## Music notation

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I am trying to write my own music down for a small piece, and I have forgotten convention for quite a lot of notation. I am fine with reading and playing music, but the reverse is not a thing that I can do at all readily. A lot I can glean by scanning through the piano pieces that I have at hand to find examples of.

There is one thing that I cannot currently find an example of, so I am asking you good musicians out there for the solution. I want to write down the notation for playing 3 crotchets in the space of 2 crotchet beats, when writing in common time (4/4): Is it that I write the numeral 3 under those 3 crotchets, or is it the numeral 2, since 3 crotchets are going into the space of 2 crotchets?

I will probably come to in a couple of days time when I am not so tired, and realise that this is obvious.

Also what are the notations for rests, for a minims-worth of time. Is it a thickening on top of a line of the stave, or below it? What about for covering for a rest in a time that would otherwise allow for 3 crotchets?

Sorry that I am being so thick.

In reply to veteye:

Three crotchets in the space of 2 is denoted with a number 3 and often a square bracket above (for stems pointing upwards) or below (for stems pointing downwards) the notes.

The '2' shown above/below two notes is a duplet - the equivalent of a triplet but for 2 notes played in the space of 3 in compound time.

Yes, the minim rest is a little bar or rectangle sat on top of the middle line on the stave. The rest hanging below the next line up is for a semibreve.

For a rest lasting 3 beats you'd often write a dotted minim rest, the same as you might for a dotted minim note. ie the minim rest with a small dot after it to mean minim + half again, so 3 beats. Alternatively writing a minim and a crotchet rest is fine.

In reply to veteye:

For a triplet, which is what you’re describing, you would write a number three under the three crotchets. Although your suggestion of a two makes more intuitive sense, this is just convention.

The minim rest sits above the middle stave, not below. For a three beat rest you could either add a dot to the right of a minim rest, or you could put a minim rest and a crotchet rest (draw a Z with a C stuck to the bottom of it!) next to each other.

It isn’t thick to not have immediate recall of these things. Any good music shop will be able to sell you a book that will contain all of these kinds of basic music theory/notation conventions, if you’re planning to do lots more.

In reply to veteye:

Triplet crotchets - 3 above within a horizontal square bracket.

Minim rest - on top of the stave.

In 3/4 time, 3 crotchet rest would be a semibreve (full bar) rest i.e. hanging thickening.

In 4/4 time 3 crotchet rest would be a crotchet and a minim rest with the minim rest taking up the 1,2 beat position or 3,4.

In reply to NewHam:

Thank You everyone replying. It is reassuring, and now seems sensible to have those consistent affirmations of the correct notation.

Agreed that getting a theory text book, may be useful, but for speed asked the brains on UKClimbing. It is decades since I took my theory exams up to grade VI. At that age going further seemed boring, so long as I could just play.

In reply to Strachan:

> Any good music shop will be able to sell you a book that will contain all of these kinds of basic music theory/notation conventions, if you’re planning to do lots more.

It's 2022

https://klavieronin.com/resources/notation-cheat-sheet/

In reply to veteye:

Rectangular rests

S is for submarine/semibreve beneath the line

M for minim for motorboat above the line

Even so, I still get flustered by these when playing ...

In reply to BusyLizzie:

Usually rests mostly are just to fit in with accounting in a musical beat way, so I think that I tend to intuitively know how long the gap is: Or commonly there is a rest in one hand whilst the other is still playing.

In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Well observed, but given the OP has asked this question on a forum rather than finding their own way to an online resource I thought they might prefer a reference book.

In reply to Strachan:

> It isn’t thick to not have immediate recall of these things. Any good music shop will be able to sell you a book that will contain all of these kinds of basic music theory/notation conventions, if you’re planning to do lots more.

For a reference book (and ebook) on music notation, may I offer http://www.behindbarsnotation.co.uk/

(Declaration: I have a connection with the author)

In reply to veteye:

> Usually rests mostly are just to fit in with accounting in a musical beat way, so I think that I tend to intuitively know how long the gap is: Or commonly there is a rest in one hand whilst the other is still playing.

Yup. Trouble comes when I'm playing the recorder and have only one line of music, especially if it's by one of the 16th century chaps who hadn't got the hang of bars being all the same size.

In reply to BusyLizzie:

It's not just 16th century music - try this piano transcription from Genesis...

In reply to Richard Puzey:

Gosh that's lovely! I've just tried to play it on my harpsichord and it works rather well.

But it does have a fresh time signature every time the bar length changes so at least one knows what it is supposed to add up to.

In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Interesting cheat-sheet. It has some things on it that I disagree with, though, so I would take its veracity with a grain of salt.

Example: what they call a "mordent" is what I know as a "lower mordent" and they call an "upper mordent" a "short trill"... (raised eyebrow...)

Wikipedia agrees with my understanding: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mordent

Also: representing grace-notes as fractions (I closed the tab, already, but I think they were using 16ths) is dubious. I've always been taught either to play them "as fast as possible but still distinctively" or "as fast as appropriate to the musical mood and expression" and that, either way, the subsequent note following the grace note should not sound delayed by the grace-note. (This, of course, is of additional, particular importance on a two-handed keyboard instrument where the *other* hand may very well not have a grace note but the two primary notes should sound together.)

Of course: I'm a student of music, as is anyone who plays, so I'll happily be corrected.

Post edited at 19:46
In reply to Xharlie:

Sure, I'm with you. Point was though that rather than travel to a place to acquire some mutilated tree, you can this: