# Thread: Fastest to write musical notation?

1. ## Fastest to write musical notation?

What's the fastest easy to write with musical notation?

Assume the notional writer has sheets of completely blank white paper and a pen. No rulers, staff marking tools, or stencils, etc. are allowed. The writer has average penmanship skills, but no particular artistic skills. So, the writer cannot be assumed to be capable of drawing a line across the paper that is or looks straight, and drawing a staff of lines is basically impossible.

So, given all of that, what musical notation would you choose if such a writer with those tools was your only choice of musical scribe/transcriptionist?

2. ## Re: Fastest to write musical notation?

theoretically if everything was within one octave you could just use linear notes laveled with the letters A-G and sharp/flat signs

3. ## Re: Fastest to write musical notation?

Hm. I don't think such a thing has been standardised, but I could imagine a system using the letters A-G (assuming the scribe has perfect pitch) with sharp and flat symbols, dashes for "hold for x counts", dots (or similar) for "silence for x counts," and "hats" above or below the letters indicating which octave the note is in. That seems the most instinctual to me, anyway.

You'd have to add a little bit of complexity to indicate the tempo, and account for multiple simultaneous notes (stack the letters on top of each other, maybe, and use vertical lines a little like proper staves do?), but as a very basic and easy-to-draw framework, I think it's a start. (That being said, the scribe would still have to be extremely talented to keep up with the music while writing and get the whole thing on the first try.)

4. ## Re: Fastest to write musical notation?

Depends on how complex and long the music is.

On the simple end, a melody alone, I'd work in pitch duration pairs e.g. "dot[ted] quarter [note] D, eighth [note] high C#, half [note] high A;", bracketed bits absent but implied, and the semicolon indicates the end of a measure.

Slightly more complex music gets a row or three below the melody line with a second melody line and/or chord notation.

For very structured but very complex music it's less a notation and more plain language instructions on how to reconstruct the piece with a sheet music typesetting program - describing fragments of the music as variables, and explaining how to reuse and modify them throughout the work, and only rarely falling back on spelling it out note by note.

#### Posting Permissions

• You may not post new threads
• You may not post replies
• You may not post attachments
• You may not edit your posts
•