Musical alphabet |
Music Terms

Musical alphabet |

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The musical alphabet is a letter system for designating sounds decomp. height. It arose no later than the 3rd century. BC. in Dr. Greece, where there were two systems of A. m. In an earlier instr. the system included the letters of the Greek. and Phoenician alphabets. In a later wok. system used only Greek. letters in alphabetical order corresponding to the descending scale.

Other Greek letter notation was used in Zap. Europe before the 10th c. In the period of the early Middle Ages, a method of designating sounds with the letters lat arose and was used along with it. alphabet. First diatonic. a scale consisting of two chants. octaves (A – a), denoted by letters from A to R. Later, only the first seven letters began to be used. With this method, the notation was as follows: A, B, C., D, E, F, G; a, b, c, d, e, f, g, aa. Later, this scale was supplemented from below with the sound of the salt of the large octave, denoted by the letter g (gamma) of the Greek alphabet. II stage of the main the scale began to be used in two forms: high – the sound si, was called B durum (lat. – solid) and was indicated by a square outline (see Bekar); low – the sound of B-flat, was called B mollis (lat. – soft) and was indicated by a rounded outline (see Flat). Over time, the sound si began to be denoted by lat. letter H. After the 12th century. Wed-century. the system of letter notation was supplanted by non-personal writing and choral notation, however, in the 14-18 centuries. it was revived in various versions in organ and lute tablature.

Currently, the diatonic scale within the octave has the following letter designation:

In the countries of English language, this system is used with one digression – the old designation of the sound with the letter b has been preserved; B-flat is denoted b flat (B-soft).

To write accidentals, syllables are added to the letters: is – sharp, es – flat, isis – double sharp, eses – double flat. The exception is the sound of B-flat, for which the designation with the letter b, the sounds of E-flat and A-flat, denoted by the syllables es and as, respectively, have been preserved. C-sharp – cis, F-double-sharp – fisis, D-flat – des, G-double-flat – geses.

In the countries of English language sharp is indicated by the word sharp, flat – by the word flat, double-sharp – by the words double sharp, double-flat – by the words double flat, C-sharp – with sharp, F-double-sharp – f double sharp, D-flat – d flat , G double flat – g double flat.

The sounds of the large octave are indicated by uppercase letters, and the small ones by lowercase. For sounds of other octaves, numbers or dashes are added to the letters, corresponding in number to the names of the octaves:

up to the first octave – c1 or c’ re of the second octave – d2 or d ” mi of the third octave – e3 or e “‘ fa of the fourth octave – f4 or f “” up to the fifth octave – c5 or c ” “‘ are contractive — H1 or 1H or H for subcontroctave – A2 or A, or

To indicate the keys, the words are added to the letters: dur (major), moll (minor), and for major keys capital letters are used, and for minor keys – lowercase, for example C-dur (C major), fis-moll (F-sharp minor) etc. In the abbreviated way of writing, uppercase letters (without additions) denote major keys and chords, and lowercase letters denote minor ones.

With an introduction to music. the practice of the linear musical system A. m. has lost its original meaning and has been preserved as an auxiliary. means of designation sounds, chords and keys (primarily in musical and theoretical works).

References: Gruber R. I., History of musical culture, t. 1, ch. 1, M.-L., 1941; Bellermann Fr., Die Tonleitern und Musiknoten der Griechen, V., 1847; Fortlage K., The musical system of the Greeks…, Lpz., 1847; Riemann H., Studien zur Geschichte der Notenschrift, Lpz., 1878; Monro D. V., Modes of Ancient Greek music, Oxf., 1894; Wolf J., Handbuch der Notationskunde, Bd 1-2, Lpz., 1913-19; Sachs C., Die griechische Instrumentalnotenschrift, «ZfMw», VI, 1924; его же, Die griechische Gesangsnotenschrift, «ZfMw», VII, 1925; Pоtirоn H., Origins of the alphabetic notation, Revue grйgorienne», 1952, XXXI; Сorbin S., Valeur et sens de la notation alphabйtique a Jumiiges…, Rouen, 1955; Smits van Waesberghe J., Les origines de la notation alphabйtique au moyen vge, в сб.: Annuario musical XII, Barcelona, ​​1957; Barbour JM, The principles of Greek notation, «JAMS», XIII, 1960.

V. A. Vakhromeev

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