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8/9/2017 Music Notation Style Guide: Composition: Departments, Offices and Services: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University

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© David Dzubay & Don Freund. writing in consultation with Claude Baker. consult with your document chair before deviating from the guide below. Rules are made to be broken. Standards of Notation http://www. PQ Phan and Aaron Travers. Offices and Services: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington Search JSoM IUB Cook Music Library› One. This style guide is being developed in an effort to standardize at least the IU composition department preferences for notation.IU Canvas Find People Mailing Lists Contact Us ACCIDENTALS ARTICULATIONS BARLINES BEAMING BRACKETS BRASS CUES FONTS MARGINS MEASURE NUMBERS METER MUSIC SIZE ORIENTATION OPTIMIZATION PARTS PERCUSSION PLACEMENT REHEARSAL MARKS RHYTHM SIMILE STAFF NAMES STRINGS TEMPO TUPLETS WOODWINDS Music Notation Style Guide The faculty of the IU Composition Department recognizes that there is not uniform field-wide agreement about many notational issues composers face. However. The overriding goal of this guide is clarity of musical intent and professionalism.indiana.edu/departments/academic/composition/style-guide/ 2/19 . if for good reason.8/9/2017 Music Notation Style Guide: Composition: Departments. this will save everyone a great deal of time. Principal authors are David Dzubay and Don Freund. particularly regarding theses and dissertations.music. if you are preparing a thesis or dissertation.

W. (paperback edition: New York: Taplinger Publishing Company. and should consult your committee for advice. Offices and Services: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington The composition department recognizes the three works listed below as standards of notational practice. Music Notation in the Twentieth Century: A Practical Guidebook. BARLINES a) Use double barlines to indicate sudden changes of tempo . 1979) Stone. (Based on the International Conference on New Music Notation in 1974.8/9/2017 Music Notation Style Guide: Composition: Departments. Cross-bar beaming is not uncommon in solo music.) Rev. An example would be in a fast piece conducted in one. 1980. b) In some situations. or groupings of bars. Use a courtesy accidental for a natural pitch in a new bar. Norton. Gardner. New York: W.music. A common error is beaming to show phrasing instead of meter. d) barlines should break between choirs according to the large group bracketing. but adds unnecessary difficulties to large ensemble writing. c) do NOT follow the old practice of using double barlines at changes of meter. 2011. 10/09. a thick barline here and there relating to the musical phrasing will help players not get lost. Second Edition. Behind Bars.both isolated changes and strict tempo modulations (quarter = dotted quarter). Read. Articulations alone can serve this purpose. http://www. ARTICULATIONS Articulations should be placed on the note head side. Music Notation: A Manual of Modern Practice. you should refer to one of them when in doubt about correct procedures. Boston: Crescendo Publishers.edu/departments/academic/composition/style-guide/ 3/19 . following the same pitch name in the previous bar with an accidental. 1969. London: Faber Music Ltd. it can be helpful to use (single) heavy barlines to indicate phrase divisions. Elaine. BEAMING Beaming Reinforces Meter. Gould. Kurt. 4/10. 8/11 ACCIDENTALS Use accidentals for new octaves of same pitch class. and with the exception of the staccato mark should be placed outside the staff.indiana.

