Interpreting Score Notation.

Playing music from a score requires a well-defined interpretation of the symbols in the score that represent the music to be played. This page defines that interpretation by defining guitar-specific notation used in Semiosis Music Publishing scores. Scores use modern staff notation as defined in Gehrkens' Music Notation and Terminology as a reference specification. Semiosis Music Publishing scores guitar-specific notation and its interpretation accrue to the reference specification and supercede the reference specification as necessary.

A guitar-specific interpretation is specified by defining a term and illustrating the use of the symbols used by example.

Bends.

Bend. The notation for a bend is a straight line between the initial and terminal notes, annotated with either the expression Bend or in-line with the abbreviation b. When first introduced and later followed by abbreviation b, the annotation is Bend (b). Bend implies that the terminal note is sutained for its duration. It provides no further information about its release. When the abbreviation b appears in-line, it appears at the beginning of the line.

Example 1 illustrates how to introduce Bend (b) in a composition. The guitarist interprets the straight line between C and D to mean a bend from C to D and that b is an abbreviation for later bends in the score. Example 2 is an example of an in-line abbeviation to bend C to D.

When there isn't enough space between the initial and terminal notes to render a line, or where a grace note provides a line crossing a note, the notation for a a bend is b.

Release. The notation for a release is a straight line between the sustained and terminal notes following a bend annotated either with the expression Release or in-line with the abbreviation r. When first introduced and later followed by abbreviation r, the annotation is Release (r). When the abbreviation r appears in-line, it appears at the end of the line.

Example 4 illustrates how to introduce Release (r) in a composition. The guitarist interprets the straight line between D and C, following the bend from C to D to mean release the bend from D to C and that r is an abbreviation for later bends in the score. Example 5 is an example of an in-line abbeviation to release D to C.

Prepared Bend. The notation for a prepared bend is a straight line between the initial and terminal notes, annotated with either the expression Prepared Bend or in-line with the abbreviation pb. When first introduced and later followed by abbreviation pb, the annotation is Prepared Bend (pb).

Example 6 illustrates how to introduce Prepared Bend (pb) in a composition. The guitarist interprets the straight line between D and C to mean a release from D to C with no pre-existing bend to release and that pb is an abbreviation for later bends in the score. Example 7 is an example of an in-line abbeviation to of a prepare bend from D to C.

Hammer. The notation for a hammer is a curved line between the initial and terminal notes, annotated with either the expression Hammer or in-line with the abbreviation h. When first introduced and later followed by abbreviation h, the annotation is Hammer (h). Hammer implies that the terminal note is sutained for its duration. The curved line may curve either upwards or downwards and the annotation may appear either above or below the line.

Example 8 illustrates how to introduce Hammer (h) in a composition. The guitarist interprets the straight line between G and A to mean to pluck G then fret A. Example 9 is an example of an in-line abbeviation to hammer A after plucking G.

Legato

Pull-Off. The notation for a pull-off is a curved line between the initial and terminal notes, annotated with either the expression Pull-Off or in-line with the abbreviation po. When first introduced and later followed by abbreviation po, the annotation is Pull-Off (po). Pull implies that the terminal note is sutained for its duration. The curved line may curve either upwards or downwards and the annotation may appear either above or below the line.

Example 10 illustrates how to introduce Pull-Off (pb) in a composition. The guitarist interprets the straight line between A and G to mean pull the finger sustaining the note A off the string in such a way that it plucks G. Example 11 is an example of an in-line abbeviation to pull-off A while plucking G.

Harmonics

Natural Harmonics. The notation for a natural harmonic is the diamond shaped note head. Diamond shape note heads vary in size.

Example 12 illustrates the larger diamond shape note head in the 1st measure and the smaller diamond shape note head in the second measure.