Music Notation and Terminology
by Karl W. Gehrkens
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Transcriber's note:

In this e-text, a superscript is indicated by a carat (^) and a subscript by a single underscore (_). Italics are indicated by two underscores, e.g. _larghetto_. The Czech r (with its diacritical) is represented by ř, e.g. Dvořak.]




Associate Professor of School Music Oberlin Conservatory of Music


The A. S. Barnes Company New York 1914 Copyright, 1914, by The A. S. Barnes Company


The study of music notation and terminology by classes in conservatories and in music departments of colleges and normal schools is a comparative innovation, one reason for the non-existence of such courses in the past being the lack of a suitable text-book, in which might be found in related groups clear and accurate definitions of the really essential terms. But with the constantly increasing interest in music study (both private and in the public schools), and with the present persistent demand that music teaching shall become more systematic and therefore more efficient in turning out a more intelligent class of pupils, it has become increasingly necessary to establish courses in which the prospective teacher of music (after having had considerable experience with music itself) might acquire a concise and accurate knowledge of a fairly large number of terms, most of which he has probably already encountered as a student, and many of which he knows the general meaning of, but none of which he perhaps knows accurately enough to enable him to impart his knowledge clearly and economically to others.

To meet the need of a text-book for this purpose in his own classes the author has been for several years gathering material from all available sources, and it is hoped that the arrangement of this material in related groups as here presented will serve to give the student not only some insight into the present meaning of a goodly number of terms, but will also enable him to see more clearly why certain terms have the meaning which at present attaches to them. To this latter end the derivations of many of the terms are given in connection with their definition.

The aim has not been to present an exhaustive list, and the selection of terms has of course been influenced largely by the author's own individual experience, hence many teachers will probably feel that important terms have been omitted that should have been included. For this state of affairs no apology is offered except that it would probably be impossible to write a book on this subject which would satisfy everyone in either the selection or actual definition of terms.

In formulating the definitions themselves an attempt has been made to use such words as note, tone, et cetera with at least a fair degree of accuracy, and while the attitude of the author on this point may be criticized as being puristic and pedantic, it is nevertheless his opinion that the next generation of music students and teachers will be profited by a more accurate use of certain terms that have been inaccurately used for so long that the present generation has to a large extent lost sight of the fact that the use is inaccurate. The author is well aware of the fact that reform is a matter of growth rather than of edict, but he is also of the belief that before reform can actually begin to come, the need of reform must be felt by a fairly large number of actively interested persons. It is precisely because so few musicians realize the need of any change in music terminology that the changes recommended by committees who have given the matter careful thought are so slow in being adopted. It is hoped that some few points at which reform in the terminology of music is necessary may be brought to the attention of a few additional musicians thru this volume, and that the cause may thus be helped in some slight degree.

It is suggested that in using the book for class-room purposes the teacher emphasize not only the definition and derivation of all terms studied, but the spelling and pronunciation as well. For this latter purpose a pronouncing index has been appended.

It is impossible to give credit to all sources from which ideas have been drawn, but especial mention should be made of the eminently clear and beautifully worded definitions compiled by Professor Waldo S. Pratt or the Century Dictionary, and the exceedingly valuable articles on an almost all-inclusive range of topics found in the new edition of Grove's Dictionary. Especial thanks for valuable suggestions as to the arrangement of the material, etc., are also due to Dr. Raymond H. Stetson, Professor of Psychology, Oberlin College; Arthur E. Heacox, Professor of Theory, Oberlin Conservatory of Music; and Charles I. Rice, Supervisor of Music, Worcester, Mass., as well as to various members of the Music Teachers' National Association who have offered valuable advice along certain specific lines.




CHAPTER I.—Some Principles of Correct Notation 1 1. Note. 2, 3. Rules for turning stems. 4. Use of cross-stroke. 5. Rest. 6. G Clef. 7. F Clef and C Clef. 8. Sharp and double-sharp. 9. Flat, double-flat and natural. 10. Tie. 11. Dot after a note.

CHAPTER II.—Symbols of Music Defined 5 12. Staff and Great Staff. 13. Leger Lines. 14. Staff degrees. 15. Clef. 16. Treble and bass Clefs. 17. Movable C Clef. 18. Sharp. 19. Flat. 20. Double-sharp and double-flat.

CHAPTER III.—Symbols of Music Defined (continued) 8 21. Natural 22, 23. Key-signature; how determine whether a major or minor key. 24, 25. Accidentals; with tie across bar. 26. Rules concerning altered staff degrees. 27. Enharmonic. 28. Notes; pitch and length of tones. 29. Rests. 30. Lists of notes and rests. 31. English names for. 32. Less common forms. 33. Whole rest, peculiar use of. 34. Bar. 35. Double-bar.

CHAPTER IV.—Abbreviations, Signs, etc. 13 36-40. Signs for repetition. 41. Continuation. 42. Rest. 43. Pause. 44. Hold. 45-47. Alteration of Pitch. 48. Octave names.

CHAPTER V.—Abbreviations, Signs, etc. (continued) 17 49-51. Dots after notes. 52. Dots over or under notes. 53. Dash over note. 54. Tie. 55. Slur. 56. Slur or tie with dots. 57. Dash over note. 58. Dash and dot over note. 59. Accent marks. 60. m.d., m.g., etc. 61. Arpeggio. 62. Messa di voce. 63. Violin bow signs.

CHAPTER VI.—Embellishments 22 64. Definition and kinds. 65. Trill. 66-68. Mordent. 69-72. Turn. 73, 74. Appoggiatura. 75. Acciaccatura.

CHAPTER VII.—Scales 27 76. Definition, and old forms. 77. Origin. 78. Key. 79. Three general classes. 80. Diatonic, defined. 81. Major diatonic. 82. Tetrachords. 83. The fifteen positions.

CHAPTER VIII.—Scales (continued) 33 84. Minor diatonic. 85. Original form. 86. Harmonic minor. 87. Melodic minor. 88. Eleven positions. 89. Relative minor. 90. Tonic minor. 91. Diatonic scale names. 92. Syllable-names. 93. Chromatic scale. 94. Nine positions. 95. Whole-step scale.

CHAPTER IX.—Auxiliary Words and Endings 42

CHAPTER X.—Measure 44 97. Definition.—Two essential characteristics. Rhythm vers measure. 98. Syncopation. 99. Simple and compound measures. 100. Commonest varieties. 101. Other varieties. 102. Rare varieties. 103. The signs, C and [cut-time symbol].

CHAPTER XI.—Tempo 48 104. Misuses of the word "time." 105-107. How to correct these: by substituting "rhythm," "measure," and "tempo." 108. Three ways of finding the correct tempo. 109. A convenient grouping of tempo-terms.

CHAPTER XII.—Tempo (continued) 52 110-119. Tempo-terms.

CHAPTER XIII.—Dynamics 56 120-131. Terms relating to dynamics.

CHAPTER XIV.—Terms Relating to Forms and Styles 62 132. Definition of form. 133. Basis of form. 134. Difference between form and style. 135. Introductory. 136. Two styles. 137. Monophonic music. 138. Polyphonic music. 139. Counterpoint. 140. Imitation. 141. Canon. 142. School round. 143. Fugue.

CHAPTER XV.—Terms Relating to Forms and Styles (continued) 67 144. Phrase-section. 145. Period. Antecedent. Consequent. 146. Primary forms. 147. Theme. 148. Thematic development. 149. Rondo. 150. Suite. 151. Dances in suite. 152. Scherzo. 153. Sonata. 154. Trio. Quartet. Chamber Music. 155. Concerto. 156. Symphony. 157. Sonata-form. 158. Sonatina. Grand Sonata. 159. Program music. 160. Symphonic or tone poem.

CHAPTER XVI.—Terms Relating to Vocal Music 76 161. Anthem. 162. A capella. 163. Motet. 164. Choral. 165. Mass. 166. Cantata. 167. Oratorio. 168. Opera. 169. Libretto. 170. Recitative. 171. Aria. 172. Lied. 173. Ballad. 174. Folk-song. 175. Madrigal. 176. Glee. 177. Part-song.

CHAPTER XVII.—Rhythm, Melody, Harmony and Intervals 82 178. The four elements of music. 179. Rhythm. 180. Melody. 181. Harmony. 182. Timbre. 183. Interval—harmonic and melodic. 184. Number name and specific name. 185. Prime. 186. Second. 187. Third. 188. Fourth. 189. Fifth. 190. Sixth. 191. Seventh. 192. Octave. 193. Ninth. 194. Major, minor, perfect, diminished and augmented intervals. 195. Inverted intervals.

CHAPTER XVIII.—Chords, Cadences, etc. 87 196. Chord. Triad. Root. 197. Major, minor, diminished, augmented triads. 198. The Common chords. 199. Fundamental position. First inversion. Second inversion. 200. Figured bass. 201. Seventh-chord. Ninth chord. 202. Cadence. 203. Authentic cadence. 204. Perfect authentic. Imperfect authentic. 205. Plagal cadence. 206. Half-cadence. 207. Deceptive cadence. 208. Sequence. 209. Modulation, harmonic and melodic: Dominant Seventh. 210. Suspension. 211. Retardation. 212. Anticipation. 213. Pedal point. 214. Close and open position. 215. Transposition.