By bracketing a note value (such as dotted half note) over the music. use dotted slurs.' and 'cup' into Italian as well .). When an indeterminate number of articulations is desired. When feathered beaming implies an indeterminate number of pitches. unless you are going to translate 'straight. BRACKETS For orchestra: bracket each choir (woodwinds. the effect of rushing or pulling back is more important than counting the notes. indicate either a) stem in. mute. it will not be familiar to all players. Though this has become a relatively common notational device. The recommended notation for this is using a normal notehead for the first pitch.inadvisable. harmon mute. adding a note of explanation is recommended at the first usage and in the performance notes.8/9/2017 Music Notation Style Guide: Composition: Departments. usually on the same pitch. or c) stem removed. Slurs = legato groups of notes played without rearticulating with the tongue. etc. Beyond true 'cues' that insert other instruments' music. or "flute solo". as shown below. provided the music is very easy to read. If you feel you must indicate phrasing. the fanning out of beams shows acceleration and contraction shows decceleration. http://www. specific mute indications should be used: st. stem placement should reflect the acceleration or decceleration. using parentheses. etc.music. Passages that are at all complex should be divided into separate staves for each instrument. cup mute." (Leave "senza sord. CUES (for parts) Generally.) Harmon mute: at first occurrence. strings). this question will be eliminated. the duration of the figure may be unclear.' 'harmon. b) stem extended.indiana. piano. Finally. Shown with a straight primary beam and one or two diagonal secondary beams (respectively implying an approximation of sixteenth notes or thirty- seconds at the fastest moment). trumpets. include a cue if an instrument is resting for more than 10 bars. Offices and Services: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington Feathered Beaming shows a gradual change in the speed of notes. Muting should be cancelled with "open. brass. third level brackets for violin divisi. harp].edu/departments/academic/composition/style-guide/ 4/19 . for example. followed by a series of headless stems. one can also include 'cues' that help a player through a long rest by indicating prominent changes of texture: "brass". secondary brackets on like instruments (flutes. See STAFF NAMES. at the start of multi-measure rests. Muliple instruments per staff for brass is allowed. violins. or above the staff. BRASS Muting For trumpet and trombone." for the strings. Generally use abbeviations placed either just below abbreviated staff name. percussion [not timpani. Mute reminders should be placed on all left side score pages.

assai. 5 Sixth Symphony Requiem True titles are titles specific to a single work.. Tempo qualifications and changes are not capitalized: a poco a poco. cum laude. quickening. Italics Less common foreign language terms should be italicized.e. – are considered generic titles. little by little. e. as well. (Generally. div. don’t italicize it. accelerando. i. MARGINS (Thesis. MEASURE NUMBERS http://www. a tempo. sonata. overture. suite. quartet.8/9/2017 Music Notation Style Guide: Composition: Departments. Kyrie. The margin is interpreted to be the area within which nothing should be printed. the distance from the edge of the paper to the first dot of ink (with the exception of page numbers). Slow. etc.. such as Agnus Dei. a tempo. Titles of liturgical works.. HELPFUL HINT: Make your staff name abbreviations concise and tight. WARNING: Do not make your margins overly large.. 18-24 point works well... If it’s in the regular listing. depending on the page reduction level) Capitalization Principal tempo indications are capitalized: Adagio.g.music. i. These are titles given by the composer much as an author would title a novel. it should be italicized. meno.indiana.g.. in vivo. rubato. vis-à-vis.. Mass. Tempo I. ritardando. Requiem. 1. From me flows what you call time Pelléas et Mélisande From the IU Style Guide: Foreign words and phrases Commonly used foreign expressions and their abbreviations are not italicized: e. Fast. but many words commonly used in music scores need not be italicized. leading to extra page turns and less music per page than is ideal. True titles are italicized. molto. unis.. più mosso. arco. Offices and Services: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington FONT STYLES and SIZE Size Tempos: large enough to be easily read by a conductor from 3 feet away from score.. the names of musical forms such as concerto. Generic titles are in roman face. The non-binding edges all should have 1" margins. including: pizz...slowing. from Wikipedia: Generic titles are those that are not specific to one musical work. Moderato. et al. Allegro. Dissertation) Electronically submitted documents must use 1" margins on all four sides. symphony. irrespective of which language they are in.edu/departments/academic/composition/style-guide/ 5/19 .. ex officio.. in vitro Less common foreign terms are italicized: dies irae (day of wrath) If a term you’re unsure of is listed in the Webster’s “Foreign Words and Phrases” section. If submitting a bound hard copy of a document. stringendo.5” inner margins must be used to allow for binding. etc.e. Piano Concerto No.

