Notation

Notation

Symbols

  1. Key signatures: notation of all the sharps and flats that belong in the key of a section of music which is written at the beginning of every staff of music and are applied to the entire staff unless otherwise notated
  2. Time signatures: notation used to specify the number of counts in each measure and which note value constitutes one count
  3. Clefs: symbols used to determine the notes on a staff; different clefs are used to allow most of the notes to fall within or close to the five lines of a staff thus making it easier for the musician to quickly identify the note
  4. Ornaments or graces: decorative notes added to a melody 
    • Acciaccatura: (crushed): notes squeezed in before a melody note (also called "grace notes") Acciaccatura notation.png
    • Appoggiatura: (leaning): notes that pushed a melody note a small bit late Appoggiatura notation.png
    • Mordent: (biting): a neighboring note played fleetingly just after the start of the melody note Upper and lower modent notation 1.png
    • Trill or Shake: multiple upper neighbor mordants (sometime sends with a turn) Trill example ornaments.png
    • Turn: a double mordant using one upper-neighbor note and lower-neighbor note Turn notation.png
  1. Dynamic Marks:
    • Pianissimmissmo (ppp): very, very quiet
    • Pianissimo (pp): very quiet
    • Piano (p): quiet
    • Mezzo piano (mp): moderately quiet
    • Mezza forte (mf): moderately loud
    • Forte (f): loud
    • Fortissimo (ff): very loud
    • Fortimmissimo (fff): very, very loud
    • Crescendo: growing; getting louder
    • Diminuendo: diminishing; getting quieter
  1. Pitch Alterations:  
    • Flat: lowers the pitch one semitoneflat
    • Sharp: raises the pitch one semitone sharp
    • Natural: unaltered pitch natural
    • Double flat: lowers the pitch one whole tone or two semitones double flat
    • Double sharp: raises the pitch two semitones double sharp
  1. Articulation:
    • Accents: emphasis placed on a beginning of a particular note
    • Agogic Accent/Tenuto: A slight lingering on a notetenuto
    • Forzato(fz): Forceful beginning to a note 
    • Sforzato (sfz): A sudden strong accent
    • Marcato: stressed or marked
  • Détaché: (detached): notes played using alternating bow strokes
  • Legato: (linked): notes played smoothly and connectedly without silence in between
  • Slurred: notes linked in one phrase or bow stroke
  • Staccato: (separated): notes seperated by silence
  • Staccatissimo/martelé (hammered): notes played as short as possible
  1. Pauses: 
    • Fermata: hold the note longer than its normal value fermata
    • Breath mark: breath mark
    • Caesura: ceasing fetura or caesura