In musical notation, stems are the, "thin, vertical lines that are directly connected to the head." Stems may point down. Different-pointing stems indicate the voice for polyphonic music written on the same staff. Within one voice, the stems point down for notes on the middle line or higher, up for those below. If the stem points up from a notehead, the stem originates from the right-hand side of the note, but if it points down, it originates from the left. There is an exception to this rule: if a chord contains a second, the stem runs between the two notes with the higher being placed on the right of the stem and the lower on the left. If the chord contains an odd numbered cluster of notes a second apart, the outer two will be on the correct side of the stem, while the middle note will be on the wrong side; the length of a stem should be that of an octave on the staff, going to either an octave higher or lower than the notehead, depending on which way the stem is pointing. If a note head is on a ledger line more than an octave away from the middle line of a staff, the stem will be elongated to touch the middle line.
In any polyphonic music in which two parts are written on the same staff, stems are shortened to keep the music visually centered upon the staff. Stems may be altered in various ways to alter the rhythm or other method of performance. For example, a note with diagonal slashes through its stem is played tremolo. Beam Notehead
In music, a notehead is the elliptical part of a note. Noteheads may be the same shape but colored black or white, indicating the note value. In a whole note, the notehead, shaped differently than shorter notes, is the only component of the note. Shorter note values attach a stem to the notehead, beams or flags; the longer double whole note can be written with vertical lines surrounding it, two attached noteheads, or a rectangular notehead. An "x" shaped notehead may be used to indicate percussive effects, or speaking. A square, diamond, or box shaped notehead may be used to indicate a artificial harmonic. Noteheads derive from the neumes used to notate Gregorian chant; the punctum, seen at right, is the simplest of the shapes and most anticipates the modern notehead. When placed on a clef, the position of a notehead indicates the relative pitch of a note; the development of different colors of noteheads, the use of it to indicate rhythmic values, was the use of white mensural notation, adopted around 1450.
Franco of Cologne, ancient composer and music theorist, codified a system of rhythm notation. He explained this system in his work, Ars Cantus Mensurabilis, circa 1280. In this system, the relative duration of notes was indicated by the note shapes; the noteheads were squares, or diamonds depending on the note length. This system was expanded during the Ars Nova period. Shortly before the Renaissance, scribes began to write the notes of the Franconian and Ars Nova style with open noteheads. During the Renaissance, composers added shorter note durations. Near the end of the 16th century, the square or diamond-shaped notes changed to the round noteheads that are used today. Note value
A quarter note or crotchet is a note played for one quarter of the duration of a whole note. Musicians will say that a crotchet is one beat, but this is not always correct, as the beat is indicated by the time signature of the music. Quarter notes are notated with a straight, flagless stem; the stem points upwards if it is below the middle line of the stave or downwards if it is on or above the middle line. However, the stem direction may differentiate more than one part; the head of the note reverses its orientation in relation to the stem. In Unicode, the symbol is U+2669. A related value is the quarter rest, it denotes a silence of the same duration as a quarter note. It appears as the symbol, or as the older symbol; the note derives from the semiminima of mensural notation. The word "crotchet" comes from Old French crochet, meaning'little hook', diminutive of croc,'hook', because of the hook used on the note in black notation. However, because the hook appeared on the eighth note in the white notation, the modern French term croche refers to an eighth note.
The quarter note is played for twice that of an eighth note. It is one beat in a bar of 44; the term "quarter note" is a calque of the German term Viertelnote. The names of this note in many other languages are calqued from the same source; the Bulgarian, Croatian, Japanese, Polish, Russian and Slovak names mean "quarter" and "quarter's pause". List of musical symbols
In musical notation, a beam is a horizontal or diagonal line used to connect multiple consecutive notes to indicate rhythmic grouping. Only eighth notes or shorter can be beamed; the number of beams is equal to the number of flags. Beaming refers to the conventions and use of beams. A primary beam connects a note group unbroken, while a secondary beam is interrupted or broken; the span of beams indicates the rhythmic grouping determined by the time signature. Therefore, beams do not cross bar lines or major subdivisions of bars. If notes extend across these divisions, this is indicated with a tie, it is a line that joins notes together. A single eighth note, or any faster note, is always stemmed with flags, while two or more are beamed in groups. In modern practice, beams may span across rests. In vocal music, beams were traditionally used only to connect notes sung to the same syllable. In modern practice it is more common to use standard beaming rules, while indicating multi-note syllables with slurs.
