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Terms Relating To Vocal Music
Tempo (_continued_)
Scales (_continued_)
Terms Relating To Forms And Styles
Symbols Of Music Defined
Musical Instruments
Chords Cadences Etc

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Terms Relating To Forms And Styles (_continued_)
Auxiliary Words And Endings
Miscellaneous Terms
Terminology Reform
Some Principles Of Correct Notation
Abbreviations Signs Etc
Miscellaneous Terms (_continued_)
Terminology Adoptions 1907-1910

Random Music Terms

Terminology Adoptions 1907-1910
The History Of Music Notation
Tempo (_continued_)
Terms Relating To Forms And Styles (_continued_)
Auxiliary Words And Endings
Musical Instruments
Symbols Of Music Defined
Scales (_continued_)
Miscellaneous Terms

Some Principles Of Correct Notation

1. The note (from nota--Latin--a mark or sign) consists of either
one, two, or three parts, () these being referred to
respectively as head, stem, and hook. The hook is often called tail or
cross-stroke. The stem appears on the right side of the head when turned
up, but on the left side when turned down. The hook is
always on the right side.

[Footnote 1: It should be noted at the outset that this statement
regarding the down-turned stem on the left side of the note-head, and
also a number of similar principles here cited, refer more specifically
to music as it appears on the printed page. In the case of hand-copied
music the down-turned stem appears on the right side of the note, thus
[note symbol]. This is done because of greater facility in writing, and
for the same reason other slight modifications of the notation here
recommended may sometimes be encountered. In dealing with children it is
best usually to follow as closely as possible the principles according
to which printed music is notated, in order to avoid those
non-satisfying and often embarrassing explanations of differences which
will otherwise be unavoidable.]

[Footnote 2: An exception to this rule occurs in the case of notes of
unequal value stroked together, when the hook appears on the left side,
thus [Illustration].]

In writing music with pen the head and hook are best made with
a heavy pressure on the pen point, but in writing at the board
they are most easily made by using a piece of chalk about an
inch long, turned on its side.

2. When only one part (or voice) is written on the staff, the following
rules for turning stems apply: (1) If the note-head is below the
third line, the stem must turn up. (2) If the note-head is above the
third line the stem must turn down. (3) If the note-head is on the
third line the stem is turned either up or down with due regard to the
symmetrical appearance of the measure in which the note occurs. The
following examples will illustrate these points.

3. When two parts are written on the same staff, the stems of the upper
part all turn up, and those of the lower part turn down, in order that
the parts may be clearly distinguished. (Fig. 2.) But in music for piano
and other instruments on which complete chords can be sounded by one
performer and also in simple, four-part vocal music in which all voices
have approximately the same rhythm, several notes often have one stem in
common as in Fig. 3.

4. Notes of small denomination (eighths and smaller) are often written
in groups of two or more, all stems in the group being then connected by
one cross-stroke. In such a case all the stems must of course be
turned the same way, the direction being determined by the position of
the majority of note-heads in the group. Notes thus stroked may be of
the same or of different denomination. See Fig. 4.

In vocal music notes are never thus stroked when a syllable is given to
each note. (See p. 19, Sec. 55, C.)

5. Rests, like notes, are best made with a heavy pen stroke or by
using a piece of chalk on its side. (See note under Sec. 1.) The
double-whole rest, whole rest, and half rest occupy the third space
unless for the sake of clearness in writing two parts on the same staff
they are written higher or lower. The rests of smaller denomination may
be placed at any point on the staff, the hooks being always placed on
the spaces. The hook of the eighth rest is usually placed on the
third space. Rests are sometimes dotted, but are never tied.

6. The G clef should be begun at the second line rather than below the
staff. Experiments have shown clearly that beginners learn to make it
most easily in this way, and the process may be further simplified by
dividing it into two parts, thus, . The descending stroke
crosses the ascending curve at or near the fourth line. The circular
part of the curve occupies approximately the first and second spaces.

7. The F clef is made either thus, ,
or thus,
, the dots being placed one on either side of the
fourth line of the staff, which is the particular point that the clef
marks. The C clef has also two forms, and

8. The sharp is made with two light vertical strokes, and two heavy
slanting ones, the slant of the latter being upward from left to right,
. The sharp should never be made thus, #.

The double sharp is made either thus or *
, the first form being at present the more common.

9. The flat is best made by a down stroke retraced part way up, the
curve being made without lifting pen from paper. The double flat
consists of two flats. The natural or cancel is
made in two strokes, down-right and right-down, thus .

[Footnote 3: It is to be hoped that the figure for the double-flat
suggested by Mattheson (who also suggested the St. Andrew's cross
for the double-sharp) may some time be readopted. This figure
was the Greek letter B, made thus, [Greek: b], and its use would make
our notation one degree more uniform than it is at present.]

10. The tie usually connects the heads of notes, thus .

11. The dot after a note always appears on a space, whether the
note-head is on a line or space. (See Fig. 5.) In the case of a dot
after a note on a line, the dot usually appears on the space above
that line if the next note is higher in position and on the space below
it if the following note is lower.

Note.--Correct notation must be made a habit rather than a
theory, and in order to form the habit of writing correctly,
drill is necessary. This may perhaps be best secured by
asking students to write (at the board or on ruled paper) from
verbal dictation, thus: Teacher says,

Key of B[flat], three-quarter measure: First measure, DO a
quarter note, RE a quarter, and MI a quarter. Second measure,
SOL a quarter, LA a quarter, and SOL a quarter. Third measure,
LA, TI, DO, RE, MI, eighths, stroked in pairs. Fourth measure,
high DO a dotted half. Pupils respond by writing the exercise
dictated, after which mistakes in the turning of stems, etc.,
are corrected. The pitch names may be dictated instead of
the syllables if desired, and still further practice may be
provided by asking that the exercise be transposed to other

Next: Symbols Of Music Defined

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