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Title: How to Write Music - Musical Orthography
Author: Harris, Clement A.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  [ Transcriber's Notes:

    Every effort has been made to replicate this text as faithfully
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    Some corrections of spelling and punctuation have been made. They
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  How to Write Music

  Musical Orthography

  Clement A. Harris
  Associate of the Royal College of Organists

  Edited by
  Mallinson Randall

  New York
  The H. W. Gray Co.
  Sole Agents for Novello & Co., Ltd.

  Copyright, 1917

  Made in the United States of America


_The numbers refer to the Paragraph, not the Page._

  Introductory                              1

  Choice of Paper                           2

  Scoring                                   3

  Barring                                   4

  Clefs                                     5

  Signatures                                6

  Notation of Rhythm                        8

  Placing of Notes                         14

  Rests                                    15

  Dots                                     20

  Stems                                    22

  Hooks                                    29

  Leger-Lines                              36

  Vocal Music                              37

  Open Score to Short                      41

  Short Score to Open                      47

  Extracting a Single Part from Score      50

  Accidentals                              51

  Legibility                               52

  Facility                                 54

  Copyright                                55

  Proof Reading                            56

  INDEX, Page 53.

How to Write Music


1.--It is reasonable to expect that a musician shall be at least an
accurate and legible writer as well as a reader of the language of his
Art. The immense increase in the amount of music published, and its
cheapness, seem rather to have increased than decreased this necessity,
for they have vastly multiplied activity in the Art. If they have not
intensified the necessity for music-writing, they have increased the
number of those by whom the necessity is felt.

Intelligent knowledge of Notation is the more necessary inasmuch as
music-writing is in only a comparatively few cases mere copying. Even
when writing from a copy, some alteration is frequently necessary, as
will be shown in the following pages, requiring independent knowledge of
the subject on the part of the copyist. (See _e.g._, par. 28.)

Yet many musicians, thoroughly competent as performers, cannot write a
measure of music without bringing a smile to the lips of the initiated.

Many performers will play or sing a note at sight without hesitation,
which, asked to write, they will first falter over and then bungle--at
least by writing it at the wrong octave.

The admirable working of theoretical examination papers is sometimes in
ridiculous contrast with the puerility of the writing.

Psychologists would probably say that this was because conceptual action
is a higher mental function than perceptual: in other words, that
recollection is harder than recognition.

The remedy is simple. Recognition must be developed till it becomes
recollection: the writing of music must be taught concurrently with the
reading of it.

This was once the case: music-writing was a necessary part of a
musician's education. One may be the more surprised at its falling into
disuse, inasmuch as phonography--in the musical sense--is a distinctly
pleasant occupation. Without being either drawing or writing, it
partakes of the nature of both.

But many points in the writing of music are not now considered to form
part of the Rudiments of Music, and are not included in primers on the

Hence the following pages.

While containing some matter which may have escaped the attention of
more advanced musicians, they should, in an educational course, either
be used along with a Primer on the Elements, or immediately follow it.

                   *       *       *       *       *

Choice of Paper.

2.--The first matter to claim attention in making a manuscript copy of
music is choice of the right kind of music-paper. This will primarily be
determined by the number of staves each score requires. Most paper
contains twelve staves to the page. This is a most convenient number,
allowing for a two-, three-, four-, or six-stave score.

Song-paper: three-stave score, two staves being braced for the piano
part, with a third for the voice part. This latter is at a considerable
distance above the other staves, to allow room for writing in the words.

Organ-music paper: three-stave score, two staves braced for manual part,
and another underneath for pedal part.

Quartet-paper: four-stave score, no brackets or clefs.

Quartet-paper with accompaniment: six-stave score, two bracketed for
piano part.

Full-score paper: much smaller than short-score staves. Very useful for
other purposes where a small, narrow stave is required.

For piano and violin music, paper should be chosen the staves of which
are wide apart, to allow of the large number of leger lines frequently

                   *       *       *       *       *


3.--The paper chosen, the first use of a pen will be in ruling the
score-lines. A "score" technically is as many staves as are _performed
simultaneously_: two in pianoforte music, three in organ music, four in
an unaccompanied quartet, six in four-part vocal music with piano
accompaniment, and so on. These staves have a line drawn down their
left-hand edge. Hence the name, from their being _scored_ through.

Their position always being at the left-hand edge of the staves, and
their length determined by the number of staves, they may be drawn
before the length of the measures has been arranged.

Care must be taken when a page is ruled at a time not to draw the
score-line through more than the necessary number of staves. Except in a
full score there will generally be at least two, and, of course, very
often more, scores to the page.

                   *       *       *       *       *


4.--After the score-lines come the bar-lines. And with the arranging of
these begins that _careful mapping-out_ of the whole work, neglect of
which will lead to endless annoyance and dissatisfaction.

Some music is so uniform that a given space may be assigned to each
measure, and consequently a uniform number of measures to each score,
provided that there is no change of key or time. In determining this
space allowance must be made (1) in the first measure of each movement
for the key and time signatures, which may require a considerable space;
(2) in the first measure of each score for the _key_ signature: the time
signature is only repeated at the beginning of each movement or when the
time is changed; (3) regard must be had to where a turn-over will come,
some passages allowing of this so much more easily than others; (4) also
to the number of measures in the entire movement, otherwise a new page
may have to be added for only one measure! (5) in vocal music careful
regard must be paid to the words as well as the notes. A syllable will
often require more space than a note, consequently in very simple music
the words require more space than the music. In florid compositions a
syllable, on the other hand, is often sung, not to several notes merely,
but to several measures, and the music requires much more space than the
words. In the former case the author has found it a good plan to write
the words first, or at least a measure or two of them, as a guide in
estimating their average length. But, while the words must not be
cramped, they must fall under the notes to which they are to be sung,
and as these notes must occupy as nearly as possible their proportionate
part of the measure, the skilful scribe will keep both words and music
in mind simultaneously. Where, however, in vocal or instrumental music
the measures vary greatly, one having, perhaps, a single whole note and
the next thirty-two thirty-second notes, it is necessary to plan each
score separately, or the end may be reached with too much space for the
last measure, but not enough for another one. Carrying a measure from
the end of one score to the beginning of the next is not practised now,
as it once was.

Bar-lines are usually drawn through each stave of vocal music
separately, and in instrumental music through as many staves as belong
to the same instrument or group of instruments, _e.g._, through the two
staves of a piano part, and the four or five belonging to the "strings"
in a full score. These instrumental staves are also usually connected by
a brace at the left-hand edge of each score thus:

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

Uniform bar-lines may be ruled a page at a time, if care be taken not to
make the line continuous through more than the required number of
staves. It is a fault which one commits the moment watchfulness is
relaxed, and entails much scratching out. Where the measures vary in
length the ruling will most readily be done in light pencil with a T
square, and afterwards inked. A single bar-line out of the perpendicular
will spoil the appearance of a whole page.

                   *       *       *       *       *


5.--The first actual musical characters to be written are the clefs.
Misconception of the function of these is so common, not among practical
musicians only, but on the part of elementary theorists, that a few
words of explanation are necessary. The commonest fallacies are to
suppose that if clefs are the right shape their exact position on the
stave does not matter, and that their position varies. Both suppositions
are, to quote a delightful Ruskinism, "accurately false." A clef
identifies and originally was used with _a single line_, and identifies
others only by their relationship to this. Hence its precise shape is of
less importance than its being on the right line. Indeed, the shape of
clefs has varied so much that many able practical musicians do not know
that they were originally simple letters, the treble clef a small "g,"
the bass clef a small "f." From this beginning has been evolved so
elaborate a sign, sometimes not merely covering all the lines of a
stave, but going beyond them, that it is necessary to explain which line
a clef is on. Thus the "G," or treble clef, is on that line which its
interior termination is on, and which it curls round, touching it in all
_four times_. The upper part of the treble clef is sometimes kept within
the stave, but, as in the present examples, more often rises above the
stave. The point is merely a matter of taste.

The C clef is on that line which has an oblique or straight stroke, or
pot-hook, above and below.

The F clef is on that line which its interior termination is on, and
which it curls round either to the right or the left, and which has a
dot above and below.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

And this position never varies. Whatever line the F clef is on is F,
however many or few lines may be above or below it.

In olden days any clef line might be taken with any number of lines
above and below. For instance, the F line with two lines below and two
above; or three below and one above. This is not now done with treble
and bass clefs, which are only used with respectively the top and bottom
five lines of the Great Stave of eleven lines. Hence care must be taken
to write the treble clef on the _second_, and the bass clef on the
_fourth_ line of its stave. But it is still customary to use the C clef,
especially in viola and trombone music, with both two lines above and
two below, making the alto stave; and three below and one above, making
the tenor stave. These staves are also used in old vocal music, and
familiarity with them is absolutely necessary in all advanced
theoretical examinations. The C clef, therefore, _appears_ to move,
being sometimes on the third and sometimes on the fourth line. Really it
is always on the same line, and it is the _selection of lines_ which
varies. Hence the misdescription of the treble and bass clefs as
"immovable," the C clef as "movable."

Note that all clefs are on lines; no clef is in a space. This is because
the first attempt to accurately represent music to the eye was by means
of a single line with a letter at the beginning. This was what has since
become the fourth line, the clef line, of the bass stave.

In pianoforte and organ music, high parts for the left hand, or low ones
for the right, may be written either:

By means of leger lines (Fig. 3, a);

By changing the clef (b); or

By writing the part in the stave proper to the other hand (c).

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

The example, of course, illustrates a high part for the left hand.

The first method is the hardest to write and read. There is not much to
choose between the second and third. If the third be adopted care must
be taken not to insert rests in the vacant stave: their absence shows
that the _hand_ is not resting.

When a part, in organ or piano music, though mainly in its proper stave,
_begins_ with notes more easily written in the other, the clef proper to
the part should be inserted, as showing its general character, and
immediately followed by that in which the notes are most conveniently
written. Thus Fig. 3, b, if the _first_ measure of a composition, should
have an F clef immediately preceding the G clef in the left-hand part.

A change of clef affecting the _first note of a score_ should be
anticipated in the last measure of the previous score, and repeated in
the measure affected. This is especially the case in regard to the first
score of a new page involving a turn-over. In addition to anticipating
the clef, the old plan of inserting a "direct" is to be recommended. See
Fig. 4.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

The signature should be repeated in the changed clef. After a change of
clef in the _middle_ of a score this is, of course, not necessary.

                   *       *       *       *       *


6.--Following the clef comes the key signature. In printed music this is
repeated at the beginning of every score. As preventing many mistakes
the repetition is desirable. But in manuscript music it is very usual to
repeat it only at the head of each page. Common faults are:

(1) Placing the sharps or flats at the wrong octave. The first sharp
should, in the treble clef, be on the top line, not in the bottom space.
And the second flat should be in the top space, not on the bottom line.
The customary way of writing signatures is not, in the writer's opinion,
invariably the best. But solecisms, though not in themselves inaccurate,
should be avoided as causing unnecessary trouble and confusion.

(2) A perhaps commoner fault is in not allowing sufficient space for the
signature, and therefore cramping it. Each sharp or flat should be well
to the right-hand of the preceding one, never over or under it.

(3) Sharps, flats, and naturals, like clefs, cover much more of the
stave than the single line or space which they govern. Not nearly enough
care is usually exercised to make the center of the sharp, or the loop
of the flat, exactly correspond with this, as it should.

                   *       *       *       *       *

7.--The time signature need only be inserted where there is a change of
movement. In common time there is a choice between the numeral signature
"4/4" and the letter signature "C." The latter is the more interesting
historically. Originally it was not a letter at all; the monks, who
originated modern musical notation, called triple time "perfect" in
honor of the Blessed Trinity, and represented it with the sign of
perfection--a circle: common, or quadruple time, they called imperfect,
and cut a slice out of the right-hand side of the circle to represent
imperfection. This printers, not unnaturally, mistook for the initial
letter of "Common Time." But the numeral signature is rapidly
superseding this, as showing the exact value of a measure, and being in
accordance with the signatures of all other kinds of time.

                   *       *       *       *       *

Notation of Rhythm.

8.--Following the time-signature come the notes. The guiding principle
in writing these is that their right interpretation shall be apparent to
the eye. Two points are of paramount importance. These are (1) the
selection of the right characters (this of course only affects those who
are writing original compositions or arrangements, not mere copists),
and (2) the correct placing of these in the measure. The bare duration
of a note, its merely arithmetical value, can generally be expressed in
more ways than one. But this is not sufficient. That way must be
selected which represents its _rhythm_, its correct accentuation, _to
the eye_. Simple forms of time, as distinct from Compound, contain but
few pitfalls, and even an inexperienced writer is not likely to go far

                   *       *       *       *       *

9.--It may be as well to warn such an one, however, that it is not
nowadays customary to dot an unaccented note or rest. The dot in this
case would represent the succeeding accented beat, and not represent it
nearly as significantly as does a tied note or separate rest; compare a
and b, Fig. 5.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

                   *       *       *       *       *

10.--Tied notes should not be employed where a single note would
represent the same sound _without misrepresenting the rhythm_. Their
chief function is to represent durations which _cannot_ be represented
by a single character, such as five eighth notes.

                   *       *       *       *       *

11.--In pianoforte music a note is very occasionally intended to be
reiterated before the first iteration has ceased to sound. This is
effected by allowing the key to rise sufficiently to release the hammer,
but not sufficiently to reimpose the damper on the string. The second
sound therefore overtakes the first. (It is comparatively easy on some
pianos and very hard on others.) As the sound, though periodically
reinforced, is continuous, the composer indicates his intention by a
tie. There is nothing but one's judgment to distinguish this from the
ordinary kind of tie. The chief indication is the employment of a tie
where a single musical character would otherwise have been better. For
instance, the following tied sixteenth notes from the Adagio of
Beethoven's Sonata, Op. 106, could better have been represented by
eighth notes, had it not been for the intention of overlapping iteration
(Fig. 6).

[Illustration: Fig. 6.]

The ties commencing in measure 134 of Beethoven's well-known Sonata
Pastorale were evidently regarded by Cipriani Potter as of this order.
As having been a personal friend of Beethoven's he was likely to know.
(The great composer refers to him in corresponding with Ries in 1818.)
The duration of these notes _could not have been written otherwise_ than
by means of ties. The above test is therefore inapplicable; this is
evidently why, in the edition edited by Potter, they are marked with a
tie _plus_ a dot and horizontal stroke (Fig. 6a).

[Illustration: Fig. 6a.]

Another indication is the tying of an unaccented note to an accented
one, thus obliterating the accent if the tie be observed literally
(instances occur in Chopin's Valse, Op. 31, No. 1). So much critical
judgment, however, is required to distinguish this treatment from that
proper to a tie, that composers would do well to adopt some such method
as Cipriani Potter's to make their exact meaning clear.

This interpretation of a tie, according to which the notes, since they
overlap, are _just not separated_, must not be confused with the
_mezzo-staccato_ touch, also indicated with a slur, but having dots also
(in the case of a single note indicated by a stroke with a dot), and
which means that the notes are to be _just not joined_. In _legato_, of
course, they should be neither separated nor overlapping, but exactly

                   *       *       *       *       *

12.--The commonest errors in simple time are not in regard to notes, but
rests. This is because silence _cannot be divided or syncopated_, and
therefore that would often be quite right as a representation of sound
which is quite wrong as a representation of silence. Thus a beat should
not be represented by two rests where one would do, though it might be
by two notes (see a, Fig. 7). Nor one rest represent parts of two beats
(see b, Fig. 7). Nor one rest represent an unaccented and an accented
beat (see c, Fig. 7). In triple time it is better to avoid a single rest
representing the latter and greater part of a measure (see d, Fig. 7),
indeed, it may be said that half-note rests should not be used in triple

[Illustration: Fig. 7.]

                   *       *       *       *       *

13.--But in compound time errors, if not more numerous in kind, are much
more common anyway in regard to _notes_ as distinct from rests. A note
should never be written which represents a beat and _part_ of another.
The commonest violation of this principle--and it is very common--is in
writing a dotted half note in six-eight time; this divides the measure
into three thirds instead of two halves, by representing a
beat-and-a-third and two thirds of a beat (see a, Fig. 8). A
beat-and-a-third, if required, should be represented by a note of the
value of a beat tied to one of the value of a third, never by a single
note equalling both--a half note in this case (see b, Fig. 8). A similar
principle applies to rests. A measure's silence should be represented by
rests divisible into beats, not by rests which fuse a beat and part of
the next (see c, Fig. 8). Two dotted quarter notes in twelve-sixteen
time are not so bad as a dotted half note in six-eight time, as they
correctly represent the division of the measure into two halves, but
they misrepresent these halves as consisting of three sixths of a
measure whereas they rhythmically consist of two quarters (see d,
Fig. 8).

[Illustration: Fig. 8.]

A twelve-sixteen measure of _silence_ is much easier to write, since it
can be done by a single whole note rest, which is also commonly used as
a measure-rest, irrespective of the value of the measure. (Hence the
German name _taktpause_.) The six-eight measure of silence (see c,
Fig. 8) might also, of course, have been written in the above way, or by
_quarter_, _eighth_, _quarter_, _eighth_ rests in place of the dotted

                   *       *       *       *       *

Placing of Notes.

14.--The characters which will correctly represent the given rhythm
having been determined, the second point is the correct placing of them
in the measure. Mentally, at least, the measure should be divided into
as many equal portions as there are beats in it. One well-known
composer, it is said, _rules_ beat-lines in light pencil, as well as
bar-lines, in his full scores. In very elaborate music this symmetrical
arrangement cannot be fully carried out; sixty-four sixty-fourth notes
cannot be written in the same space as one whole note; and a whole note
would look lost in the space required for the sixty-fourth notes. But
simple music can be made quite symmetrical, and in all music such
beat-lines, actual or mental, are an invaluable check and guide.

Each note should be placed in the _left_-hand end of its space. This is
for the simple reason that music, like words, is read from left to right
and, roughly, space represents duration. Any other arrangement is
misleading, as may be seen from old music, in which a note was often
placed in the _middle_ of its space. The following (Fig. 9) is an
example from an organ work of Rinck's (1770-1846).

[Illustration: Fig. 9.]

But for the fact that in open score half notes below the middle line
have their stems turned down, even an expert would not improbably
suppose the time to be four half notes in the bar. This is not the case,
the time is two half notes and the whole note is to be sounded
_simultaneously_ with the two half notes.

"Confusion worse confounded," is, so far as the eye is concerned, hardly
too strong a term to apply to the results of this illogical method when
applied to polyphonic music. Compare a and b, Fig. 10, in the former of
which four notes intended to be begun simultaneously are no two of them
in line, owing to each being in the _middle_ of its space!

