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Notated Music

Musical compositions are recorded using music notation. Present day standard music notation is based on a five-line staff (or stave) with symbols for each note showing duration and pitch in twelve tone equal temperament. Pitch is shown using the diatonic scale, with accidentals to allow notes on the chromatic scale. Duration is shown in beats and fractions of a beat. The primary carrier for notated music is sheet music; Braille music and talking scores are accessible formats.

A related area of notation is:
Choreographic notation.

Sheet music

This term is used for the written form of music; it may be printed or in manuscript form. Sheet music is produced as single sheets, folded sheets, pamphlets, paperback or hardback volumes. For ensemble pieces (e.g. for quartet, orchestra or choir), a score shows music for all the players together, while parts contain only the music play or sung by an individual musician. There is limited production of large print sheet music for those with visual impairment.

Braille Music

There is a specific form of Braille for musical notation. The notation may be laid out in a variety of ways - bar-over-bar, phrase-by-phrase, etc. Regular users of Braille music will usually prefer a specific layout. Braille music is available in both paper format and as electronic files.

Talking scores

Scores can also be 'narrated' and recorded as a sound recording. Such recordings are known as Talking Scores.

Choreographic notation

Choreography is the art of making structures in which movement occurs. Although mainly used in relation to dance, choreography is also applied to gymnastics, ice skating, and synchronised swimming. Dance notation is the symbolic representation of dance movement. Various methods have been used to represent dance movements, including: abstract symbols, figurative representation, track or path mapping, numerical systems, music notation, graphic notation and letter and word notations. The two main systems used in Western culture are Labanotation (also known as Kinetography Laban) and Benesh Movement Notation. Some notation systems are only used for specific dance forms; for example, Shorthand Dance Notation (dances from Israel), Morris Dance Notation (morris dances) and Beauchamp-Feuillet Notation (historical dances from the Baroque period).

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Content by: Ann Chapman of UKOLN.
Page last revised on: 03-Jun-2005
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