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
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 music and music theory, the beat is the basic unit of time, the pulse, of the mensural level. The beat is defined as the rhythm listeners would tap their toes to when listening to a piece of music, or the numbers a musician counts while performing, though in practice this may be technically incorrect. In popular use, beat can refer to a variety of related concepts including: pulse, meter, specific rhythms, groove. Rhythm in music is characterized by a repeating sequence of stressed and unstressed beats and divided into bars organized by time signature and tempo indications. Metric levels faster than the beat level are division levels, slower levels are multiple levels. Beat has always been an important part of music; some music genres such as funk will in general de-emphasize the beat, while other such as disco emphasize the beat to accompany dance. As beats are combined to form measures, each beat is divided into parts; the nature of this combination and division is. Music where two beats are combined is in duple meter, music where three beats are combined is in triple meter.
Music where the beat is split in two are in simple meter, music where the beat is split in three are called compound meter. Thus, simple duple, simple triple, compound duple, compound triple. Divisions which require numbers, are irregular divisions and subdivisions. Subdivision begins two levels below the beat level: starting with a quarter note or a dotted quarter note, subdivision begins when the note is divided into sixteenth notes; the downbeat is the first beat of the bar, i.e. number 1. The upbeat is the last beat in the previous bar which precedes, hence anticipates, the downbeat. Both terms correspond to the direction taken by the hand of a conductor; this idea of directionality of beats is significant. The crusis of a measure or a phrase is a beginning; the anacrusis doesn't have the same'explosion' of sound. An anticipatory note or succession of notes occurring before the first barline of a piece is sometimes referred to as an upbeat figure, section or phrase. Alternative expressions include "pickup" and "anacrusis".
In English, anákrousis translates as "pushing up". The term anacrusis was borrowed from the field of poetry, in which it refers to one or more unstressed extrametrical syllables at the beginning of a line. In typical Western music 44 time, counted as "1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4...", the first beat of the bar is the strongest accent in the melody and the likeliest place for a chord change, the third is the next strongest: these are "on" beats. The second and fourth are weaker—the "off-beats". Subdivisions that fall between the pulse beats are weaker and these, if used in a rhythm, can make it "off-beat"; the effect can be simulated by evenly and counting to four. As a background against which to compare these various rhythms a bass drum strike on the downbeat and a constant eighth note subdivision on ride cymbal have been added, which would be counted as follows: 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 —play eighth notes and bass drum alone 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4—the stress here on the "on" beat play But one may syncopate that pattern and alternately stress the odd and beats, respectively: 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 —the stress is on the "unexpected" or syncopated beat play So "off-beat" is a musical term applied to syncopation that emphasizes the weak beats of a bar, as opposed to the usual on-beat.
This is a fundamental technique of African polyrhythm. According to Grove Music, the "Offbeat is where the downbeat is replaced by a rest or is tied over from the preceding bar"; the downbeat can never be the off-beat. Certain genres tend to emphasize the off-beat, where this is a defining characteristic of rock'n'roll and Ska music. A back beat, or backbeat, is a syncopated accentuation on the "off" beat. In a simple 44 rhythm these are beats 2 and 4."A big part of R&B's attraction had to do with the stompin' backbeats that make it so eminently danceable," according to the Encyclopedia of Percussion. An early record with an emphasised back beat throughout was "Good Rockin' Tonight" by Wynonie Harris in 1948. Although drummer Earl Palmer claimed the honor for "The Fat Man" by Fats Domino in 1949, which he played on, saying he adopted it from the final "shout" or "out" chorus common in Dixieland jazz, urban contemporary gospel was stressing the back beat much earlier with hand-clapping and tambourines.