is the best way to indicate rehearsal landmarks.indiana. Just one counting system to deal with.edu/departments/academic/composition/style-guide/ 6/19 . 3. where it might take some time counting to find certain bars in rehearsal. If the complex meter is always divided in the same way. make some kind of note about this (e. all 5/8 measure are divided 2+3). d) Sprinkled liberally throughout the part.music.. ALSO: It is acceptable in large ensemble scores to place a measure number below every measure (not in the parts. etc. preferably in a larger font and/or in an enclosure. etc. NOTE: ALL PLAYERS should have these #s. 2. Contemporary musicians are most familiar with simple meters that have quarter note beats (3/4. go through it once. There are three categories of meters: 1.g. 2/4+3/16) Some meters are more comfortable for most players than others.. METER Metric considerations. When orchestrating a piece that uses unfamiliar meters. Some correctly notated rhythms are inherently ambiguous. Additionally.) If the option exists. three (or four) units (e. If not. 9/8. especially toward the right side of systems. and are most easily read when the denominator is 8 (5/8.) and compound meters with dotted quarter note beats (6/8. After a part is edited and formatted. Dividing Complex Meters. and must be combined with numeric delineation http://www. Beats naturally divide into two divisions (e. 11/8. Compound meters. 4/4). Beats divide unevenly.g. adding measure numbers where appropriate. so make sure to break multi measure rests at these points. There are several ways to clearly delineate this information: 1. make reading music as easy as possible—use familiar time signatures. Though complex meters in Western music are less familiar than simple or compound ones.). unless the measure number also serves as a rehearsal landmark) b) At structural points and/or rehearsal landmarks.. though)..g. preferably in the following four ways: a) At the start of every system (not enclosed. rehearsal time will undoubtedly be wasted as this information is communicated verbally to the ensemble. Performance Note. Offices and Services: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington Use measure numbers well. WARNING: Never use the system of placing measure numbers every 5 or 10 bars. the division of all measures must be immediately evident to the conductor and all players.. Since the beat value of complex meters is not consistent. 2.g. This breaks up multi- measure rests into un-musical divisions. Dotted note beats naturally divide into three divisions (e. Rather than letters (which is also acceptable). Complex meters. 5/8) or asymmetrically (e. Rhythmic Notation. consider converting to more common ones. etc. 6/8). Simple meters. they are often necessary. using the actual measure number. into a combination of two. for parts: c) At barlines following all mulit-measure rests. The rhythmic notation should always reinforce the metric divisions. 7/8.g. and rehearsal spots are quickly found. 4/4.8/9/2017 Music Notation Style Guide: Composition: Departments. Remember the following rule: rhythms will be performed more accurately and confidently in familiar time signatures.

and the downbeat is easily confused. the relationship between beats must be clear. Rest Delineations. Tempo modulation (or Metric modulation). and/or complex).edu/departments/academic/composition/style-guide/ 7/19 . but its division changes. A thin double barline should always accompany a metric modulation.8/9/2017 Music Notation Style Guide: Composition: Departments. Use Meters of 2. divided 3+2+2. empty bars in complex meters may print rests to show the beat divisions. 3. Consider dividing the measure with a dotted barline or splitting these into two separate bars.indiana. consider using thicker bar lines to mark phrase divisions .this helps http://www. Offices and Services: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington 3. This technique may be helpful for five-beat bars as well. Meters With Too Many or Too Few Beats. simply write the divisions on the manuscript. One beat measures can be problematic as well. The parenthetical tempo markings below are included to reinforce the tempo relationships. Numeric Delineations. 4. Markings such as show that the eighth note stays constant. shown by markings like indicate that the beat stays the same. or more beats in a bar. 8. If you can't resist your inner Beethoven and are writing music "in 1".music. is followed by a 2+3+2 construction. 4 beats for the most part. Players sometimes get lost when following a conductor through measures with seven or more beats. 9. Avoid large meters of 7. Though whole rests normally fill full measures of rest in any meter. Sometimes 5 or 6. When switching between meter types (simple. Changing Meters/Metric Modulation. compound. grouping two bars together may be easier to read. If a 7/8 measure. These are usually broken down into twos and threes anyway.