CHAPTER XIX.—Miscellaneous Terms 95

CHAPTER XX.—Miscellaneous Terms (continued) 98

APPENDIX A.—The History of Music Notation 101

APPENDIX B.—Musical Instruments 112 1. Two classes. 2. Piano. 3, 4. Organ, reed and pipe. 5. Instruments used for ensemble playing. 6. Band. 7. Orchestra. 8. The stringed instruments. 9. Wood-wind. 10. Brass. 11. Percussion. 12. Proportion of instruments, in an orchestra. 13. Books recommended. 14. Violin. 15. Viola. 16. Violoncello. 17. Double-bass. 18. Flute. 19. Piccolo. 20. Oboe family. 21. Clarinet and bass clarinet; saxophone. 22. French horn. 23. Trumpet. 24. Cornet. 25. Trombone. 26. Tuba. 27. Kettle-drum. 28. Harp.

APPENDIX C.—Acoustics 131 1. Definition. 2. Sound, production of. 3. Sound, transmission of. 4. Rate of travel. 5. Intensification of. 6. Classification of. 7. Tones, properties of. 8. Pitch. 9. Intensity. 10. Quality. 11. Overtones. 12. Equal temperament. 13. Standards of pitch.

APPENDIX D.—Terminology Reform 139

APPENDIX E.—Analysis of Beethoven Sonata, Op. 31, No. 3 149




1. The note (from nota—Latin—a mark or sign) consists of either one, two, or three parts, () these being referred to respectively as head, stem, and hook. The hook is often called tail or cross-stroke. The stem appears on the right side of the head when turned up, but on the left side when turned down.[1] The hook is always on the right side.[2]

[Footnote 1: It should be noted at the outset that this statement regarding the down-turned stem on the left side of the note-head, and also a number of similar principles here cited, refer more specifically to music as it appears on the printed page. In the case of hand-copied music the down-turned stem appears on the right side of the note, thus [note symbol]. This is done because of greater facility in writing, and for the same reason other slight modifications of the notation here recommended may sometimes be encountered. In dealing with children it is best usually to follow as closely as possible the principles according to which printed music is notated, in order to avoid those non-satisfying and often embarrassing explanations of differences which will otherwise be unavoidable.]

[Footnote 2: An exception to this rule occurs in the case of notes of unequal value stroked together, when the hook appears on the left side, thus .]

In writing music with pen the head and hook are best made with a heavy pressure on the pen point, but in writing at the board they are most easily made by using a piece of chalk about an inch long, turned on its side.

2. When only one part (or voice) is written on the staff, the following rules for turning stems apply: (1) If the note-head is below the third line, the stem must turn up. (2) If the note-head is above the third line the stem must turn down. (3) If the note-head is on the third line the stem is turned either up or down with due regard to the symmetrical appearance of the measure in which the note occurs. The following examples will illustrate these points.

3. When two parts are written on the same staff, the stems of the upper part all turn up, and those of the lower part turn down, in order that the parts may be clearly distinguished. (Fig. 2.) But in music for piano and other instruments on which complete chords can be sounded by one performer and also in simple, four-part vocal music in which all voices have approximately the same rhythm, several notes often have one stem in common as in Fig. 3.

4. Notes of small denomination (eighths and smaller) are often written in groups of two or more, all stems in the group being then connected by one cross-stroke. In such a case all the stems must of course be turned the same way, the direction being determined by the position of the majority of note-heads in the group. Notes thus stroked may be of the same or of different denomination. See Fig. 4.

In vocal music notes are never thus stroked when a syllable is given to each note. (See p. 19, Sec. 55, C.)

5. Rests, like notes, are best made with a heavy pen stroke or by using a piece of chalk on its side. (See note under Sec. 1.) The double-whole rest, whole rest, and half rest occupy the third space unless for the sake of clearness in writing two parts on the same staff they are written higher or lower. The rests of smaller denomination may be placed at any point on the staff, the hooks being always placed on the spaces. The hook of the eighth rest is usually placed on the third space. Rests are sometimes dotted, but are never tied.

6. The G clef should be begun at the second line rather than below the staff. Experiments have shown clearly that beginners learn to make it most easily in this way, and the process may be further simplified by dividing it into two parts, thus, . The descending stroke crosses the ascending curve at or near the fourth line. The circular part of the curve occupies approximately the first and second spaces.

7. The F clef is made either thus, [bass clef symbol], or thus, [old bass clef symbol], the dots being placed one on either side of the fourth line of the staff, which is the particular point that the clef marks. The C clef has also two forms, [C clef symbol] and [tenor clef symbol].

8. The sharp is made with two light vertical strokes, and two heavy slanting ones, the slant of the latter being upward from left to right, [sharp]. The sharp should never be made thus, .

The double sharp is made either thus [double-sharp symbol] or [old double-sharp symbol], the first form being at present the more common.

9. The flat is best made by a down stroke retraced part way up, the curve being made without lifting pen from paper. The double flat consists of two flats,[3] [flat][flat]. The natural or cancel is made in two strokes, down-right and right-down, thus .

[Footnote 3: It is to be hoped that the figure for the double-flat suggested by Mattheson (who also suggested the St. Andrew's cross ([symbol]) for the double-sharp) may some time be readopted. This figure was the Greek letter B, made thus, [Greek: b], and its use would make our notation one degree more uniform than it is at present.]

10. The tie usually connects the heads of notes, thus [tie symbol].

11. The dot after a note always appears on a space, whether the note-head is on a line or space. (See Fig. 5.) In the case of a dot after a note on a line, the dot usually appears on the space above that line if the next note is higher in position and on the space below it if the following note is lower.

Note.—Correct notation must be made a habit rather than a theory, and in order to form the habit of writing correctly, drill is necessary. This may perhaps be best secured by asking students to write (at the board or on ruled paper) from verbal dictation, thus: Teacher says,

"Key of B[flat], three-quarter measure: First measure, DO a quarter note, RE a quarter, and MI a quarter. Second measure, SOL a quarter, LA a quarter, and SOL a quarter. Third measure, LA, TI, DO, RE, MI, eighths, stroked in pairs. Fourth measure, high DO a dotted half." Pupils respond by writing the exercise dictated, after which mistakes in the turning of stems, etc., are corrected. The pitch names may be dictated instead of the syllables if desired, and still further practice may be provided by asking that the exercise be transposed to other keys.



12. A staff is a collection of parallel lines, together with the spaces belonging to them. The modern staff has five lines and six spaces, these being ordinarily referred to as first line, second line, third line, fourth line, and fifth line (beginning with the lowest); and space below (i.e., space below the first line), first space, second space, third space, fourth space, and space above.

The definition and discussion above refer more specifically to one of the portions of the "great staff," the latter term being often applied to the combination of treble and bass staffs (with one leger line between) so commonly used in piano music, etc.

13. The extent of the staff may be increased either above or below by the addition of short lines called leger lines,[4] and notes may be written on either these lines or on the spaces above and below them.

[Footnote 4: The word leger is derived from the French word LEGER, meaning light, and this use of the word refers to the fact that the leger lines, being added by hand, are lighter—i.e., less solid in color—than the printed lines of the staff itself.]

14. The lines and spaces constituting the staff (including leger lines if any) are often referred to as staff degrees, i.e., each separate line and space is considered to be "a degree of the staff." The tones of a scale are also sometimes referred to as "degrees of the scale."

15. A clef[5] is a sign placed on the staff to designate what pitches are to be represented by its lines and spaces. Thus, e.g., the G clef shows us not only that the second line of the staff represents G, but that the first line represents E, the first space F, etc. The F clef similarly shows us that the fifth line of the bass staff represents the first A below middle C, the fourth line the first F below middle C, etc.

[Footnote 5: The word clef is derived from CLAVIS—a key—the reference being to the fact that the clef unlocks or makes clear the meaning of the staff, as a key to a puzzle enables us to solve the puzzle.]

The student should note that these clefs are merely modified forms of the letters G and F, which (among others) were used to designate the pitches represented by certain lines when staff notation was first inaugurated. For a fuller discussion of this matter see Appendix A, p. 101. [Transcriber's Note: Corrected error "Appendix I" in original.]

16. When the G clef is used the staff is usually referred to as the treble staff, and when the F clef is used, as the bass staff. Such expressions as "singing from the treble clef," or "singing in the treble clef," and "singing in the bass clef" are still frequently heard, but are preferably replaced by "singing from the treble staff," and "singing from the bass staff." Fig. 6 shows the permanent names of lines and spaces when the G and F clefs are used.[6]

[Footnote 6: The Germans use the same pitch designations as we do with two exceptions, viz., our B is called by them H, and our B[flat] is called B. The scale of C therefore reads: C, D, E, F, G, A, H, C; the scale of F reads F, G, A, B, C, D, E, F. The signatures are in all cases written exactly as we write them.

