulate religious fervor. [16]

Modern staff notation

An example of modern musical notation: Prelude, Op. 28, No. 7, by Frederic Chopin
Play (help*info) Chopin Prelude 7.png
An example of modern musical notation: Prelude, Op. 28, No. 7, by Frédéric Chopin Loudspeaker.svg Play  

Modern music notation is used by musicians of many different genres throughout the world. The staff acts as a framework upon which pitches are indicated by placing oval noteheads on the staff lines or between the lines. The pitch of the oval musical noteheads can be modified by accidentals. The duration (note length) is shown with different note values, which can be indicated by the notehead being a stemless hollow oval (a whole note or semibreve), a hollow rectangle or stemless hollow oval with one or two vertical lines on either side (double whole note or breve), a stemmed hollow oval (a half note or minim), or solid oval using stems to indicate quarter notes (crotchets) and stems with added flags or beams to indicate smaller subdivisions, and additional symbols such as dots and ties which lengthen the duration of a note. Notation is read from left to right, which makes setting music for right-to-left scripts difficult.

A staff (or stave, in British English) of written music generally begins with a clef, which indicates the position of one particular note on the staff. The treble clef or G clef was originally a letter G and it identifies the second line up on the five line staff as the note G above middle C. The bass clef or F clef shows the position of the note F below middle C. While the treble and bass clef are the most widely used clefs, other clefs are used, such as the alto clef (used for viola and alto trombone music) and the tenor clef (used for some cello, tenor trombone, and double bass music). Notes representing a pitch outside of the scope of the five line staff can be represented using ledger lines, which provide a single note with additional lines and spaces. Some instruments use mainly one clef, such as violin and flute, which use treble clef and double bass and tuba, which use bass clef. Some instruments regularly use both clefs, such as piano and pipe organ.

Following the clef, the key signature on a staff indicates the key of the piece or song by specifying that certain notes are flat or sharp throughout the piece, unless otherwise indicated with accidentals added before certain notes. When a sharp is placed before a note, this makes that note one semitone higher. When a flat is placed before a note, this makes that note one semitone lower. Double sharps and double flats are less common, but they are used. A double sharp is placed before a note to make it two semitones higher. A double flat is placed before a note to make it two semitones lower. A natural sign placed before a note renders that note in its "natural" form, which means that any sharps or flats applying to that note from the key signature or from accidentals are cancelled. Sometimes a courtesy accidental is used in music where it is not technically required, to remind the musician of what pitch the key signature requires.

Following the key signature is the time signature. The time signature typically consists of two numbers, with one of the most common being 4
4
. The top "4" indicates that there are four beats per measure (also 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. 4
4
is used so often that it is also called "common time", and it may be indicated with Commontime.svg rather than numbers. Other common time signatures are 3
4
(three beats per bar, with each beat being a quarter note); 2
4
(two beats per bar, with each beat being a quarter note); 6
8
(six beats per bar, with each beat being an eighth note) and 12
8
(twelve beats per bar, with each beat being an eighth note; in practice, the eighth notes are typically put into four groups of three eighth notes. 12
8
is a compound time type of time signature). Many other time signatures exist, such as 3
8
, 5
8
, 5
4
, 7
4
, 9
8
, and so on.

Many short classical music pieces from the classical era and songs from traditional music and popular music are in one time signature for much or all of the piece. Music from the Romantic music era and later, particularly contemporary classical music and rock music genres such as progressive rock and the hardcore punk subgenre mathcore, may use mixed meter; songs or pieces change from one meter to another, for example alternating between bars of 5
4
and 7
8
.

Directions to the player regarding matters such as tempo (e.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 song or piece are indicated at the beginning of the piece and at any points where the mood changes (e.g., "Slow 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 melody. For short pauses (breaths), retakes (retakes are indicated with a ' mark) 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 she leads an orchestra, concert band, choir or other large ensemble. Individual performers in an ensemble play from "parts" which contain only 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 computer software in the 1980s, a score stored electronically can have parts automatically prepared by the program and quickly and inexpensively printed out using a computer printer.

A in music lowers a pitch down one semitone. A in music raises a note one semitone. For example, a sharp on B would raise it to B♯ while a flat would lower it to B♭.