with large spans between staves simply to avoid all collisions in one fell swoop. Offices and Services: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington avoid players getting lost. ORIENTATION Format all scores and parts in PORTRAIT Orientation. Landscape scores fall off stands. NOTE: Composing on landscape manuscript paper (11x17) is a different matter and highly recommended - just don't 'engrave' your final scores in that format! http://www. necessitate unwieldy. this leads to scores with many unnecessary page turns and makes phrasing and musical flow hard to follow. do not size the music too large. even theatrical page turns.8/9/2017 Music Notation Style Guide: Composition: Departments.edu/departments/academic/composition/style-guide/ 8/19 . often require two stands. system to system vertical spacing adjustment will be necessary to avoid collisions. ***Consult with your committee EARLY in score preparation to make sure that your formatting approach is acceptable. it is wider than it is tall. This is the professional publishing standard. and simply look unprofessional. so opening a landscape score makes for a doubly wide document.music. Remember that once a portrait oriented score is opened.indiana. composers should simply format for two or more systems on each page. It should be expected that for orchestra and other large ensembles. Sometimes composers use landscape because they think it fits the ensemble size better. On the other hand. MUSIC SIZE [Especially for thesis/dissertation***] Scores to be conducted MUST be sized so that the music can be read from 3 feet away. It is NOT acceptable to size the music extremely small. in such cases.

8. Also. it can work well to format for letter size. Use a flexible tape.edu/departments/academic/composition/style-guide/ 9/19 . lay down on flat surface. 12 pages: 12&1 / 2&11. If you have access to a printer that can accept 13x20 paper. 60# or 70#. Offices and Services: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington OPTIMIZATION Score optimization should be used only in certain circumstances. In a pinch. The paper type should be "offset". Absolutely never hand out loose sheets that can easily fall off stands. not too dark and not white. Or.] Good: Tape. just cut down some white 11x17 stock yourself." but they are expensive. then 2&3 on the back side). Best for parts and thin scores (if large paper. You can buy a "tape binder. If you can print on 13x20.5x11 is third best (make sure the music is not too small). Best: Print two pages per side on 13x20 paper. and staple if the part is more than 4 pages (requiring more than one sheet of 11x17). Here are some ways to print on 10x13. Exception: For short pieces or pieces you'll be photocopying large runs of (perhaps for band.music. order your paper of choice from a supplier like Xpedex. rarely for scores. You can also learn to stack the pages.8/9/2017 Music Notation Style Guide: Composition: Departments. Works for parts. like when doing so will allow two or more systems on one page. Note . for example). 8 page document: print 8&1 / 2&7. or get out of order. 4 page document: print 4&1 / 2&3. PARTS a) Print parts on 10 x 13 paper. Second. and tape. Get a large stapler to make this easy. Note: 11x14 is second best (though it doesn't fit well in folders). No. print one side per page onto 10x13 Good: print originals on letter size paper. format and edit your music in Finale or Sibelius knowing you will end up printing on 10x13. 10x13 is the best size for parts. One paper I like is Cougar Natural 70# Text Offset.indiana. 10&3 / 4&9. print "2 up" onto tabloid (print pages 4&1. [PED has a CoilMac machine available for use by IU composition majors. Best for thick scores: Coil. like medical tape or duct tape (!). so size the music accordingly." preferably a light natural color. including the Minnesota Orchestra. fold and staple. making scores difficult to read. If your printer won't take 13x20. but you can easily order it or cut it down from 11x17 yourself. 8&5 / 6&7 etc. as this can create too many irregularities from page to page. You should NOT optimize every page as a matter of course. like 13x20 is available): folded and stapled in center. Bring your own coils. order the paper cut to 10x13 and use this in either your printer or a photocopier. 6&3 / 4&5. sort of bend them back and forth to fan the pages out. this is not a stock size. b) Bind all scores and parts properly. http://www. Do not use 11" coils on 17" scores. and photocopy at 92% onto 10x13 paper. First. The fanning out makes the tape reach each page. "text. this should be done so that the next page that needs to be turned is sticking out a bit. having them cut it to 13x20 for you. Or. and photocopy at 117% onto 10x13 paper (fed through "bypass" feeder).buy coils that are long enough. fold. and is the required size for some professional ensembles. print originals on tabloid (using just 11x14 of the paper). fold and staple in center (or cut and bind for larger documents).