In France and Italy where the "fixed DO" system is in vogue, pitches are usually referred to by the syllable names; e.g., C is referred to as DO (or UT), D as RE, etc.]

17. The movable C clef [C clef symbol] or [tenor clef symbol], formerly in very common use, is now utilized for only two purposes, viz., (1) in music written for certain orchestral instruments (cello, viola, etc.) of extended range, in order to avoid having to use too many leger lines; and (2) for indicating the tenor part in vocal music. This latter usage seems also to be disappearing however, and the tenor part is commonly written on the treble staff, it being understood that the tones are to be sung an octave lower than the notes would indicate.

The C clef as used in its various positions is shown in Figs. 7, 8, and 9. It will be noted that in each case the line on which the clef is placed represents "middle C."

18. A sharp is a character which causes the degree of the staff with which it is associated to represent a pitch one half-step higher than it otherwise would.

Thus in Fig. 10 (a) the fifth line and first space represent the pitch F, but in Fig. 10 (b) these same staff degrees represent an entirely different tone—F[sharp]. The student should note that the sharp does not then raise anything; it merely causes a staff degree to represent a higher tone than it otherwise would. There is just as much difference between F and F[sharp] as between B and C, and yet one would never think of referring to C as "B raised"!

19. A flat is a character that causes the degree of the staff with which it is associated to represent a tone one half-step lower than it otherwise would. (See note under Sec. 18 and apply the same discussion here.)

20. A double-sharp causes the staff degree on which it is placed to represent a pitch one whole-step higher than it would without any sharp. Similarly, a double-flat causes the staff degree on which it is placed to represent a pitch one whole-step lower than it would without any flat.

Double-sharps and double-flats are generally used on staff degrees that have already been sharped or flatted, therefore their practical effect is to cause staff degrees to represent pitches respectively a half-step higher and a half-step lower than would be represented by those same degrees in their diatonic condition. Thus in Fig. 10 (b) the first space in its diatonic condition[7] represents F-sharp, and the double-sharp on this degree would cause it to represent a pitch one-half step higher than F-sharp, i.e., F-double-sharp.

[Footnote 7: The expression "diatonic condition" as here used refers to the staff after the signature has been placed upon it, in other words after the staff has been prepared to represent the pitches of the diatonic scale.]



21. The natural[8] (sometimes called cancel) annuls the effect of previous sharps, flats, double-sharps, and double-flats, within the measure in which it occurs. After a double-sharp or double-flat the combination of a natural with a sharp, or a natural with a flat is often found: in this case only one sharp or flat is annulled. (Sometimes also the single sharp or flat will be found by itself, cancelling the double-sharp or double-flat). The natural is often used when a composition changes key, as in Fig. 11, where a change from E to G is shown.

[Footnote 8: It has already been noted (p. 6, Note) that in the German scale our b-flat is called b, and our b is called H. From this difference in terminology has grown up the custom of using the H (now made [natural]) to show that any staff-degree is in natural condition, i.e., not sharped or flatted.]

22. The group of sharps or flats (or absence of them) at the beginning of a staff partially indicates the key in which the composition is written. They are called collectively the key-signature.

23. The same key-signature may stand for either one of two keys, the major key, or its relative minor, hence in order to determine in what key a melody is one must note whether the tones are grouped about the major tonic DO or the minor tonic LA. In a harmonized composition it is almost always possible to determine the key by referring to the last bass note; if the final chord is clearly the DO chord the composition is in the major key, but if this final chord is clearly the LA chord then it is almost certain that the entire composition is in the minor key. Thus if a final chord appears as that in Fig. 12 the composition is clearly in G major, while if it appears as in Fig. 13, it is just as surely in E minor.

24. Sharps, flats, naturals, double-sharps and double-flats, occurring in the course of the composition (i.e., after the key signature) are called accidentals, whether they actually cause a staff degree to represent a different pitch as in Fig. 14 or simply make clear a notation about which there might otherwise be some doubt as in Fig. 15, measure two. The effect of such accidentals terminates at the bar.

25. In the case of a tie across a bar an accidental remains in force until the combined value of the tied notes expires. In Fig. 16 first measure, third beat, an accidental sharp makes the third space represent the pitch C sharp. By virtue of the tie across the bar the third space continues to represent C sharp thru the first beat of the second measure, but for the remainder of the measure the third space will represent C unless the sharp is repeated as in Fig. 17.

26. The following rules for making staff degrees represent pitches different from those of the diatonic scale will be found useful by the beginner in the study of music notation. These rules are quoted from "The Worcester Musical Manual," by Charles I. Rice.

1. To sharp a natural degree, use a sharp. Fig. 18. 2. To sharp a sharped degree, use a double sharp. Fig. 19. 3. To sharp a flatted degree, use a natural. Fig. 20. 4. To flat a natural degree, use a flat. Fig. 21. 5. To flat a flatted degree, use a double flat. Fig. 22. 6. To flat a sharped degree, use a natural. Fig. 23.

27. When two different notations represent the same pitch, the word enharmonic is applied. Thus we may say that F sharp and G flat (on keyboard instruments at least) are enharmonically the same.

This word enharmonic is used in such expressions as enharmonic change, enharmonic keys, enharmonic interval, enharmonic modulation, enharmonic relation, etc., and in all such combinations it has the same meaning, viz.—a change in notation but no change in the pitch represented.

28. A note is a character expressing relative duration, which when placed on a staff indicates that a certain tone is to be sounded for a certain relative length of time. The pitch of the tone to be sounded is shown by the position of the note on the staff, while the length of time it is to be prolonged is shown by the shape of the note. Thus e.g., a half-note on the second line of the treble staff indicates that a specific pitch (g') is to be played or sung for a period of time twice as long as would be indicated by a quarter-note in the same composition.

29. A rest is a character which indicates a rhythmic silence of a certain relative length.

30. The notes and rests in common use are as follows:

[symbol] Whole-note. An open note-head without stem. [symbol] Half-note. An open note-head with stem. [symbol] Quarter-note. A closed note-head with stem. [symbol] Eighth-note. A closed note-head with stem and one hook. [symbol] Sixteenth-note. A closed note-head with stem and two hooks. [symbol] Thirty-second-note. A closed note-head with stem and three hooks. [symbol] Whole-rest. [symbol] Half-rest. [symbol] Quarter-rest. [symbol] Eighth-rest. [symbol] Sixteenth-rest. [symbol] Thirty-second-rest.

31. The English names for these notes are:

Whole-note—semi-breve. Half-note—minim. Quarter-note—crotchet. Eighth-note—quaver. Sixteenth-note—semi-quaver. Thirty-second-note—demi-semi-quaver.

The corresponding rests are referred to by the same system of nomenclature: e.g., semi-breve rest, etc.

32. Sixty-fourth and one-hundred-and-twenty-eighth-notes are occasionally found, but are not in common use. The double-whole-note (breve), made [breve symbol] or [old breve symbol], is still used, especially in English music, which frequently employs the half-note as the beat-unit. Thus in four-half measure the breve would be necessary to indicate a tone having four beats.

33. The whole-rest has a peculiarity of usage not common to any of the other duration symbols, viz., that it is often employed as a measure-rest, filling an entire measure of beats, no matter what the measure-signature may be. Thus, not only in four-quarter-measure, but in two-quarter, three-quarter, six-eighth, and other varieties, the whole-rest fills the entire measure, having a value sometimes greater, sometimes less than the corresponding whole-note. Because of this peculiarity of usage the whole-rest is termed Takt-pausa (measure-rest) by the Germans.

34. A bar is a vertical line across the staff, dividing it into measures. The word bar is often used synonymously with measure by orchestral conductors and others; thus, "begin at the fourteenth bar after J." This use of the word, although popular, is incorrect.

35. A double-bar consists of two vertical lines across the staff, at least one of the two being a heavy line. The double bar marks the end of a division, movement, or entire composition.



36. A double bar (or single heavy bar) with either two or four dots indicates that a section is to be repeated. If the repeat marks occur at only one point the entire preceding part is to be repeated, but if the marks occur twice (the first time at the right of the bar but the second time at the left), only the section thus enclosed by the marks is to be repeated.

37. Sometimes a different cadence (or ending) is to be used for the repetition, and this is indicated as in Fig. 24.

38. The Italian word bis is occasionally used to indicate that a certain passage or section is to be repeated. This use is becoming obsolete.

39. The words da capo (D.C.) mean literally "from the head," i.e., repeat from the beginning. The words dal segno (D.S.) indicate a repetition from the sign ([segno symbol] or [segno symbol]) instead of from the beginning.

In the case of both D.C. and D.S. the word fine (meaning literally the end) is ordinarily used to designate the point at which the repeated section is to terminate. The fermata ([fermata symbol]) was formerly in common use for this same purpose, but is seldom so employed at present.

D.C. (sin[9]) al fine means—repeat from the beginning to the word "fine."

