Learn the nuances of music notation, and create professional looking scores. Berklee College of Music brings together teachers and students from all over the world, and we use notation in a great variety of ways. This book presents our perspectives on notation: what we have found to be the most commonly used practices in today’s music industry, and what seems to be serving our community best.
Whether you are writing for a Nashville recording studio, Hollywood sound stage, concert hall, worship choir loft, theater pit, jazz club, or school auditorium, private teaching studio, or music publication, this book will help you to create readable, professional, publication-quality notation. Beyond understanding the standard rules and definitions, you will learn to make appropriate choices for your own work, and generally how to achieve clarity and consistency in your notation so that it best serves your music.
You will learn:
- The meaning, usage conventions, and placement practices of basic notation symbols, such as notes, rests, clefs, time signatures, key signatures, and measure numbers
- Where to set articulations and expressive/tempo markings
- How to use repeat symbols and roadmaps, including multiple endings
- Lead sheet notation, such as how to render chord symbols, conventions for indicating soloing and comping, kicks over time, and more
- Specific notation practices for individual instruments, such as strings, brass, woodwinds, keyboard, harp, and rhythm-section instruments (including drum set notation, string “chop” notation, and more)
- Guitar notation, including traditional PIMA notation, tablature, and chord frames
- Score and part preparation standards, for orchestra, jazz band, and other large ensembles, as well as vocal ensembles, rhythm section, chamber music, and smaller groups, such as piano/vocal scores and solo instrument parts
- Publishing “house style” guidelines and tips for music writers, such as for musical analysis, articles, articles, and pedagogical materials about music
Foreword by Matthew Nicholl, Berklee’s associate vice president for global initiatives and former long-time chair of the Contemporary Writing and Production Department.
Royalties for this book are contributed to Berklee’s Matthew Marvuglio Endowed Scholarship.