[Illustration: Fig. 10.]

This practice was consistently carried out, even when it involved
writing a note on the bar-line! or a note in one measure and its dot in
the next (see Fig. 11).

[Illustration: Fig. 11.]

(Pianists will recall a modern instance, so far as the dot is concerned,
in a little exercise in C major of Czerny's.)

The practice cannot have been due to the non-invention of the "tie" or
"bind." For though the first use of this is difficult to trace, clear
instances, in the form of a bracket, ︷, occur in Morley's _Practical
Music_, published in 1597.

                   *       *       *       *       *


15.--Rests, especially whole note rests, when used for a whole measure,
are still very often illogically placed in the _middle_ of the space
they represent. This has been defended on the ground that they represent
silence or _inaction_, and that therefore no error can arise from their
appearance being deferred. But a performer should be conscious of the
action _or inaction_ of every voice or part. If there be a seeming
vacuum or hiatus, how is he to know whether it is a note or rest which
has been omitted? If he concludes, from the absence of any note, that a
rest is intended, he can only _guess_ how long it will prove to be when
it does come. Therefore, in the writer's opinion, rests should be
located on the same principle as notes. If it be not a profanation to
say so, since the example is from Bach, the rest in Fig. 12 would have
been better placed at the beginning of the measure. Let a sheet of paper
be held over the right half of the measure, and though the player will
be able to begin, he will not know in how many parts the piece is

[Illustration: Fig. 12.]

                   *       *       *       *       *

16.--In open score, that is, in writing a single melody or part on one
stave, it is usual to make whole note rests below the fourth line, and
half note rests above the third. Quarter note rests should be written
exactly in the middle of the stave. The crook of eighth note rests, and
the upper crook of shorter rests, is generally placed in the third
space, in the absence of any reason to the contrary. The stems of rests
are, in manuscript music especially, better slanted somewhat. This helps
to distinguish them from the stems of notes--in rapidly written
manuscript a not unimportant thing!

                   *       *       *       *       *

17.--There are two forms of quarter note rest, the English, which is
like the eighth note rest but turned to the right-hand, and the German,
which is somewhat difficult to describe. The German is far the better of
the two as being much more distinct from the eighth note rest. It is,
however, harder to write, and of the slightly varying forms, perhaps the
easiest is that with a crook at each end of a very oblique stem and
which is thus very much like a reversed letter Z (see the first example
in Fig. 13).

[Illustration: Fig. 13. Manuscript forms of German quarter note rest.]

                   *       *       *       *       *

18.--In short score, that is, in writing two or more parts or voices on
one stave, the rests are placed, not only in the top or bottom space of
the stave as may best indicate to which part they apply, but above and
below it, involving, in the case of whole note and half note rests, the
use of a leger-line (see b, Fig. 14). This is partly because _the stems
of all rests are turned down_, and therefore cannot be made, as the
stems of notes can, to indicate the part they belong to by the direction
taken. This, therefore, has to be shown by their position on, or off,
the stave (see Fig. 14).

[Illustration: Fig. 14. J. S. Bach.]

It will be seen that the lower eighth note rest in the first example
belongs to the same part as the following sixteenth note rest, though by
no means on a line with it.

                   *       *       *       *       *

19.--In modern piano music which is not of a strictly part-writing
character, rests often represent the absence, not of a part or voice,
_but of the hand_. If the notes, though representing as many parts as
the piece can be supposed to possess, are all to be played by one hand,
rests are employed to represent the absence of the other.

And in music which _is_ of a part-writing character, though the parts
are _incomplete_, rests are often _not_ employed if both hands are
engaged (see Fig. 3, c, bass clef, supposing it to be of more than two

Bach rarely, if ever, employed rests to represent the hand; with him
they always represent a voice. Thus in a melodic or one-part passage
divided between the hands, each playing alternate groups, he used no
rests to represent the absent hand. These, appearing simultaneously with
the notes, would have implied a second part. With him rests represent a
living, though absent, voice; in modern usage they frequently represent,
not music, but the way of playing it. See Fig. 15, the first half of
which is in _two_ parts, therefore rests represent the thirty-second
note silences; and the second half of which is in _one_ part, therefore
no rests are employed though only one hand is engaged at a time. It is
from a B flat Prelude in Bach's _Well-tempered Clavier_.

[Illustration: Fig. 15.]

                   *       *       *       *       *


20.--Dots are used in music for three purposes: (1) as repeat marks, (2)
to indicate semi-staccato, (3) to prolong a note one half. As repeat
marks, they may be placed in each of the four spaces of the stave (which
in the writer's opinion is the better plan, as being less liable to
confusion with time-dots), or in the second and third spaces only, in
accordance with a modern custom. _Staccato_ dots and _staccatissimo_
dashes, when two parts are being written on one stave, should be placed
below the note if applying to the lower part, and above if applying to
the higher. In the case of open score (a single part on one stave), they
are best placed on the side opposite the stem.

Time-dots, or those which prolong a note one half, if applied to a note
in a space, should be in the same space as the note; if applied to a
note on a line they should be placed in the space above, if the next
note of the part is higher, and in the space below if it is lower. The
importance of this usage is often overlooked. If it cannot be called a
rule, it is high time it was made one! When two parts are written on one
stave, and a note is doubled, having two stems, one up and the other
down, to indicate this, and in one part it is dotted, and in the other
not, it is impossible, apart from this rule, to tell which part has the
note dotted and which not (except, of course, from the context, which
may expose any mistake). The following example from Henry Smart's
"Festive March in D," for the organ, appears to contain two dotted half
notes. It would probably be so read by anyone playing the passage at
sight. The context shows that it is the eighth note not the half note
which is intended to be dotted. All the dots except that to the last
note but one should have been in the space _below_ the note, where this
is on a line.

[Illustration: Fig. 16.]

Logic would suggest that where a doubled, that is a two-stemmed, note is
dotted in both parts or voices, _two_ dots should follow one above the
other. This would, however, be awkward when the note was in a space; and
also when it was on a line, if, as in the last group above, _both_
voices proceeded to a lower note (or both to a higher). For according to
the rule here being considered, both dots would have to be in the space
below (or above).

There is another slight inaccuracy in the above example which will be
noticed later on. Let the tyro try and find it!