[Footnote 9: The word sin is a contraction of the Italian word sino, meaning "as far as" or "until"; in the term given above (Sec. 39) it is really superfluous as the word al includes in itself both preposition and article, meaning "to the."]

D.C. al [fermata symbol] means—repeat to the fermata (or hold).

D.C. senza repetizione, or D.C. ma senza repetizione, [Transcriber's Note: Corrected misspelling "repetitione"] both mean—repeat from the beginning, but without observing other repeat marks during the repetition.

D.C. e poi la coda means—repeat the first section only to the mark [coda symbol], then skip to the coda. (See p. 74, Sec. 157, for discussion of coda).

40. In certain cases where the repetition of characteristic figures can be indicated without causing confusion, it is the practice of composers (especially in orchestral music) to make use of certain signs of repetition. Some of the commonest of these abbreviations are shown in the following examples.

In Fig. 28 the repetition of an entire measure is called for.

41. The word simile [Transcriber's Note: Corrected error "similie"] (sometimes segue) indicates that a certain effect previously begun is to be continued, as e.g., staccato playing, pedalling, style of bowing in violin music, etc. The word segue is also occasionally used to show that an accompaniment figure (especially in orchestral music) is to be continued.

42. When some part is to rest for two or more measures several methods of notation are possible. A rest of two measures is usually indicated thus . Three measures thus . Four measures thus . Rests of more than four measures are usually indicated in one of the following ways: . Sometimes the number of measures is written directly on the staff, thus; .

43. The letters G.P. (general pause, or grosse pause), the words lunga pausa, or simply the word lunga, are sometimes written over a rest to show that there is to be a prolonged pause or rest in all parts. Such expressions are found only in ensemble music, i.e., music in which several performers are engaged at the same time.

44. The fermata or hold [fermata symbol] over a note or chord indicates that the tone is to be prolonged, the duration of the prolongation depending upon the character of the music and the taste of the performer or conductor. It has already been noted that the hold over a bar was formerly used to designate the end of the composition, as the word fine is employed at present, but this usage has practically disappeared and the hold over the bar now usually indicates a short rest between two sections of a composition.

45. The sign 8va...... (an abbreviation of all'ottava, [Transcriber's Note: Corrected error "al ottava" in original.] literally at the octave) above the staff, indicates that all tones are to be sounded an octave higher than the notes would indicate. When found below the staff the same sign serves to indicate that the tones are to be sounded an octave lower. The term 8va bassa has also this latter signification.

46. Sometimes the word loco (in place) is used to show that the part is no longer to be sounded an octave higher (or lower), but this is more often indicated by the termination of the dotted (or wavy) line.

47. The sign Col 8 (coll'ottava—with the octave) shows that the tones an octave higher or lower are to be sounded with the tones indicated by the printed notes. [Transcriber's Note: Corrected error "col ottava" in original.]

48. For the sake of definiteness in referring to pitches, a particular name is applied to each octave, and all pitches in the octave are referred to by means of a uniform nomenclature. The following figure will make this system clear:

Thus e.g., "great G" (written simply G), is the G represented by the first line of the bass staff. Small A (written a), is represented by the fifth line of the bass staff. Two-lined G, (written [2-lined g symbol]), is represented by the space above the fifth line, treble staff. Three-lined C, (written [3-lined c symbol]), is represented by the second added line above the treble staff, etc. The one-lined octave may be described as the octave from middle C to the B represented by the third line of the treble staff, and any tone within that octave is referred to as "one-lined." Thus—one-lined D, one-lined G, etc.

In scientific works on acoustics, etc., the pitches in the sub octave (or sub-contra octave as it is often called) are referred to as C_2, D_2, E_2, etc.; those in the contra octave as C_1, D_1, etc.; in the great octave, as c^1, d^1, etc.; in the small octave as c^2, d^2, etc.



49. A dot after a note shows that the value of the note is to be half again as great as it would be without the dot, i.e., the value is to be three-halves that of the original note.

50. When two dots follow the note the second dot adds half as much as the first dot has added, i.e., the entire value is seven-fourths that of the original note.

51. When three dots follow the note the third dot adds one-half the value added by the second, i.e., the entire value of the triple-dotted note is fifteen-eighths that of the original note.

52. A dot over or under a note is called the staccato mark and indicates that the tone is to be sounded and then instantly released. In music for organ and for some other instruments the staccato note is sometimes interpreted differently, this depending on the character of the instrument.

On stringed instruments of the violin family the staccato effect is usually secured by a long, rapid stroke of the bow for each tone; in the case of harp and drum the hand is quickly brought in contact with the vibrating body, thus stopping the tone instantly. On the organ the tone is often prolonged to one-half the value of the printed note before the keys are released.

53. The wedge-shaped dash over the note (staccatissimo) was formerly employed to indicate a tone still more detached than that indicated by the dot, but this sign is really superfluous, and is seldom used at present.

54. A tie is a curved line connecting the heads of two notes that call for the same tone. It indicates that they are to be sounded as one tone having a duration equal to the combined value of both notes. E.g., a half-note tied to a quarter-note would indicate a tone equal in duration-length to that shown by a dotted half-note; two half-notes tied would indicate a tone equal in duration to that shown by a whole-note. (See examples under Sections 49, 50, and 51).

Fig. 30 illustrates the more common variety of tie, while Fig. 31 shows an example of the enharmonic[10] tie.

[Footnote 10: For definition of enharmonic see p. 10, Sec. 27.]

55. The slur is used in so many different ways that it is impossible to give a general definition. It consists of a curved line, sometimes very short (in which case it looks like the tie), but sometimes very long, connecting ten, fifteen, or more notes. Some of the more common uses of the slur are:

A. To indicate legato (sustained or connected) tones, as contrasted with staccato (detached) ones.

In violin music this implies playing all tones thus slurred in one bow; in music for the voice and for wind instruments it implies singing or playing them in one breath.

B. As a phrase-mark, in the interpretation of which the first tone of the phrase is often accented slightly, and the last one shortened in value.

This interpretation of the phrase is especially common when the phrase is short (as in the two-note phrase), and when the tones constituting the phrase are of short duration, e.g., the phrase given in Fig. 32 would be played approximately as written in Fig. 33.

But if the notes are of greater value, especially in slow tempi, the slur merely indicates legato, i.e., sustained or connected rendition. Fig. 34 illustrates such a case.

This is a matter of such diverse usage that it is difficult to generalize regarding it. The tendency seems at present to be in the direction of using the slur (in instrumental music) as a phrase-mark exclusively, it being understood that unless there is some direction to the contrary, the tones are to be performed in a connected manner.

C. In vocal music, to show that two or more tones are to be sung to one syllable of text. See Fig. 35.

In notes of small denomination (eighths and smaller) this same thing is often indicated by stroking the stems together as in Fig. 36. This can only be done in cases where the natural grouping of notes in the measure will not be destroyed.

D. To mark special note-groups (triplets, etc.), in which case the slur is accompanied by a figure indicating the number of notes in the group. See Fig. 37 (a)

The most common of these irregular note-groups is the triplet, which consists of three notes to be performed in the time ordinarily given to two of the same value. Sometimes the triplet consists of only two notes as in Fig. 37 (b). In such a case the first two of the three notes composing the triplet are considered to be tied.

When the triplet form is perfectly obvious, the Fig. 3 (as well as the slur) may be omitted.

Other examples of irregular note-groups, together with the names commonly applied, follow.

56. The combination of slur or tie and dots over the notes indicates that the tones are to be somewhat detached, but not sharply so.

This effect is sometimes erroneously termed portamento (lit. carrying), but this term is more properly reserved for an entirely different effect, viz., when a singer, or player on a stringed instrument, passes from a high tone to a low one (or vice versa) touching lightly on some or all of the diatonic tones between the two melody tones.

57. The horizontal dash over a note indicates that the tone is to be slightly accented, and sustained. This mark is also sometimes used after a staccato passage to show that the tones are no longer to be performed in detached fashion, but are to be sustained. This latter use is especially common in music for stringed instruments.

58. The combination of dash and dot over a note indicates that the tone is to be slightly accented and separated from its neighboring tones.

59. Accent marks are made in a variety of fashions. The most common forms follow. [horizontal accent symbol] [vertical accent symbol] sf fz. All indicate that a certain tone or chord is to be differentiated from its neighboring tones or chords by receiving a certain relative amount of stress.

60. In music for keyboard instruments it is sometimes necessary to indicate that a certain part is to be played by a certain hand. The abbreviations r.h. (right hand), m.d. (mano destra, It.), and m.d. (main droite, Fr.), designate that a passage or tone is to be played with the right hand, while l.h. (left hand), m.s. (mano sinistra, It.), and m.g. (main gauche, Fr.), show that the left hand is to be employed.

