More notes at http://tanguay.info/learntracker
C O U R S E 
Western Music History through Performance
Jonathan Coopersmith, Curtis Institute of Music
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Musical Terms and Notation
Notes taken on March 26, 2016 by Edward Tanguay
notation has developed dramatically in the past 1000 years
half note = 72 Rhythmico
number refers to beats per minute
i.e. 72 half notes per minute or 114 quarter notes per minute, which is pretty fast
the tempo is very important and can be found on all standard metronomes in use since Beethoven's time
clef sitting on the staff
e.g. treble clef used for violin music or anything else that is higher in pitch such as the
soprano voice
clef is from French and means key
the clef is the key to reading the notes that are on the staff
key signature
sharps, flats and naturals are called accidentals
they alter written pitches higher and lower
e.g. two sharps
means either D major or b minor
3/2 on the staff tells us that there are three half notes on this measure, which we call the meter
the meter remains until it is changed
the top number indicates the number of beats per bar
bottom number indicates the rhythmic value
a 2 means a half note
if it were a 4 on the bottom, the beat would be felt in quarter notes
if it were an 8 on the bottom, the beat would be felt in 8th notes
a great deal of music is in 4/4 or 3/4
the meter is just a way that composers group rhythms together into bars
some pieces change meters quite a bit
check out Stravinsky's Rite of Spring if you want to see some remarkable meter changes
letters that control volume
p = piano, or soft
f = forte, or loud
pp = pianissimo, or very soft
mf = mezzo forte, or moderately loud
Giovanni Gabrieli (1557–1612)
credited as the first to use dynamics in his music
marks that affect duration and the way the note is sounded
solid line
means tenuto, Italian for "to hold, to emphasize"
hold a note for its full duration, or to emphasize the note
small dot
play the note short and not for its full duration
play the note lightly
there is room for interpretation
how loud is loud
how short is short
there are also ephemeral aspects of music that can't be notated
a wonderful aspect about the performance of music