                   *       *       *       *       *

21.--As regards distance from the note they prolong, time-dots may be
written either _immediately_ after such note, as in Fig. 16, or in the
part of the measure with which they synchronize, as in the following
excerpt from Sterndale Bennett's piano study "The Lake."

[Illustration: Fig. 17.]

Elsewhere throughout the same study the composer has placed dots
immediately after the note they prolong. Here, therefore, he seems to
have anticipated the objection that he was dotting _un_-accented notes
(see "Notation of Rhythm," Par. 9), and to refute it by showing that
there are in reality two series of accents in each measure, at cross
purposes with each other, that, indeed, the alto, and tenor measures are
an eighth note behind the treble, though they could not be written with
separate bar-lines. This is clear when the whole passage is seen.
Observe that the dot to the last note of a measure is placed at the
beginning of the next, to make the overlapping clear to the eye. (Also
that the dots to the last alto and tenor quarter notes are placed not in
the space next, but in the space next-but-one higher than the note they
prolong.) Dots are not infrequently placed thus--that is, in or near the
part of the measure with which they synchronize--apart from any such
purpose as that just explained.

The dot made its first appearance in music about A.D. 1300. Sometimes it
had a tail ("_punctus caudatus_") and looked not unlike an inverted
comma. It did not, however, acquire its present meaning till about a
century later.

                   *       *       *       *       *


22.--There is no rule as to the length of stems, and they vary greatly.
The stems in a single group of notes are as often as not of different
lengths, according to the position of the notes and the direction taken
by the hook. A common fault is to make them too short, especially when
the four hooks of a sixty-fourth note have to be added. This, however,
is generally the result of a badly directed hook (see a, Fig. 18).

                   *       *       *       *       *

23.--As to the _direction_ they take there is a definite rule. In open
score (when one part only is being written on a stave), the stems of
notes _above_ the middle line should be turned _down_, the stems of
those _below_ the middle line should be turned _up_ (see b, Fig. 18).
The object of this is to keep the stems within the stave and prevent
their sprawling above or below. The ill-equipped writer betrays himself
by nothing more often than by sprawling stems.

The stems in a group of notes are generally turned according to the
direction of the first note, or the majority. In a group containing a
wide skip they are often turned individually according to the rule,
involving opposite directions, the hook being drawn between them (see c,
Fig. 18).

Five exceptions are common: (1) The stem of a grace note is almost
invariably turned upwards, though according to Dr. Hullah it should be
turned in the direction contrary to that of the stem of the principal
note, for the sake of greater distinctness (see d, Fig. 18). In "copy"
for the printer grace-notes are best written in red ink. (2) In piano
music when a single part, or row of notes, is to be divided between the
hands, one playing one group and the other the next, the stems of the
right-hand notes are turned up, and those of the left down (see Fig. 15,
latter half of measure). (3) Similarly in some organ music, especially
that printed in Germany, pedal notes which are to be played by the right
foot have the stems turned up, those by the left, down. (4) In vocal
music, when a subsequent verse, though having the same notes, requires
different time-values from the first verse, or a translation requires
different time-values from the original language, the time-values
required by one verse or language have the stems of the notes turned up,
those required by the other down (see e, Fig. 18, from Molique's
oratorio "Abraham"). (5) In music written on two staves, when the notes
of a single group skip from one stave to the other, the hook is placed
between the staves, and the stems of the notes on the lower stave are
turned up, and of those on the upper stave down, irrespective of their
relation to the middle line of the stave (see f, Fig. 18, from the
"Moonlight" Sonata).

[Illustration: Fig. 18.]

                   *       *       *       *       *

24.--In short score, that is when two parts have to be written on one
stave, the stems belonging to the upper part should be turned upwards,
and those to the lower downwards. Only by this means can the course of
the parts be made clear to the eye. When the parts cross, the rule must
be strictly adhered to: the note belonging to the upper _part_, not the
_upper note_, must have the upward stem. To make quite clear which note
each stem belongs to, it is well in this case to make the notes a little
less close together than they otherwise would be (see a, Fig. 19, a
well-known case from a chant by Sir John Goss, where the tenor goes
below the bass). Sometimes _more_ than two parts are written on one
stave; in this case the stems of two parts must be turned the same way,
and considerable ingenuity is required to make the course of the parts
clear. Usually the middle part varies in the direction of its stems.
Simultaneous notes are generally written not quite in a line with each
other, to allow of separate stems: the stems are generally rather short,
so as not to run into each other, and the hooks of simultaneous eighths
and shorter notes do not concur. Two measures from Bach's piano fugues
will illustrate these points (b and c, Fig. 19).

[Illustration: Fig. 19.]

                   *       *       *       *       *

25.--The stems of rests are always turned downwards.

                   *       *       *       *       *

26.--There is also a definite rule as to the _side_ of a note at which
the stem should be placed: stems turned upwards should be at the
right-hand side of the note-head, those downwards, at the left. This
rule is observed less in the case of half notes than of shorter
notes--for what reason the writer is unable to say.

                   *       *       *       *       *

27.--At one time whole notes and shorter notes were not round, but
lozenge-shaped, the longer notes being square, and the stem was then in
the middle, thus [Symbol: square note]. These gave way to round notes
about the seventeenth century. Playford's well-known _Whole Booke of
Psalms_, published about 1675, was probably one of the earliest books
printed wholly with round notes.

                   *       *       *       *       *

28.--It follows from the foregoing rules that even so apparently simple
a task as transcribing a part--soprano, alto, tenor, or bass--from a
short-score hymn or chant book into a choir part-book is not mere
copying. In the hymn or chant book the stems of one part are all turned
the same way: in the part-book they must be turned according to their
relation to the middle line.

                   *       *       *       *       *


29.--With one exception, hooks should be made at the _right-hand_ side
of the stem; they are therefore sometimes at the same side as the
note-head, and sometimes not.

                   *       *       *       *       *

30.--The exception is when longer and shorter notes are combined in the
same group. In this case the hooks not common to the whole group are
invariably turned so as to lie _within_ the group, and, subject to this,
if the group contains more than one beat, so as to lie _within_ the beat
of which they form part.

[Illustration: Fig. 20.]