61. The wavy line placed vertically beside a chord indicates that the tones are to be sounded consecutively instead of simultaneously, beginning with the lowest tone, all tones being sustained until the duration-value of the chord has expired. This is called arpeggio playing. When the wavy line extends through the entire chord (covering both staffs) as in Fig. 38, all the tones of the chord are to be played one after another, beginning with the lowest: but if there is a separate wavy line for each staff as at Fig. 39 then the lowest tone represented on the upper staff is to be played simultaneously with the lowest tone represented on the bass staff.

The word arpeggio (plural arpeggi) is a derivation of the Italian word arpa (meaning harp), and from this word arpa and its corresponding verb arpeggiare (to play on the harp) are derived also a number of other terms commonly used in instrumental music. Among these are—arpeggiamento, arpeggiando, arpeggiato, etc., all of these terms referring to a harp style of performance, the tones being sounded one after another in rapid succession instead of simultaneously as on the piano.

62. The sign [crescendo-decrescendo symbol] over a note indicates that the tone is to be begun softly, gradually increased in power, and as gradually decreased again, ending as softly as it began. In vocal music this effect is called messa di voce.

63. In music for stringed instruments of the violin family, the sign [down-bow symbol] indicates down-bow and the sign [up-bow symbol] up-bow. In cello music the down-bow sign is sometimes written [cello down-bow symbol].



64. Embellishments (or graces) (Fr. agrements) are ornamental tones, either represented in full in the score or indicated by certain signs. The following are the embellishments most commonly found: Trill (or shake), mordent, inverted mordent (or prall trill), turn (gruppetto), inverted turn, appoggiatura and acciaccatura.

Usage varies greatly in the interpretation of the signs representing these embellishments and it is impossible to give examples of all the different forms. The following definitions represent therefore only the most commonly found examples and the most generally accepted interpretations.

65. The trill (or shake) consists of the rapid alternation of two tones to the full value of the printed note. The lower of these two tones is represented by the printed note, while the upper one is the next higher tone in the diatonic scale of the key in which the composition is written. The interval between the two tones may therefore be either a half-step or a whole-step.

Whether the trill is to begin with the principal tone (represented by the printed note) or with the one above is a matter of some dispute among theorists and performers, but it may safely be said that the majority of modern writers on the subject would have it begin on the principal tone rather than on the tone above. Fig. 40.

When the principal note is preceded by a small note on the degree above, it is of course understood that the trill begins on the tone above. Fig. 41.

The trill is indicated by the sign [trill symbol].

The above examples would be termed perfect trills because they close with a turn. By inference, an imperfect trill is one closing without a turn.

66. The mordent [mordent symbol] consists of three tones; first the one represented by the printed note; second the one next below it in the diatonic scale; third the one represented by the printed note again.

67. The double (or long) mordent has five tones (sometimes seven) instead of three, the first two of the three tones of the regular mordent being repeated once or more. (See Fig. 43.)

In the case of both mordent and double-mordent the tones are sounded as quickly as possible, the time taken by the embellishment being subtracted from the value of the principal note as printed.

68. The inverted mordent [inverted mordent symbol] (note the absence of the vertical line) is like the mordent except that the tone below is replaced by the tone above in each case. This ornament is sometimes called a "transient shake" because it is really only a part of the more elaborate grace called "trill." (See Fig. 44.)

The confusion at present attending the interpretation of the last two embellishments described, might be largely obviated if the suggestion of a recent writer[11] to call the one the upward mordent, and the other the downward mordent were to be universally adopted.

[Footnote 11: Elson—Dictionary of Music, article mordent.]

69. The turn consists of four tones; first, the diatonic scale-tone above the principal tone; second, the principal tone itself; third, the tone below the principal tone; and fourth, the principal tone again.

When the sign ([turn symbol] or [fancy turn symbol]) occurs over a note of small value in rapid tempo (Fig. 45) the turn consists of four tones of equal value; but if it occurs over a note of greater value, or in a slow tempo, the tones are usually played quickly (like the mordent), and the fourth tone is then held until the time-value of the note has expired. (Fig. 46.)

70. When the turn-sign is placed a little to the right of the note the principal tone is sounded first and held to almost its full time-value, then the turn is played just before the next tone of the melody. In this case the four tones are of equal length as in the first example. (See Fig. 47.)

The student should note the difference between these two effects; in the case of a turn over the note the turn comes at the beginning, but in the case of the sign after the note the turn comes at the very end. But in both cases the time taken by the embellishment is taken from the time-value of the principal note. For further details see Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Vol. V, p. 184. Also Elson, op. cit. p. 274.

71. Sometimes an accidental occurs with the turn, and in this case when written above the sign it refers to the highest tone of the turn, but when written below, to the lowest (Fig. 48).

72. In the inverted turn the order of tones is reversed, the lowest one coming first, the principal tone next, the highest tone third, and the principal tone again, last.

73. The appoggiatura (lit. leaning note) consists of an ornamental tone introduced before a tone of a melody, thus delaying the melody tone until the ornamental tone has been heard. The time taken for this ornamental tone is taken from that of the melody tone.

The appoggiatura was formerly classified into long appoggiatura and short appoggiatura, but modern writers seem to consider the term "short appoggiatura" to be synonymous with acciaccatura[12], and to avoid confusion the word acciaccatura will be used in this sense, and defined under its own heading.

[Footnote 12: In organ music the acciaccatura is still taken to mean that the embellishing tone and the melody tone are to be sounded together, the former being then instantly released, while the latter is held to its full time-value.]

74. Three rules for the interpretation of the appoggiatura are commonly cited, viz.:

(1) When it is possible to divide the principal tone into halves, then the appoggiatura receives one-half the value of the printed note. (Fig. 50.)

(2) When the principal note is dotted (division into halves being therefore not possible), the appoggiatura receives two-thirds of the value. (Fig. 51.)

(3) When the principal note is tied to a note of smaller denomination the appoggiatura receives the value of the first of the two notes. (Fig. 52.)

75. The acciaccatura (or short appoggiatura) is written like the appoggiatura except that it has a light stroke across its stem. It has no definite duration-value, but is sounded as quickly as possible, taking its time from that of the principal tone. The appoggiatura is always accented, but the acciaccatura never is, the stress always falling on the melody tone. (See Grove, op. cit. Vol. I, p. 96.)

The use of embellishments is on the wane, and the student of to-day needs the above information only to aid him in the interpretation of music written in previous centuries. In the early days of instrumental music it was necessary to introduce graces of all sorts because the instruments in use were not capable of sustaining tone for any length of time; but with the advent of the modern piano with its comparatively great sustaining power, and also with the advent in vocal music of a new style of singing (German Lieder singing as contrasted with Italian coloratura singing), ornamental tones were used less and less, and when found now are usually written out in full in the score instead of being indicated by signs.



76. A scale (from scala, a Latin word meaning ladder; Ger. Ton-leiter) is an ascending or descending series of tones, progressing according to some definite system, and all bearing (in the case of tonality scales at least) a very intimate relation to the first tone—the key-tone or tonic. (See p. 28, Sec. 78; also note 1 at bottom of p. 38.)

Many different kinds of scales have existed in various musical eras, the point of resemblance among them all being the fact that they have all more or less recognized the octave as the natural limit of the series. The difference among the various scales has been in the selection of intervals between the scale-tones, and, consequently, in the number of tones within the octave. Thus e.g., in our major scale the intervals between the tones are all whole-steps except two (which are half-steps), and the result is a scale of eight tones (including in this number both the key-tone and its octave): but in the so-called pentatonic scale of the Chinese and other older civilizations we find larger intervals (e.g., the step-and-a-half), and consequently a smaller number of tones within the octave. Thus in the scale upon which many of the older Scotch folk songs are based the intervals are arranged as follows:

1 whole 2 whole 3 step-and- 4 whole 5 step-and- 6 step step a-half step a-half

The result is a scale of six tones, corresponding approximately with C—D—E—G—A—C in our modern system.

The term pentatonic is thus seen to be a misnomer since the sixth tone is necessary for the completion of the series, just as the eighth tone is essential in our diatonic scales.

The following Chinese tune (called "Jasmine") is based on the pentatonic scale.

77. In studying the theory of the scale the student should bear in mind the fact that a scale is not an arbitrary series of tones which some one has invented, and which others are required to make use of. It is rather the result of accustoming the ear to certain melodic combinations (which were originally hit upon by accident), and finally analyzing and systematizing these combinations into a certain definite order or arrangement. The application of this idea may be verified when it is recalled that most primitive peoples have invented melodies of some sort, but that only in modern times, and particularly since the development of instrumental music, have these melodies been analyzed, and the scale upon which they have been based, discovered, the inventors of the melodies being themselves wholly ignorant of the existence of such scales.

78. A key is a number of tones grouping themselves naturally (both melodically and harmonically) about a central tone—the key tone. The word tonality is often used synonymously with key in this sense.

The difference between key and scale is therefore this, that while both key and scale employ the same tone material, by key we mean the material in general, without any particular order or arrangement in mind, while by scale we mean the same tones, but now arranged into a regular ascending or descending series. It should be noted in this connection also that not all scales present an equally good opportunity of having their tones used as a basis for tonality or key-feeling: neither the chromatic nor the whole-step scale possess the necessary characteristics for being used as tonality scales in the same sense that our major and minor scales are so used.