If you must use comb. If appropriate.. a set-up diagram should be included.) Drum Set Notation: http://www. or if absolutely necessary. In other words.. PERCUSSION Reminders should be placed on all left side score pages.. See STAFF NAMES. or above the staff (using parentheses in that case). with the first page turn on 2. Percussion Notation: (It is best to define the notation in score & part at the first instance. on odd-numbered pages.. 4) A finished part does not require a player to photocopy because page turns were not accounted for.doesn't fit in folders well. 1) Page Turns are more important than saving paper. d) Use Measure Numbers well. even if it means having just a couple systems on a page. either with formating.be sure to indicate changes of instruments where they occur in the music. Documents don't lay open flat. but is not allowed by groups like the Minnesota Orchestra. Plan page turns where there is plenty of time.S. However. this should be avoided in preference for the professional publishing standard of a right hand page start. starting with 1. While in RARE cases it might make sense to start a part on the left side page. A list of all percussion instruments used in the work should be included in the score on the instrumentation page and at the start of the percussion part. Can work in a pinch. Order combs that are long enough. try to have bars of rest either side of a turn. 2) Instrumentalists should not have to play immediately following a page turn. Noisy. so conductors don't need to flip back through the score to figure out what instruments are being played.8/9/2017 Music Notation Style Guide: Composition: Departments. (No surprises!) 3) Place a warning (V. There is no reason to begin a score with a left page. Even worse: Stapled on the side. Offices and Services: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington Worst: Comb. do not rely on players and conductors memorizing this .edu/departments/academic/composition/style-guide/ 10/19 . a fold-out.easily damaged.) when a quick page turn is necessary. Solve the problem before you hand the part out.indiana. Generally use abbeviations placed either just below abbreviated staff name. don't use 11" combs for 17" scores and don't overlap combs.music. c) Plan page turns carefully.

RHYTHM While there are often multiple ways to beam and group given rhythms. some solutions are easier to read than others.edu/departments/academic/composition/style-guide/ 11/19 . http://www. and is one of the “deadliest” errors made by young orchestrators. usually about every 10 bars. for example. It is usually best to keep skins on spaces and woods or metals on lines. A few examples: Alternate staves with fewer lines are acceptable. metals. Incorrect rhythmic notation greatly increases the risk of misplayed rhythms. at top of score and above string section. especially if that part only uses one or two instruments. For band: top of score. using measure numbers or letters. REHEARSAL NUMBERS/LETTERS (see Measure Numbers) Rehearsal landmarks. Offices and Services: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington Orchestral percussion will often use different assignment strategies. depending on size of the orchestra. should be included an frequent intervals. PLACEMENT OF TEMPO MARKINGS. above percussion. Generally arrange each family (skins.8/9/2017 Music Notation Style Guide: Composition: Departments. MEASURE NUMBERS & REHEARSAL LANDMARKS For orchestra: at minimum. woods) from low to high on the staff. above brass. possibly above brass and above percussion as well. Use of alternate noteheads for metals is suggested.indiana. When writing a part with multiple instruments and fast changes (or simultaneous use of different instruments) it is best to use a regular five line staff to avoid frequent staff changes.music.

