Text Notation

You can write music notation with your text editor!  Our “Text Notation” is meant to be as close to traditional notation as possible.  See the guide below to understand how it works.

Octave Marks and Lettered Notes… instead of Grand Staff
Use commas to the left or right of Lettered Note to indicate Octave range.

From 7 notes to 12 with sharps and flats

C”           Up Two octaves

C’         Up One octave

C       Middle range

‘C          Down One Octave

”C             Down Two Octaves

Lettered Keyboard with “Octave Marks”
Lettered Keyboard with Octave Marks

Traditional notation:

Text notation:
C-Major, 3/4

G/8._E/16 |C/4  E/4  G/4 | C’/2  *  E’/8._D’/16 | E/4
Oh              say   can  you    see         by       the       dawn’s

G/4 F#/4 |G/2  *  G/8_G/8 |E’/4.    D’/8  C’/4 |
ear – ly        light       what  so    proud – ly       we


ItemSymbolSymbol LabelItem descriptionExample
NotesA B C D E F G or numbers 1-12Letters/NumbersUse "pitch letter" to identify pitch.G
Lower case B
Accidentals are used to modify notes up (sharp) or down (flat) by one half step. G#
Octave Marks' CommaNotes are grouped in repeated batches of 12. Octave marks to the left or right indicate what group of 12 the note is below or above the middle octave. G'
RestsRCapital letter RRests define pauses in the music where no note is played. R
Duration/1 /2 /4 /8 /16 /32 /64Slashes with numbers These fractions indicated the duration of the note or rest relative to the measure. G/4 = quarter note
Dots.PeriodAdding a dot adds an additional 1/2 of that duration. G/4. = quarter and eighth
Ties+PlusTies are used to add time duration past the end of a measure. Added time amount is written as just the timing without a pitch letter.g/4+ | /4
Triplets/3Slash threeTriplets are used to indicated 3 notes played int the space of two. G/8/3
- Articulations
Measure Bar lines|Pipe Bar lines establish measure boundaries.|G/4 G/4 G/4 G/4 |
Barring notes_UnderscoreBarring shows the combining of two shorter duration notes. G/8_G/8
Slur_____UnderlineIndicates notes that are played together cohesively. G/4 C/4 E/4
Phrase Mark*StarUsed to show the pronunciation of a statement of melody or lyrics. |G/2 * G/2 |G/2 G/2|
Repeat:|Colon Pipe| | :|
Repeat Reverse|:Pipe Colon| |: | :| |
End]Bracket bracket]
Alternate Ending1._______ 2._______Number period underscore
Dal CapoD.C.Letters with periods[ To Beg [
Dal SegnoD.S. Letters with periods
Repeat previous bar-/-Dash slash dash| -/- |
Repeat previous two bars-//-Dash slash slash dash| -//- |
Coda(+)Open parenthesis plus closed parenthesis(+) ToCoda (+)
Segno$Dollar sign$ To $
Accent>right carrot before note
Stuccato.period before note
Strings up^shift 6 before note
Strings downvletter V before note


Link for examples:

Repeat  :|  (Written as a Colon with a Pipe)
Play to repeat sign then go back to beginning and play to end.

Inverted Repeat sign  |: (Written as Pipe with Colon)
Indicates that you only repeat from this spot forward.

End  ]] (Written as two hard angle right brackets)
This indicates end of song.

D.C.  (Written as letters D.C.) under melody line.
Dal Capo- Play from the beginning

Alternate Enings
1. __________           2.___________
|c/4 d/4 g/8-G/8 :|  a/4  b/2 |
(written as numbers, period and underscores) over melody line

D.S al Coda (written as letters D.S.) under melody line.
Dal Segno…pronounced “dol sen-yoa”
Play as far as the sign, then go straight to the ending

D.S. al Fine (written as word D.S. al Fine) under melody line.
means go back to the dal segno sign and repeat until the point marked Fine.  Pronounced “fea-nay” …italian for end.

D.C. al Fine (written as words D.C. al Fine) under melody line.
Tells you to play to the beginning of the piece and repeat until you come to the marking Fine.


Beats Per Minute This represents how many Single beats are played per minute of time. 60 is low 120 is high.