Variations on staff notation

A lead sheet Lead-sheet-wikipedia.svg
A lead sheet
A chord chart.
Play (help*info) Chord chart.svg
A chord chart. Loudspeaker.svg Play  

In various countries

Korea

Jeongganbo musical notation system siyonghyangagbo (Shi Yong Xiang Le Pu ).jpg
Jeongganbo musical notation system

Jeongganbo is a unique traditional musical notation system created during the time of Sejong the Great that was the first East Asian system to represent rhythm, pitch, and time. [17] [18] Among various kinds of Korean traditional music, Jeong-gan-bo targets a particular genre, Jeong-ak (정악, 正樂).

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

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

India

Indian music, early 20th century. Bhat notation1.jpg
Indian music, early 20th century.

The Indian scholar and musical theorist Pingala (c. 200 BC), in his Chanda Sutra, used marks indicating long and short syllables to indicate meters in Sanskrit poetry.

In the notation of Indian rāga, a solfege-like system called sargam is used. As in Western solfege, there are names for the seven basic pitches of a major scale (Shadaj, Rishabh, Gandhar, Madhyam, Pancham, Dhaivat and Nishad, usually shortened Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni). The tonic of any scale is named Sa, and the dominant Pa. Sa is fixed in any scale, and Pa is fixed at a fifth above it (a Pythagorean fifth rather than an equal-tempered fifth). These two notes are known as achala swar ('fixed notes').

Each of the other five notes, Re, Ga, Ma, Dha and Ni, can take a 'regular' (shuddha) pitch, which is equivalent to its pitch in a standard major scale (thus, shuddha Re, the second degree of the scale, is a whole-step higher than Sa), or an altered pitch, either a half-step above or half-step below the shuddha pitch. Re, Ga, Dha and Ni all have altered partners that are a half-step lower (Komal-"flat") (thus, komal Re is a half-step higher than Sa).

Ma has an altered partner that is a half-step higher (teevra-"sharp") (thus, tivra Ma is an augmented fourth above Sa). Re, Ga, Ma, Dha and Ni are called vikrut swar ('movable notes'). In the written system of Indian notation devised by Ravi Shankar, the pitches are represented by Western letters. Capital letters are used for the achala swar, and for the higher variety of all the vikrut swar. Lowercase letters are used for the lower variety of the vikrut swar.

Other systems exist for non-twelve-tone equal temperament and non-Western music, such as the Indian Swaralipi .

Russia

An example of Znamenny notation with so-called "red marks", Russia, 1884. "Thy Cross we honour, oh Lord, and Thy holy Resurrection we praise." Example of hooks and banners notation.PNG
An example of Znamenny notation with so-called "red marks", Russia, 1884. "Thy Cross we honour, oh Lord, and Thy holy Resurrection we praise."
A hand-drawn lubok featuring 'hook and banner notation'. Kryuki.jpg
A 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 stolp notation. The symbols used in the stolp notation are called kryuki (Russian: крюки, 'hooks') or znamena (Russian: знамёна, 'signs'). Often the names of the signs are used to refer to the stolp notation. Znamenny melodies are part of a system, consisting of Eight Modes (intonation structures; called glasy); the melodies are characterized by fluency and well-balancedness.( Kholopov 2003 , 192) There exist several types of Znamenny Chant: the so-called Stolpovoy, Malyj (Little) and Bolshoy (Great) Znamenny Chant. Ruthenian Chant (Prostopinije) is sometimes considered a sub-division of the Znamenny Chant tradition, with the Muscovite Chant (Znamenny Chant proper) being the second branch of the same musical continuum.

Znamenny Chants are not written with notes (the so-called linear notation), but with special signs, called Znamëna (Russian for "marks", "banners") or Kryuki ("hooks"), as some shapes of these signs resemble hooks. Each sign may include the following components: a large black hook or a black stroke, several smaller black 'points' and 'commas' and lines near the hook or crossing the hook. Some signs may mean only one note, some 2 to 4 notes, and some a whole melody of more than 10 notes with a complicated rhythmic structure. The stolp notation was developed in Kievan Rus' as an East Slavic refinement of the Byzantine neumatic musical notation.