music. Rests Reinforce Meter.edu/departments/academic/composition/style-guide/ 12/19 . further divided into the 16th-note level (events which occur on the 2nd or 4th sixteenth note of a quarter-note beat). Offices and Services: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington Show Me The Beats! It is useful to think of “levels” of metrical hierarchy when notating rhythm.indiana.8/9/2017 Music Notation Style Guide: Composition: Departments. in 4/4 time. avoid the use of a rest equaling two beats in duration (ex. Observe the examples below. with a tie used to show the higher level beat. One level lower is the eighth-note (events which occur on the “and” of the beat). but two quarter note rests for beats 2 and 3. events that happen on the half-note level (beats 1 or 3) are one metrical level higher than events on the quarter-note level (beats 2 and 4). Rests notation follows the same stipulations as notes with a few additional considerations. For example. If a note begins or ends on a level two degrees lower than a beat through which it sustains. avoid half rests in 3/4). so use a half rest to cover beats 1 and 2 or 3 and 4. In a three beat measure. In measures with four beats. Whole rests are used to cover a full measure in http://www. the note should be divided. beat 3 must usually be shown.

the second bar includes a common misinterpretation. In the example below. but welcome reinforcements. If a piece requires frequent thirty-second notes. These are http://www. often misplayed. Dotted notes are fine. Rests at the division or subdivision level may be dotted (i. For example. dotted eighth rests in 2/4 are actually clearer than writing an eighth rest followed by a sixteenth rest). SIMILE Avoid using "simile" -.music. STAFF NAMES Finale "staff styles" (or the Sibelius equivalent) should be used as extensively as possible to indicate the prevailing instrumentation as the instruments are listed in the left margin of every score page. as described above. and should be avoided.edu/departments/academic/composition/style-guide/ 13/19 . Articulations. and the final measure demonstrates a foolproof alternative notation.8/9/2017 Music Notation Style Guide: Composition: Departments. thirty-second notes in 4/8 become sixteenths in 4/4). Redundant markings are not distractions. dotted quarter rests should not appear in a measure of 2/4. as long as they emphasize the meter. Double dotted notes and rests are confusing.indiana. consider doubling the note values (ex. slurriing and hairpins are easily copied independent from pitches.e.this weakens the visual character of your score and creates ambiguity regarding how long the "simile" is in effect. Offices and Services: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington ANY meter (with the single exception of rest delineations in complex meters. and don’t break any of the rules above. Thirty-Second Notes.) Augmentation Dots. Dotted rests at the beat level or higher should be reserved for compound meters. dynamics. the first measure shows a written rhythm.

div.. this relies on very experienced players. Some composers (Harrison Birtwistle.. Natural harmonics are quite resonant. Pn. Btrb.. It is usually assumed that a diamond alone shows a touch on the open string next found below the touched pitch. soli.. The divisi situation should always be indicated with div. Pc. leaving it for the player to choose the most convenient way to produce the written pitch. A diamond is usually not showing the sounding pitch. the intended string should be indicated with. Fl/Picc. for example. divisi in rhythmic counterpoint or with fast moving lines should be separated in both score and part.indiana. Offices and Services: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington absolutely necessary for instrument doublings (eg. bright and pure sounding. non divisi and/or brackets should be use to indicate undivided multiple stops. period!) this way. Vc. Tba.edu/departments/academic/composition/style-guide/ 14/19 . Generally. See STAFF NAMES. Bn.. http://www.. near abbreviated staff names or group names... extended pizzicato passages. If there is any ambiguity. Va. Tp. Bcl. one octave above open string..8/9/2017 Music Notation Style Guide: Composition: Departments. Cl.. on violin we can write and hear: b) A diamond indicates a 'touch'.music.. unis.Hn. etc. Hp. Vn... Fl. a3. STRINGS Divisi div... cancels the divisi. this approach would be advisable only for long tones or slow passages. Block chord long tones can remain on one staff... Ob. and percussion instrumentation. Harmonics a) A small circle above a note indicates that the note should be played as a natural harmonic sounding at the given pitch. "sul D" or "III" or a notehead in parentheses on the open string.. it is often a good idea to show the sounding pitch as a disconnected notehead in parentheses. or la metà.. Natural harmonics up through the sixth partial are easily available. though this is the case at the first harmonic. Trb. When using diamonds to indicate natural harmonics. for example. like with G4 on violin. showing a player where to lightly touch the string without pressing down to the fingerboard. like solo. Timp. with plenty of time to think about how to produce the pitch. Hn. Piano/Celesta)... These also may be used to indicate the prevailing mute situation. tutti follows indications for partial section playing. Cb.. = section divided. E. Divisi sections that are at all complex should be divided into separate staves for each line. Suggested abbreviations: Picc. for instance) simply write all natural harmonics (or even all harmonics. For example.

