Quick basic question about notation


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What do these lines beneath the cleff mean? I suppose it has something to do with either a continuous note or how soft/hard I should hit the keys or something like that?
 

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SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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The "<" lines indicate a "crescendo," meaning you start out playing quietly and get progressively louder.

The ">" lines indicate a "decrescendo," meaning you start out playing loudly and get progressively quieter.

Sort of like "fade in" and "fade out." :)

EDIT: I'd think that ideally the composer or transcriber should give an indication of the range in volume, such as "p < f > p" or "pp < ff > pp" or "ppp < fff > ppp."
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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That's a very handy list, and it even includes the demisemihemidemisemiquaver! But I'm disappointed that it doesn't include the hemidemisemihemidemisemiquaver and beyond. :( Oh, well.

And I suppose I gave the "unwashed masses" name for the opposite of the crescendo, whereas the "musically snooty" name would be "diminuendo." :/ Oh, well, at least I knew what "common time" means.
 
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..... If I cannot say it.... I don’t play it.

So I have no chance with the demihemiV8quatrothingy.
 

SeaGtGruff

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It's actually very easy to learn, if a nightmare to calculate in your head:

Semi-, hemi-, and demi- are all prefixes meaning "half," so each time you add one in front of a word you get half of that word (e.g., semiquaver, semicircle, semieducated, etc.).

But to keep from saying semisemisemisemi- whenever we want to take half of a half of a half of a half of something, we rotate between semi-, hemi-, and demi-, in that order (think reverse alphabetical order):

- semisomething
- hemisemisomething
- demihemisemisomething
- semidemihemisemisomething
- etcetera ad nauseum

The rotation almost makes it simple to figure out the math:

- semi = half
- hemisemi = quarter (half of a half)
- demihemisemi = eighth (half of a quarter)
- etc.

So depending on how many of them you have strung together, you take them in groups of three starting from the right, and look at the first letter of the group of three or less that remains at the beginning (left). For example:

- hemisemi demihemisemi demihemisemi something

Each group of three (which start with "d"emi) is an eighth, and the group of two that's left over at the beginning (which starts with "h"emi) is a quarter, so we have a quarter of an eighth of an eighth of something.

Of course, figuring out what that reduces down to involves doing math in your head, and doing math in your head involves... well... doing math in your head. So THAT goes over like a lead balloon, especially because your music teacher expects you to do the math in your head while remembering to FACE the music because All Cows Eat Grass and Every Good Boy Deserves Favor, all of which you must do while playing the written music correctly without missing a beat and without looking at which keys your fingers are on. :D
 
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I see, that makes perfect sense! Thanks again, I've bookmarked the wiki page now ;) This is so exciting to learn about.
 

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