The most notable feature of this notation system is that it records transitions of the melody, rather than notes. The signs also represent a mood and a gradation of how this part of melody is to be sung (tempo, strength, devotion, meekness, etc.) Every sign has its own name and also features as a spiritual symbol. For example, there is a specific sign, called "little dove" (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 almost no one, except the most trained and educated singers, could sing an unknown melody at sight. The signs only helped to reproduce the melody, not coding it in an unambiguous way. (See Byzantine Empire)

China

Chinese Guqin notation, 1425 Qinnotation.png
Chinese Guqin notation, 1425

The earliest known examples of text referring to music in China are inscriptions on musical instruments found 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 still sound the pitches that their inscriptions refer to. Although no notated musical compositions were found, the inscriptions indicate that the system was sufficiently advanced to allow for musical notation. Two systems of pitch nomenclature existed, one for relative pitch and one for absolute pitch. For relative pitch, a solmization system was used. [19]

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

Japan

Tempyo Biwa Fu Tian Ping Pi Pa Pu  (circa 738 AD), musical notation for Biwa. (Shosoin, at Nara, Japan) Tempyo Biwa Fu.jpg
Tempyō Biwa Fu 天平琵琶譜 (circa 738 AD), musical notation for Biwa. (Shōsōin, at Nara, Japan)

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

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

Indonesia

Notation plays a relatively minor role in the oral traditions of Indonesia. However, in Java and Bali, several systems were devised beginning at the end of the 19th century, initially for archival purposes. Today the most 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, as in Sundanese gamelan, or lowest, as in the kepatihan notation of Javanese gamelan.

Notes in the ranges outside the central octave are represented with one or more dots above or below the each number. For the most part, these cipher notations are mainly used to notate the skeletal melody (the balungan) and vocal parts (gerongan), although transcriptions of the elaborating instrument variations are sometimes used for analysis 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 notation (as well as the vocables represented) are highly variable from place to place and performer to performer. In addition to these current systems, two 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 notation in the old Balinese script.

Composers and scholars both Indonesian and foreign have 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. However, these systems do not enjoy widespread use.

In the second half of the twentieth century, Indonesian musicians and scholars extended cipher notation to other oral traditions, and a diatonic scale cipher notation has become common for notating western-related genres (church hymns, popular songs, and so forth). Unlike the cipher notation for gamelan music, which uses a "fixed Do" (that is, 1 always corresponds to the same pitch, within the natural variability of gamelan tuning), Indonesian diatonic cipher notation is "moveable-Do" notation, so scores must indicate which pitch corresponds to the number 1 (for example, "1=C").

Other systems and practices

Pitch bracket notation

In pitch bracket notation music is written with melody lines and pitch brackets. Melody lines are like staff lines except they can change pitch by writing pitch brackets on them. Pitch brackets add or subtract scale steps to the melody line. The shape of the bracket (i.e. angle bracket), determines the number of scale steps to add. The direction of the bracket, opening or closing, determines whether to add or subtract scale steps. As a result of the mathematical nature of pitch bracket notation, arithmetic and algebra can be directly applied to the notation. Musical variations can be mathematically generated from their themes.

Cipher notation

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 most widely in use today is the Chinese Jianpu, discussed in the main article. Numerals can of course also be assigned to different scale systems, as in the Javanese kepatihan notation described above.

Solfège

Solfège is a way 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 by Guido of Arezzo (c. 991 after 1033), using the beginning syllables of the first six musical lines of the Latin hymn Ut queant laxis. The original sequence was Ut Re Mi Fa Sol La, where each verse started a scale note higher. "Ut" later became "Do". The equivalent syllables used in Indian music are: Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni. See also: solfège, sargam, Kodály hand signs.

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

Letter notation

The notes of the 12-tone scale can be written by their letter names A–G, possibly with a trailing sharp or flat symbol, such as A or B.