there are other nodes (locations) on the string where the same resulting harmonics can be found.music.more covered. be sure to indicate the string. Offices and Services: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington The dotted slurs connect diamonds that can be ambiguous as to which string they should be played on.indiana.edu/departments/academic/composition/style-guide/ 15/19 . Do not use solid/black diamonds .players are most familiar with this particular artifical harmonic. The fourth example is best." stopping a string on a pitch and touching a perfect fourth higher. An alternative to writing the sounding pitches in parentheses would be a second staff above. For such diamonds. Intonation is more flexible with artifical harmonics. even expressive. Note that the diamonds above show the most common nodes that are touched and written for . A diamond notehead with stem might be a quarter or a half. show the duration with a notehead in parentheses on the open string. or when writing for less experienced players.they are easily mistaken for regular note heads. c) Make sure the duration is clear when writing natural hamonics. showing sounding pitches. Artificial harmonics have a slightly different sound than natural harmonics . producing a harmonic two octaves higher than the stopped pitch .8/9/2017 Music Notation Style Guide: Composition: Departments. and all chromatic pitches are available (starting two octaves above lowest string). Instead. Touch perfect 5th harmonics (sounding an octave and http://www. especially when writing a fast moving passage. d) Most artificial harmonics should be "touch perfect fourths. smooth.

not a range.indiana. M3 touch sounds 2 octaves and a M3 above stopped pitch. NOTE: Neither a or c overly restrict players. M3 and m3 harmonics are also used. as human beings. especially for contrabass. Avoid speeds like 113. c) Use only one number. etc.edu/departments/academic/composition/style-guide/ 16/19 . as when associated with a "Tempo I" indication). Giving precise tempo indications is particularly important in works with a variety of tempi. e. For artificial harmonics. b) Horizontal placement: The left edge of the tempo indication should align with the left edge of the meter. Offices and Services: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington a P5 above stopped pitch) are possible. http://www. will approximate tempo. musicians are familiar with these tempi.music. or the first notational element. unless the tempo is supposed to be in flux. Ties. Slurs = bowings. m3 sounds two octaves and a P5 above stopped pitch. If you feel you must indicate phrasing. unless a precise tempo modulation gets you to that somehow. especially on violin. as the relationship between different tempi is then clear.8/9/2017 Music Notation Style Guide: Composition: Departments. and vary as necessary depending on the situation (acoustics. who. These should be either clear directions for a new tempo (no parentheses) or a reminders/clarifications of a tempo (with parentheses. though in the lowest register they may not be easily reached. TEMPO INDICATION / METRONOME MARKINGS a) Use metronome speeds for tempo indications (not simply "Allegro"). d) Use numbers found on analog metronomes. Musicians will appreciate the clarity of intent. use dotted slurs.). speeding up and slowing down within a range. both notes (stopped pitch and diamond) use ties and augmentation dots. e) Express tempo and meter in terms of the duration that will be conducted or felt as the pulse.

