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Music Notation Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

Music History about notation and how the notation has evolved.

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


-Used in Everyday Life


-music is associated with religon
-Shofar and Ram's Horn
-Profe­ssional muscians were used at services
Respon­sorial Music
Antiphonal Music
Respon­sorial Music: the soloist is answered by the choir
Antiphonal Music: Choir is divided in two and they alternate their singing


-Based on Music of the Greeks
-Military and Entert­ainment Purposes
-made first brass instru­ments and horns


-Music originates from mousike
-music is played at festivals, plays, and Olympic games
-Kithara and the Aulos
-invented music scales and modes
-named the pitches of scales
-Music was monophonic
Monoph­onic: one melodic line


-Penta­tonic Scale
-plucked, stringed instru­ments
-From Zither family
Pentatonic Scale: 5 Note Scale

Gregorian Chant

-Many chants were organized in the time of Pope Gregory
-Called Gregorian Chants or Plainsong
Time: 540-604 AD

Notation in the Middle Ages

-monas­teries and churches
-songs were based on the Old testament
-in Latin, in unison and a cappella
-followed rhythm of the text
-smooth and only used a few tones
-Chants followed the rhythm of the text
-Later melodies were sometimes melismatic (many notes sung on one syllable of the text)
-Chants were learned from memory (rote) and not written down


-Numes means signs in Greek
-Horiz­ontal lines were added to give a reference point to the moving melody