|Instruction manual - Pizzicato 3.6.2||EN310 - Revision of 2013/05/29|
Characteristics of music notation (3)
Braces and groups of staves [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]
We have seen that staves playing together are connected by a vertical line on the left border:
This set of staves played simultaneously is called a system.
It is also common to connect the bar lines belonging to the same instrument group, such as for example the woodwinds, the brasses or the strings of an orchestra. Here are for example some instruments of an orchestra. The bar lines are connected by instrument families:
The groups of staves are delimited by a bracket including all the instruments of the same family. In this way, instruments are easier to locate, especially when the orchestra score has twenty-five or thirty instruments as it is sometimes the case.
Measure numbering and rehearsal marks [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]
To easily locate an area of the score, measures of a piece of music are usually numbered. Most of the time the number is placed above the measure, close to the left bar line. Here is an example:
A system of rehearsal marks is sometimes used to locate the main areas of a score, such as for example the chorus, the verse, the beginning of a movement Letters are often used as rehearsal marks. Here is an example:
This helps to easily locate an area of the score in a rehearsal. The conductor can say "Let's resume again at point B " and all performers can locate where to start in the score.
Special staves [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]
We already learned that percussion can be written on staves having more or less than 5 lines. It is also frequent to see staves where lines are more distant, such as for example:
where each line corresponds to a different percussion instrument.
For guitar notation, you will also meet tablatures. It is a staff having 6 spaced lines. Each line represents one of the guitar strings. The notes are written in the form of numbers indicating the guitar fret, while also representing the rhythmic value:
These special staves are only used for certain specific instruments. It is interesting to know that they exist, because the evolution of music notation must progress together with the evolution of composers and instruments. In contemporary music, it is rather current to create new representation systems adapted to the needs of that music. This kind of music exploits new possibilities of sound expression which do not always find their equivalent in conventional music notation. Music notation as exposed in this course is thus not a never changing system. It evolves slowly, progressively with the needs of music notation.