Tablature

Tablature was first used in the Middle Ages for organ music and later in the Renaissance for lute music. [21] In most lute tablatures, a staff is used, but instead of pitch values, the lines of the staff represent the strings of the instrument. The frets to finger are written on each line, indicated by letters or numbers. Rhythm is written separately with one or another variation of standard note values indicating the duration of the fastest moving part. 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 actual 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 periods, lute and guitar music was written with standard notation. Tablature caught interest again in the late 20th century for popular guitar music and other fretted instruments, being easy to transcribe and share over the internet in ASCII format. Websites like OLGA [22] have archives of text-based popular music tablature.

Klavar notation

Klavarskribo (sometimes shortened to klavar) is a music notation system that was introduced in 1931 by the Dutchman Cornelis Pot. The name means "keyboard writing" in Esperanto. It differs from conventional music notation in a number of ways and is intended to be easily readable. Many klavar readers are from the Netherlands.

Piano-roll-based notations

Some chromatic systems have been created taking advantage of the layout of black and white keys of the standard piano keyboard. The "staff" is most widely referred to as "piano roll", created by extending the black and white piano keys.

Chromatic staff notations

Over the past three centuries, hundreds of music notation systems have been proposed as alternatives to traditional western music notation. Many of these systems seek to improve upon traditional notation by using a "chromatic staff" in which each of the 12 pitch classes has its own unique place on the staff. Examples are the Ailler-Brennink notation, Jacques-Daniel Rochat's Dodeka music notation [23] [24] , Tom Reed's Twinline notation, Russell Ambrose's Ambrose Piano Tabs, [25] Paul Morris' Clairnote, [26] John Keller's Express Stave, and José A. Sotorrio's Bilinear Music Notation. These notation systems do not require the use of standard key signatures, accidentals, or clef signs. They also represent interval relationships more consistently and accurately than traditional notation. The Music Notation Project (formerly known as the Music Notation Modernization Association) has a website with information on many of these notation systems. [27]

Graphic notation

The term 'graphic notation' refers to the contemporary use of non-traditional symbols and text to convey information about the performance of a piece of music. Practitioners include Christian Wolff, Earle Brown, Anthony Braxton, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Krzysztof Penderecki, Cornelius Cardew, and Roger Reynolds. See Notations, edited by John Cage and Alison Knowles, ISBN   0-685-14864-5.

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 notation, but incorporates sharps and flats into the shape of the note heads. Notes such as double sharps and double flats are written at the pitch they are actually played at, but preceded by symbols called history signs that show they have been transposed.

Modified Stave Notation

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

Parsons code

Parsons code is used to encode music so that it can be easily searched.

Braille music

Braille music is a complete, well developed, and internationally accepted musical notation system that has symbols and notational conventions quite independent of print music notation. It is linear in nature, similar to a printed language and different from the two-dimensional nature of standard printed music notation. To a degree Braille music resembles musical markup languages [28] such as MusicXML [29] 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 "flow diagram", where rappers line up their lyrics underneath "beat numbers". [30] Hip-hop scholars also make use of the same flow diagrams that rappers use: the books How to Rap and How to Rap 2 extensively use the diagrams to explain rap's triplets, flams, rests, rhyme schemes, runs of rhyme, and breaking rhyme patterns, among other techniques. [31] Similar systems are used by musicologists Adam Krims in his book Rap Music and the Poetics of Identity [32] and Kyle Adams in his work on rap's flow. [33] As rap revolves around a strong 4/4 beat, [34] with certain syllables aligned to the beat, all the notational systems have a similar structure: they all have four beat numbers at the top of the diagram, so that syllables can be written in-line with the beat. [34]

Music notation on computer

Many computer programs have been developed for creating music notation (called scorewriters or music notation software). Music may also be stored in various digital file formats for purposes other than graphic notation output.

Perspectives of musical notation in composition and musical performance

According to Philip Tagg and Richard Middleton, musicology and to a degree European-influenced musical practice suffer from a 'notational centricity', a methodology slanted by the characteristics of notation. [35] A variety of 20th- and 21st-century composers have dealt with this problem, either by adapting standard Western musical notation or by using graphic notation.[ clarification needed ] These include George Crumb, Luciano Berio, Krzystof Penderecki, Earl Brown, John Cage, Witold Lutoslawski, and others. [36] [37]

