Chapter 1 Music Notation Music notation is much more precise and complicated then written language. When we notate music, we use symbols that show three of the four properties of sound described in the introduction chapter: pitch and duration are given accurately, and relative intensity is indicated. Furthermore, pitch and duration are shown simultaneously. We have determined in the previous chapter that pitch describes the highness or lowness of a tone. In music notation, we show the desired pitch by positioning symbols on a staff and they are identified with letter names. The Staff consists of five equally spaced horizontal lines For the letter names that we give the different pitches, we use the letters…….. A B C D E F G Please take a look at the piano in figure 1.2 A Clef is placed at the beginning of each line of music, and this tells us what letter names go on each line and space of that particular staff. The treble clef is a fancy letter G. The curved line terminates at the second line of the staff, thus designating the letter name of the note on that line as G. Please look at Figure 1.3 to see the staff with the Treble, or G clef The bass clef is called the F clef because it was derived from the letter F The dots are placed above and below the fourth line of the staff, designating that line as F. Please look down at Figure 1.4 to see the staff with the Bass or F Clef When we put the treble and bass clefs together we make was is called the Grand staff. Figure 1.5 shows the point at which both clefs converge. The two C’s are the same pitch: Middle C The grand staff is associated most often with keyboard music. Look at Figure 1.6 to see the relationship between the grand staff, the standard 88 key piano keyboard, and middle c Pitches that go beyond the limits of the staff are written by adding ledger lines above or below the staff. Ledger lines, which parallel the staff, accommodate only one note. Look down at Figure 1.7 The odd ball of the group and the one that is not commonly used in many instruments is called the C Clef A C Clef may be positioned on any line of the staff. The line that the middle of the clef rests on is designated as middle C. The name we give the clef depends on what line it is on. Look down at figure 1.8 Let’s practice some on the board. Since the pitch spectrum is so wide, it is often necessary to identify a specific note by the octave in which it appears. Simply Put……..How do we know what “C” we are talking about? How do we know what “G” we are talking about and so on…… Look down at Figure 1.9 to see the number system…… Accidentals are symbols that are placed to the left of the noteheads to indicate the raising or lowering of a pitch. Sharp – raises the pitch a half step Flat – lowers the pitch a half step Natural – cancels any previous sharp or flat and returns to the natural, or unaltered, pitch. Double Sharp – raises the pitch two half steps. Double Flat – lowers the pitch two half steps. Check out Figure 1.11 An interval is the relationship or the distance between two tones. In Western music, the half step is the smallest interval used. It is the interval between any two adjacent keys – black or white – on the keyboard. To notate duration we use the following notes: A tie is a curved line that connects two adjacent notes of the same pitch into a single sound with a duration equal to the sum of both note values. Placing a dot next to a note lengthens the value of the note by half of it’s value. We talked about meter as being the regular, recurring pattern of strong and weak beats. This recurring pattern of durations is identified at the beginning of a composition by a meter signature or time signature. There are two parts of a time signature……….the top number and the bottom number. The top number tells us how many beats are in each measure. The bottom number tells us what type of beat equals one full beat. If the number on the bottom is: 2 4 8 16 This note that is 1 full beat: A simple meter means that each beat or pulse is divided into two equal parts. And then there is a compound meter which means that each beat or pulse is divided into three equal parts. The top numbers that usually indicate a simple meter are…… 2 3 4 The numbers on the top that indicate a compound meter are……. 6 9 12 The other part of identifying a meter is whether or not it’s a duple meter, a triple meter or a quadruple meter. This just labels how many “pulses” there in each measure. The two numbers for a duple meter 2 6 The two numbers for a triple meter 3 9 The two numbers for a quadruple meter 4 12 Measures that cannot be grouped into equal groups of 2, 3, or 4 beats are known as asymmetrical meters Top numbers of asymmetrical meters are usually…… 5 7 If a part of the measure that is usually unstressed is accented, the rhythm is considered to be syncopated. We talked about dynamic markings that indicate a certain single volume to be performed. There are certain dynamic markings indicating a change to be made over a certain time frame. Look down at the second half of the chart at the top of page 15, and it will show you a couple of examples. As mentioned in previous classes, there are certain directions or rules that you need to follow when writing out music notation, which you will have to do in later chapters. The first rule is that the stem must be drawn exactly one octave. When a staff contains only one melody, there is a very general rule as to which direction the note stems go. If the note head is on the middle line or higher the note stem will be pointing downward. If the note head is below the middle line the stem will point up ward. If note heads are placed on ledger lines, the stem must be drawn back to the middle line. If the staff consists of more than one melody, the stems for one of the melodies will point up, and the stems for the other melody will point downward. If there are notes that get connected by beams…….the stems must be modified so that the beam for each group of notes doesn’t cross more than one line on the staff. It is also very important to beam those notes in groups that coincide with the beats of the measure To divide a group of notes into an abnormal grouping, you use a number over the grouping indicating the number of notes in that group. When two notes in a chord are adjacent notes, the higher of the two gets placed on the right side of the stem.