Notes joined by a beam have all the stems pointing in the same direction. The average pitch of the notes is used to determine the direction – if the average pitch is below the middle staff-line, the stems and beams go above the notehead, otherwise they go below; the direction of beams follows the general direction of the notes it groups, slanting down if the notes go down, slanting up if the notes go up, level if the first and last notes are the same. Feathered beaming shows a gradual change in the speed of notes, it is shown with other diagonal secondary beams. These secondary beams suggest a gradual acceleration or deceleration from the first note value within the feathered beam to the last; the longest value possible to show being the eighth note. When the number of notes played is not of interest, but rather the effect of acceleration or deceleration, an approximate number of headless stems are used. To ensure clarity, sometimes the number of notes within the beam, or the duration of the total beamed notes, is shown above the music, as is done with tuplets.
Beams are used as a notational abbreviation to indicate tremolos and reiterations. If used for those purposes, a note, or pair of notes, of any value can be beamed
Double whole note
In music, a double whole note, breve, or double note is a note lasting two times as long as a whole note. It is the second-longest note value still in use in modern music notation. In medieval mensural notation, the brevis was one of the shortest note lengths in use —hence its name, the Latin etymon of "brief". In "perfect" rhythmic mode, the brevis was a third of a longa, or in "imperfect" half a longa. In modern notation, a breve is represented in either of two ways: by a hollow oval note head, like a whole note, with one or two vertical lines on either side, as on the left of the image, or as the rectangular shape found in older notation, shown in the middle of the image; because it lasts longer than a bar in most modern time signatures in common use, the breve is encountered except in English music, where the half-note is used as the beat unit. A related symbol is the double whole rest, which denotes a silence for the same duration. Double whole rests are drawn as filled-in rectangles occupying the whole vertical space between the second and third lines from the top of the musical staff.
They are used in long silent passages which are not divided into separate bars to indicate a rest of two bars. This and longer rests are collectively known as multiple rests. Alla breve, the time signature 22, takes its name from the note value breve. In the mensural notation of the Renaissance, it was an alternative term for proportio dupla, which meant that the brevis was to be considered the unit of time, instead of the usual semibrevis; the old symbol, used as an alternative to the numerical proportion 2:1 in mensural notation, is carried over into modern notational practice to indicate a smaller relative value per note shape. It is used for music in a quick tempo, where it indicates two minim beats in a bar of four crotchets, while is the equivalent of 44, with four crotchet beats. List of musical symbols Baker, Theodore. 1895. “Note”, A Dictionary of Musical Terms: Containing Upwards of 9,000 English, German, Italian and Greek Words and Phrases, third edition and enlarged. New York: G. Schirmer.
Burrowes, John Freckleton. 1874. Burrowes' Piano-forte Primer: Containing the Rudiments of Music Adapted for Either Private Tuition Or Teaching in Classes Together with a Guide to Practice, new edition and modernized, with important additions, by L. H. Southard. Boston and New York: Oliver Ditson. Gehrkens, Karl Wilson. 1914. Music Notation and Terminology. New York: The A. S. Barnes Co.. Gerou and Linda Lusk. 1996. Essential Dictionary of Music Notation. Essential Dictionary Series. Los Angeles: Alfred Music Publishing. ISBN 0-88284-730-9. Hoppin, Richard H. 1978. Medieval Music. W W Norton & Company ISBN 0-393-09090-6. Jacob, Archibald. 1960. Musical Handwriting: Or, How to Put Music on Paper, A Handbook for All Musicians and Amateur, second edition, revised. London: Oxford University Press. Read, Gardner. 1969. Music Notation: A Manual of Modern Practice, second edition. Boston: Alleyn and Bacon, Inc. Wright, Peter. 2001. "Alla breve". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell.