See also

Notes

  1. Giorgio Buccellati, "Hurrian Music", associate editor and webmaster Federico A. Buccellati Urkesh website (n.p.: IIMAS, 2003).
  2. Kilmer & Civil 1986,[ page needed ].
  3. Kilmer 1965,[ page needed ].
  4. West 1994, 161–63.
  5. West 1994, 161.
  6. Today we can only the study the evolution of notation within Greek monastic chant books like those of the sticherarion and the heirmologion, while there is no authentic asmatikon and kontakarion of the Constantinopolitan cathedral rite. The earliest books which have survived, are in Slavonic translation which already show an own notation system (see Russia) used in Novgorod and Macedonia during the 12th century.
  7. See Maria Alexandru (2000) for a historical discussion of the great signs and their modern interpretations.
  8. Chrysanthos (1832) made a difference between his monosyllabic and the traditional polysyllabic parallage.
  9. Toussaint 2004 , 3
  10. Isidore of Seville 2006, 95.
  11. Zapke 2007, [ page needed ]
  12. Christensen 2002, 628.
  13. Otten 1910.
  14. McNaught 1893, 43.
  15. Hall, Neitz, and Battani 2003, p. 100.
  16. Murray 1994 , p. 45
  17. Gnanadesikan 2011, [ page needed ].
  18. "Gukak". The DONG-A ILBO. dongA.com. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  19. Bagley 2004 Archived 9 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine .
  20. 1 2 3 4 Lindsay 1992, 43–45.
  21. Apel 1961, xxiii and 22.
  22. olga.net Archived 24 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  23. Dodeka Alternative Music Notation
  24. Daniel., Rochat, Jacques (2018). Dodeka : la révolution musicale. Chexbres: Crea 7. ISBN   9782970127505. OCLC   1078658738.
  25. ambrosepianotabs.com
  26. clairnote.org
  27. musicnotation.org
  28. musicmarkup.info
  29. emusician.com Archived 1 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  30. Edwards 2009, 67.
  31. Edwards 2013, 53.
  32. Krims 2001, 59–60.
  33. Adams 2009.
  34. 1 2 Edwards 2009, 69.
  35. Tagg 1979, 28–32; Middleton 1990, 104–6.
  36. Pierce 1973, [ page needed ].
  37. Cogan 1976, [ page needed ].

Related Research Articles

Key signature

In musical notation, a key signature is a set of sharp, flat, and rarely, natural symbols placed together on the staff. Key signatures are generally written immediately after the clef at the beginning of a line of musical notation, although they can appear in other parts of a score, notably after a double barline.

In music, an accidental is a note of a pitch that is not a member of the scale or mode indicated by the most recently applied key signature. In musical notation, the sharp, flat, and natural symbols, among others, mark such notes—and those symbols are also called accidentals.

Clef musical symbol used to indicate the pitch of written notes

A clef is a musical symbol used to indicate the pitch of written notes. Placed on a stave, it indicates the name and pitch of the notes on one of the lines. This line serves as a reference point by which the names of the notes on any other line or space of the stave may be determined.

In Western musical notation, the staff (US) or stave (UK) is a set of five horizontal lines and four spaces that each represent a different musical pitch or in the case of a percussion staff, different percussion instruments. Appropriate music symbols, depending on the intended effect, are placed on the staff according to their corresponding pitch or function. Musical notes are placed by pitch, percussion notes are placed by instrument, and rests and other symbols are placed by convention.

Semiology is a branch of Gregorian Chant research. Semiology refers specifically to the study of the neumes as found in the earliest fully notated manuscripts of Gregorian Chant, the oldest of which have been dated to the 9th century. The first application of the term 'semiology' for the study of Latin chant was made by Dom Eugène Cardine (1905–1988), a monk of the Abbey of Solesmes. In this context, 'semiology' is understood as 'the study of musical signs'. Text and neumatic notation, together with significative letters adjoined to the neumes, presents an effective and integrated mnemonic for the rhythmical interpretation and the melody. While Gregorian palaeography offers a description of the various neumes and their rhythmical and melodic values, Gregorian semiology explains their meaning for practical interpretation.

Time Unit Box System (TUBS) is a simple system for notating events that happen over a period. This system is mostly used for notating rhythms in music. The notation consists of one or more rows of boxes; each box represents a fixed unit of time. Blank boxes indicate that nothing happens during that interval, while a mark in a box indicates that an event occurs at the start of that time interval.

