Some of you may be interested in learning a little more about how music is notated. Notation is a central part of how all the music we’ll be covering this semester is created, played, and preserved–all the composers we’ll encounter use music notation to specify what sounds they want to hear and when, and all the performers read this notation for the music they play (even if it was written hundreds of years before they were even born).

Even people who make or study music that is improvised (made up on the spot) or produced in a studio (like pop music) use music notation when they want to be really specific about what’s going on a piece of music in terms of its pitch, rhythm, and texture. It is possible transcribe (write down) any music using the basics of this notation system. 

Here is a 5-minute overview of notation from TedEd contributor Ted Hansen:



-Dr. J

One thought on “Music notation

  1. As we all know harmony, melody and rhythm are important elements in music. I definitely agree that harmony sets the mood for a song. Harmony creates beautiful arrangements of sound.


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