There is a hand-clapping back beat on "Roll'Em Pete" by Pete Johnson and Big Joe Turner, recorded in 1938. A distinctive back beat can be heard on "Back Beat Boogie" by Harry James And His Orchestra, recorded in late 1939. Other early recorded examples include the final verse of "Grand Slam" by Benny Goodman in 1942 and some sections of The Glenn Miller Orchestra's " Kalamazoo", while amateur direct-to-disc recordings of Charlie Christian jamming at Minton's Playhouse around the same time have a sustained snare-drum back-beat on the hottest choruses. Outside U. S. popular music, there are early recordings of music with a distinctive backbeat, such as the 1949 recording of Mangaratiba by
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
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 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
In music, polyphony is one type of musical texture, where a texture is speaking, the way that melodic and harmonic aspects of a musical composition are combined to shape the overall sound and quality of the work. In particular, polyphony consists of two or more simultaneous lines of independent melody, as opposed to a musical texture with just one voice, monophony, or a texture with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords, called homophony. Within the context of the Western musical tradition, the term polyphony is used to refer to music of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. Baroque forms such as fugue, which might be called polyphonic, are described instead as contrapuntal; as opposed to the species terminology of counterpoint, polyphony was either "pitch-against-pitch" / "point-against-point" or "sustained-pitch" in one part with melismas of varying lengths in another. In all cases the conception was what Margaret Bent calls "dyadic counterpoint", with each part being written against one other part, with all parts modified if needed in the end.
This point-against-point conception is opposed to "successive composition", where voices were written in an order with each new voice fitting into the whole so far constructed, assumed. The term polyphony is sometimes used more broadly, to describe any musical texture, not monophonic; such a perspective considers homophony as a sub-type of polyphony. Traditional polyphony has a wide, if uneven, distribution among the peoples of the world. Most polyphonic regions of the world are in sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania, it is believed that the origins of polyphony in traditional music vastly predate the emergence of polyphony in European professional music. There are two contradictory approaches to the problem of the origins of vocal polyphony: the Cultural Model, the Evolutionary Model. According to the Cultural Model, the origins of polyphony are connected to the development of human musical culture. According to the Evolutionary Model, the origins of polyphonic singing are much deeper, are connected to the earlier stages of human evolution.
Although the exact origins of polyphony in the Western church traditions are unknown, the treatises Musica enchiriadis and Scolica enchiriadis, both dating from c. 900, are considered the oldest extant written examples of polyphony. These treatises provided examples of two-voice note-against-note embellishments of chants using parallel octaves and fourths. Rather than being fixed works, they indicated ways of improvising polyphony during performance; the Winchester Troper, from c. 1000, is the oldest extant example of notated polyphony for chant performance, although the notation does not indicate precise pitch levels or durations. European polyphony rose out of melismatic organum, the earliest harmonization of the chant. Twelfth-century composers, such as Léonin and Pérotin developed the organum, introduced centuries earlier, added a third and fourth voice to the now homophonic chant. In the thirteenth century, the chant-based tenor was becoming altered and hidden beneath secular tunes, obscuring the sacred texts as composers continued to play with this new invention called polyphony.
The lyrics of love poems might be sung above sacred texts in the form of a trope, or the sacred text might be placed within a familiar secular melody. The oldest surviving piece of six-part music is the English rota; these musical innovations appeared in a greater context of societal change. After the first millennium, European monks decided to start translating the works of Greek philosophers into the vernacular. Western Europeans were aware of Plato and Hippocrates during the Middle Ages; however they had lost touch with the content of their surviving works because the use of Greek as a living language was restricted to the lands of the Eastern Roman Empire. Once these ancient works started being translated thus becoming accessible, the philosophies had a great impact on the mind of Western Europe; this sparked a number of innovations in medicine, science and music. European polyphony rose prior to, during the period of the Western Schism. Avignon, the seat of the antipopes, was a vigorous center of secular music-making, much of which influenced sacred polyphony.
It was not polyphony that offended the medieval ears, but the notion of secular music merging with the sacred and making its way into the papal court. It gave church music more of a jocular performance quality removing the solemn worship they were accustomed to; the use of and attitude toward polyphony varied in the Avignon court from the beginning to the end of its religious importance in the fourteenth century. Harmony was not only considered frivolous and lascivious, but an obstruction to the audibility of the words. Instruments, as well as certain modes, were forbidden in the church because of their association with secular music and pagan rites. Dissonant clashes of notes give a creepy feeling, labeled as evil, fueling their argument against polyphony as being the devil’s music. After banishing polyphony from the Liturgy in 1322, Pope John XXII spoke in his 1324 bull Docta Sanctorum Patrum warning against the unbecoming elements of this musical innovation. Pope Clement VI, indulged in it.
The oldest extant polyphonic setting o