For a very long time music was not written down. It was sung or played from memory. As it was passed on from person to person, many changes crept into the tunes. A way of writing music down was needed so that it would be sung or played exactly as it had been composed. The name for written music that man developed is notation. The system of musical notation generally used today is the result of centuries of development- from about the end of the ninth century to the early 1700’s. This development began in the cathedrals in monasteries of the Roman Catholic Church. Since many of the Church’s services were sung, they were sung from memory.
Towards the end of the ninth century dots and dashes and squiggles were written over the words in the church books. These signs, called neumes, showed the direction in which the melody should go. But they were still very vague. About 900 A.D. the music was made a little easier to read. The neumes were written at certain distances above or below the horizontal red line, representing the note F, to show how high or low the note should be sung. Then the staff was invented by a monk called Guido d’Arezzo.
This was made of four lines. A method of notation that made it possible to show the length of each note was developed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Notes took new shapes and stems were added to some notes according to their length. By the 1600’s the notes had become round and musical notation began to look like it does today. Today music is written and printed in a picture language. This language of notation indicates the pitch of the tones, their place in a sequence of tones, their duration (the length of time a tone is held), and the composer’s ideas about how they should be played.
The period between 1400 and 1600 is called the Renaissance period. Also known as the period of rebirth, this period brought out the inventions that made a great impact on the lives of people up to the present. The critical and ambitious minds of inventors allow the invention of clock, gunpowder and eyeglasses. Consequently, certain aspects of music also changed. Polyphonic and imitation among ...
Notes are written signs that represent tones (musical sounds).
The notes appear on a staff, a set of five horizontal lines. The higher the composer places the note, the higher its pitch. The order in which he places it, from left to right, indicates its place in a sequence of notes. The shape of a note shows its time value. A clef sign at the left end of a staff determines the position of notes on the staff.
The treble clef is often called the G clef because its sign fixes the G above middle C on the second line from the bottom of the staff. The bass clef, often called the F clef, fixes the F below middle C on the second line from the top of the staff. Higher notes, such as those for the right end of the piano, appear in the treble clef. Lower notes appear in the bass clef. Music for the viola is written in the alto clef, and music written for the trombone, bassoon, and cello sometimes appears in the tenor clef. A key signature appears at the right of the clef sign.
By using sharp signs or flat signs, the composer indicates that certain notes should always be played sharp or flat. In this way, he shows the key of his work. Key signatures take from one to seven sharp or flat signs. The composer may place an accidental in front of a certain note. Accidentals are the signs for sharp, flat , or natural that show a change from the key signature. Any note not marked sharp or flat is called natural.
The natural sign cancels the sharp or flat. The evolution of musical notation covers many years. It is fortunate that this picture language was developed. Today music is written so that it can be played and sung as the composer intended. BIBLIOGRAPHY Another Tell Me Why, Arkady Leokum, Grosset & Dunlap, New York, 1977 Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia, CD ROM, Compton’s New Media, Inc., 1995 The World Book Encyclopedia Vol. 13, Field Enterprises Educational Corp., 1965.
The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt, is the story of a man who at his crossroads, and what direction he decides to take. The story is about a plant manager named Alex Rogo. We find Alex six months into his first plant managers position at UniCo, in the UniWare Division. The plant is located in Bearington Massachusetts, where Alex grew up. UniCo is definitely a manufacturing plant, what they ...