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Different Forms of Musical Notation

These are some different forms of musical notation:

  • Hand Signs
  • Letter notation
  • Number notation
  • Solfa/sargam
  • Neumes
  • Tablature
  • TUBS (Time unit box system)
  • Stave notation
  • Graphic notation
Notation can have different functions:
  • to preserve music
  • to help remember music, an aide memoire
  • to keep a record of what you have composed
  • to assist in refining or revising your work
  • to standardise performance
  • to communicate musical ideas to others
  • to develop a common cross-cultural (i.e.non-verbal) language
  • to provide a visual reminder of the sounds of the music
  • to promote the commercial aspects of the music
  • to extend the range of performance situations, or develop a wider audience
  • to enable composers to organise and manipulate more complex musical ideas
  • to help people to learn music
  • to support study and analysis
Some forms of notation are better at some of these functions than others.
Subpages (1): Number Notation