Sheet Music

Sheet music, or music score is hand written or printed notation that helps us read and play composed music.

The term score has been used to refer to music written for one or more performers. A part applies when there is more than one part needed for performance.

The medium for music scores typically is paper (in earlier times, parchment) and in recent years includes computer screens. Use of the term "sheet" is intended to differentiate music on paper from an audio presentation from a sound recording, broadcast, or live performance. It may also involve video.

We can learn musical information about a piece by studying the written sketches and early versions of compositions that the composer of the music might have saved, as well as the final autograph score and personal markings on proofs and printed scores.



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MUSIC NOTATION

Guido of Arezzo was a music theorist of the Medieval era. He is regarded as the inventor of modern musical notation (staff notation). His text, the "Micrologus", was the widely distributed treatise on music in the Middle Ages.

To comprehend written piano music it requires the ability to read music notation and all the symbols on the page that tell us how the composer intended the music to be played. When you sign up for piano lessons I will show you how to do this.

PERFORMANCE

If a piano piece is intended to be performed by more than one person, such as using two or more pianos or an instrument or vocalist with piano accompaniment, each performer will usually have a separate piece of music, called a part, to play.

Music scores can be issued as individual pieces, as a popular song, or a Beethoven or Schubert sonata, in collections with works by one or several composers, or as pieces performed by an individual artist.

A piano score or piano reduction of an orchestral piece is usually a transcription for piano of a piece intended for many performing parts. This can include purely instrumental sections within large vocal works. Such arrangements are made for either piano solo, piano duet (four hands), or piano duo (two pianos-four hands or two piano-eight hands).

When you take piano lessons from me you will be able to learn to play piano solos, duets with family members, friends, and other students.

MUSIC AND COMPUTERS

Did you know that in the late 20th and into the 21st century, significant interest developed in representing sheet music in a computer-readable format, as well as down-loadable files? Music OCR, software to "read" scanned sheet music so that the results can be manipulated, has been available since 1991.

Computer music notation programs for professional as well as for home use include user friendly "Sibelius" and "Finale" for PC and Mac. Many modern Digital Audio Workstation software products support a generation of sheet music from MIDI files or by manual entry. Examples of products with this feature include Cakewalk (SONAR), Pro Tools and Logic Pro.

KEYBOARDS THAT TALK TO EACH OTHER

Did you know there is a software program written so that digital keyboards can talk to each other.

At an MTNA (Music Teachers National Conference) meeting in Atlanta where I was a participant I took part in trying out software called "Internet MIDI".

We were each given 15 minutes to work online with a student at Juilliard. Each of us used a computer and piano keyboard with a digital (MIDI) connection. Each teacher and distant piano student could actually play on each other's piano keyboard electronically. We both used a Yamaha Disklavier. The student and I could see and hear each other clearly. I could see the notes go down on the Disklavier I was using as the music was played many miles away on the digital piano the student was using.

This program is available for MAC or PC from Time Warp Products online at www.timewarptech.com.

"Classroom Maestro", an online electronic blackboard on which music symbols and notation can be placed; and "Home Concert Xtreme", a program that follows the pianist's tempo fluctuations and nuances such as accelerando, (speeding up), and ritardando, (slowing down), are available from Time Warp, Alfred, Yamaha and Roland.

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