Join Rick Schmunk for an in-depth discussion in this video The staff: Background and purpose, part of Learning Music Notation.
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- [Instructor] Until the creation of music notation systems,…music was passed on through an oral tradition.…This made sharing music across generations difficult,…and over time, music, songs, styles,…and their creators were forgotten and lost.…Some early notation systems used letters or numbers…to represent sound, while European music,…which is often referred to as Western music…or the Western musical tradition,…developed a graphical notation system…that primarily used symbols and lines.…
In any case, for a notation system to be effective,…there needs to be a way to indicate…or communicate pitch, duration, articulation, and loudness.…Let's start by discussing how to notate pitch.…So during the ninth and tenth centuries,…musicians began to work towards a method…of more clearly indicating how much…a note or pitch was lower or higher than other notes.…In this picture we see here,…we see an early staff which consisted of one line.…Now that one line is this red line that's going…across here in each one of these areas of music.…
It starts with notating pitch (clefs) and duration, including note lengths and rests. He moves into discussing flats, sharps, naturals, and key signatures, and the unique symbols for musical expression, including dynamics and articulations. He goes over notating chords and chord progressions, and the addition of vocals and lyrics. The course wraps with some score formatting tips and notation examples for piano, guitar, and drums, which pull together all the information into complete, publication-worthy pieces of sheet music.
- Notating pitch with clefs
- Notating duration
- Adding time signature and bars
- Using dots and ties
- Modifying pitch
- Notating scales
- Communicating expressions such as tempo and performance
- Notating chord progressions
- Notating vocals and lyrics
- Formatting a score
Skill Level Beginner
1. Notating Pitch
2. Notating Duration and Rhythm
3. Modifying Pitch and Scales
4. Communicating Expression
5. Notating Form
6. Notating Chords and Chord Progressions
7. Slash and Rhythmic Notation
8. Vocal Music and Lyrics
9. Score and Part Formatting
10. Notation Examples
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