tuplets always on stem (or beam) side. London: Faber Music Ltd. it is recommended that a ratio (5:3) or an equation (5 = [dotted quarter]) be given. do not allow a tuplet to separate a note head and its articulation. New York: Garland Pub. with no tuplets required. and have no collisions. 1991. the notation should be clear and consistent. Reginald Smith. If you feel you must indicate phrasing. 3. as when the tuplet begins or ends with a rest. provided the music is very easy to read. If the beat unit being divided is in any way ambiguous. In any case. Contemporary Percussion. according to the situation. tuplets always above. New York: Oxford University Press. [Do not use slurs for tuplets. adding slurs and tuplets there can create problems). which is the most accurate representation. but in general: use square brackets if a bracket is needed. There is not complete agreement on a rule to handle all tuplets. this quintuplet is written as five dotted sixteenths. Boston : Crescendo Publishers. John. 7/8. a dotted half divides perfectly into two dotted quarters and four dotted eighths. 2. 1969. Gould.. WOODWINDS Slurs = legato groups of notes played without rearticulating with the tongue. 1995. Encyclopedia of Percussion. Always grouped by either a beam or a bracket. Gardner. Muliple instruments per staff for winds is allowed. beat-long quintuplets in 12/8 have been notated as five quickened eighth notes or five slowed down sixteenths.8/9/2017 Music Notation Style Guide: Composition: Departments.indiana. triplets and sextuplets are the most familiar. Brindle. Music Notation: A Manual of Modern Practice. choice made for maximal clarity. (paperback edition: New York : Taplinger Publishing Company. use dotted slurs. advocated variously at IU (consult your chair for preferences): 1. especially in large ensemble situations. 6/8. conducted or pulsed in quarters and dotted quarters.edu/departments/academic/composition/style-guide/ 17/19 . avoid cluttering up the note head side (articulation must be on note head side. as in the music of Elliott Carter or Oliver Knussen. and there are many good reasons why they should be forever replaced by actual non-tuplet dotted notes. Offices and Services: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington Exception: when the meter doesn't clearly express the pulse (5/8. Elaine.) TUPLETS The recently coined term “tuplets” refers to irregular subdivisions of metrical units. BIBLIOGRAPHY Beck. 2011. Read. There has been some debate about the “correct” way to notate tuplets.] place the tuplet number outside staff. more recently. Possible 'systems' to follow. Duplets and quadruplets can cause confusion as well. Some feel that they speed up a note value. etc. while others argue they slow it down.music. Passages that are at all complex should be divided into separate staves for each instrument. Second Edition. For example. Behind Bars. All tuplets should be easily read. varied. 1979) http://www. the amount of notes per unit must be shown with a number.

Offices and Services: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington Stone. W. 1998. Norman. New York : W.indiana. Lawton: Percussive Arts Society.) Weinberg.music. About Directory Dean's Welcome Publications Student Life Life in Bloomington Performance Halls Maps & Directions Contact Us Admissions & Financial Aid Application Procedures Tuition & Financial Aid Audition Information Request a Visit Frequently Asked Questions Upcoming Admissions Events Admissions Inquiry Contact Us Pre-screening Degrees & Advising Undergraduate Graduate & Diploma Certificate Programs Career Development Commencement Departments. Music Notation in the Twentieth Century: A Practical Guidebook.8/9/2017 Music Notation Style Guide: Composition: Departments. Kurt. Norton. 1980. (Based on the International Conference on New Music Notation in 1974. Offices & Services Academic Departments Centers & Institutes Offices & Services Ensembles Health & Safety Faculty Directory Faculty Resources Open Positions Visiting Scholars Alumni Stay Connected Get Involved Become a Member News Updates Contact Us Board of Directors Class Notes Giving Pre-College & Summer Programs Year-Round Programs Summer Academies Summer Adult Workshops http://www.edu/departments/academic/composition/style-guide/ 18/19 . Guide to Standardized Drumset Notation.

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