79. There are three general classes of scales extant at the present time, viz.: (1) Diatonic; (2) Chromatic; (3) Whole-tone.[13]

[Footnote 13: If strictly logical terminology is to be insisted upon the whole-tone scale should be called the "whole-step" scale.]

80. The word diatonic means "through the tones" (i.e., through the tones of the key), and is applied to both major and minor scales of our modern tonality system. In general a diatonic scale may be defined as one which proceeds by half-steps and whole-steps. There is, however, one exception to this principle, viz., in the progression six to seven in the harmonic minor scale, which is of course a step-and-a-half. (See p. 33, Sec. 86.)

81. A major diatonic scale is one in which the intervals between the tones are arranged as follows:

1 whole 2 whole 3 half 4 whole 5 whole 6 whole 7 half 8 step step step step step step step

In other words, a major diatonic scale is one in which the intervals between three and four, and between seven and eight are half-steps, all the others being whole-steps. A composition based on this scale is said to be written in the major mode, or in a major key. The major diatonic scale may begin on any one of the twelve pitches C, C[sharp] or D[flat], D, D[sharp] or E[flat], E, F, F[sharp] or G[flat], G, G[sharp] or A[flat], A, A[sharp] or B[flat], B, but in each case it is the same scale because the intervals between its tones are the same. We have then one major scale only, but this scale may be written in many different positions, and may be sung or played beginning on any one of a number of different pitches.

82. It is interesting to note that the major scale consists of two identical series of four tones each; i.e., the first four tones of the scale are separated from one another by exactly the same intervals and these intervals appear in exactly the same order as in the case of the last four tones of the scale. Fig. 53 will make this clear. The first four tones of any diatonic scale (major or minor) are often referred to as the lower tetrachord[14] and the upper four tones as the upper tetrachord.

[Footnote 14: The word tetrachord means literally "four strings" and refers to the primitive instrument, the four strings of which were so tuned that the lowest and the highest tones produced were a perfect fourth apart. With the Greeks the tetrachord was the unit of analysis as the octave is with us to-day, and all Greek scales are capable of division into two tetrachords, the arrangement of the intervals between the tones in each tetrachord differentiating one scale from another, but the tetrachords themselves always consisting of groups of four tones, the highest being a perfect fourth above the lowest.]

It is interesting further to note that the upper tetrachord of any sharp scale is always used without change as the lower tetrachord of the next major scale involving sharps, while the lower tetrachord of any flat scale is used as the upper tetrachord of the next flat scale. See Figs. 54 and 55.

83. From the standpoint of staff notation the major scale may be written in fifteen different positions, as follows:

It will be observed that in the above series of scales those beginning on F[sharp] and G[flat] call for the same keys on the piano, i.e., while the notation is different, the actual tones of the scale are the same. The scales of C[sharp] and D[flat] likewise employ the same tones. When two scales thus employ the same tones but differ in notation they are said to be enharmonic, (cf. p. 38, Sec. 93.)

Note.—The student is advised to adopt some uniform method of writing scales, preferably the one followed in those given above, the necessary sharps and flats appearing before the notes in the scale and then repeated collectively at the end as a signature. He is also advised to repeat these scales and signatures over and over until absolute familiarity is attained. E.g., E—F[sharp]—G[sharp]—A—B—C[sharp]—D[sharp]—E; signature, four sharps, F, C, G, and D.


SCALES (Continued)

84. The minor diatonic scale is used in several slightly different forms, but the characteristic interval between the first and third tones (which differentiates it from the major scale) remains the same in every case. This interval between the first and third tones consists of four half-steps in the major scale and of three half-steps in the minor scale and this difference in size has given rise to the designation major for the scale having the larger third, and minor for the scale having the smaller one.

85. The original (or primitive) form of the minor scale has its tones arranged as follows.

1 whole 2 half 3 whole 4 half 5 half 6 whole 7 whole 8 step step step step step step step

As its name implies, this is the oldest of the three forms (being derived from the old Greek Aeolian scale), but because of the absence of a "leading tone" it is suitable for the simplest one-part music only, and is therefore little used at present.

86. The harmonic minor scale is like the primitive form except that it substitutes a tone one half-step higher for the seventh tone of the older (i.e., the primitive) form. This change was made because the development of writing music in several parts (particularly harmonic part-writing) made necessary a "leading tone," i.e., a tone with a strong tendency to move on up to the key-tone as a closing point. In order to secure a tone with such a strongly upward tendency the interval between seven and eight had to be reduced in size to a half-step. It should be noted that this change in the seventh tone of the scale caused an interval of a step-and-a-half between the sixth and seventh tones of the scale.

1 whole 2 half 3 whole 4 whole 5 half 6 step and 7 half 8 step step step step step a half step

87. The melodic minor scale substitutes a tone one half-step higher than six as well as one a half-step higher than seven, but this change is made in the ascending scale only, the descending scale being like the primitive form. The higher sixth (commonly referred to as the "raised sixth") was used to get rid of the unmelodic interval of a step-and-a-half[15] (augmented second), while the return to the primitive form in descending is made because the ascending form is too much like the tonic major scale.

[Footnote 15: The step-and-a-half (augmented second) is "unmelodic" because it is the same size as a minor third and the mind finds it difficult to take in as a second (notes representing it being on adjacent staff-degrees) an interval of the same size as a third.]

1 whole 2 half 3 whole 4 whole 5 whole 6 whole 7 half 8 step step step step step step step

7 whole 6 half 5 whole 4 whole 3 half 2 whole 1 step step step step step step

This form is used only to a very limited extent, and then principally in vocal music, the harmonic form being in almost universal use in spite of the augmented second.

88. The minor scale in its various positions (up to five sharps and five flats) and in all three forms follows: a composition based on any one of these forms (or upon a mixture of them, which often occurs) is said to be in the minor mode. It will be noted that the first four tones are alike in all three forms; i.e., the lower tetrachord in the minor scale is invariable no matter, what may happen to the upper tetrachord. The sign + marks the step-and-a-half.

Note.—The student is advised to recite the harmonic form of the minor scale as was suggested in the case of the major scale, noting that the "raised seventh" does not affect the key-signature. E.g.,—E—F[sharp]—G—A—B—C—D[sharp]—E; signature, one sharp, F.

89. A minor scale having the same signature as a major scale is said to be its relative minor. E.g.,—e is the relative minor of G, c of E[flat], d of F, etc., the small letter being used to refer to the minor key or scale, while the capital letter indicates the major key or scale unless accompanied by the word minor. Relative keys are therefore defined as those having the same signature. G and e are relative keys, as are also A and f[sharp], etc.

90. A minor scale beginning with the same tone as a major scale is referred to as its tonic minor. Thus, e.g., c with three flats in its signature is the tonic minor of C with all degrees in natural condition; e with one sharp is the tonic minor of E with four sharps, etc. Tonic keys are therefore those having the same key-tone.

91. The eight tones of the diatonic scale (both major and minor) are often referred to by specific names, as follows:

1. Tonic—the tone. (This refers to the fact that the tonic is the principal tone, or generating tone of the key, i.e., it is the tone.)

2. Super-tonic—above the tone.

3. Mediant—midway between tonic and dominant.

4. Sub-dominant—the under dominant. (This name does not refer to the position of the tone under the dominant but to the fact that the fifth below the tonic is also a dominant tone—the under dominant—just as the fifth above is the upper dominant).

5. Dominant—the governing tone. (From the Latin word dominus meaning master.)

6. Super-dominant—above the dominant. Or Sub-mediant—midway between tonic and sub-dominant.

7. Leading tone—the tone which demands resolution to the tonic (one-half step above it).

8. Octave—the eighth tone.

92. The syllables commonly applied to the various major and minor scales in teaching sight-singing are as follows:[16]

[Footnote 16: These syllables are said to have been derived originally from the initial syllables of the "Hymn to Saint John," the music of which was a typical Gregorian chant. The application of these syllables to the scale tones will be made clear by reference to this hymn as given below. It will be observed that this hymn provided syllables only for the six tones of the hexachord then recognized; when the octave scale was adopted (early in the sixteenth century) the initial letters of the last line (s and i) were combined into a syllable for the seventh tone.


Major—DO, RE, MI, FA, SOL, LA, TI, DO.

Minor[17]—original—LA, TI, DO, RE, MI, FA, SOL, LA. harmonic—LA, TI, DO, RE, MI, FA, SI, LA. melodic—LA, TI, DO, RE, MI, FI, SI, LA, SOL, FA, MI, RE, DO, TI, LA.

[Footnote 17: A considerable number of teachers (particularly those who did not learn to sing by syllable in childhood) object to calling the tonic of the minor scale la, insisting that both major and minor tonic should be called do. According to this plan the syllables used in singing the harmonic minor scale would be: DO, RE, ME, FA, SOL, LE, TI, DO.

