Notation Samples

Below are 22 samples of different notation systems.   Each sample shows a simple chromatic scale which starts on middle C and climbs up to the C an octave higher.  A description can be found below each sample.  (We're sorry that these samples are a bit hard to see.)

 

sample1.gif (10219 bytes)

Sample 1: Nicolai Dolmatov, inventor
Although it is a bit hard to see in our example, each note is either a traditional oval notehead or a small "x".  There are 6 of each, making this a 12-elevation system.   Traditional stems, flags etc. are used.  The staff spans two octaves, consisting of three horizontal lines widely spaced (approx. 12mm apart) with each line representing "C".  Leger lines occur as needed on the invisible "E" and "G#" lines.
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/13, 11/1, 13/27)

wpe92558.gif (9874 bytes)

Sample 2: Robert Stuckey, inventor
Numbers (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, X, N) are used instead of traditional noteheads.  They are placed at twelve different elevations per octave on a 3-line staff.  The staff spans an octave.  The upper and lower lines are C's.   The middle line is F#.  Stems extend upward or downward from the numbers.
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/30, 11/1, 13/93)

wpe54747.gif (9942 bytes)

Sample 3: Johannes Beyreuther, inventor
A 2-line staff is used.  The lower line of the staff represents "E".  Above and below the staff a leger line is used to represent "C".  Between any two adjacent lines (including the leger line) there are three elevations on which notes can be placed.  Color helps distinguish these elevations, with the white notes hugging the lines and the black notes either on or between the lines.  Rhythmic notation is mostly traditional.  Beyreuther later withdrew this proposal in favor of its "dashed line" cousin (see Sample #8 below).
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/4, 11/2, 13/9)

wpe32286.gif (10513 bytes)

Sample 4: "Diatonic Twinline Notation"; Leo de Vries, inventor
A 2-line staff is used.  The lower line of the staff represents "E".  Above and below the staff a leger line is used to represent "C".  Between any two adjacent lines (including the leger line) there are three elevations on which notes can be placed.  These elevations are made easier to distinguish because the notehead is given a semicircular shape when it rests against a line.  Also the note color corresponds to the piano key color, with the "sharps and flats" being black and the others being white.  Rhythmic notation is mostly traditional.
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/11, 11/2, 13/25)

wpe11501.gif (10481 bytes)

Sample 5:  "Chromatic Twinline Notation";  Leo de Vries, inventor
Similar to his previous system explained in "Sample 4" above, except that instead of the note color corresponding to the color of the piano keys, the color alternates white-black-white-black, resulting with the semicircles being black and the ovals being white.
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/11, 11/2, 13/25)

wpe60912.gif (10060 bytes)

Sample 6:  "Twinline Notation";   Thomas Reed, inventor
A 2-line staff is used.  The lower line of the staff represents "E".   Above and below the staff a leger line is used to represent "C".   Between any two adjacent lines (including the leger line) there are three elevations on which notes can be placed.  These three elevations are made easier to read because of a change in notehead shape.  As illustrated, the notes next to a line assume a triangular shape (with the base of the triangle resting on the closer line).   The notes are all white.  Rhythmic notation is mostly traditional.
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/24, 11/2, 13/72)

wpe18319.gif (9570 bytes)

Sample 7:  "Panot Notation"; George Skapski, inventor
A 2-line staff is used.  The lower line of the staff represents "E".  Above and below the staff a leger line is used to represent "C".  Between any two adjacent lines (including the leger line) there are three elevations on which notes can be placed.  The notes are all black and circular.   A novel rhythmic notation is used.
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/29, 11/2, 13/89)

wpe76141.gif (10332 bytes)

Sample 8:  "Chromatic 6 & 6 Notation"; Johannes Beyreuther, inventor
A 5-line staff is used, with the middle line being dashed.  The lowest line of the staff represents "C".  Between any two adjacent lines there are three elevations on which notes can be placed.  Color helps distinguish these elevations, with the white notes hugging the lines and the black notes either on or between the lines.   The dashes normally represent beats of time (although we ignored this in the illustration).
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/5, 11/2, 13/10)

wpe49260.gif (11266 bytes)

Sample 9: "DA" Notation; Rich Reed, inventor
The staff is similar to "Sample 10" below.  A heavy bottom line represents "C".  Above this heavy line there is a space containing an "invisible" line ("D") on which leger lines are used.  Above the invisible line are 3 ordinary staff lines.  Above the 3 ordinary lines there is another space containing an "invisible" line ("A#").  Above this invisible line is another heavy "C" line which begins the next octave.   Black noteheads are used on lines, white noteheads are used in spaces.  The rhythmic notation is mostly traditional.
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/23, 11/2, 13/70)

wpe89936.gif (10213 bytes)

Sample 10: "Isomorph" notation; Tadeusz Wojcik, inventor
The staff is similar to "Sample 9" above.  A heavy bottom line represents "D".  Above this heavy line there is a space containing an "invisible" line ("E").  Above the invisible line are 3 ordinary staff lines, which represent the black keys on the piano (F#, G# and A#).  Above the 3 ordinary lines there is another space containing an "invisible" line ("C").  Above this invisible line is another heavy "D" line which begins the next octave.  Black noteheads are used on lines, white noteheads are used in spaces.  The rhythmic notation is proportional.  It resembles a horizontal version of "Klavarskribo".
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/35, 11/2, 13/103)

wpe09935.gif (11266 bytes)

