2014 "In today's digital landscape, we have the luxury of experiencing music anytime, anywhere. But before this instant accessibility and dizzying array of formats--before CDs, the eight-track tape, the radio, and the turntable--there was only one recording technology: music notation. It allowed singers and soloists to travel across great distances and perform their work with stunning fidelity, a feat that we now very much take for granted. Thomas Forrest Kelly transports us to the lively and complex world of monks and monasteries, of a dove singing holy chants into the ear of a saint, and of bustling activity in the Cathedral of Notre Dame--an era when the only way to share even the simplest song was to learn it by rote, church to church and person to person. With clarity and a sense of wonder, Kelly tells a story that spans five hundred years, leading us on a journey through medieval Europe and showing how we learned to keep track of rhythm, melody, and precise pitch with a degree of accuracy previously unimagined. Kelly reveals the technological advances that led us to the system of notation we use today, placing each step of its evolution in its cultural and intellectual context. Companion recordings by the renowned Blue Heron ensemble are paired with vibrant illuminated manuscripts, bringing the art to life and allowing readers to experience something of the marvel that medieval writers must have felt when they figured out how to capture music for all time."
Behind Bars : the definitive guide to music notation by Elaine Gould
2003 "Behind Bars is the indispensable reference book for composers, arrangers, teachers and students of composition, editors, and music processors. In the most thorough and painstakingly researched book to be published since the 1980s, specialist music editor Elaine Gould provides a comprehensive grounding in notational principles. Behind Bars covers everything from basic rules, conventions and themes to complex instrumental techniques, empowering the reader to prepare music with total clarity and precision. With the advent of computer technology, it has never been more important for musicians to have ready access to principles of best practice in this dynamic field, and this book will support the endeavors of software users and devotees of hand-copying alike. The author's understanding of, and passion for, her subject has resulted in a book that is not only practical but also compellingly readable. This seminal and all-encompassing guide encourages new standards of excellence and accuracy and, at a weighty 704 pages, it is supported by 1,500 music examples of published scores from Bach to Xenakis. Chapters include: Section I - General * Conventions: Ground Rules * Chords -- Dotted notes -- Ties * Accidentals and Key Signatures * Dynamics and Articulation * Grace Notes, Arpeggiated Chords, Trills, Glissandos and Vibrato * Metre * Tuplets * Repeat Signs. Section II - Idiomatic Notation: Woodwind and Brass * Percussion * Keyboard * Harp * Classical Guitar * Strings * Vocal Music. Section III - Layout and Presentation: Preparing Materials * Score Layout * Part Preparation * Electroacoustic Music * Freedom and Choice."
Norton Manual of Music Notation by George Heussenstamm
1987. "Part I deals with elements of notation, arranged in the order they are found in printed music, i.e., clefs, followed by key signatures, time signatures, etc. For each element, a model, a model is given and, where appropriate, simple drills provided.In part II, the elements are combined and the student is introduced to considerations of spacing, changes of meter, clef, and key as well as the notation of syncopation and irregular divisions of the beat.Part III delineates scoring practices ranging from notating two lines of music on one staff to discussions of transposing instruments, orchestral score layouts, and the extraction of instrumental parts.The author provides an appendix designed for those who wish to achieve more professional results; copying tools, materials, and techniques, as well as popular-music notation are described in detail.George Heussenstamm is a frequently-performed composer who has prepared his own scores for years. The copying skills he developed enabled him to give very successful courses in music notation at several California universities. The present book is the practical result of his experience as a teacher and professional copyist."
Fundamentals of Traditional Musical Notation by Albert C. Vinci
1978. "Twentieth-century music has significantly advanced the role of rhythm. The many variants of rhythmic notation, standard and experimental alike, encountered in contemporary music frequently demand explanation and interpretation. This book catalogs and clarifies the numerous ways of notating syncopation and alternative standard rhythmic figures, new time signatures, irrational rhythmic groupings within regular and irregular meters, experimental metrical concepts and techniques, analogs, and, finally, polymeters. Read compares traditional and present-day methods of delineating the same musical expressions, from fairly simple combinations to extremely complicated patterns."
Music notation : a manual of modern practice by Gardner Read
1964. Part I includes a history of musical notation. Part II provides instruction for each musical element: staves, systems, clefs, notes, rests and expression markings. Part III discusses idiomatic notation, particularly issues for voices and individual instruments, and Part IV has insturctions for the manuscript writing process, proof reading and preparing scores and parts. Each section contains practice exercises.