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DYNAMICS

Dynamics are indicators of the relative intensity or volume of a musical line. – PianississimoExtremely soft. Very infrequently does one see softer dynamics than this, which are specified with additional “PS”. – PianissimoVery soft. Usually the softest indication in a piece of music, though softer dynamics are often specified with additional “PS”. – PianoSoft. Usually…

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SOL-FA NOTATION

The sol-fa notation can be used to explain the staff notation for singers to some extent. Sol-fa notation was derived from the staff notation in order for singing students to easily understand the techniques in the staff notation especially for choristers and not instrumentalists; because instrumentalists can understand the staff notation without any reference to…

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QUARTER TONES

Quarter-tone notation in Western music is not standardized. A common notation involves writing the fraction 1/4 next to an arrow pointing up or down. Below are examples of an alternative notation: – Demi-flatLowers the pitch of a note by one quarter tone. (Another notation for the demiflat is a flat with a diagonal slash through…

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ARTICULATION MARKS

Articulations (or accents) specify how individual notes are to be performed within a phrase or passage. They can be fine-tuned by combining more than one such symbol over or under a note. They may also appear in conjunction with phrasing marks listed in previous lessons. – StaccatoIt sounds exactly like this:This indicates that the note…

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OCTAVE SIGNS

– Ottava The 8va (pronounced ottava alta) sign is placed above the staff (as shown) to indicate the passage is to be played one octave higher. Moreover, an 8vb (ottava bassa) sign is placed below the staff to indicate the passage is to be played one octave lower. – Quindicesima The 15ma sign is placed…

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NOTE RELATIONSHIPS IN MUSIC

– Tie a.b.Indicates that the two (or more) notes joined together are to be played as one note with the time values added together. To be a tie, the notes must be identical; that is, they must be on the same line or the same space; otherwise, it is a slur. And a tie can…

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ORNAMENTS

Ornaments modify the pitch pattern of individual notes in order to beautify or add a special effect to a piece of music. Examples of ornaments are: – TrillA rapid alternation between the specified note and the next higher note (according to key signature) within its duration. Also called “a shake.” When followed by a wavy…

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BREAKS ON THE STAVE

– Breath mark In a score, this symbol tells the performer or singer to take a breath (or make a slight pause for non-wind instruments). This pause usually does not affect the overall tempo. For bowed instruments, it indicates to lift the bow and play the next note with a downward (or upward, if marked)…

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DOTTED NOTES

Placing a dot to the right of a note head lengthens the note’s duration by one-half. Additional dots lengthen the previous dot instead of the original note, thus a note with one dot is one and one half its original value, a note with two dots is one and three quarters, a note with three…

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WHAT ARE BEAMED NOTES?

Beams connect eighth notes (quavers) and notes of shorter value, and are equivalent in value to flags. In metered music, beams reflect the rhythmic grouping of notes. They may also be used to group short phrases of notes of the same value, regardless of the meter; this is more common in a-metrical passages. In older…

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TAIL OF MUSIC NOTES

On the stave any note can be written on any line or in any space with the tail drawn upward or downward and it has no effect on the note rather; it places the note properly for sight reading. In addition, any note above the third/middle line on the stave would have its tail drawn…

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BAR LINES-MEASURES

For easy reading, the staff is divided by bar lines into measures. A MEASURE in music is defined as: The group of beats made by the regular recurrence of primary or heavy accents, the position of which is marked on the staff by bars just before them. Hence the notes or rests between two adjacent…

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Time Signature

Time signatures define the meter of the music. Music is “marked off” in uniform sections called bars or measures, and time signatures establish the number of beats in each. This is not necessarily intended to indicate which beats are emphasized, however. A time signature that conveys information about the way the piece actually sounds is…

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Note and Rest Values (duration)

Note and rest values are not absolutely defined, but are proportional in duration to all other note and rest values. The whole note is the reference value, and the other notes are named (in American usage) in comparison; i.e. a quarter note is a quarter the length of a whole note.   – The Ancient…

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ACCIDENTAL SIGNS/SYMBOLS

There are three accidental (chromatic) signs/symbols namely: – SHARP#A Sharp placed before a note raises that note by a semitone. A Double sharp placed before a note raises the pitch of a note by two chromatic semitones. Usually used when the note to be modified is already sharpened by the key signature. – FLAT♭ A…

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Finding Flat and Sharp Key Notes

FLAT KEY-NOTES To find the key note when there are flats, you count down four steps from the last written flat and that note is the key-note. Example:Or memorize the following phrase, using the first letter as the key-note: Charles, Feed Brother’s Eleven Ancestral Deformed Goats SHARP KEY-NOTES To find the key note when there…

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KEY SIGNATURES IN MUSIC

Key signatures define the prevailing key of the music that follows, thus avoiding the use of accidentals for many notes. If no key signature appears, the key is assumed C major /A minor, but can also signify a neutral key, employing individualaccidentals as required for each note. The key signature examples shown here are described,…

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REST IN MUSIC

A Rest is a period in music when silence is observed and they are marked by symbols relative to note values.For instance: Multi-measure restMulti-measure rest indicates the number of measures in a resting part without a change in meter, used to conserve space and to simplify notation. Also called “gathered rest” or “multi-bar rest”. CONTINUE……

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