(The upper and lower samples are similar)

wpe57220.gif (11683 bytes)

Sample 11 and Sample 12: This 4-line staff design has been used by several notation inventors, including: Johann Ailler, Albert Brennink, and Richard Parncutt.   A 4-line staff alternates with a 2-line invisible staff.  Notes falling on the invisible staff use leger lines.  In the Ailler system (the upper sample), the bottom line of the 4-line staff represents "E".  In the Brennink system (called "Chroma Notation" - the lower sample) it represents "F#" (because he wanted to place the important note "A" in the center of the staff).  In the Parncutt system (called the "All-white Tetragram" - not illustrated) it represents "F" (because he wanted to have the 4-line staff represent the white keys [F, G, A, B] of the piano).
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/2,7,21, 11/3, 13/2,13,62)

wpe75835.gif (12142 bytes)

Sample 13: Franz Grassel, inventor
Similar to the 4-line staff design described above (for Samples 11 and 12), but now the invisible 2-line staff (which alternates with the 4-line staff) is no longer invisible.   Instead the two lines are dashed.  The bottom line of the 4-line staff represents "F" (as in the Parncutt "All-white Tetragram" sample described above)
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/16, 11/4, 13/36)

wpe34850.gif (11738 bytes)

Sample 14: "C-Symmetrical Semitone Notation" Ronald Sadlier, inventor
Identical to the popular 5-line staff described below (in Samples 15 and 16), except that the 2nd and 4th lines are heavy (although it's impossible to see this in the sample above).  As with most 5-line systems, the single leger line is "C".
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/27, 11/3, 13/84)

wpe36136.gif (11961 bytes)

(the upper and lower samples are similar)

wpe47520.gif (10937 bytes)

Sample 15 and Sample 16: Many notation inventors have chosen the 5-line staff, including Lukas Brandt, Grace Frix, Edward Huntington, Heinrich "Autodidactus" Richter, Hans Sacher, Karl Schumann, Heinrich Vincent, Hermann-Josef Wilbert, and Kazimierz Wolf.  Below each staff is a single invisible line on which a note can be placed using a leger line.  This leger line is usually "C", however there are exceptions (such as Grace Frix's system - the lower sample - in which the leger line represents "D").
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/6,14,17,25,26,28,32,34,36, 11/3, 13/12,33,42,74,82,87,97,103,104)

wpe71267.gif (10160 bytes)

Sample 17: "Notation Godjevatz"; Velizar Godjevatz, inventor
At the bottom of the staff are 3 horizontal lines.  Above these lines is a single invisible line.  Above the invisible line are 3 more horizontal lines.  Leger lines are used with notes appearing on the "invisible" line (which represents "F#").  The lowest of the lower three lines and the highest of the upper three lines represent "C" and are sometimes heavier than the other lines (although they aren't in our illustration).  Traditional rhythmic notation is used.
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/15, 11/4, 13/35)

wpe44032.gif (10816 bytes)

Sample 18: "NotaGraph"; Constance Virtue, inventor
A 7-line staff, all solid except for the middle line which is dashed.  If the dashed line were invisible, it would look like "Sample 17" above.  The top and bottom lines represent "C".  The dashed line represents "F#".   Traditional rhythmic notation is used.
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/33, 11/4, 13/98)

wpe25924.gif (10621 bytes)

Sample 19: "Ambros System"; August Ambros, inventor
The staff appears as 3 solid horizontal lines alternating with 3 dashed horizontal lines.   The lowest solid line represents "C".  Traditional rhythmic notation is used.
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/3, 11/4, 13/3)

wpe31380.gif (10609 bytes)

Sample 20: "Douzave System"; John Leon Acheson, inventor
The 6-line staff is constructed from the bottom with: 2 normal staff lines, followed by a bold line, followed by 2 more normal staff lines, followed by a dashed line on top.   The bold line represents "C".  The dashed line represents "F#".
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/1, 11/4, 13/1)

wpe44479.gif (9650 bytes)

Sample 21: "CFG" Notation; Richard Parncutt, inventor
This could be thought of as a 7-line staff with only 3 lines visible.  Each line, visible or not, represents a white-key pitch (A, B, C, D, E, F, G).  Only the "C", "F", and "G" lines are visible.  Notes falling on invisible lines use leger lines.  The "sharp and flat" notes are placed in the spaces between the lines.  Since there is no black key on the piano between "E" and "F" or between "B" and "C", the staff does not allow any space for notes between the "E" and "F" lines or the "B" and "C" lines.  Traditional rhythmic notation is used.
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/20, 11/5, 13/62)

wpe30447.gif (10608 bytes)

Sample 22: "Alfaic (or Brella) 12-row notation"; Anne & Bill Collins, inv.
This could be thought of as a 7-line staff with one of the lines ("D") invisible.  Each line, visible or not, represents a white-key pitch (A, B, C, D, E, F, G).  Notes falling on the invisible "D" line use leger lines.  The "sharp and flat" notes are placed in the spaces between the lines.  Since there is no black key on the piano between "E" and "F" or between "B" and "C", the staff does not allow any space for notes between the "E" and "F" lines or the "B" and "C" lines.   That is why the 2 pair of lines are drawn close together.  Traditional rhythmic notation is used.
(Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas Reed, sect/pg: 10/9, 11/5, 13/19)

(All samples shown have been scanned from the MNMA publication: Directory of Music Notation Proposals by Thomas S. Reed.  Click if you want to know how to order this book.)


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