Gregorian chant Form of song

Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic, unaccompanied sacred song of the Roman Catholic Church. Gregorian chant developed mainly in western and central Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries, with later additions and redactions. Although popular legend credits Pope Gregory I with inventing Gregorian chant, scholars believe that it arose from a later Carolingian synthesis of Roman chant and Gallican chant.

The numbered musical notation, is a musical notation system widely used in music publications in China. It dates back to the system designed by Pierre Galin, known as Galin-Paris-Chevé system. It is comparable to the Gongche notation from the Tang Dynasty.

Neume system of medieval musical notation

A neume is the basic element of Western and Eastern systems of musical notation prior to the invention of five-line staff notation. The word entered the English language in the Middle English forms "newme", "nevme", "neme" in the 15th century, from the Middle French "neume", in turn from either medieval Latin "pneuma" or "neuma", the former either from ancient Greek πνεῦμα pneuma ("breath") or νεῦμα neuma ("sign"), or else directly from Greek as a corruption or an adaptation of the former.

Mensural notation musical notation system used for European vocal polyphonic music

Mensural notation is the musical notation system used for European vocal polyphonic music from the later part of the 13th century until about 1600. The term "mensural" refers to the ability of this system to describe precisely measured rhythmic durations in terms of numerical proportions between note values. Its modern name is inspired by the terminology of medieval theorists, who used terms like musica mensurata or cantus mensurabilis to refer to the rhythmically defined polyphonic music of their age, as opposed to musica plana or musica choralis, i.e., Gregorian plainchant. Mensural notation was employed principally for compositions in the tradition of vocal polyphony, whereas plainchant retained its own, older system of neume notation throughout the period. Besides these, some purely instrumental music could be written in various forms of instrument-specific tablature notation.

Znamenny chant musical form

Znamenny Chant is a singing tradition used by some in the Russian Orthodox Church. Znamenny Chant is unison, melismatic liturgical singing that has its own specific notation, called the stolp notation. The symbols used in the stolp notation are called kryuki or znamena. Often the names of the signs are used to refer to the stolp notation. Znamenny melodies are part of a system, consisting of Eight Tones ; the melodies are characterized by fluency and well-balancedness.(Kholopov 2003, 192) There exist several types of Znamenny Chant: the so-called Stolpovoy, Malyj (Little) and Bolshoy (Great) Znamenny Chant. Ruthenian Chant (Prostopinije) is sometimes considered a sub-division of the Znamenny Chant tradition, with the Muscovite Chant being the second branch of the same musical continuum.

Notation plays a relatively minor role in the oral traditions of Indonesian gamelan but, in Java and Bali, several systems of gamelan notation were devised beginning at the end of the 19th century, initially for archival purposes.

Tonic sol-fa

Tonic sol-fa is a pedagogical technique for teaching sight-singing, invented by Sarah Ann Glover (1785–1867) of Norwich, England and popularised by John Curwen who adapted it from a number of earlier musical systems. It uses a system of musical notation based on movable do solfège, whereby every tone is given a name according to its relationship with other tones in the key: the usual staff notation is replaced with anglicized solfège syllables or their abbreviations. "Do" is chosen to be the tonic of whatever key is being used. The original solfège sequence started with "Ut" which later became "Do".

Percussion notation is a type of musical notation indicating notes to be played by percussion instruments. As with other forms of musical notation, sounds are represented by symbols which are usually written onto a musical staff.

Ison is a drone note, or a slow-moving lower vocal part, used in Byzantine chant and some related musical traditions to accompany the melody, thus enriching the singing, at the same time not transforming it into a harmonized or polyphonic piece.

Russian liturgical music

Russian Liturgical Music is the musical tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church. This tradition began with the importation of the Byzantine Empire's religious music when the Kievan Rus' converted to Orthodoxy in 988.

Chinese musical notation

Systems of musical notation have been in use in China for over two thousand years. Different systems have been used to record music for bells and for the Guqin stringed instrument. More recently a system of numbered notes (Jiannpu) has been used, with resemblances to Western notations.

References

Further reading