There is no particular basis for this theory, for although all scales must of course begin with the key-tone or tonic, this tonic may be referred to by any syllable which will serve as a basis for an association process enabling one to feel the force of the tone as a closing point—a home tone. Thus in the Dorian mode the tonic would be RE, in the Phrygian, MI, etc.]

It is interesting to study the changes in both spelling and pronunciation that have occurred (and are still occurring) in these syllables. The first one (ut) was changed to DO as early as the sixteenth century because of the difficulty of producing a good singing tone on ut. For the same reason and also in order to avoid having two diatonic syllables with the same initial letter, the tonic-sol-fa system (invented in England about 1812 and systematized about 1850) changed SI to TI and this change has been almost universally adopted by teachers of sight-singing in this country. The more elaborate tonic-sol-fa spelling of the diatonic syllables (DOH, LAH, etc.), has not, however, been favorably received in this country and the tendency seems to be toward still further simplification rather than toward elaboration. It is probable that further changes in both spelling and pronunciation will be made in the near future, one such change that seems especially desirable being some other syllable than RE for the second tone of the major scale, so that the present syllable may be reserved for "flat-two," thus providing a uniform vowel-sound for all intermediate tones of the descending chromatic scale, as is already the case in the ascending form.

93. The chromatic scale[18] is one which proceeds always by half-steps. Its intervals are therefore always equal no matter with what tone it begins. Since, however, we have (from the standpoint of the piano keyboard) five pairs of tones[19] which are enharmonically the same, it may readily be seen that the chromatic scale might be notated in all sorts of fashions, and this is in fact the real status of the matter, there being no one method uniformly agreed upon by composers.

[Footnote 18: The student should differentiate between the so-called "tonality" scales like the major and minor, the tones of which are actually used as a basis for "key-feeling" with the familiar experience of coming home to the tonic after a melodic or harmonic excursion, and on the other hand the purely artificial and mechanical construction of the chromatic scale.]

[Footnote 19: Many other enharmonic notations are possible, altho the "five pairs of tones" above referred to are the most common. Thus E[sharp] and F are enharmonically the same, as are also C[flat] and B, C[sharp] and B[double-sharp], etc.]

Parry (Grove's Dictionary, article chromatic) recommends writing the scale with such accidentals as can occur in chromatic chords without changing the key in which the passage occurs. Thus, taking C as a type, "the first accidental will be D[flat], as the upper note of the minor ninth on the tonic; the next will be E[flat], the minor third of the key; the next F[sharp], the major third of the super-tonic—all of which can occur without causing modulation—and the remaining two will be A[flat] and B[flat], the minor sixth and seventh of the key." According to this plan the chromatic scale beginning with C would be spelled—C, D[flat], D, E[flat], E, F, F[sharp], G, A[flat], A, B[flat], B, C—the form being the same both ascending and descending. This is of course written exclusively from a harmonic standpoint and the advantage of such a form is its definiteness.

94. For sight-singing purposes the chromatic scale[20] is usually written by representing the intermediate tones in ascending by sharps, (in some cases naturals and double-sharps), and the intermediate tones in descending by flats (sometimes naturals and double-flats). The chromatic scale in nine different positions, written from this standpoint, follows, and the syllables most commonly applied in sight-singing have also been added. In the first two scales the student of harmony is asked to note that because of the very common practice of modulating to the dominant and sub-dominant keys, the intermediate tones [sharp]4 and [flat]7 are quite universally used in both ascending and descending melody passages. In other words the scales that follow would more nearly represent actual usage if in each case [sharp]4 (FI) were substituted for [flat]5 (SE) in the descending scale; and if [flat]7 (TE) were substituted for [sharp]6 (LI) in the ascending form.

[Footnote 20: The word chromatic means literally colored and was first applied to the intermediate tones because by using them the singer could get smoother and more diversely-shaded progressions, i.e., could get more color than by using only the diatonic tones. Composers were not long discovering the peculiar value of these additional tones and soon found that these same tones were exceedingly valuable also in modulating, hence the two uses of intermediate tones at the present time—first, to embellish a melody; second, to modulate to another key.]

Note.—In writing chromatic scales from this sight-singing standpoint the student is urged to adopt a three-step process; first, writing the major diatonic scale both ascending and descending; second, marking the half-steps; third, inserting accidental notes calling for the intermediate tones. In the above chromatic scales these intermediate tones have been represented by black note-heads so as to differentiate them from the notes representing diatonic scale tones.

95. The whole-step scale (the third type mentioned in Sec. 79) is, as its name implies, a scale in which the intervals between the tones consist in every instance of whole-steps. This reduces the number of tones in the scale to seven. Beginning with C the scale reads: C, D, E, F[sharp] or G[flat], A[flat], B[flat], C. This scale has been used somewhat extensively by the ultramodern French school of composition represented by Debussy, Ravel, and others, but is not making any progress toward universal adoption. The remarks of a recent English writer[21] on this subject may be interesting to the student who is puzzled by the apparent present-day tendencies of French music. He says:

"The student of some interesting modern developments will also speedily discover that the adoption of the so-called whole-tone scale as a basis of music is, except upon a keyed instrument tuned to the compromise of equal temperament, unnatural and impossible. No player upon a stringed instrument can play the scale of whole-tones and arrive at an octave which is in tune with the starting note, unless he deliberately changes one of the notes on the road and alters it while playing it. The obvious result of the application of the whole-tone scale to an orchestra or a string quartet would be to force them to adopt the equal temperament of the pianoforte, and play every interval except the octave out of tune. When this modification had taken hold all music in the pure scale would be distorted and destroyed, unless string players were to face the practically impossible drudgery of studying both the equal temperament and the pure scale from the start, and were able to tackle either form at a moment's notice. A thorough knowledge of the natural genesis of the scale of western nations will be the best antidote to fads founded upon ignorance of it. It is a curious commentary upon this question that Wagner, in the opening of the third act of Tristan (bars 6 to 10), experimented with the whole-tone scale and drew his pen through it, as was to be expected from a composer whose every work proves the writer to have had the pure scale inbred in him."

[Footnote 21: Stanford—Musical Composition (1911) p. 17.]

There may be some difference of opinion among acousticians as to whether Mr. Stanford is correct in his scientific assumptions regarding the difference between "tempered" and "pure" scales,[22] but even so, there is a far more potent reason why the whole-step scale will probably never become popular as the major and minor scales now are, viz., the fact that it offers no possibility of inculcating tonality feeling, which has always been the basis of even the simplest primitive music. Tonality scales give rise to a feeling of alternate periods of contraction and relaxation—an active tone (or chord) followed by a passive one, but no such effect is possible in the whole-step scale, and it seems suitable therefore only for that class of music whose outlines are purposely intended to be vague and indefinite—the impressionistic style of music writing.

[Footnote 22: Recent tests in Germany seem to prove conclusively that the tempered scale is the scale ordinarily employed by both vocalists and players on stringed instruments, and that the ideal of and agitation for a pure (i.e., untempered) scale in vocal and in string music is somewhat of a myth.]



96. Being a list of articles, adverbs, conjunctions, prepositions, and endings, often utilized in compounding terms relating to musical effects.

A—preposition—variously translated to, at, for, by, in, with, towards. A cappella—in church style. A capriccio—at the fancy of the performer. A deux mains—for two hands. A mezza voce—with half voice.

A la, or alla—in the manner of. Alla marcia—in the style of a march.

Assai—very, or very much. Allegro assai—very fast.

Ben—well. Ben marcato—well marked.

Coi, con, col, colla, colle, collo—with, or with the. Con amore—with tenderness. Colla voce—with the voice.

Come—as, like. Come primo—as at first.

Contra—against. In compound words means "an octave below."

Da—from. Da Capo—from the head.

Di—by, with, of, for. Di bravura—with daring.

Di molto—exceedingly—very much. Allegro di molto—exceedingly rapid.

Doppio—double. Doppio movimento—double movement.

E, ed, et—and. Cresc. et accel.—louder and faster.

Ensemble—together, the opposite of solo.

Il, La, l', le—the. Il basso—the bass. L'istesso tempo—the same speed.

Il piu—the most. Il piu forte possible—as loudly as possible.

Issimo—Italian superlative ending. Fortefortissimo.

Ino, etto—Italian diminutive endings. Andanteandantino. Pocopochetto.

Meno—less. Meno forte—less loud.

Mente—the ending which changes a noun or adjective to an adverb. Largo largamente.

Mezzo or mezza—half, or medium. Mezzo forte—medium loud.

Molto—much, or very much. Molto cresc.—very much louder.

Nel, nella, etc.—in the, or at the. Nel battere—at the down beat.

Non—not. Non tanto—not too much.

Ossia—or else. Ossia piu facile—or else more easily.

Per—for. Per il violino—for the violin.

Peu—little. Un peu cresc.—a little increase in tone.

Piu—more. Piu forte—more loudly.

Poco—little. Poco a poco—little by little.

Poi—then. E poi la coda—and then the coda.

Possibile—possible. Forte possibile—as loudly as possible. [Transcriber's Note: Corrected error "possible" for Italian "possibile".]