                   *       *       *       *       *

31.--Previous to 1660, each eighth or shorter note had a separate hook
or hooks. But at the time of the Restoration, John Playford substituted
a connecting horizontal line for the separate hooks of two or more
eighths belonging to the same division of the measure. The device was
copied by the Dutch, French, and Germans. The Italians did not adopt it
till later. Thus, Marcello's Psalms, published in Venice as late as
1724-27, have separate hooks. (In an edition in the writer's possession,
published in 1757, _united_ hooks are used, but this is probably rather
due to the _venue_ than to the later date.)

                   *       *       *       *       *

32.--Hooks in instrumental music must be united in strict accordance
with the laws of rhythm (see "Notation of Rhythm," pars. 8-13). Thus,
four eighth notes must not have the same hook in Compound Time: they
must be grouped as three and one, or one and three, or two and two,
according to the position they occupy in the beat they belong to. In
three-four time, six eighth notes may have one hook, but in six-eight
time they should preferably have separate hooks of three eighth notes
each. Broadly speaking, the notes forming a single beat of the measure
should be united in one hook, but very commonly two beats have one hook
between them, especially in four-four time.

In the case of sixteenths and shorter notes, the outermost hook often
shows the half-measure, and the inner hook or hooks the sub-division
into beats (see Fig. 21).

[Illustration: Fig. 21.]

                   *       *       *       *       *

33.--So closely should the hooks follow the rhythm, that where a phrase
crosses the measure beginning at the end of one measure, and ending at
the beginning of the next, the hook crosses the bar-line too, uniting
notes in different measures (see a, Fig. 22). Notes may have the same
hook though separated by a rest (see b, Fig. 22).

                   *       *       *       *       *

34.--The hook to a group of notes which ascends or descends may either
slant in the direction taken by the notes, or may be straight (see c,
Fig. 22). In the writer's opinion slanted hooks are preferable as being
a better guide to the eye. In manuscript music, when hooks have to be
drawn within the stave, and not above or below it, they should
invariably be slanted when this is possible; otherwise they are very apt
to coincide with the stave-lines, and fail of distinctness. A common
fault is in not making them thick enough. Notes are sometimes "hooked"
in accordance, not with the rhythm, but with the hand which is to play
them (see d, Fig. 22). This is necessitated by the usage with regard to
stems in such cases [see "Stems," par. 22, exception (2)].

[Illustration: Fig. 22.]

                   *       *       *       *       *

35.--In vocal music notes should not have the same hook which are sung
to a different syllable (see "Vocal Music," par. 37). Subject to these
exceptions, notes must be grouped according to their rhythm.

                   *       *       *       *       *


36.--The appeal to the eye (see "Notation of Rhythm," par. 8, and
"Placing of Notes," par. 14) must be maintained as regards the pitch as
well as the duration of notes--their perpendicular as well as their
horizontal position. Consequently leger-lines must be the same distance
from the stave, and from each other, as the stave-lines are one from
another. Carelessness in this matter is very common and very confusing.
How often a lower note looks as though above a higher one, because
leger-lines are cramped together in one case and too wide apart in
another (see Fig. 23).

[Illustration: Fig. 23.]

"Two things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other,"
as Euclid says: let leger-lines be equidistant with stave-lines, and
they will be level with each other.

But accuracy in the number of lines is of more importance than the
appeal to the eye, and the appeal to the eye must of course not be made
a substitute for it. The context shows the high note in Fig. 24 (which
is several times repeated) to have been _intended_ for E, the position
of which, on the paper, it about occupies. But, being on the first
leger-line, it _is_ A, and would be were it a yard above the stave! (The
example is taken from a _printed_, not a manuscript copy! The first two
notes are evidently intended as grace-notes, though the stems are turned
down; the stems in the second half of the first measure should have been
turned up.)

[Illustration: Fig. 24.]

                   *       *       *       *       *

Vocal Music.

37.--In vocal music the singing of one syllable to two or more notes is
shown in the case of whole notes, half notes, and quarters, by a slur
(see Fig. 25).

[Illustration: Fig. 25. Te Deum. C. V. Stanford.]

It will be seen from the above that a slur does not dispense with the
necessity for tying consecutive notes of the same pitch, occurring in a
passage sung to one syllable. For an apparent exception see a passage
from Handel's "But who may abide":

[Illustration: Fig. 26.]

But here, the repeated note occurring on a strong accent preceded by a
weak one, is evidently intended _not_ to be tied, but to receive an
emphasis. (Similar exceptions may be found in "Every Valley.")

In modern music, when _all the notes of a measure_ are to be sung to the
_same_ syllable, and there is _no likelihood of confusion_, the slur is
often dispensed with. This is especially the case in Mendelssohn's

[Illustration: Fig. 27. Mendelssohn's "St. Paul."]

                   *       *       *       *       *

38.--Eighths and shorter notes, to which one syllable is to be sung,
should have a united hook, _provided that they belong to the same
rhythmic group_; and _separate_ hooks, though belonging to the same
_rhythmic_ group, if sung to separate syllables:

[Illustration: Fig. 28.]

                   *       *       *       *       *

39.--Many writers place a slur over eighth notes, as well as quarters
and longer notes, when sung to one syllable. But this is quite
unnecessary with hooked notes unless, as in the preceding example, a
syllable is sung to a whole group and _part_ of another, or _parts_ of
two groups. Redundancy of slurs--very common in old music--is confusing
rather than helpful.

Intelligibility depends much upon getting the syllables exactly under or
over the notes to which they are to be sung.

                   *       *       *       *       *

40.--Syllables sung to notes extending over more space than themselves
should be followed by dots if forming a complete word, and by strokes,
or hyphens, if parts of a word. See preceding examples.

                   *       *       *       *       *

Open Score to Short Score.

41.--In transcribing from open score to short score, a single sound sung
by two voices simultaneously beginning _and ending_ at the same time,
should, if a whole note, be represented by two note-heads linked; if a
half note or shorter note, by having two stems, one up and the other

[Illustration: Fig. 29.]

                   *       *       *       *       *

42.--_Black_ notes, though of _different_ lengths, may have the same
note-head if they _begin_ at the same time, the difference being shown
in the hook or hooks:

[Illustration: Fig. 30.]

But a whole note and a half note must have separate note-heads, since a
stem would turn a whole note into a half note; and a whole note or half
note and a quarter note must have separate note-heads, since a note
cannot be white and black at the same time. In this case _the note-head
of shorter duration must be written first_:

[Illustration: Fig. 31.]

