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Standard Music Notation

A complete lesson on what is Standard Music Notation.

PUBLISHED: Dec 9, 2011 UPDATED: Oct 11, 2019 • VIEWS: 65 • LESSON CODE: UL17

Instruments: 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 terms. Common and not so common music terms. Knowing the language and terms used with music aides in your own understanding when exploring your music potential.

Key Signatures and the Circle of Fifths and Fourths • Updated: Sep 3, 2020

There is a load of information in traditional Key Signatures. Unlocking the principles in this circle leads to a better understanding of music and how things work.

A key signature is a series of sharp or flat symbols placed on the staff, designating the notes that are to be consistently played higher or lower than the equivalent natural notes. Key signatures are generally written immediately after the clef at the beginning of a line of musical notation. Each major and minor key has an associated key signature that sharpens or flattens the notes which are used in its scale.

Understanding Diatonic Intervals • Updated: Dec 9, 2011

An interval is the distance between two notes. An interval has a name and a type. Intervals can be played one note (melodic) or two notes (harmonic) at a time, ascending or descending.

Simple and Compound Intervals are taken from a major scale.

Chromatic Intervals are NOT taken from a major scale. They are derived from the diatonic intervals.

Understanding Chromatic Intervals • Updated: Dec 14, 2018

An interval is the distance between two notes. An interval has a name and a type. Chromatic Intervals are NOT taken from a major scale. They are derived from the diatonic intervals.

Understanding Interval Inversion • Updated: Jul 2, 2015

Inverting intervals using the Rule of Nine. An interval is the distance between two notes. An interval has a name and a type. Intervals can be played one note (melodic) or two notes (harmonic) at a time, ascending or descending.

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

This is a series of lessons for reading music for ukulele at a pro level.

Reading Music 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've never heard.

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: Jan 1, 2003

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: Jan 1, 2003

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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