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Trying looking for the "abc" format if available. When that's converted, the notation is quite plain.
There's always TAB...
Mary in Springfield, Oregon http://www.thefiddleandbanjopr.....dpress.com
Depending on the piece, there are often less complex versions available somewhere. If not, you can always grab paper and pencil and write one up yourself. That way it only has what you personally need for what you want to do.
Just like with written language, you don't have to use more of it than you need for a particular purpose. If you were jotting yourself a "To-Do" list, you wouldn't worry about spelling or punctuation or grammar. Or at least you don't have to.
As MadCat mentions, there's also tab, which can actually be better than standard notation if you want to show that a particular note should be played with a particular finger on a particular string, since many notes can be played at more than one string/finger location on a violin. Where tab can be less good is if you are trying to how something complex, since it can look more confusing in tab. For me it does, anyway, but maybe I am just easily confused..
Jim: That abcnotation stuff looks pretty neat. First I've ever heard of it, but compared to some ways I've seen people try to communicate even a few notes through a txt file, it looks pretty cool.
"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman
Good point, Fiddlerman. One other thing about the reading music thing. Not to contradict you, but there are a bunch of fiddler types (some read, some don't) who learn and play mostly be ear. Regardless of whethere they can read or not, using the ear method helps develop the memory. When you have a repertoire of 200 + tunes in your heads, and many Irish trad players do, then that's good for playing in sessions where it's not easy to read from music, even if you wanted to. It's when you have total dependence on the "dots" that the trouble starts.
I read music, and often will need it to learn something that's a bit difficult. Easy tunes I can pick up quickly, and remember them. Sometimes I will refer to the dots if if memory fades, like maybe I haven't played a particular tune for a while.
I think it's best to be able to do both - learn by ear, and from printed music.
About the abc notation - it's not really designed as a replacement for standard notation, but it's value is in it's portability.
If you have the full "works" - not expensive by the way, you can go a long way in notating, if you are at a computer, like what I do when I relase my silly compositions :).
I have a setup of a "Prodikeys" - a combined PC + piano keyboard. I use Harmony Assistant software, and I can tap in the piano notes of the tune, and they appear on the music staff screen.
Once that's done, I can then print out the tune, or save it as an abc file for passing on.
If you load the abc file into here :
..it converts the text to standard notation, and you can save it as a pdf document. You get a MIDI sound file too.
Evil! Is too nice a word for it!!
I'm learning Air on the G string, (for my first public performance late June, early July) and since my music scoresheet now contains alternative bowing, where to do third position, the bar lengths aren't equispaced depending on the number of notes encountered so I have pencilled in the beats, first position finger position where I get things wrong (usually 2nd finger back,)
I now realise I am musically slycdexic!!
I am amazed at how old people of my age are.....
You are way above my level. I never look at the bowing and positions when reading music sheet! and I dont even care about the bar! I envy you man!
By the way, good luck on your performance. I tried to learn Air on the G string too. Beautiful song but I believe when i played, Bach gonna be so sad when he hear it.
Let me answer this way. In about 60 years of monkeying around with music I have only met one person who I thought truly played by ear. Name a new tune that he might have heard a bit of and he would play it .... straight off ....... no hunt or peck ..... first time. ( some tunes he just never heard of ) (but can you whistle?) And then, to make things worse somebody would complain he was in the wrong key and he would instantly transpose. No hunt or peck.
Maybe that is common place outside the Jersey backwoods but I've only met one.
Long live Jerry G.
The folks in the 1000 show group may have been fantastic musicians but 1000 performances may be as much about memory as anything else. I wonder if that could border on "savant" ?
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
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