The rule is sometimes relaxed, and the longer note written first, when
the shorter note is the first of a group.

Albeit a half note and an eighth, or other hooked note, may have the
same note-head, _provided this be that of the half note_, because the
hook shows that in one part the note is intended to be read as an eighth
note. They cannot have an eighth note-head because there is nothing to
distinguish the stem of a half note from that of a quarter:

[Illustration: Fig. 32. S. Heller.]

                   *       *       *       *       *

43.--Notes cannot have the same note-head which _begin_ at different
times, even though they _end_ at the same time. This would involve
writing one of them in the wrong part of the measure (see "Placing of
Notes," par. 14).

[Illustration: Fig. 33.]

Hence, as a dotted quarter is a sixteenth shorter than two dotted
eighths and a sixteenth, and therefore the final note does not _begin_
at the same time (though it _ends_ at the same time) in the treble and
alto parts of the last group of Fig. 16 (par. 35), the example is
inaccurate. It should have been written thus:

[Illustration: Fig. 34.]

and would be so played were the passage given, say, to two violins.

[The tyro must not mistake the above two final note-heads, the _longer_
of which comes first, for a breach of the rule exemplified in Fig. 31
(par. 42), and which applies to two notes which _begin_ at the same
time. Here the longer note begins _before_ the shorter one.]

                   *       *       *       *       *

44.--In part-music all the accidentals in an open score will have to be
reproduced in short score. Each performer is only supposed to read his
own part, and cannot be assumed to have seen an accidental in another
part which, had it been seen, would have rendered one in his own
unnecessary. Thus the sharps in Fig. 35

[Illustration: Fig. 35.]

will remain in a transcription to short score,

[Illustration: Fig. 36.]

if intended for part-singers or players. (A pianist or organist would
not need the second sharp in each stave, while probably _preferring_ it
as a recognition of the part-writing character of the music.)

                   *       *       *       *       *

45.--In music which is _not_ part-writing, the transcriber will have to
use his discretion as to the repetition of accidentals which have
already appeared in another "part" in the same measure. The guiding
principle will be to avoid the likelihood of error on the part of a
competent reader.

                   *       *       *       *       *

46.--Care must be taken to turn the stems of half notes and shorter
notes according to the principles of short score, and not necessarily as
they are in the open score.

                   *       *       *       *       *

Short Score to Open Score.

47.--Co-relatively, in transcribing from short score to open, it will
occasionally be necessary to put accidentals in the latter which are not
in the former. The commonest form of this is probably in extracting a
single part, soprano, alto, tenor, or bass, from an ordinary short score
hymn or chant book, and writing it in a part-book for the particular
voice. Thus, in transcribing the tenor of the following extract from the
hymn-tune "Heathlands" into a part-book, it would be necessary to insert
a natural before the A.

[Illustration: Fig. 37.]

                   *       *       *       *       *

48.--Far more often, however, it is necessary to _omit_ naturals used to
contradict an accidental occurring in a part which is not being copied.
Thus, in the following extract from the tune "Endless Alleluia," the
natural in both the tenor and bass would be unnecessary were these parts
written out separately from the other parts and each other.

[Illustration: Fig. 38.]

(The A sharp in the tenor of this extract suggests C sharp so strongly
apart from the rest of the harmony, that the natural is almost a
necessity even had the previous treble C sharp not been included. Not
being required according to rule, however, it should be enclosed in
brackets--a not infrequent, and very commendable, device with careful
writers, when an accidental is desirable but not necessary according to

                   *       *       *       *       *

49.--The stems, of course, must be turned up or down according to their
position above or below the middle line, and not as in the short score.

                   *       *       *       *       *

Extracting a Single Part.

50.--In copying out a single part from a score, full or short, care must
be taken in abbreviating a number of measures' rest. The usual way of
doing this is to write the number of measures over a single measure,

[Illustration: Fig. 39.]

But if a pause occurs in any of the other parts of the score this will
not do. The number of bars before the pause must be counted, and the
pause--or pauses--shown in the abbreviation as follows, assuming it to
occur in the thirteenth bar:

[Illustration: Fig. 40.]

                   *       *       *       *       *


51.--The necessity for inserting accidentals in a part-copy which may
not appear in a short-score, has just been pointed out. Yet the musical
Hercules is beset with a Charybdis as well as a Scylla. He may be drawn
into the bad and very irritating modern habit of using accidentals which
are not really called for. Accidentals where unnecessary are doubtless
used with the object of making assurance doubly sure. They have
_precisely the reverse effect_, besides being uncomplimentary--to put it
mildly--to the intelligence of the performer. Sharps, flats, and
naturals which sometimes are _foreign_ to the signature, and sometimes
_duplicate_ it, cause confusion where there was previously assurance.
Bad enough at all times, they are, when one is transposing at sight,
exasperating to the last degree.

An accidental is operative during the bar in which it occurs, and no
further, unless it inflects the last note of a bar, and the next bar
begins with the same note. It is so usual, however, to contradict an
accidental in the bar _next_ to that in which it occurs, that this
practice may almost be said to have become a rule, breach of which might
cause uncertainty in all but the clearest cases. This is no
justification for the absurd practice of some writers, of contradicting
an inflection the next time the same note _un_-inflected occurs,
_however far off this may be_!

As a rule, a natural should only be used where the sharp or flat to be
cancelled would _not_ have to be repeated were the inflection intended
to continue.

                   *       *       *       *       *


52.--A common cause of illegibility in manuscript music is what may be
called a spider-like sameness in the web. Stems and hooks--indeed
sometimes stems and note-heads!--are much of the same thickness and
blackness. Compare them in printed music, and it will be seen that a
dozen, perhaps a score, of stems could be spun out of one hook.

                   *       *       *       *       *

53.--Should it be necessary to erase and rewrite a note, the blurred
effect too often resulting may be almost entirely avoided by _penciling_
the correct note before tracing it in ink. This produces a lead-lined
groove and prevents the ink from running.

                   *       *       *       *       *


54.--Orthography is taught by the careful making--drawing rather than
writing--of large letters. The formation of a more rapid and individual
hand does not come till later. So with musical phonography. The student,
at whatever cost of time and patience, must first acquire _accuracy and
clearness_. Not till _these are gained_ must he think of rapidity and
ease. Hence the consideration of facility has been deferred to the last.