Quasi—in the manner of. Allegro quasi andante—a fairly rapid movement, yet in the style of an andante; almost as slow as an andante.

Sans—without. Sans pedales—without pedals.

Sempre—always, or continually. Sempre forte—a long passage to be played forte throughout its entirety.

Senza—without. Senza accompagnamento—without accompaniment.

Sino, sin—as far as. See p. 14, note.

Solo—alone. Opposite of ensemble.

Sub—under or lower. Sub-dominant—the under dominant.

Tanto—same as troppo, q.v.

Tre—three. Tre corde—three strings.

Tres—very. Tres vivement—very lively.

Troppo—too much. Non tanto allegro, or non troppo allegro—not too fast.

Una, un, uno—one, or a. Una corda—one string. Un peu—a little.

A working knowledge of these auxiliary terms will aid the student greatly in arriving at the meaning of hundreds of terms without stopping to look up each individual one.



97. From the standpoint of the eye, a measure is that portion of the staff found between two bars, (in certain cases this space may be less than a measure, as e.g., at the beginning and end of a movement); but from the standpoint of the ear a single, isolated measure is not possible, and the term must therefore be defined in the plural form.

Measures are similarly accented groups of evenly-spaced beats, each group having at least one accented and one non-accented beat. The strongest accent falls normally on the first beat in the measure.

Two essential characteristics are involved in the ordinary musical measure:

(1) A group of even beats (or pulses), always felt, though not always actually sounded, one or more of these beats being stronger than the rest;

(2) Certain rhythmic figures (, etc.) which form the actual musical content of these groups.

The student will note the essential difference between rhythm and measure. Rhythm is the regular recurrence of accent in a series of beats (or pulses), while measure is the grouping of these beats according to some specified system. In listening to a piece of music, two hearers A and B may feel the rhythm equally strongly, but A may subjectively group the beats into one, two one, two etc., while B feels the groups as one, two, three, four one, two, three, four etc. Rhythm is thus seen to be a fundamental thing, inherent in the music itself, while measure is to a certain extent at least an arbitrary grouping which musicians have adopted for practical purposes.

98. In syncopation the normal system of accenting is temporarily suspended and the accented tone falls on the regularly unaccented part of the measure. Syncopation may therefore be defined as the temporary interruption of a normal series of accents, i.e., accenting a beat that is usually not accented. Thus e.g., in Fig. 56, measure one has the regular system of accents normally found in four-quarter-measure, (strong accent on one, secondary accent on three); but measure three has only one accent, and it falls on the second beat.

99. Measures are usually classified as simple and compound. A simple measure is one which has but a single accent, i.e., the measure cannot be divided into smaller constituent groups. There are two main classes of simple measures, two-beat measure, and three-beat measure. A compound measure is (as its name implies) one made up by combining two or more simple measures, or by the elaboration of a single measure (in slow tempo) into several constituent groups. The principal compound measures are four-beat and six-beat, both being referred to as compound-duple measures. Five-beat, seven-beat, nine-beat, and twelve-beat measures are also classified as compound measures.

An English writer[23] classifies measures as duple, triple, or quadruple, specifying that a simple measure is one in which each beat is represented by a note whose value can be divided into halves ( etc.) and that a compound measure is one in which each beat is represented by a dotted-note, whose value can be divided into three parts, (). There is thus seen to be considerable difference of opinion as to the meaning of the words simple and compound when applied in this connection, the principal question at issue being whether four-beat measure is an individual variety, or whether it is a variety compounded out of two-beat measures, either by placing two of these in a group or by the elaboration of a single measure into a larger number of beats, as is often necessary in slow tempi. Perhaps the easiest way out of the difficulty is to admit that both may be true—but in different compositions. That is, it is frequently impossible to tell whether a composition that is being listened to is in two-beat, or in four-beat measure; and yet it is sometimes possible so to discriminate. Since, however, one cannot in the majority of cases distinguish between two-beat and four-beat measures, it will probably be best to leave the original classification intact and regard four-beat measure as a compound variety.

[Footnote 23: Pearse—Rudiments of Musical Knowledge, p. 37.]

100. The commonest varieties of measure are:

1. Duple (sometimes called even measure, or even time), in which there are two beats, the first one being accented. Examples of duple measure are 2/4, 2/8, 2/2, two-quarter,[24] two-eighth, and two-half measure, respectively.

[Footnote 24: For explanation of terminology, see p. 48, Sec. 106.]

2. Triple, (the old perfect measure), in which there are three beats, the first one being accented, the second and third unaccented. Examples are 3/8, 3/4, 3/2, three-eighth, three-quarter, and three-half measure, respectively.

3. Quadruple, in which there are four beats, the first and third being accented (primary accent on one, secondary accent on three), the second and fourth unaccented. (See note above, under Sec. 99.)

4. Sextuple, in which there are six beats, the first and fourth being accented, the others not. In rapid tempi this is always taken as compound duple measure, a dotted quarter note having a beat. It will be noted that the two measures are identical in effect with .

101. Other varieties of measure sometimes found are 9/8 and 12/8, but these are practically always taken as three-beat and four-beat measures respectively, being equivalent to these if each group of three tones is thought of as a triplet. is identical in effect with .

102. Quintuple (five-beat) and septuple (seven-beat) measures are occasionally met with, but these are rare and will always be sporadic. The five-beat measure is taken as a combination of three and two, or of two and three (sometimes a mixture of both in the same composition), while the seven-beat measure is taken in groups of four and three, or of three and four.

103. The sign [common-time symbol] is usually understood to mean four-quarter measure, and the sign [cut-time symbol], two-half measure, but usage varies somewhat, and the second sign is sometimes used to indicate four-half measure. It may safely be said however that the sign [cut-time symbol] always indicates that a half-note has a beat. [Double cut-time symbol] may occasionally be found indicating four-half measure but this is rare.

The student will note that the sign [common-time symbol] is not a letter C, but an incomplete circle, differentiating two-beat (imperfect) measure from three-beat (perfect) measure. See Appendix A, p. 106. [Transcriber's Note: page number missing in original.]



104. The word time in musical nomenclature has been greatly abused, having been used to indicate:

(1) Rhythm; as "the time was wrong."

(2) Variety of measure-signature; as "two-four time."

(3) Rate of speed; as "the time was too slow."

To obviate the confusion naturally resulting from this three-fold and inexact use of the word, many teachers of music are adopting certain changes in terminology as noted in Sections 105, 106, and 107. Such changes may cause some confusion at first, but seem to be necessary if our musical terminology is to be at all exact.

105. The first of the changes mentioned in the above paragraph is to substitute the word rhythm for the word time when correcting mistakes involving misplaced accent, etc. E.g., "Your rhythm in the third measure of the lower score was wrong," instead of "Your time—was wrong."

106. The second change mentioned would eliminate such blind and misleading expressions as "two-four time," "three-four time," "four-four time," "six-eight time," etc., and substitute therefor such self-explanatory designations as "two-quarter measure," "three-quarter measure," "four-quarter measure," "six-eighth measure," etc. E.g., "The first movement of the Beethoven Sonata Op. 2, No. 3, is in four-quarter measure."

107. The third change referred to above would substitute the word tempo (plural—tempi) for the word time in all allusions to rate of speed. E.g., "The scherzo was played in very rapid tempo."

The word tempo has been used in this connection so long by professional musicians that there can be no possible objection to it on the ground of its being a foreign word. In fact there is a decided advantage in having a word that is understood in all countries where modern music (i.e., civilized music) is performed, and just here is found the principal reason for the popularity of the Italian language in musical terminology. Schumann, MacDowell and other well known composers have tried to break down this popularity by using their own respective vernaculars in both tempo and dynamic indications, but in spite of these attempts the Italian language is still quite universally used for this purpose, and deservedly so, for if we are to have a music notation that is universal, so that an American is able to play music written by a Frenchman or a German, or a Russian, then we ought also to have a certain number of expressions referring to tempo, etc., which will be understood by all, i.e., a music terminology that is universal. The Italian language was the first in the field, is the most universally known in this particular at the present time, and is entirely adequate. It should therefore be retained in use as a sort of musical Esperanto.

108. There are several ways of finding the correct tempo of a composition:

1. From the metronomic indication found at the beginning of many compositions. Thus e.g., the mark M.M. 92 (Maelzel's Metronome 92) means that if the metronome (either Maelzel's or some other reliable make) is set with the sliding weight at the figure 92 there will be 92 clicks per minute, and they will serve to indicate to the player or singer the rate at which the beats (or pulses) should follow one another. This is undoubtedly the most accurate means of determining tempi in spite of slight inaccuracies in metronomes[25] and of the mistakes which composers themselves often make in giving metronomic indications.

[Footnote 25: To test the accuracy of a metronome, set the weight at 60 and see if it beats seconds. If it gives more than 62 or 63 or less than 57 or 58 clicks per minute it will not be of much service in giving correct tempi and should be taken to a jeweller to be regulated.]

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