One shortcoming of Musical Notation

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetsplus, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The cure is the informed musician that takes the job at hand seriously. We can't ever rule out a "rapped" version of Shakespeares Midsummernights Dream - even there, we have conventions that require communication - a COMMON Understanding of what we want to do.
     
  2. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    .......... or TACET Violas



    ... oh sorry, I promised to keep my stupidity in The Lounge.
     
  3. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    This is not stupidity!
     
  4. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    An additional effect of the short notes not being regarded as part of/pickup to the next note is the common wrong treatment of triplets. The extreme case is when eighth note triplets get played as 2 sixteenths and 1 eighth. My quick fix to students is to suggest they regard the passage not as 1-2-3- 1, but 1-2-3-4.
     
  5. Reedman1

    Reedman1 Piano User

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    Musical notation is a graphic approximation of the rhythmic values we are intended to play. The convention is to notate in such a way as to clarify the position of the notes relative to the beat and phrases of the music. That's why the pickup sixteenth, for example, is grouped with the dotted eighth that precedes it. Yes, it does to some degree make reading the notes musically a little more difficult, as I have recently experienced. But as a way to quickly get to grips with a piece of music, it's pretty good. Never perfect. But pretty good. It's like a programming language, in a sense, with the musician in the role of the computer. The difference, of course, is that ideally the musician has some flexibility in interpreting the notes, while a computer currently does not. That, of course, could change.
     
  6. therealnod

    therealnod Pianissimo User

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    I'm not trying to be rude, but I don't get it. I already said twice that we have conductors for this reason. And ensembles are carefully chosen at the highest levels for this reason. If, by some happenstance, I were to have a composition of mine up for performance, I would certainly want to provide the direction for the qualities I'm trying to express. It seems to me that this is a lament that we can't notate emotion entirely specifically. I would respectfully suggest that you recommend a better way to notate. If you have a better idea, let us have it.
     
  7. Reedman1

    Reedman1 Piano User

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    It may be worth mentioning that neither alphabets not ideographs convey all the nuance of speech. We can certainly state the content in writing, but the performance is up to the speaker. What is the most efficient method of representing that content with the intent of speaking it aloud? Perhaps the one we already have, as it's broadly recognized and more-or-less uniformly understood. Da? Nyet?
     
  8. therealnod

    therealnod Pianissimo User

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    Da, you read my mind, Reedman.
     
  9. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Thank God musical notation is not an exact science.

    Otherwise there would only be one definitive recording of say, Beethoven's 9th rather than the couple of dozen very different interpretations that are widely recognised as both valuable and important, not to mention the thousands of other performances that have at least sufficient individuality to make them pleasurable to listen to. The moment all performance parameters of a composition become fixed and invariant, I think that something of its essential spirit begins to die.
     
  10. Reedman1

    Reedman1 Piano User

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    But although our musical notation system is efficient enough, it really does seem to get in the way of fluent playing. It might be impractical to score a long piece for a large ensemble without bar lines, for example, or with sixteenth notes beamed together with the notes for which they serve as pickups, but for shorter pieces and studies it could be very helpful.
     

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