Facility is well worthy of consideration, especially on the part of
those who have much music to write. A little thought will often show how
a character may be made in one stroke, which in any other way will take
two or more, and that without any loss of clearness.

Thus a half note can be made in one stroke if begun at the point where
the ring joins the stem; that is, at the _top_ of the ring for upward
stems, at the _under part_ for downward stems.

[Illustration: Fig. 41.]

Quarter notes may be made in one stroke if the head be begun first when
the stem is upward, and the _stem_ first when the stem is downward.

[Illustration: Fig. 42.]

If this very simple expedient were more generally known, the practice of
writing downward as well as upward stems at the right-hand side of the
note-head--never done in printed music--would not be as common as it is.
It should be added that to make a quarter or half note satisfactorily in
one stroke, a pliable pen, fine, but spreading under pressure, and
rapidly recovering itself, is necessary, otherwise the head will be too
thin or the stem too thick.

Eighth notes, especially those with downward stems, are best made in two
strokes. They can, however, be made in one if begun at the _bottom_.
That is to say, those with upward stems must be begun at the head, and
those with downward stems at the hook. This hook must be drawn thin, if
made thick the pen will scratch when making the stem: if the head be
made first the pen ends at the wrong side for a _downward_ stem.

[Illustration: Fig. 43.]

Each shorter note requires an additional action.

The G clef can be made in one stroke if begun at the innermost part of
the curl, or at the downward extremity. The F clef requires three
strokes, owing to the dots, each of which takes one to itself.

The C clef requires four movements, so does a sharp. A flat may be made
in one stroke, but is very apt to look like a half note. A natural
requires two movements.

Chords may be expeditiously formed, if with _downward_ stem, by making
the top note, with stem, first, and then adding the other notes. Chords
with upward stems should be begun at the bottom.

(The joinings are purposely left imperfect to show the method. The
numbers show the order of the four actions for the four notes.)

[Illustration: Fig. 44.]

                   *       *       *       *       *


55.--A primer on musical orthography is hardly complete without a few
words on Copyright. As long as a work is in manuscript and copies are
not offered for sale it enjoys the same protection, under the common
law, as if properly entered for copyright. It is an infringement of
copyright to copy, reprint, publish, or vend the whole or any portion of
a copyright work for any purpose whatsoever. It is an infringement to
copy a hymn tune, a portion of an anthem, orchestral parts, or to
transpose a song; such infringements can be prosecuted and the full
penalty exacted. It can be readily understood that such copying deprives
the composer or proprietor of his just returns from the sales of his
work. To secure a copyright in the United States of America it is
necessary to print on each and every copy, Copyright (date) by (name of
proprietor), and to send to the Registrar of Copyright, Washington,
D. C., two complete copies with a fee of one dollar for registration and
a certificate under seal. The copyright is secured for twenty-eight
years from the date of first publication with the privilege of a renewal
for twenty-eight years, provided that notice of renewal is given the
copyright office one year prior to the expiration of the first term.
Securing an international copyright is usually undertaken by the
publisher, as are also such matters as mechanical rights.

                   *       *       *       *       *

56.--When the finished composition is ready for publication, a fair copy
should be made and care exercised to see that it is legible and correct
in every particular. A few suggestions as to proofreading and correcting
may prove useful. There are certain symbols in universal use which are
as follows:

[Illustration: move over]

[Illustration: take out]

[Illustration: turn over]

[Illustration: transpose]

[Illustration: close up]

[Illustration: space]

[Illustration: wrong font]

[Illustration: lower case]

These symbols should be marked on the margin of the proof (see sample
page), and no other instructions are necessary. Notes are indicated by
their position on the staff not by their names. The value of a note is
indicated by a fraction. Slurs are drawn in and indicated by the word
"slur." Dots are encircled with a line to give them prominence.



The numbers refer to the _Paragraph_, not the Page.


  Accidentals                           44-48, 51

  Barring                                       4

  Beat-lines                                   14

  Bind                                         14

  Black-notes                                  42

  Change of Key                                 4

  Change of Time                                7

  Chords                                       54

  Clefs                                         5

  Common Faults      5, 6, 12, 13, 22, 34, 36, 52

  Compound Time                                13

  Copyright                                    55

  Crossing Parts                               24

  Direct                                        5

  Dots                              20, 9, 14, 40

  Erasures                                     53

  Extracting a Single Part                     50

  Facility                                     54

  German Quarter Note Rests                    17

  Grace-notes                                  23

  Groups                   13, 23, 30, 32, 35, 38

  Half Note Head with Eighth Note Hook         42

  Historical Notes              7, 14, 21, 27, 31

  Hooks                                    29, 42

  Introductory                                  1

  Key Signature                              4, 6

  Leger-lines                                  36

  Legibility                                   52

  Mapping-out                                   4

  Mercer's Psalter                              4

  Morley's _Practical Music_                   14

  Notation of Rhythm                        8, 32

  Open Score                           16, 20, 23

  Open Score to Short Score                    41

  Organ Music                                  23

  Over-lapping Iteration (Piano)               11

  Paper                                         2

  Part Writing                             19, 44

  Pause                                        50

  Placing of Notes                             14

  Playford's "Whole Booke of Psalms"       27, 31

  Rests                             15-19, 12, 50

  Rhythm, Notation of                       8, 32

  Scoring                                       3

  Short Score                              18, 24

  Short Score to Open                          42

  Sign of Perfection                            7

  Signatures                              6, 4, 7

  Simple Time                                  12

  Slur                                     37, 39

  Sonata Pastorale                              9

  Stems                                        22

    Of Rests                           25, 16, 18

  Stroke and Dot                                9

  Three Parts on One Stave                     24

  Ties                             10, 11, 14, 37

  Time Signature                                7

  Turn Over                                  4, 5

  Unnecessary Accidentals                      51

  Vocal music                              37, 23

    (Exception 4)                          35, 40

  Words (See also "Vocal Music")                4

☞ _When a higher number precedes a lower in the above index, it is
because it refers to a more important Paragraph._

  [ Transcriber's Note:

    The following is a list of corrections made to the original.
    The first line is the original line, the second the corrected one.

  Quartet-paper: four stave score, no brackets or clefs.
  Quartet-paper: four-stave score, no brackets or clefs.


  cannot be white and black at the same time. In this case _the notehead
  cannot be white and black at the same time. In this case _the note-head


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