Time Signature

Measures This indicates how many “Counts Per Measure” there are. |    pipe symbol found key over Enter button. Examples….
3/4 |    #   #   #    |     #    #    #   |    #    #    #  |
4/4 |    #   #   #   #   |  #    #    #    #   |   #    #    #    #  |


Scales and Intervals: (include pattern based graphic here showing pattern)
A Scale is a collection of specific intervals that give the scale its unique sound.  Like specific ingredients for a recipe…the combination of intervals give the scale its unique sound.  Every scale is based on a key note….symbolized as (I).  Then the pattern of intervals is applied to that “key note” to give you the notes in that scale.

( intervals ) Intervals are the distances of the scale notes from the key note.  Intervals are written in parethese.
(R) + (1)    (2)   (3)     (4)   (5)   (6)   (7)  (8)    (9)   (10)    (11)
I       IIb      II    IIIb    III     IV   Vb   V    VIb   VI    VIIb     VII

Example:  (V) is a “Fifth”  above the root note.

Types of scales and their specific intervals from the key note.
Major (I) (II) (III) (IV) (V) (VI) (VII) (I)
Blues (I) (IIIb) (IV) (V) (VII) (I)
Klezmer (I) (IIb) (III) (IV) (V) (VIb) (Viib) (I)  Hava Nagila

Interval reciprocals. The interval and its reciprocal will equal 12.  This is the distance above or below the starting point. This helps to know when navigating intervals above or below a note. Examples: +(V) / -(III), +(VI)/-(II),  +(VI)/-(ii) etc.

Interval/Reciprocal +/- This is another way to visualize the reciprocal relationships that differ by twelve.
+   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11 +
–   11 10  9   8   7   6   5   4   3    2     1  –

Chords: Chords are combinations of Notes derived from the scale.  The [ hard bracket shows what note is the “Root” of the chord.  The interval numbers in parenthesis show what interval that note is relative to the root note. Chords with Three notes and half step ( intervals ) and Roman Numberal relative to Major scale b =minus one, # = plus one.
Diminished:      Cdim =  1 (36)  C D# F  I, IIIb, Vb
Minor:                  Cm =  1 (37)   I, iiib, V
Major:                      C = 1 (47)   I, III, V
Augmented:      Caug = 1 (48). I, III, V# NN Formatting.

The numbers in the parenthesis are intervals showing you what type of chord it is. Diminished:                        Cdim = C (IIIb) (Vb)
Minor:                                       Cm = C (IIIb) (V)
Major:                                         C = C   (III)  (V)
Augmented:                           Caug = C  (III) (VIb)

Chords with Four notes
Diminished7 = C (369)        Cdim7 Minor7 = 1(3710)     Cm7 or Cmin7
MinorMajor7 = 1(3711)     Cm(M7) or Cm maj7
Dominant7 = 1(4710)     C7 or Cdom7 Major7 = 1(4711)     CM7 or Cmaj7
Augmented7 = 1(4810)     Caug7 or C+7
Augmented Major7 =  1 (4811)     C+(M7) or CM7+5

NN format of Chords with Four notes. Intervals in parenthesis.
dim7 = 1(369) = 14710
Minor7 = 1(3710) = 14811
MinorMajor7 = 1(3711) = 14812
Dominant7 = 1(4710) = 15811
Major7 = 1(4711) = 15812
Augmented7 = 1(4810) = 15912
Augmented Major7 = 1(4811) = 15912

Inversions The letter after the slash indicates the lowest note of chord.
‘C               C/’E        C/’G

‘G                 C               E
‘E                ‘G               C
‘C                ‘E              ‘G

Transposing Transposing a song involves moving all the notes up or down by the same amount.

Original key of C
|  C   C   G   G   | A    A    G          |  F    F    E    E         |  D   D   C       |
… transposed  by  a major 2nd or  (+2) half steps Now in the key of D

|  D   D   A   A   | B    B    A         |  G    G    F#    F#    |  E   E   D       |

Chord Progressions for different types of scales.

Blues Progression
(I)    (IV)      (V)        (I)
12 Bar Blues
(I)          (I)      (I)     (I)
(IV)      (IV)     (I)     (I)
(V)        (V)      (I)    (I)

Tempo words and there related speeds
Word and times in Beats Per Minute (BPM)
Grave, slow, solemn,  20-40
Lento, slowly, 40-60
Largo, larghetto, 60-66
Adagio, slow, stately, 67-76
Andante, walking pace, 76-108
Moderato, moderately, 109-120
Allegro, quickly, bright, 121-139
Vivace, lively, fast, 140-167
Presto, very fast 168-200