London: Macmillan Publishers
In Western musical notation, the staff or stave 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, rests and other symbols are placed by convention; the absolute pitch of each line of a non-percussive staff is indicated by the placement of a clef symbol at the appropriate vertical position on the left-hand side of the staff. For example, the treble clef known as the G clef, is placed on the second line, fixing that line as the pitch first G above "middle C"; the lines and spaces are numbered from bottom to top. The musical staff is analogous to a mathematical graph of pitch with respect to time. Pitches of notes are given by their vertical position on the staff and notes are played from left to right.
Unlike a graph, the number of semitones represented by a vertical step from a line to an adjacent space depends on the key, the exact timing of the beginning of each note is not directly proportional to its horizontal position. A time signature to the right of the clef indicates the relationship between timing counts and note symbols, while bar lines group notes on the staff into measures. Staff is more common in American English; the plural is staves in either case. The vertical position of the notehead on the staff indicates which note to play: higher-pitched notes are marked higher on the staff; the notehead can be placed with its center intersecting a line or in between the lines touching the lines above and below. Notes outside the range of the staff are placed on or between ledger lines—lines the width of the note they need to hold—added above or below the staff. Which staff positions represent which notes is determined by a clef placed at the beginning of the staff; the clef identifies a particular line as a specific note, all other notes are determined relative to that line.
For example, the treble clef puts the G above middle C on the second line. The interval between adjacent staff positions is one step in the diatonic scale. Once fixed by a clef, the notes represented by the positions on the staff can be modified by the key signature or accidentals on individual notes. A clefless staff may be used to represent a set of percussion sounds. A vertical line drawn to the left of multiple staves creates a system, indicating that the music on all the staves is to be played simultaneously. A bracket is an additional vertical line joining staves to show groupings of instruments that function as a unit, such as the string section of an orchestra. A brace is used to join multiple staves that represent an instrument, such as a piano, harp, or marimba. Sometimes a second bracket is used to show instruments grouped in pairs, such as the first and second oboes or first and second violins in an orchestra. In some cases, a brace is used for this purpose; when more than one system appears on a page two parallel diagonal strokes are placed on the left side of the score to separate them.
Four-part SATB vocal settings in hymnals, use a divisi notation on a two-staff system with soprano and alto voices sharing the upper staff and tenor and bass voices on the lower staff. Confusingly, the German System may refer to a single staff as well as to the Akkolade or system in the English sense; when music on two staves is joined by a brace, or is intended to be played at once by a single performer, a grand staff or great stave is created. The upper staff uses a treble clef and the lower staff has a bass clef. In this instance, middle C is centered between the two staves, it can be written on the first ledger line below the upper staff or the first ledger line above the lower staff. A centered line with a small alto clef is written, used to indicate that B, C, or D on the line can be played with either hand; when playing the piano or harp, the upper staff is played with the right hand and the lower staff with the left hand. In music intended for organ with pedalboard, a grand staff comprises three staves, one for each hand on the manuals and one for the feet on the pedalboard.
Early Western medieval notation was written with neumes, which did not specify exact pitches but only the shape of the melodies, i.e. indicating when the musical line went up or down. During the 9th through 11th centuries a number of systems were developed to specify pitch more including diastematic neumes whose height on the page corresponded with their absolute pitch level. Digraphic notation, using letter names similar to modern note names in conjunction with the neumes, made a brief appearance in a few manuscripts, but a number of manuscripts used one or more horizontal lines to indicate particular pitches; the treatise Musica
In music, a demisemiquaver or thirty-second note is a note played for 1⁄32 of the duration of a whole note. It lasts half as long as a sixteenth note and twice as long as a sixty-fourth. Thirty-second notes are notated with an oval, filled-in note head and a straight note stem with three flags or beams. A single thirty-second note is always stemmed with flags, while two or more are beamed in groups; as with all notes with stems, thirty-second notes are drawn with stems to the right of the notehead, extending up, when they are below the middle line of the musical staff. When they are on or above the middle line, they are drawn with stems on the left of the note head, extending down. Flags are always on the right side of the stem, curve to the right. On stems extending up, the flags start at the curve down; when multiple thirty-second notes or eighth notes are next to each other, the flags may be connected with a beam. Similar rules apply to smaller divisions such as sixty-fourth notes. A related symbol is the thirty-second rest or demisemiquaver rest, which denotes a silence for the same duration.
List of musical symbols