Monday, July 7, 2014
My unofficial rules for writing music by hand:
- Always use a straight edge for stems and beams. Beams should be thicker than stems.
- Stems should extend an octave above or below their notehead. For the middle line and higher, stems go down; below the middle line, stems go up (for ledger lines and beamed notes, these rules can be relaxed so the beaming looks good).
- Accidentals extend above or below their notehead by a perfect fourth.
- Plan how many measures you'll have on each staff system, so you don't run out of space.
Links on musical notation:
- Wikipedia, Musical notation
- Basic musical notation
- IMSLP - pdf's for thousands of public-domain works
- Blank staff paper (Google image search - when you're looking for staff paper, make sure the staves aren't too close together; 10 - 12 staves per page is usually good)
- Official "Get started fast" tutorials for Sibelius
- Sibeliusblog.com, an unofficial source for news about the big notation programs: Sibelius, Finale, and the upcoming Dorico.
- And I should link to MuseScore - I can't believe I didn't know about this free program!