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Standard Music Notation

A complete lesson on what is Standard Music Notation.

PUBLISHED: Dec 9, 2011 • UPDATED: Oct 11, 2019 • LESSON CODE: UL17 • VISITS: 49

ukulele ANY music Subjects: beginnerreadingintermediateadvanced

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Standard Music Notation

Musical Notation - Music notation or musical notation refers to various systems of writing music. Diverse systems of musical notation have developed in various cultures. In fact, many cultures simply do not notate their music in any form.

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While this article attempts to present a world-view of musical notation, the dominance of western musical notation throughout most of the world inevitably results in emphasis upon this system. It should be noted that the evolution of any written musical language is akin to the evolution of the written language of speech. First comes spontaneous, unwritten expression; later comes a system of written language. Each has its merits, particularly in the realm of music. Music which is not notated can convey the natural and spontaneous aspects of the human spirit, free of preconceived parameters of rhythm and pitch. Ironically, in western music, many of today's most successful song-writers can neither read nor write music. Their compositions result from improvisation. In juxtaposition, the leading classical performers are primarily committed to written scores, since music which is notated can preserve the inspiration of some of the most profound of musical thoughts.

Rather than do a complete series of lessons on standard music notation. Why reinvent the wheel. There are lot of great resources on-line and books that already exist. Here is my take on several of the offerings.

Bad Rhythmic Notation Examples

Along with learning correct notation and music principles. You also need to spot bad notation and incorrect names for standard music terms.

For the most common 4/4 time signature that is an invisible mid-bar line that no note will sustain over it unless tied. This make it really easy to read. Sort of like the spaces between works or the recognizable rhythmic syllables of music. The below, "Confusing and Hard to Read" notation is taken right from examples on the Internet and un-fortunately quite common.

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Related Lessons

Related Lessons for Standard Music Notation at this time.


Glossary of Music Terms • Updated: Jan 18, 2019

A glossary of common music and not so common music terms. Learn the "Lingo".

Key Signatures and the Circle of Fifths and Fourths • Updated: Nov 18, 2019

The magical, mysterious, and mystical Cycle of Fifths.

Understanding Diatonic Intervals • Updated: Dec 9, 2011

Understanding Chromatic Intervals • Updated: Dec 14, 2018

Drived from diatonic intervals these are he in-between notes.

Understanding Interval Inversion • Updated: Jul 2, 2015

Inverting intervals using the Rule of Nine.

Reading for `Ukulele Series - C Tuning • Updated: Dec 26, 2014

Reading music at the Pro level.

Related Books

Related Books for Standard Music Notation at this time.


Ukulele- Reading Music Series - Primer
Updated: Jan 3, 2020

Learn to read single note melodies in the first/open position.

Related Songs

Related Songs for Standard Music Notation at this time.


Any Song Will Do
Updated: Dec 7, 2015

When any song here can be used for the concepts in the lessons.

Related Lesson Series

Related Lessons Series for Standard Music Notation at this time.


Reading for Ukulele - The Next Steps
Updated: Apr 3, 2020

Reading can be thought of on many different levels. 1) the ability to slowly and painfully work out the written music. 2) the ability to hear the music by looking at the notation. 3) the ability to notate< your ideas in standard music notation. 4) the ability to read music as you read a book or an article. 5) the ability to communicate with other musicians in the written language of music. 6) the ability to learn songs that you have never heard.

Reading Music on Ukulele - Primer
Updated: Apr 3, 2020

There are a few things in music that students and players avoid. These are things like learning to read and knowing the notes of their own instrument. It is hard on guitar - but not so hard on ukulele. With the right guidance and plan of attack. IT IS EASY.

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