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Delta notation for sheet music

Compact and easy to read scores
  (+2, -4)
(+2, -4)
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This is essentially "Delta notation for music" under Computer:Searching, but for written scores/sheet music. So credit goes to NoOneYouKnow for having the basic idea.

The pitch of the first note(s) of a score would be expressed in a standard MIDI-style format (e.g. C#0 is C sharp in middle octave). The next note(s) would be expressed as offsets from the previous note(s), and so on. Notes would be linked so there is a clear indication of what a given note is based on. The presentation of this should be very visual, as for current scores, probably borrowing a lot from them.

The vertical space taken by staves would be reduced. Every few bars you might explicitly state the starting note so you can start a performance halfway through easily, or recover the tune if you hit a wrong note.

Jumps of more than an octave could be abbreviated to the number of octaves plus a smaller jump.

I have a feeling such a score might be difficult to play. For example, the same note repeated would look like a non-zero offset for the first note, followed by zero offsets for the following notes. This would look a bit odd. If the visual presentation is good, however, it might just work. I find that big jumps pitch in music are the hardest to play, so something which makes the nature of the jump plain would be useful. It would be easier for beginners to pick up complex tunes, and may even be a superior format for experienced players (although not being one I can't comment).

ooooooooo, Jan 02 2006

Delta thrives http://www.e-sheep.com/delta/
[normzone, Jan 03 2006]


       I have a feeling this would work very well for some instruments, but not for others. For example, this would be great for piano or trombone (where the delta is linked to the positioning quite simply) but not on things such as the recorder (where the fingerings can be quite strange sometimes). I don't have much experience beyond that.   

       I suggest not to have the starting note specified. The idea would work much better if the starting note was just called X or something, and every so often the reminder note could be called X+6 or X-2, so that transposition could be even easier. No more transposing for instruments in strange keys! Hurrah!
dbmag9, Jan 02 2006

       I don't see why this should confer any advantages - in the same way that there are probably no particular advantages to a computer keyboard with 26 keys marked with "-13" through to "+12" indicating offsets from the previous letter typed.
hippo, Jan 03 2006

       I suspect those with the patience to learn a compendium of key signatures and harmonic standards would find this as hard to grasp as a novice would the former ... however, seems a simple enough way to 'speed teach' some instruments (piano, guitar, percussion). Also, may be a hit with performance stylists who need short cuts to choreography as much as they need competent musicians
reensure, Jan 03 2006

       This is horrible: if you lose your place, you will be completely out of tune until the next "absolute note" helper bar is encountered.
phundug, Jan 03 2006

       Not good... for the reason that [phundug] sites.
zigness, Jan 03 2006

       Fabulously semibaked! BUN! Tell me, ooooooooo, do you make much money in licensing royalties from Google-pages?
Dub, Jan 03 2006

bristolz, Jan 03 2006

       was that for me bris?
Dub, Jan 03 2006

normzone, Jan 03 2006

       How would this work where you are playing more than one note at a time? You could be playing 3 notes right now, then 2, then 4, then 1. then 5. How would you denote the changes? I suspect that you will end up with exactly the "score" that we already have.
sophocles, Jan 03 2006

       A piano player once told me that music sheets are read in the same way as reading a collection of letters: you see the word or phrase instead.   

       With delta alphabet notation "Cat" would be coded as 3,-2,20. Easy, Eh?   

       Edit: or should it be 3,-2,19?
Ling, Jan 04 2006

       Neither. It should be C, -2, 19.
dbmag9, Jan 05 2006

       Ah, yes. That's much better.
Ling, Jan 06 2006

       //A piano player once told me that music sheets are read in the same way as reading a collection of letters: you see the word or phrase instead.//   

       I don't. It's unfortunate, because I've played the piano for 17 years. It's just a bunch of black spots to me.
phundug, Jan 06 2006

       I see "the shape of the music" and can, usually at a glance, understand the general melody, patterns and phrasing. I assume I can do this because I learned to read music when I was very young. The individual notes stand out only upon closer analysis.
bristolz, Jan 07 2006


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